right now

right now

Jul 12, 2012

Tomatoes, fun - HVAC, not so much...

This week has been a stressful one around here.  Tomatoes continue to pour in every couple days, that part is stress I handle well.  The other stress this past week came in the form of a dying heat pump, ugh.  Last Friday my tenant came home for lunch to find that her house was at about 88 degrees and climbing fast.  Did I mention that it was 106º that day?  Did the usual, system off - reset breakers - nothing.  It didn't surprise me that the system would go down in flames after a valiant 19 years in service, but why do these things have to happen on the hottest day of the year in a tenant's house?!  I called "the guy" and after 30 minutes in the 5000º attic he diagnosed a blown transformer in the air handler, $265.  After giving much thanks to God and Todd the HVAC guy, my tenant's A/C was back online, for now.  Soooo, I spent the rest of the day freaking out on how to pay for a new system since it's badly needed, I bit the bullet, prayed and applied for a loan from our bank.  A couple of seconds later I was approved and had the money in our account, I was in total shock LOL.  Although I hate it that we don't have a nice emergency savings built up thanks to me being a stay at home mom and our not-much-but-just-enough military paycheck, I am so grateful that we have been able to pay our bills on time and managed to hang on to our credit score so we could get a loan at a decent interest rate.  I could have just seen how long this fix would stick and watch it die again later and fix it, but the next deployment is coming up in the next year and that's no doubt when it would go down for good, and the system is very old, and it's our rental unit so we have to keep things going.  Spent the better part of this week getting estimates and I will be calling "our guy" back this morning and letting him know we are going with him.  I've been with this HVAC company for 19 years and they are really trustworthy, their service is awesome and they aren't pushy with recommending things we don't need (MSCO, Inc. for any local folks who want to know who to call!).  Notable - when I called our regular company on Friday, the HOTTEST day of the year, they fit me in and were here in 25 minutes, that speaks volumes to me.  One company came over here and it was like a used car dealer and a bad one at that!  I needed an HVAC system quoted and they did that and also quoted me $689 to fix a leaky tub they found under the house, really?  They must think I'm a moron, and what were they doing under my house anyways - no HVAC down there LOL.  They talked down to me a bit too which was annoying, I'm actually the one who makes these decisions around here, ha!  Anyway... my regular company was $400 higher but the unit was a nicer Trane unit which is what the old one was that ran forever, and gave me a few perks for being loyal such as throwing in a few years of the "seasonal checks" at no charge, and the sales guy was not a schmuck like the others haha.  

Life lesson here:  It pays to not be a schmuck.  :)

Now we are trying to figure out how to afford a vacation home this summer, I think we are going to be able to if I get really creative, like eating lots of rice (just kidding!) so the first step was having hubs put in for leave.  He has over 70 days of leave on the books so in theory he should be able to, but the reason he has all those days is that he's in charge of his "shop"/workcenter and with upcoming inspections and preparing for deployment (a process called the workup cycle), they haven't been able to afford him being gone.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Back to the good kind of stress, tomatoes!


Not too shabby for a disease ridden year!


I didn't really want to be creating this kind of mess so early in the season, but after putting away salsa all last week, it's time to branch out.


I refuse to get the canner out when temps are in the 100's so I made this batch into a big batch of fresh Brandywine Chile - the taste was amazing.  We had that for dinner and froze the rest.

Look what's going up only 2 miles from my house!  WooHoo!  There is a Trader Joe's right across the street that's been there for about 2 years now so we are going to have several really nice choices to shop at.  This is the only Whole Foods location within our area, the next one is 2 hours up the road so we're pretty stoked about having it open up.


Doesn't this injury look fake? What do you think Loch did to his foot and leg?  I will reveal the answer in my next post :)


The heat has let up for now, we've been in a state of heavy downpours for 2 days and it's much cooler, only getting into the 80's now, hope it lasts for awhile.  The bug to throw stuff away and rearrange my house has bit me again so I'll be doing that for the next few days.  Every couple months I attempt to find more space, I'm convinced that there are many more square feet to be uncovered, if I'm only creative enough!

I have to catch up on my blog reading so no proofreading my post today, sorry if it's completely nonsensical!  :)

19 comments:

  1. I hate having any contractors in for the same reason. They always assume your some dumb woman and they can double talk you. Glad you got the heat pump fixed. I am sure your renter was thrilled. If your trying to save up for a vacation your better off not to even look at whole foods. A few things in the cart and it is hundreds of dollars. We just had one open close and I could not believe the totals coming up on the registers and people had one little bag!

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    1. Jane, no joke on Whole Foods, I've only been there once to get items for an impromptu "picnic lunch" up in Richmond and I think the total was near a tank of gas home :)

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  2. I sure hope you can swing the time off (and expense) for a visit home this summer especially with the deployment coming up in the next year. (If there were just some way a person could get a discount on gasoline!)

    Oh boy. Those extra expenses that get thrown at ya when you don't need them! Our water heater keeps giving us hints that it doesn't feel good(!) but we've been ignoring it. (Not really. But it's just one of those things we'd rather not find the money for.)

    I'm with Jane in using caution at Whole Foods. I've heard that they are just "jumping on the organic foods wagon" and although you pay top price, you may not even be getting organic foods. Dang. Everybody's just out for the almighty dollar and doesn't care about what we're doing to our environment or bodies. Bottom line: We all have to learn to grow our own. (Our own everything apparently. Ugh.)

    I'd say Loch has a classic case of road rash. Bare skin meeting hard pavement. Fell off his bike? Scooter?

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    1. Mama Pea, I'm glad you got my meaning on the vacation home... when I read it just now it came off like we wanted to buy a "Vacation Home" hahahaha! I think I'll me more interested in just wandering around Whole Foods by myself to get away from the kids for awhile heehee.

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  3. I'm glad you went with your "regular" guy---it's important to have GOOD service-that's so rare nowadays. Sounds like they'll be there when you need em. That's WAY more important than scoring an initial cheap bid (though it sure helps!)
    :)

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    1. Sue, exactly! I don't have much to spend, but what I do have I'll give to whoever deserves it more :)

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  4. PS Get rid of the dang word verification!!!

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  5. I hate it when salespeople talk down to me. I have always handled the finances, and made most of the purchasing decisions in our household. I actually have had some companies (I'm looking at you, Sears, and at you, Ford dealer in Richland, WA) tell me to bring in my husband, and then we'll discuss the purchase! Needless to say, both lost a big sale....my house still needs new siding, and I'm driving a Chevy. Don't even get me started on the contractors that make an appointment to give estimates, then don't even show up.

    Poor Loch looks like he tripped over a tree limb and landed on his knee.

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    1. Gran, isn't that crazy? I'll walk right out when salespeople do that and I always feel like telling them why but I never do!

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  6. In your heat having a heat pump is a necessity!

    We won't be getting many tomatoes this year mostly because out plants are fewer and they got hammered with too much rain and are looking like they have blight now. Not sure if that's what's yellowing their leaves or not but the plants are not looking too good.

    I have no idea what Loch did to his foot and knee but it looks like a rubbing or dragging injury of some kind.

    I hope your hubby can get some time off and you all can enjoy a nice holiday before he has to take off on deployment again.

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    1. Sparkless, I can't tell you how freaked I was at replacing that, I was getting ready to sell the car on Craigslist!

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  7. You would think, by now, that sales people would realize that women run the world! I mean, really! Nothing turns me off faster, or puts me out the door than someone talking 'down' to me. I'm guessing skin-meets-pavement on Loch's injuries, too. And I really do hope you all get some vacation time. Especially with deployment coming up. I won't even comment on your beautiful tomatoes because I'll cry.

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    1. Susan, yes we do rule the world :)

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  8. I'm glad you were able to get the AC fixed and were approved so you could get a new one. We just recently had to have our AC replaced and I was so glad we had more than one company come over for estimates. The first one we had called (the one that had done repairs for us previously) was so much more expensive than the second one. We were happy with the repairs they had done for us, but geez, it would have cost us several thousand dollars more if we would have had them install the new unit.
    We have a whole foods here, but honestly I would have to take out a small loan to afford my grocery trips there. :-(

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    1. Anke, I'm really glad the prices were so close together for my estimates, it made it so much easier to pick the ones that had the best service for me since their unit was a better unit than the others.

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  9. Ack! Just read through my blog and it shows that I didn't proofread! Okay let's clear this up right away, we are not looking to afford "a Vacation Home" LOL only to GO home on vacation hahahaha!

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  10. The tomatoes are beautiful! When so much else is going wrong, it's good that your garden, at least, is coming through for you. Hope you are able to pull a vacation together!

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  11. wow ,A lot going on for you ,nice tomatoes too.we too are fighting a failing cooling system ,if I want it cool I have to plug the garage freezer in up stairs (no room to actually put it up there ) but I'm not forking out $800.00 to up date a system on a house we can't stay in after next year.my life is in limbo .Will I be joining Jerry or living by my self or in a nursing home-so many BAD choices

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  12. That is a lot to do. Good servicepeople are worth their weight in. . . tomatoes? Anyhow, good about the HVAC. Lovely tomatoes. I just visited a friend who was beermaking over a gas burner out back. Maybe a gas burner summer kitchen is the answer for canning?

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