So – stuff has broken around here. My car is still waiting at the body shop for replacement parts, which since it is a somewhat aged vehicle, the manager must resort to eBay for the bits that were broken when I was side-swiped last month on my return from a regular ladies’ luncheon.  (Insert diatribe here describing the at-fault other driver, whose automobile was not even scratched, but whose wheelchair lift scraped off my bumper and shattered the sidelights. HE was at fault, as testified by the eyewitness, and deduced by the police officer who generated the appropriate report, and the insurance company investigator, but I am the one massively inconvenienced!)

Then my computer died. Another inconvenience, but since all the important stuff was saved to an external hard drive (and the really important professional stuff saved to the hard-drive and backed up by other means) it only meant a morning of migrating the various necessary programs, peripherals and bookmarks to the spare new computer, as well as signing in to the various subscriptions and installing printer drivers . I think I have had about five computers die on me to date, so I’ve gotten efficient at the process. This only wasted a single morning for useful work.

And then – the front door latch began to stick. The latch lever on the outside began to jam, and then the doorknob on the inside followed suit. Lubricated the latch – no luck. It might just as well have been solidly welded together, the last couple of times that we tried it. Good thing we did this from the inside. I entertained a brief nightmare about being stuck outside the house and having to break a window or something to get back inside. Last week, we unscrewed the bolts and removed the bolt mechanism entirely (OK, so I am handy and toweringly optimistic that way!) looking for something that might be broken. Couldn’t find anything significant. Put the outside door plate back on, covered the hole where the doorknob had been with tape, and ordered a replacement bolt mechanism from Amazon. I did not want to have to purchase a whole new door hardware assembly, at a cost of well-north of $100 even at the rock-bottom packages available at Home Depot or Lowe’s, so I took a guess at something that might very well work, for under $10. The latch assembly finally arrived last thing on Sunday, and it fit when I experimented with it on Monday. Door fixed in five minutes of fiddling with screwdriver. Did I mention that I am handy? I owe it all to the example of Dad, who had a full toolkit and would have a go, although some of his mechanical workarounds were eccentric.

And finally, my sewing machine needed attention. Like the doorknob and the computer – complete non-function. A serious inconvenience, since I had committed to doing saloon-girl costumes for an author friend and two of her buddies to wear at a book-launch event. (Hey, everyone is getting the idea to wear appropriate, or near-appropriate historical costume for this kind of thing.) My dear old Singer was whisked off to a local sewing-machine place which did repairs – much like the enterprise where I bought it, in South Ogden in the early 1990ies. (A rehab, and originally top-of-the-line machine), upon which I put many, many … many miles of stitching. Today, I got the word from the shop: motor is totally fried, and the company doesn’t provide a replacement anymore. So – sighed and said I would donate it to the shop for whatever gears and parts were still salvageable to the shop, in lieu of their charge for opening up the guts to it in the first place. (Their tech apparently plays with mechanical sewing machine when he burns out on trying to fix the computer-driven version). I was a bit saddened by this. Singers go on forever. I have a lovely little portable which came from Grannie Dodie, and when in college I bought a lovely antique machine from a fellow student which was as heavy as unvarnished sin and ran the quietest motor… I think my sister still has it. Anyway … sewing machine is morte. I have Blondie’s latest model Brother to do the costumes on, but there is a learning curve involved.

So – 50% effective in fixing stuff, or getting stuff fixed this week. And yours?


  1. Car ran mighty rough and had to be revved more than I care for on the (thankfully) short drive to work a few nights ago. Upon inspecting things later, found I’d somehow managed to drive it on two of four cylinders. Something (squirrel?) had chewed up two of the ignition wires. This happened once before and when I replaced the original wires, I kept them as spares, so I drove home on all cylinders. The new(est) set of ignition wires will be installed soon – complete with a good coating of hot sauce to discourage nibbling critters. And then the older ones will be kept as spares, again, just in case.

    I am a bit surprised the computer wasn’t flashing the CHECK ENGINE light at me, complaining of misfires.