Friday, May 18, 2007

About this time last year, my dryer broke, and since it was still covered by our homeowner's warranty, we called the company and they sent out a man from Sears to fix it. The appointment was scheduled for a week off, since Sears only sends a repairman out here once or twice a week. The man arrived on the appointed day and whipped out a fancy computer which he connected up to my dryer. The computer told him that my dryer's heating element had burned out. Well, I had told him that, too, but I realize he has to confirm the diagnosis and look for any further issues before proceeding. So. Burned out heating element. The man ordered a new one, but the warehouse he ordered from had it on backorder, so it wound up taking about four weeks for the part to come in. When it came in, I had to call Sears and let them know, so they could schedule the repairman to come back out and replace it - another week away. Total time with dead dryer: six weeks.

Less than a month later, the element burned out again. But this time we called the local repairman - the man that fixes our furnace and air conditioner when they need it. He came out that evening and took the dryer apart, cleaned it out, replaced the heating element (he'd brought one with him since Mike told him what the problem was over the telephone), and he told me what had caused the problem - five years of using dryer sheets had gummed it up so that there was friction where there shouldn't have been. Total time with dead dryer: about five hours.

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Last month my washer started acting up and it got so bad that we finally had the local man come out and look at it. He came that evening, a Monday, took the washer apart and cleaned it out. This time he had to order a new pump, so he told me how to finagle it so I could still do laundry in the meantime. That Wednesday afternoon, he came back and replaced the pump.

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There's a woman who wants to buy three of our goats, only she doesn't have the cash so she suggested a barter. Her father is repairing our lawn-mower, plus (and this is worth a whole lot, if you ask me) she's taking all the stuff I've been collecting in my dejunking adventures and will yard-sale it for me.

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Last week a woman pulled up in my driveway asking if we have diary goats. When I said yes, she wanted to know if she could have some milk. Seems she raised all her own children on raw goat milk but no longer keeps goats, and now her sixteen month old granddaughter, who only drinks raw milk, was visiting and they had run out of the milk they'd brought with them. We had a nice conversation and then I gave her two quarts of milk, no charge - it's illegal to sell raw milk in Virginia. Later in the week, the woman brought my clean quart jars back to me, along with a plateful of ginger cookies, and a promise to help with hoof-trimming. I forgot to ask how she knew about us, though - wish I had.

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We haven't replaced our laying flock yet since the fox attack, so Mike has been buying eggs from his coworkers. The last couple dozen were paid for with a jar full of carriage bolts we had left over from a previous construction job on the farm.

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Through a series of unfortunate events, we found ourselves the owners of an ancient player piano sadly in need of repairs we could not manage ourselves. Mike mentioned it to a neighbor, saying we needed to sell it. He came to look at it, fell in love with it, and we sold it to him for a truckload of manure for our garden.


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