Checking In

It’s been a heck of a month. We had our roof redone, some family members caught the COVID, and now our appliances may possibly be going kaput.

So, in order to revisit this, we have to go back a few months. My dad has been wanting to have the roof redone for several years, but for various reasons wasn’t able to make that happen. Around October of last year, though, he finally decided to start the process. First, he had to have the roof appraised and then secure some funding from our home insurance so that he wouldn’t have to pay so much out-of-pocket. Then, once he had selected a roofing company and secured the funding, there had to be a permit filed with the county before they could even purchase the materials they’d need to use. This took the longest to get done. It took something like three or four months to have all the paperwork come through.

The actual work on the roof took place during the week of my birthday (around the end of March). It took about 2 days for the roofers to complete the job. The first day involved removing the old shingles and installing new plywood. The second day involved the installation of new shingles and the replacing of the fascia (among other things). There was lots of noise and it drove the dog absolutely nuts, but once they finally finished the work, we were able to take a look. My dad originally wanted a metal roof, but the roofing company he used didn’t specialize in installing metal roofs, so he opted for higher-quality architectural shingles that are more durable than standard asphalt shingles. They do cost a bit more than standard shingles, but he felt the added cost was worth it. He also ordered them in the lightest color available, which is supposed to reflect sunlight rather than absorb the heat, which should keep the house cooler from the roof on down and help reduce energy costs during the summer. We’ll see how energy efficient this ends up being.

The one unfortunate part of this is that the color of the shingles clashes with the exterior paint job (which has the house currently a beige color with brown trim). Luckily, the neighbor that we are closest to in terms of neighbor-to-neighbor relationship paints houses for a living and has offered to paint our house once he can get enough paint together. However, there may be a delay in this, because he and his girlfriend got into a motorcycle accident last week that resulted in her being hospitalized with serious injuries that required surgery. (Thankfully, she’ll be able to recover.) He suffered more minor injuries, but was still kind of banged up. This is the second motorcycle wreck they’ve gotten into within the past year. As a result, he’s decided not to get another motorcycle for the time being. And this wreck also happened a couple of months after someone wrecked his SUV in a hit and run crash while he was at a gas station. Our neighbor’s a nice guy; it just seems that he’s one of those people where he doesn’t necessarily go looking for trouble, but trouble finds him.

Now…the COVID. Thankfully, it wasn’t me and my dad who got it. It was my brother and sister-in-law. My sister-in-law believes she caught it from her grandmother, who was hospitalized but wasn’t confirmed to have COVID until 3 days later. She and my brother both ended up developing it, but somehow their daughters avoided catching it. (I later told my brother, “It’s because they’re low to the ground!”, since both are under the age of 5.) My sister-in-law, A., got moderate symptoms (fever, chills, overall body pain and fatigue), but didn’t require hospitalization. My brother got mild symptoms (fever, loss of taste and smell), but took a little while longer to clear the virus and thus be able to return to work. Sadly, my sister-in-law’s grandmother lost her fight against the virus on April 1st. She had been in the hospital at least three weeks before she passed away. Her funeral was held last week. I only remember meeting her a couple of times. I don’t have the closest relationship with my sister-in-law’s side of the family because we simply don’t meet up all that much (even before the pandemic).

My dad and I were able to avoid contracting it from them because we live on the other side of town from them, and when they did come down with the virus, it had been a couple of months since the last time we’d seen them. For once, not visiting on a regular basis was actually a good thing! 😅 Dad and I are doing good health-wise. We have not been vaccinated yet, and I don’t know if my dad wants to. Personally, I’d like to try and look for work in the next few months, and I may look into getting vaccinated then once I start the process. Thankfully, the vaccines in Florida are being offered at no cost (out-of-pocket), so money and lack of insurance wouldn’t be an issue for me.

Now, as for the more recent stuff…it seems like everything in our kitchen is going on the fritz. First, it was the lighting on just about everything, from the ceiling fans to the fluorescent light over the sink. The fans will likely need to be replaced entirely, while when it comes to the fluorescent light over the sink, only the actual “bulb”/tube/whatever needs to be replaced. Since those went out, I’ve been opening the kitchen blinds during the day and using an auto shop light at night (which uses fluorescent lights; I’ve been hanging it off of the cabinet handles, which are metal).

Then last week, I started hearing a loud hum coming from the microwave whenever I’d try to run it. Some googling and figuring out the appliance’s age (it turns out this microwave is 20 years old, manufactured in 2001) led me to deduce that the magnetron (which generates the microwaves and heat in a microwave oven) may be going out. So, as a result, we’ve stopped using the microwave, and my dad is looking for a new one. Our current one is a Whirlpool Gold over-the-range microwave (which fits in the area right over the stove and connects to the exhaust fan) and has been good to us for most of these 20 years that we’ve had it. Just given the age, and not knowing whether there are compatible replacement parts out there, we’re probably better off just replacing it.

The only real inconvenience I’ve been dealing with (in regards to the microwave) is that we recently got off the meal delivery service plan and instead I’ve been getting Lean Cuisine dinners at the grocery store…and they can’t be heated up in a regular oven. I ended up cooking the proteins we’d already had in the freezer (chicken, salmon, a ribeye that had been in there for many months, but still thawed out and cooked up perfectly) this week while my dad took the frozen dinners to work with him. (They’re not too bad, actually. Each meal is under 400 calories, and I’ve also packed low calorie snacks with them for him to nibble on through the night.) I still got some Lean Cuisine dinners at the store yesterday, but I mostly got stuff I could cook on the stove. (I can use the oven to reheat food if needed. 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes if I’m warming up room temperature food, 45 minutes to an hour if it’s straight out of the refrigerator. I just put said food in a small baking pan and cover with aluminum foil.)

Speaking of the freezer…there’s now a possibility the refrigerator could be on its way out as well. It’s a Samsung we got lightly used (with a little help from my brother, who was working at a Lowe’s at the time, which is where we got it from), and we’ve had that one maybe 10 years. Well, the fridge isn’t getting as cold as it should. And in the freezer, things keep thawing out and refreezing. The freezer unit is on the bottom on this model, so I don’t know if that’s contributing to the issues or not, but all of this is getting a bit irritating. I don’t know if it’s the near-summer heat causing it or if the fridge itself is on the way out.

Why is it that appliances like to crap out on us in groups? It’s never just one thing that needs replacing, but, like, two or three! Does Murphy’s Law (anything that can go wrong…will) apply here? If the world was a person, would it be laughing at us right now?

Anyway, that’s what’s been up in my corner of the planet lately. I may talk a bit about what I’m reading or knitting at some point. (I do have a project on the needles, I just can’t talk about it right now. Once I do talk about it, which will eventually happen, you’ll realize why I had to hold off on it for a while. I’ll just say it doesn’t involve me directly.) I apologize for the silence on my end; I just haven’t had the motivation to write here lately. Life’s been happening, but when it becomes the same old cycle over and over again after a while, it’s just not as interesting to write about. And really, that’s what I try to make this blog about: my life. I hope to be able to write again soon. Until next time, I wish you all good health and safety in these trying times, and much happiness.