$600 per hour and a $300 safety pin

Every appliance has been keeling over in recent times, which is exactly the wrong times for it to happen. I mentioned that the blender and washer went within an hour or two of each other. I was there for the blender, and it was a smoking sight to be seen, as the blades burned through the little rubber piece at the bottom (forgive me, it’s 5:54 a.m. and I haven’t had coffee and the best word I could come up with was “piece.” “Thinger”?).

I also noted that when I went down to check the laundry, I smelled a burning smell there, too, as it looked like that motor had burned out.

First, I have a terrible sense of smell which is why I don’t give people hugs because I never know if I stink like the inside of Sonya’s basketball shoes. Second, for very complicated only-my-therapist-and-siblings-can-understand reasons, my “gut” (as in “trust your gut”) is out of whack, which is why I mowed the entire lawn two weeks after surgery (“you can give it a try, just listen to your body when it tells you to stop”) and have been known to eat fermented fruit from a gas station because is this bad? Is it just me? Does it taste weird?

So I sometimes jump to conclusions when I should not and often fail to make some pretty important connections. Never a dull moment!

Anywho, I was sure the washer was dead, although now I think maybe that burning smell was residual from the blender. My husband pulled the washer and said “let’s just take a look.” I had fixed it singlehandedly about 8 years ago, so I knew it wouldn’t be that hard, especially working together. With the help of YouTube and a few swear words, we pulled the whole thing apart, cleaned out some insignificant-looking tubes, and the monster jumped back to life.

I canceled the order to Lowe’s.

Earlier that day, I had been mowing the lawn; some parts hadn’t been cut since just after my surgery (I did not listen to my body but boy did I feel terrible afterward; I opted out of mowing for several weeks), which in our yard translates to T R O U B L E. The mower kept stalling out because of the thick wet grass, and at one point, I couldn’t start it again. I called the big strong man out for help, and he couldn’t either.

He showed me a tiiiiiny spring that needed to be adjusted so that air could get to the blah blah blah I don’t know. As he adjusted it, it snapped. The mower doesn’t work without it. The lawn had to be mowed or else we would all be choked to death by the living breathing mass of greenery.

I tried to fix it with a bobby pin, because even though I had never used a bobby pin before children, the recent dance recital means these things have been dropped into every nook, cranny, couch cushion, and corner. It didn’t work. But a safety pin did!

We hooked one end of the safety pin around the edge of the spring that was still intact, and the other edge around the part it was supposed to reach and, ta da! Good as new. Well, good as it had been an hour before, which is “good as old,” I guess.

I know that these things are likely very temporary (although the washer lived another eight years after I fixed it the last time, so maybe not?), but temporary is what I need. If I can push back the need to buy something by two months, we will have paid off another small debt. Another two months, another small debt. Another two months, a couple of bigger debts. If I can push it back a year? Well, we should have mostly recovered from the bathroom renovation and surprise tax bill by then.

I mean if I’m dreaming here, if I can push this stuff back another three years, student loan forgiveness should kick in.

At any rate, I pushed it back at least a couple of weeks, and at this point, I’ll take it. Between the thirty minutes it took us to fix the washer and the material cost of the safety pin to save us from buying a new mower, we made quite good money on Saturday. Quite good money, and, more importantly, we bought ourselves some time.

3 thoughts on “$600 per hour and a $300 safety pin”

  1. Lots to learn from here! Good luck on that loan forgiveness…

    We push back things as well in order to meet money goals. These little moves add up over time. For example, we’ve been riding out our dishwasher for about a year. We have a clothes washer that was worth fixing as well. It would’ve been more of a hassle to haul it out than to repair it!


    1. It really does add up over time – in the last year we’ve fixed the dishwasher and the vacuum cleaner (multiple times), made do with a broken van door, kept the microwave handle held together with tape, fixed the mower a few times… probably more. It’d be nice to have new stuff but it’s nicer to keep up with our goals!


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