Mr. Fix-It

Part of the homesteading lifestyle, is the desire to do things ourselves.

Instead of buying all our food at the grocery store, we want to grow our own produce, raise our own meat, and provide ourselves with dairy products.

Instead of heating our home with gas or electric, we want to use wood that comes from our own property.

Instead of going out and replacing something that breaks, we should try to first fix it ourselves.

The list goes on, but the outcome is the same. We gain a higher level of self-sufficiency, we save money, we learn lessons and we have a level of satisfaction that we can’t get from outside resources.

Historically, when something breaks in our house we either call the repairman or we replace it.  So when the washing machine broke last week and flooded the house – you can read about it here – both hubby and I began shopping for a new washer.  Of course if I’m going to purchase a washer, then I should purchase the matching dryer.  After all, this set is somewhere between 12-15 years old, the dryer is bound to give up in the not too distant future and has served its purpose.  It doesn’t matter that the dryer still works, we can sell the set on Craigslist and put that money toward the new set.  Someone else will buy it, fix the washer and all will be good.

Then it happened.  Sticker shock!!!!!  Seriously people, why do washers and dryers cost so much money?  I’m quite sure they have doubled in price since I purchased my set and how many loads of laundry could I do at the Laundromat before I would have paid for a new set?  I began doing the math and it wasn’t pretty.

In the meantime, hubby switched his focus from shopping for a new washer and dryer to figuring out what the problem was with our washer, narrowed it down to the most likely problem and ordered the part.  Yesterday the part arrived and when he got home from work he rolled up his sleeves and went to work.  Within about 20 minutes everything was done and we tested it out.  No leaking.  I did a load of laundry.  No flood, not even a tiny leak.  It was the first time he has done any washing machine repair and my Mr. Fix-It man did a great job!!

By simply changing our mindset, we saved around $200 in repair costs and saved around $1500 by not running out to purchase new appliances.  Not only did we save a lot of money, but this experience has taught us a valuable lesson.  It has given us more confidence in our abilities or in this case, hubby’s abilities 🙂

” There Is A Lesson In Almost Everything That You Do, And Getting The Lesson Is How You Move Forward. It Is How Much You Enrich Your Spirt ” Oprah  ~ Mistake Quote



Less Cookies for More Happiness

When I first read this quote, I knew I had to include it in a post one day. So I held on to it until I was ready to use it.

Today, as I got ready to write a blog post, I read this quote again and realized how others might interrupt these words.

“Do whatever it takes to make you happy . . . . ”

There are so many things that we do to make ourselves happy.  But not all of those things create lasting happiness.  For a matter-of-fact, some things we do to make us feel happy can actually cause us unhappiness later on.

For example, I might decide to bake a batch of cookies.  The smell of those cookies baking makes me happy.  The taste of those cookies makes me happy.  But the bloated feeling from eating too many of those cookies and the extra pounds put on my body from eating those cookies, don’t make me happy.  It’s a fleeting moment of happiness.

Of course that’s just an example.  I may or may not have baked cookies, eaten too many cookies and put on some extra pounds from these cookies 😉

But now I’m getting off track, so let me get back to the point of this blog post.

When I originally read this quote, I thought of all the things I could be doing to help move me closer to my goals.  I thought of all the times I have allowed uncertainties and fear prevent me from taking bold steps forward.  I thought of all the times I focused on the obstacles and took my eyes off the bridges that could assist me in getting across those obstacles.  And then I may have baked cookies, eaten cookies, etc., etc.

What I need to do, is focus on the fact that happiness is a journey.   I need to open my eyes wider and look for the opportunities that exist, then take advantage of those opportunities.  Life is full of uncertainties, so I need to live each moment of my life to the fullest.  I need to do whatever it takes to stay on the happiness journey.

That is what this quote means to me and I need to post this in my kitchen so I’m less tempted by the cookies 🙂

Today Better Than Yesterday

My yesterday included laundry, which isn’t different from most days for me.  The washing machine was doing its job, while I chatted on the phone with a friend for a few minutes.  The call ended and I heard running water.  As typical in my house, there was kid noise and the weather lead me to believe I was hearing snow melting and running off the roof.  After quieting the noise, I realized the water I heard was not coming from outside, but inside.  I immediately headed toward the laundry room and found water running out into my family room.  AHHHHHH!!!!

The washing machine had finished running all cycles and was off, but water was still filling the machine and a steady stream of water was running from the bottom of the door of my front-load washer and onto the floor.  Over half the utility room, the entire 1/2 bath and a portion of my family room floor covered in water.

As quickly as I could, I moved the washer and dryer out-of-the-way so I could turn off the water.  With the water no longer filling the machine, I began to throw towels on the floor, but a considerable amount of water was obviously still in the machine as water continued to flow from under the door.  Unaware of how much water was in the machine, I tried turning it one to drain the water.  Unfortunately, my washer has a rule that says I can’t turn it back on without first opening the door.  So, I grabbed a bucket and hoped for the best.  As soon as the door opened, massive amounts of water poured out filling the bucket within seconds and the rest flooding my house even more.

After about 30 minutes, I had used the majority of towels in the house and had the majority of the water cleaned up.  Hoping there was no other damage to the washer, I put the wet towels into the drum and turned it to the spin cycle.  Fortunately, it worked and I was able to remove the excess water from the towels.   Of course the water was still turned off, so at least I didn’t have to worry about more flooding.

Now I had about 5 loads of towels sitting in baskets awaiting a trip to the Laundromat.  And not a trip on a beautiful winter day or even better a beautiful spring day.  No a trip to the Laundromat on a rainy winter day with 8-10 inches of snow now melting because of the rain and warmer temps.  A wet, slushy, dreary day of flooding inside and outside.

The beautiful thing about today is that I get the choice to make it better than yesterday.  So today I make the choice to not do laundry and that will most certainly make today better.

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

Today we said good-bye to 2013 and hello to 2014 and I enter 2014 with some big hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

A few days ago I shared four things I’m going to tackle in 2014.  You can read that post here.  Number 4 on that list was sure to be the toughest for me, but I did quite well having spent maybe 15 minutes on the computer today, until starting this blog post of course.  And as expected, by not spending so much time on the computer, I got other things done which meant instead of sitting at the computer, I was up doing things which helped me tackle Numbers 1 and 2 on the list.

My monthly challenge, which is number 3 on the list, also went well and today’s soup meal became a learning experience as well.  I made Ham and 15 Bean soup for lunch today, but what I wasn’t aware of, is that ham and beans is a traditional New Year’s meal.  Although my research tells me a meal of black-eyed peas and ham hocks was traditionally prepared because it would feed a large family nicely and plenty to eat was believed to mean you would have good luck and prosperity.  My Ham and 15 Bean soup had black-eyed peas, so hopefully that means good luck and prosperity for our family.  Maybe a move to our homestead this year?!!!! 🙂

2013 is now in the past.  It was a year of making big decisions and learning many new things.

Now we enter 2014!  I’m very excited about what this year has in store for me and my family and am ready to make 2014 a year to remember!!