I’d Like to Blame the Full Moon, But I Can’t

What is it about houses, that they always seem to know when you’ve come into just a wee bit of extra cash?  And why do so many household breakages happen so close to a full moon?

I have no idea.  But I do know this –

No matter how much money I put into my new house, there will always be at least one more thing that needs to be done.  Preferably now.  And always costly.

The drains in the kitchen and upstairs bathroom were running slow, and drain cleaner was not working, so we scheduled the plumber to come snake them out on my day off.  Two days before the scheduled date, hubby opened the cabinet under the kitchen sink and discovered  the long horizontal pipe was cracked and leaking and would need to be replaced.  So, that got added to the plumber’s work list.

I thought we had replaced every pipe in the house, but apparently we neglected those kitchen pipes.


The plumber arrived and estimated the work.  Yes, he could simply replace that pipe, and yes he could do the snaking, but the trap under the sink was too high, would continually clog up, and eventually would need to be re-routed so as to avoid having the drain snaked out every six months.  This is a plumber we’ve worked with for many years, and we trust his judgment.

So I got an estimate for re-routing the pipes.  The plumber himself said he would not pay that price if we were planning to update the kitchen at any point in the next few years.  He made an offhand comment that for pretty much the same cost, we could have the entire base cabinet, sink, faucet & countertop replaced.  We agreed he would just snake the drains and replace the cracked pipe.

Wait – I can get rid of THIS ???

I started initialing the work order for the snaking and pipe replacement.  But then it occurred to me – the re-routing work was about one-tenth of what I thought a new kitchen would cost, so that means?   Basically a whole new kitchen for a really low cost?  I asked the plumber if his company does, in fact, install those cabinets.

Yes, we’re getting a new kitchen.  It won’t be fancy (Home Depot basic), and we will have to paint the cabinet ourselves (including sanding and painting the existing upper cabinets), but it will be new, not reeking of cigarette smoke, and even by adding a cheap countertop, stainless steel double sink and new faucet, it will cost far, far less than what I expected to spend to update the kitchen.  I’m ok with that.

Sure, the new cabinet will be a a little smaller than the one we have now and will leave a 6-inch gap in the floor tile, so eventually we’ll have to replace that 80-year-old floor.  I’m ok with that, too, since it doesn’t need to be done right now – and the shorter cabinet will allow us to open the kitchen door all the way, which is a plus.

BTW, why does my house think I have, or will have, a little extra cash?  I just got a very nice raise on my new job!  It’s so  nice to have an employer who appreciates hard work – definitely not something I’m used to.

Also, BTW, my credit union is running really good rates for home improvement loans.  The rest of the replacement windows are on order, there’s enough to pay for the fence installation (if it ever happens), and repointing of the leaky chimney – and there should be enough left for the riding lawn mower hubby wants.

Then we’re done with home improvement requiring contractors.  I hope.  I need to start paying off the repairs we’ve already done, without adding more.  The goal is to have everything paid off in 2 to 3 years, so that the household budget will fit into my Social Security payments should I become unable to work any longer.  Planning is good, right?  May the fates be with me.

Happy Friday, everyone.  May your weekend be warm, dry (um, at least weather-wise),  and restful.


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com


Images by Cordelia’s Mom



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26 Responses to I’d Like to Blame the Full Moon, But I Can’t

  1. We’re working on outside just now having had a little windfall courtesy of Mum which also paid for the new cooker, replacement DG window pane and new flooring. We will however have to decorate inside shortly as although the place had been done before we moved it, they used cheap paint which is reacting with the plastic and causing little blisters to appear and they hadn’t painted the doors so they are badly marked. The kitchen worktop is chipped, so we may replace that too but the cabinet are good, though I hate the pea green colour on the walls! One things (area) at a time.


  2. Tippy Gnu says:

    It’s scary how expensive a house can be, just to maintain. Good thing you’re willing to do some of the work, and save a few bucks. I hope your remodel goes well.


    • Trust me, if I had enough money, I would hire people to do everything. It’s hard enough to do DYI when you’re working full-time, but when you’re also a senior citizen, it becomes extremely difficult.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. AmyRose🌹 says:

    There are times I think back on my apartment days and sigh. Owning a house there is always something! When we are on the plumbing page here, I’m coming to you for a reference. Good luck with the renovations and please show us the new kitchen! How exciting for you! AND kudos on being made to feel good, CM! You so deserve this! Brava for the raise!!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼


    • We use Roy’s, Amy. We’ve used them for many years, at both houses. They’re a little pricier than some other plumbers, but you pretty much get what you pay for. I’ve never had issues with them, and the Town Building Inspector says he has great respect for them because they follow all the rules.

      It will be a long time before the kitchen will be presentable. We’ll still have to paint the walls and ceiling (and the cabinets), and we’ll have to deal with the floor. We’ll have to do it little by little over weekends when we can.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        That name rings a bell. I believe we have used this company as well. What about that. Yes their prices are more, but they are so worth it! You pay for what you get these days. Good luck with the renovations. We have so much of that ahead of us that if I dare even look at the bigger picture I will freak. Have a great weekend, CM!!


  4. I’ve been brooding on home improvement loans for weeks and i still haven’t made up my mind.


    • I didn’t make the decision lightly, Marilyn. Had I not been working (and just gotten a raise), and were it not for the fact that my Social Security starts next week, I would not have taken out any loans. I also compared the interest rates between my two credit cards, and the loans being offered by the contractors, versus the rate being offered by the credit union. The credit union was a 4% lower than any of the others. Now I just have to pay everything off …


  5. Jane says:

    Houses are a work of love. Where I live, the market has always been so strong that I look at putting money into my house as an investment. Besides, you have to live with it, so money spent on your private environment is an investment in your comfort…. and you deserve comfort.


    • It’s a seller’s market here, as well, so I’m counting on recouping whatever money I put into the house, but in any event, at least I get to enjoy a livable house while I’m still here.


  6. joey says:

    Good mercy, I do not know how the house knows, but you’re right, it sure does. Bought house with gobs of monies leftover for fencing, got a plumbing fiasco instead. Got a raise in November, got a gas leak in December. Like you, I also got some upgrades, cause once you’re in for a penny…


  7. Dan Antion says:

    I love the way these projects morph into larger projects, set up future projects but leave us felling OK


  8. Archon's Den says:

    Glad to know that it’s all coming together for you, and for only a small pile of money.
    Houses know even when you don’t have any money. We tried to turn on the air conditioner the recent, first hot day of spring. Found out that the rat infestation had chewed the control wire to the outside compressor. $325 later…. 😯


    • Ugh. We’re dealing with the AC issues ourselves right now, in anticipation of hot weather coming (eventually, if there’s no more snow …). We actually ordered a very nice AC that would have taken care of the living/dining area, but then checked with our electrician, who said it would blow the circuit in this old house. We don’t want to have a new circuit installed just for AC, so we’re trying to figure out if we can make do with the window ACs we used at the last house. At least this house is brick, so it should stay cooler to begin with.


      • Archon's Den says:

        The house I was born in only had two screw-in fuses, until after I moved away. My Dad finally had a 12-hole panel installed. The house we’re in now had 36 circuit breakers, but when we put the A/C in, we had to add a 4-circuit ‘pony’ box. It only took 2 of the 4 circuits, so I have 2 more free for a grow-op, when they make marijuana legal in July 😉 😯

        Liked by 1 person

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