Thursday, October 17, 2013

One Thing Leads to Another...

There are things you can count on in life:

1) if you decide to invest $600 in repairing your 11 year old van, they will discover at the end of the repair that there is, in fact, a $3000 problem that needs an immediate repair.  You will then need to sell same-said van and pay the $600 repair bill.  Murderous thoughts will cross your mind...



Source

2) If you decide you need to lose some weight, you will a) get many invitations out to dinner b) realize that chocolate and wine are food groups that must not be ignored...

Source
3) Within two months of Christmas, you will ALWAYS have to make some kind of major purchase for your house - ALWAYS!

For us, it is a new oven.  We have had our current oven, a Maytag dual convection oven, for about 10 years. 

I LOVE my oven.  I especially love the dual oven aspect.  It has made my dinner parties and holiday dinners so much simpler.  The upper oven is small, but large enough for a pan of cookies, a couple of small casserole dishes and is the perfect place to heat up a baguette.

A few months ago, the convection part of it broke. I kept forgetting that I needed to call someone.  Sunday morning, the smaller oven ceased working altogether.  Uh-oh, I thought, this isn't going to be good.  I was right.

Yesterday, a lovely and chipper repairman arrived, took off the book of my range and said "Uh oh".  I repeated the "Uh oh."  "Your circuit plate is dying," he said, in quite a jaunty tone, almost the same jaunty tone you would use if you were saying "You've just won a thousand dollars".... "Is a new circuit plate expensive?" I whispered.  Indy, the wonder dog, and I stared at him, wide-eyed, waiting...

He guffawed.  "You are not fixing this ma'am.  That would be $800!  That would be crazy!  And this range could die at any moment!"  All said in the same happy-go-lucky-manner.  Of course, it wasn't HIS range that was dying...

So Barry and I started searching.  This is not a good thing.  He has his list, I have mine.  He wanted a slide-in range (one where the knobs are on the front, not back behind the burners), I wanted a dual oven.  We do not have access to natural gas out here in the woods, so that was not an option.

Here is what I REALLY decided I wanted...

A Bertazzoni:

Never mind that I was completely unfamiliar with the Italian brand until I stumbled upon it online.  No matter.  I was smitten.  Sort of in the same way it turns out that I need a 40s era pom pom beret from Brora:



Oh the heart wants what it wants...The pocket book screamed "NOOOO!!! YOU SHALL NOT HAVE A $10,000 STOVE!!!  (and then whispered: "Well not yet anyway - why don't you become a bestselling author first?")

I also wouldn't mind having this stove:

sIvory with solid doors
I don't know why it is that the Universe didn't think to make me rich this time around...  Oh I know, I am doing fine, but that little Aga above would be the niftiest thing....And why do the European appliances make me feel all warm and fluttery inside????

But never mind, and as I like to say: Don't Cry for me Argentina..

I found a new stove last night that we will go back and purchase:



There it is in the picture above that looks NOTHING like my kitchen...


It is a beauty - more bells and whistle than I currently have and the bottom "baking" drawer heats to 450 and can fit in quite a lot...

Even has a skillet option on top..

 
Best of all, it is on sale.
 
But it is never that simple in life,  is it?
 
Because of course when we went to the shop, a lot of their appliances were on sale and some were on sale for amazing prices...
 
And one of those items is Barry's dream fridge...
 
 
We have a smaller version of this GE Profile fridge that is about 9 years old, with one bottom drawer and one door on top.
 
And this dream fridge is $1000 less in the store than it is in any other place.  Sigh...
 
But it would require cutting into other cabinets.  Messes.  Money.  And then I would want to change a light fixture and a countertop....
 
Hmm... Wonder what we will decide....
 
Remember what I said: something always breaks before Christmas (here you can insert the voice of an aged crone with a cackle...).
 
Have a great day and stay safe out there...
 


62 comments:

  1. A good friends daughter decided to marry in our back yard. The night before was when our ovens decided to go out...circuit board. Moe, our black cat, also walked them down the aisle and then was stepped on by an Uncle. Marriage did not last two years.

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    1. Hilarious! My brother in law stepped on my veil, tore it and almost broke my neck with the yank back I got, all while I was up on the altar too.

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  2. Don't you hate that " can't fix it mentality" in the olden days of this once great country everything got fixed, things lasted a lifetime, it makes me go off my rocker when tradesmen say that to me. I only buy German appliances now, at least they last and can be fixed for half a lifetime!

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    1. Oh my new profile pic looks like cousin it!

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    2. Well I didn't even know that the new stoves don't have fuses... what does that say about me???? He told me not to expect any new appliance to last more than 10 years - outrageous!

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    3. No fuses? That has really boggled my mind.

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  3. I think they're making appliances to break down within a 10 year time frame these days. My grandmother had a chest freezer that she bought in the 50s and we still have it in our basement as a storage freezer!

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    1. Many repairmen have told me this about the 10 year thing, really pisses me off! I've just had to buy a new Miele dishwasher which lasted 14 years... with a couple of big repairs along the way. I guess I should be happy it lasted that long but I'm really not, how about 20 -25 years?

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    2. Anon and Dani - agree! We had a microwave that just died after 20 years! They don't make 'em like that anymore!

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    3. It's less than 10 years in many cases - they aim for it to break about 2 years after the warranty runs out. So expect 6 years max. The Europeans are better - can go for up to 14 years, but still... should be longer!! x

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    4. Oh, and do you remember when you'd get a toaster repaired? Now you just have to throw it in the bin and buy another, it's not worth it.

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  4. My oven and dishwasher died before Xmas... Of course! And a couple of days ago I broke my blender... That I use usually only around Xmas... And I also have always been dreaming of an Aga cook range, but somehow it has been decided that this will be in another life... By the way, I totally agree with Anonymous... Today appliances are programmed to die after 10 years... It is called "schedule outage" and I do believe it is NOT a myth... but rather a hand book called "how to keep our consumerism society alive"...

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    1. Steph - I think you are on to something! It is so frustrating!

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  5. Oh Wendy, what a pain! We have never had any appliances for longer than 10 years as they have mostly been included when we have sold our houses. However, I think we'll be keeping our present set for as long as possible - which, it seems, won't be all that long. Your new choice looks great. Good luck with deciding about the fridge, it sounds like it's a very good deal.

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    1. Patricia - the fridge is en route! He and the man came to an agreement and all is happy in Barry land - new fridge and he got to tear out some cabinetry!

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  6. Baking drawer?! Wow, that is such a great idea. I used to have a double oven in the old condo. It was ancient and ugly, but man, was it awesome for Thanksgiving. I could do the turkey in the lower oven and baked goods up above. I think we're going to need a new range/oven soon, but hubs won't give up his industrial strength hood, so no more double ovens for me, at least in this house. That baking drawer would be perfect though.

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    1. MW - that's why you need a range like mine that has both but they slide in - slick as can be! I will let you know how I liked it - I loved it on my old may tag!

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  7. Sorry to hear of the trouble with the oven.
    Hopefully the new one will make up for it:)

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    1. I will be a perfect suzy homemaker!

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  8. Feeling your pain Wendy! My new Miele is arriving today, I was so absolutely ticked mad when the Miele guy came last week for $225 to tell me the dang thing needs a new motor for $640. I replaced the electronic panel thing last year for $700. I called Miele and asked for a discount on a new machine and for a refund of the $225 and I got it. Still it's costing a fortune, all the same week we're having our roof replaced as well. Such is life!
    I would advise Barry to wait on the fridge but I don't think he'll listen to me. Well it is gorgeous!

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    1. Ha! You KNEW he wouldn't wait!!! Of course now he is going to have a busy couple of days cleaning it all up where he tore out the old cupboards... That is what I plan to get when the current dishwasher dies - a lovely little miele!

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    2. I've had nothing but trouble with Miele and have sworn off it for life! They had to rebuild the whole interior of my oven after 2 months of use, and the part had to be flown out from Germany - took ages to fix.There were a myriad of other problems as well. I love the Asko (swedish brand) dishwashers, or Siemens' are good too. Very reliable....

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  9. Enjoy the new range-better before the holidays than during. We have a 36" Bertazonni purchased during our 2007 remodel. It is a workhorse, but not perfect. Tell Barry that we replaced our fridge out of necessity 4 years before the remodel and planned the entire kitchen around it. After owning the fridge for 5 yrs/3 months - it died. The warranty - of course - good for 5 years. The repair guy told me the energy efficient requirements were making the compressor work harder than ever, so newer models die quicker. I wonder about the trade-off of landfill vs. energy savings. So just a year after the remodel, we had to buy a new fridge that ended up being just a few inches shorter than our old one-that has the cabinet built above it. We felt like someone was playing a cosmic joke on us....that was NOT funny.
    Hope you are well!

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    1. Oh Julie - I think I would be beside myself!!!!! You have made me feel better about not getting the Bertazonni!!! Maybe I meant for an Aga????

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  10. Gorgeous choice, but I bet it doesn't take the sting of spending so much in a millisecond. We just got my husband's car serviced, and though it was routine, it cost close to $1000, but he really loves his toy so I don't complain. Though that same week we had to make several large purchases for the house and it just feels like all we do is spend and spend! Hang in there, friend!

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    1. AB - I hear you! I was all pleased as Barry got a consulting gig last week and yay, extra money... and now yay - pay for appliances! It all works out in the wash and when you come to visit will make excellent cookies!

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  11. After having replaced appliances/remodeled/redone kitchens for what seems the better part of a lifetime - well, better isn't really what I meant but YKWIM - I strongly suggest not having anything in your life whose parts have to come from another continent. Slowly. And including cars, even though I haven't had a car in a kitchen.

    In my next life I will have a LaCornue with all the extras. I will live next door from a LaCornue dealership. And the LaCornue will live in a room with doors that open to a garden.

    But in this life I spent most of yesterday waiting for the GE repairman because the transmission broke on the washing machine, and yes I am happy that I have my own machine in my own apartment and I am happy that I was divinely inspired to purchase the extended warranty even though Consumer Reports said it wasn't necessary and I am happy that the Guy showed up and I have high hopes that the parts will arrive and the (separate crew of) transmission installers will also show up next week. Happy, do you hear me? Happy, dammit.

    But at least the parts are not being held up by disturbances in the North Sea tidal patterns and disturbances on the docks of Genoa.

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    1. Fred, excellent advice, my favourite car was American, nightmare for me to maintain and get parts for, now I keep it to the neighbouring countries, well I keep everything mechanical to Germany now, I just don't mention the war.

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    2. Good points Fred! Well we are GE now! I feel like I am supporting Jack from 30Rock!

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    3. Tabs I miss Basil and Sybil too, thank goodness for DVDs .

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    4. You could not film that episode now! So wonderful!!

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  12. How on earth do 50-somethings that have been gainfully employed for many years:
    a) still have a mortgage and
    b) not be prepared with a fund for major emergency purchases?

    Baffling.

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    1. Hey Anon- sorry to baffle you. We do have a fund. I just didn't want to buy a fridge or go into it unless needed. Kind of baffled myself that you would feel the need to say something like that without knowing any of the details but assume you meant it kindly.

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    2. Anon if you're going to leave a comment which conveys such confused and even "baffled" feelings perhaps you should leave your name and email so that Wendy and her readers can help you out.
      I don't recall Wendy discussing details of her mortgage and emergency funds so I'm thinking it's none of your business. And quite frankly you come off as judgemental and rude, not baffled.

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    3. Yeah it's rudeness and the cowardice of anons that baffles me in life.

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    4. Haha! well, anon, you can be even more baffled at me! I have no fund and will have a mortgage until I'm well into my 70s and I work and have worked full time since time began.
      I'm not sure why on earth this should bother anyone but me.

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    5. Ruth - you and Tabs and Dani made me laugh out loud! My 'extra' funds are putting two through university these days. Imagine what kind of over-the-top frippery I would have bought for the kitchen if that wasn't the case...

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    6. Gotta love those anon comments! I'm baffled they don't have the guts to use their name.

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  13. Perfect title for the post, WMM. We also call this "scope creep". We needed a new refrigerator. The new one didn't fit where the old one was. We swapped the fridge location with the oven location. Had to move the electrical. May as well replace the oven while we're at it because it was barely working. This would be a good time to get that gas stovetop my husband has always wanted, however the exhaust system had to be redone. And when you bought 3 appliances, they threw in a "free" dishwasher. Next thing you know the kitchen is all torn apart, we are spending $, and it is Thanksgiving with houseguests and no handle on the new refrigerator lol. Thankfully, that is a story that happened in the past, not right now. Anyway, I get it, sometimes it all goes to pot at once. It's like that book "If You Give A Mouse a Cookie"!

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    1. Cate - that is too funny!

      We always have scope creep....this time we may have gotten off cheap... Just so e carpentry and maybe a new light fixture.... If you give a mouse a cookie...

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  14. I have one of those Gemini ovens as well and I love it. I enjoy making personal pizzas when I am in the city alone and the small oven cooks so much better than the toaster oven. The idea of not having to fire up the big oven is nice too. Hmm, I am craving spinach and feta cheese with olives just now. Good luck with the kitchen project, whatever you decide to do.

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    1. xoxo - I love making little personal pizzas too,... spinach and fets - my mouth is watering!!! So glad you like the oven - I know you love to cook as well, so that is a great endorsement!

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  15. What a pain, Wendy! Broken appliances are a total pain. It's 'baffling' (to overuse anon's self righteous indignation) that appliances seem to self destruct after such a short life.
    I dread the day that our cooker bites the dust.

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    1. well they actually delivered them yesterday, which is UNHEARD of around here and makes me wonder what kind of Faustian bargain Barry made with the store (I may find myself working there for life or something...) And now I have a gaping hole above and beside the new fridge where he had to get rid of cabinets to get it in...

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    2. At least Barry has a good track record for putting things back together! There is reason for hope :D

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  16. My stove has been threatening to go out for several months. I'm guessing it will give up the ghost on Christmas morning. Murphy's Law rules in my house. Love to see what Barry did to your cabinets.

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    1. Will take pictures in progress! We now realize we have all this dead space above the fridge - am trying to decide if I put a cupboard (which I will not be able to reach) or maybe put a long fabulous mirror or piece of art....I haven't used the stove yet, but there are ice cubes!

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  17. Sorry about the car and oven ordeals. I have been through the car ordeal this summer and I, too, had murderous thoughts on my mind.

    I had a glass top stove a few years back and liked it at first, but later I decided it was not practical for me. My new place came with a gas stove and oven, and love them so much better! They are extremely easy to clean. I will never go back to an electric stove, if I can help it.

    Good luck!

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    1. Rose - I am SO with you - I do not love the glass top, but that was really our only option, as natural gas is not available where we live out in the country! I would love to have the gas top! Maybe when this 10 years are up, I will have natural gas! (you know, that seems odd to write....)

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  18. Your new so snazzy! For the warming drawer, I could try to get over the glass top. Those things are tricky for me & I always ended up randomly touching the element before it cooled completely. I was so glad that I only had to cook on it for a fixed period of time. I do miss the gas stove we had at our last home. Hope there are no more big house or car bills for you anytime soon!

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    1. I am with you Gigi! I so wish that we had gas!!! Love the warming oven though!!!

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  19. When it sh*ts, it storms, right? Everything all at once. I missed a few posts but did the oven crap out on Thanksgiving? Yikes!!

    Our first house had 1968 appliances (with the psychedelic patterned backsplash - you know, avocado & orange -- and yes, the date was somewhere on the applicance!) - it was an avocado oven and fridge. Such power guzzlers. I was shocked they were both still running! We replaced them not long after we moved in.

    Then when we moved to our (now) house, the applicances came with the house and at that time they were only 4 years old (they are 8 years old now). Last January we had to get something replaced in the freezer/fridge -- some kind of line or whatever that was causing everything to defrost (I am not good with technical stuff). Thankfully one of our friends recommended someone to fix it after they had the same problem! I think it cost $150-$200 to fix, way better than shelling out money for a new fridge.

    I hope our appliances last awhile!! My parents still have their fridge in the basement that they used back in the 1980s, still works and up until a few years ago, they still had their old fridge from the 1970s in the basement!

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    1. I hope yours do, too! This house had the original 1970s appliances - scary! and blood red tiles and blood red shag carpet in the family room and into the bathroom! Can you imagine??????

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  20. Did I iss the make of the oven and fridge? They look wonderful. The worst thing housewise is anew roof-so boring but necessary (and VERY $). At least you get daily use and pleasure from new appliances.

    Car repairs are boring too.

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    1. Maureen - you are so right! The oven is a GE profile café range and the fridget is a GE profile with French doors. I have to say - I had to buy the stove by the fridge is amazing! I agree on roofs. But the worst is a septic field - we had to replace ours several years ago - $10,000 - just to flush a toilet. Which, by the way, is an important thing to do...

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  21. Yes a septic field would be worse but then I would rather have the abilty to flush than stay dry! (if I had to choose)

    We put a new roof on this year and sometimes when I am outside I remember to look up at it. Killed me to spend that 10,000 plus!

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    1. Hi Maureen! I think you are right! I sometimes says prayers of gratitude for this stuff, mostly because I do not feel grateful at all!

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  22. Yes, it's simple - buy the cooker (a skillet, how lovely!) and forget the fridge.

    I'm with Tabitha on the rudeness of Anon who was perhaps born with a silver spoon in mouth - or somewhere else.

    Your fridge is bound to break down sometime soon. And the ten year rule - disgraceful! /:-)

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  23. Oh, now I've caught up on the comments - you've got the fridge, well done you!!

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    1. Oh - well not sure if it is well done, but it is done! Hope you are truly on the mend - have been thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way!

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Kindness is a virtue...