There’s been so much going on lately that I can’t even begin to catch up. As much as I’d like to make blogging my first priority, it’s just not possible. Instead of telling about the vacation from hell we took the week of Labor Day, I’ll jump to yesterday. ATI, the physical therapy place I went to last month, offers a program where you can use their facilities and equipment to exercise for 30 days after you’ve completed your therapy. The 30 days doesn’t start the day of your last session, it starts the day you come in to start doing the exercises solo. I had taken off for vacation so missed that week and then last week there was so much going on, I knew I’d only be able to make it once. So I decided to wait and start yesterday. I had been dreading it but it went really well. They let me use one of the evaluation rooms and I kept the door partially open. I had to go in and out to retrieve the 1 & 2 lb. leg weights, the strap for hamstring stretching, the exercise ball, etc. It’s nice to have the benefit of using the extra stuff I don’t have at home. I’m going to look into getting these stretchy ankle bands that are connected and you wear them and walk sideways across the room and back. They really give a good workout to the hips. Probably the best part is the 10 minutes of warm up on the recumbent bike. I’m going to try to stick to going a minimum of 2 times a week for the next 4 weeks and take full advantage of it. I’m also going to stop over at the yoga place next door and see about trying some yoga classes. I don’t know if I’ll like it and am trying to figure out of I have to invest in yoga pants and a mat before I see if it’s something I want to do long term.
Last Friday at 10 am, hubby had a phone interview for work. It was his day off and basically screwed up the entire weekend. When he first started in his current dept. over 5 years ago, they told him that everybody that starts as an H band (pay grade), automatically gets the I-band (pay raise) after 1 year doing the job. Well, just before the year was up, they quit doing that. People no longer get it, they have to apply for the job. It is the same job, just more pay. They only have so many slots at that band now. So the one open I-band slot has everyone that doesn’t have it vying for it in the office plus people from across the country, some at even higher pay bands. It doesn’t seem to matter who has more seniority or who does more work or better work. Part of it is who the supervisor puts in the good word for and the other is the phone interview. Hubby felt like he hit a home run in the interview. I was in the other room but heard most of it and I was really impressed. I’m not going to get our hopes up since so many other factors come into play. 2 of the people in his office should’ve retired awhile ago, one is 69, the other 66. They have no intention of retiring! Without going into the long sordid story of the politics at his work, I’ll just say that it makes me crazy because it reminds me of so many unfair things that went on at the Post Office when I worked there back in the day. I need to remember how lucky I am that I don’t have to contend with all that anymore. 🙂
I had booked hubby’s doctor’s appt. for Sept. 11th. I had made it way early on Aug. 12th since our doctor books up early. Even then we got his first appt. of the day at 11:30 am. Well, hubby took off that day to go to the doctor and was up in the shower about 10:45 am when the doctor’s office called. They wanted to make sure we knew that the appt. had been cancelled and rescheduled!! I said, “You’re just telling us now?” The receptionist said, “No, we called to let you know before.” I told them we’d never heard from them and have an answering machine so if they’d left a message, we’d know. Well, she kept insisting which makes me crazy. Boy, I never noticed how many things make me crazy but it’s A LOT. Even in the shower, hubby heard me on the phone and called to me. I went up there with the phone and handed it to him in the shower. I figured the doctor decided that morning not to come in (that sounds like something he’d do) and they were covering for him. They said he was on vacation all week! Hubby asked if they could take his blood for the A1C test and cholesterol and they said yes so we went in anyway. It was the fastest time in and out of there ever–about 20 minutes. Hubby’s blood pressure was still high but when he weighed himself on their scale, he was down 15 more lbs.
As we were leaving the doctor’s office, hubby asked me if I wanted to stop at the Sears Outlet store in Melrose Park. It’s only a few blocks away from the doctor but half an hour from home. They only have a few of these in the area (we found out later that they have one in Niles which is much closer to us) so figured we’d take a quick look. In April, our basement flooded again and we lost our dryer. So I’ve gone 5 months without a dryer which has been interesting. I’ve been hanging the clothes on the clotheslines in the basement which takes a few days to dry, even running the dehumidifier. The larger items like sheets I’ve been hanging on the railing in the 2nd floor hallway and I’d go and turn and alternate them until they were dry. This is tedious and time consuming to say the least. I was putting off the inevitable while we decided what type we wanted. Seriously, I didn’t even want to buy new appliances! I hate spending money on things like that EVER but especially when there’s so much else I’d rather buy. Our living room couches turned 16 years old today. Our sunroom furniture is even older. The LR couch has had the reclining handles break off and the foot part of the recliner break off on my side a few years ago. I sit sideways on it leaning against the armrest which is broken. No wonder I have back problems! We’ve thought of getting new furniture for years but 5-6 years ago we had old dogs which got sick a lot. Then we had puppies which you don’t want to tempt with new furniture. Now we’ve got an incontinent grandma that makes me not too keen on getting a new couch either. I guess I can always find an excuse, can’t I?! We really love La-Z-Boy leather furniture but it’s not cheap. That’s the next hurdle we need to get over. Baby steps here…
So the quick look at appliances turned into 2 hours. Sears Outlet specializes in things that have minor damage. Like someone bought an appliance and it got dinged up as it was being delivered and they refused to accept it. They are the same items you find in any store except they are discounted due to cosmetic damage. We had been debating whether to get the newer front loading type of washer and dryer since they are on pedestals and hopefully high enough so the next time our basement floods (and there will be a next time) they’ll won’t be affected. Of course, I’ve heard some bad things about them due to odor and that the pedestals are so expensive too. I’m cheap and am always looking for a deal. Sears Outlet had every brand under the sun and we looked at each of them, not being particularly sold on any given brand. I’d been loyal to Maytag my whole life. Having replaced my original Maytags with Maytags and then having to replace both the washer and dryer separately due to floods in the past. I’ve always had white and they hadn’t even matched this last time since they were purchased years apart. Circling around, over and over again, looking at the different models with the aid of a salesman who’s been there 3 months, we were getting more confused. Our top loading washer and dryer were set up in the basement with the dryer on the left and washer on the right. When we had looked months ago at Home Depot, the salesman there told us that the front loading HAD to be set up with the washer on the left, the dryer on the right. I wasn’t wild about this and asked the Sears Outlet salesman if there wasn’t a way that the doors could be switched to the other side so that the new ones could be put in the exact same position my old ones were. The guy said no. I didn’t really have my heart set on a color, though I liked the gray and even the blue ones. Looking at the prices, a lot of them were marked only a little bit down from the original prices of $1099. Then there was a pair of RED Samsungs which were deeply discounted. I didn’t even know that Samsung made anything but electronics. If anyone knows me well, they know I just HATE the color red. It is the last color I would pick for anything. I don’t like wearing it, I would never get a red car, I just keep away from it at all costs. Since I’m not going to be riding in either the washer or dryer and no one’s going to see it, it seemed like something I could tolerate. So imagine my surprise when I’m drawn to the red pair over and over, mainly due to the price but also they just looked like the newest models. So we told the salesman we’d take the red pair and then he had to see if they had the pedestals in the tango red color. After waiting for him to talk to his boss and many other delays, we finally got down to business and paid. Even with the discounts, we had to pay $69.99 for delivery and various additional expenses of a new water hose for the washer, a new dryer vent, taxes, etc. It came to $1932 which all of a sudden didn’t seem like any deal! 😦 We found out they could deliver the next day (Thursday) or Friday. Friday was the phone interview and hubby wanted to “just get it over with,” so we settled for Thursday.
What should have been a joyful event to get a new washer and dryer turned into a less than happy event. Wed. night we got a recorded phone call saying to expect delivery on Thurs. between 8:15 and 10:15 am. So we got up extra early to make sure we were ready. The delivery guys called and showed up around 8:45 am and stayed an hour. They came down and removed the 2 existing appliances and as they were taking them to the curb, the junk man was driving around in his truck and asked to take them. So that worked out or we would’ve had to pay $10 to get rid of them! Then one of the delivery guys said he could only put one of the new hoses on for the washer because the one to the hot water was rusted on. They don’t carry WD-40 or anything to loosen it. Then they said we should’ve boughten a new gas pipe (salesman never mentioned this) and the dryer wouldn’t be covered if they didn’t use a new one. Then they said the 2 pieces wouldn’t fit! Hubby and I had measured as soon as we got home from ordering it. We KNEW they would fit. Then we find out there are NO manuals. I’ve never used one of these new fangled machines and had no clue what I was doing. I still don’t but that’s a whole other issue. 😉 When we were at the store, we had seen bags taped to the back of each machine with papers inside that looked like manuals. Lord knows what those were but we were out of luck. After the deliverymen left, we went online and found the PDF version of the manuals. We only printed out about 8 pages of each. I sat down to read and saw there’s a whole section on “switching the doors from one side to the other.” Hmm. Another case of me knowing more than the salesman. Well, now we’re stuck with them where they are. Still trying to decide if we want any extended warranty. Everytime we have it on something, we never use it. When we don’t, we always need it. You just can’t win!
What’s it like going from top loading to front loading? Different. I wish I could say I’m in love with them. I can’t. I have a shelf behind the washer and dryer that I always kept all my detergents on for easy access. Now the machines are so high and stick out farther that I need a stepstool to reach it. I had asked the salesman what people store in the pedestals and he said he didn’t know! I can’t put washing powder down there if there’s any chance of flooding. I also used to sort the clothes on top of the old waist high appliances. This isn’t possible so I’ve put a small table down there to work on. The hardest thing is I can’t physically feel the temperature of the water. When I select “hot,” I don’t know how hot it is or even IF it’s hot! That’s all because you put the clothes in an empty washer, shut the door, put the soap in a compartment on the top left side and push buttons and GO. In my old machine, I started running the water in an empty machine. I would use my hand to check the temperature. I would add the soap to the water and let it dissolve as it filled and when the agitation started, THEN add the clothes. The nicest thing is both are SO QUIET. I mean so ridiculously quiet that you could sleep next to them. So far, I’ve washed 2 sets of sheets, a bedspread and 4 loads of laundry. I don’t notice it getting the clothes any cleaner, in fact I’m wondering if it’s worse on stain fighting. I always used Shout on stains, then add the clothes to Tide with Bleach or regular Tide. Now there’s a compartment for “pretreating.” It says in the manual to add part of the detergent to that section. I’m still using Shout but also tried the pretreating thing on one load and wasn’t too impressed. That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion and washing all of the things with my lovely RED appliances. 😉