Day before yesterday Walt had just gotten out of the shower and was shaving when suddenly the water was cut off. I was downstairs in the utility room doing something and he came running, wrapped in a towel, his face covered in shaving cream. "Was that you? What have you done? There's no water." I didn't know know why. It wasn't me and I hadn't done anything. The water came back on a couple of minutes later. But it was fizzy and cloudy for more than 24 hours.
That got me thinking about our current série noire of minor household disasters.
|Roasting winter squashes|
It all started when the car failed its biannual inspection in December because of emission issues. « Votre voiture pollue », they told me. At least that situation was resolved after I spent the holidays driving around like a chauve-souris sortant des enfers (translating the English expression word for word). The car finally passed inspection in early January.
About that time, Walt's computer started acting up. It would freeze up for no apparent reason every morning, and he'd fuss and cuss as he had to waste time restarting and then troubleshooting it. Finally, he decided to replace it.
And then one morning I couldn't get my brand new tablet computer to start up. Thankfully, the tech support man at Darty was able to help me out of that scrape. I had feared the worst of course, but I've had no problems with it since then.
Oh, and I sent my Archos internet radio in for a repair yesterday, under warranty. I had to send it to a service center in the Paris region. I've never been able to get it to read an SD card, as it was advertised to be able to do. I hope the repair doesn't take forever.
A few days ago Walt made pizzas for lunch (best I've had in a long time, with chicken, black olives, mushrooms, and mozzarella). A couple of hours later when he went to take the pizza stone out of the oven, it broke in half! And we have no way to replace it. I can't find anything on the internet that would work in our oven and/or not cost a fortune. And nobody around here sells anything like a pizza stone, as far as I know. No resolution on that problem yet.
|Une potée for lunch...|
A few days before that happened I was heating up a big bowl of broth in the microwave when suddenly the oven turned itself off. No clock. No light inside. I thought it had given up the ghost and I started searching for a new microwave on web merchants' sites like Darty.com and Amazon.fr. Luckily, an hour or two later, the microwave oven started working again. I guess it had just overheated. I've never had one do that before. False alarm, in other words, unless it acts up again.
Over the past few months, the halogen light fixtures we have over the kitchen sink and work surfaces have had two of its six bulbs go out. We're down to four bulbs, which is not enough, especially since one of them is the one right over the kitchen sink. There's really not enough light to wash dishes by. And it's not the bulbs, it's the light sockets in the fixtures that are en panne, with no obvious repair possible. We need to replace the fixtures, and I guess we need to find something with LED lighting.
We went to the BricorMarché store across the river in Noyers a couple of weeks ago to see if we could find any satisfactory under-cabinet light fixtures there. No luck. Then we tried Bricorama in Saint-Aignan. No luck there either. But the woman at the cash register there said they'd be getting in a whole new set of lighting fixtures soon. Yesterday I went and checked, and voilà, exactly what we need, I think. Walt will have to go to Bricorama with me to pick out the right models.
On Monday I was out walking the dog when I realized that the soles had come unglued from my hiking boots at the toe. I got wet feet. Now I have to go somewhere and buy new boots. I can't walk around with the soles flapping — I might trip and break my neck. I tried a store in Saint-Aignan yesterday for new boots, but I struck out. Today I have to drive up to Blois and go shoe shopping.
On top of it all, I'm having trouble with my knees. They ache. If I squat down, I have a hard time getting back up. It happened at the supermarket the other day, and I thought for a minute I was going to have to ask somebody to pull me up to a standing position. My knees hurt especially when I go up or — worse — down the stairs (in this three-level house). I'm in trouble.
And all the while, the dollar has been dropping in value. We've lost 10 cents on the dollar in terms of euros over the last month or two. In other words, 1000 euros now costs us nearly $1350 instead of $1250. Down goes my retirement income.
Did I mention the weather we've been having?