New Shoes in the Rain

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thinking about what I've done

Good morning, all.  It’s steamy here in central Kentucky right now.  We’ve had some rain, and that just makes it worse!

As regular visitors to this space know, I’ve been without a job for the past four months.  Though I spend an extensive amount of my time researching companies, applying for advertised positions and interviewing (primarily by phone), and will continue to do so until I have the right position, I have also used a good bit of my time somewhat wisely and tackled a few projects both here and elsewhere.

For instance, about two weeks ago our over-the-range microwave oven began emitting an odor of burning plastic, which is not a good thing at all.  My quick research indicated that the circuit board was probably giving out, which meant it wasn’t really a viable option to fix it.

So we selected a replacement oven, which was on sale, and ordered it from a local appliance and electronics dealer.  It came in just as our son and his wife were having a yard sale, then my wife and I went out of town briefly, so finally yesterday I set about installing it.  With the help of several YouTube videos to explain the process and what to be aware of (and honestly, what did we do before YouTube?), I removed the old oven and installed the new one.  It took me about two hours, my wife helped in a couple of brief instances, but we now have a new, correctly-operating microwave.  And I avoided a delivery and installation charge, important while conserving funds!

I also was having some problems with the igniter on my outdoor grill.  Decided to get into that one day and found that the writing between the nine-volt transistor battery (yes, those still exist) and the ignition system had broken in a couple of places.  So I replaced the wiring and the battery receptacle.  Works like a charm now.  Earlier in the spring I had taken the entire grill apart and thoroughly cleaned it, which is one of the nastier jobs I can think of.

I think I’ve mentioned the painting of trim around our house’s interior, which was long overdue.  I have more interior paint, but nothing else in the house really needs to be painted!

When I was displaced from my former position, I also took to mowing not only our yard, which is normal, but our son’s yard, too.  I’m not sure how large it is, but it takes a good two hours to mow it, plus edging and trimming around the fencelines.  It’s good exercise for me, of course, gives me something to do and more importantly it gives him back some time with his family that he would ordinarily have to devote to yard work.  My wife and I helped him with some major work in his yard, too, cutting back shrubbery that grew over his fence in several places and spreading mulch.

I’ve sold a few things on Craigslist and one via a new app called LetGo (think Instagram but for selling stuff).  Nothing major, but it cleared out some unwanted stuff and produced some walking-around money.  We’re also in the process of gathering some unwanted clothes to donate to a local charity for resale.

I’ve redone a couple of brick walkways around our house, and created a rock garden to surround our main bird feeder.  I’ve trimmed hedges, pulled weeds, cleaned our rain barrel twice, cleaned out the garage, cleaned out our cars several times, cleaned out the desk and credenza in my home office, and other small undertakings.

Another thing I did early on is that I spent some time ripping our DVDs into digital form, and donated the disks to the local library.  Freed up some storage space and we still have copies of those movies.  I can probably do more of that but have not yet.

But let’s be honest—I would really rather be working.  Not just for the money, of course, but for the activity and the sense of accomplishment that we all at least hope to get from working.

Here’s hoping that will happen soon—I’m running out of projects!


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