Photo: A friend of mine put up her children’s dresser for sale on Facebook and I immediately was like, OOO MEE!! GIMMIE!! The boys quickly outgrew the little dresser we’d had in their room, so I had been looking for something cheap and big. She sent me the dresser and this kiddo couch and some sort of pirate ship playset all totally for free. Blessings, big and small, come from unexpected places! The boys love the kiddo couch (and there is a matching armchair). It’s now the “Game Couch” meant for “gaming.” They are seen here playing Mario 3D World. I informed them this morning that the couch takes up too much room and will be in the playroom during school hours. You should have heard their howl of disapproval!
I heard tell a rumor that there was a pop-up ramen vendor at the Whole Foods two towns over. “The broth is legit,” I was told by my rumor mill. “You have got to get you some.”
The pop-up is only on Mondays, I was told. I made plans, Dear Reader. All weekend long. Having been cooped up in this house since Wednesday, with kids and a husband and their stuff, I had this wonderful plan to get out of here and go and be rewarded for my troubles with delicious ramen.
Of course, I’d have to go to Whole Foods… but I told myself I could deal with it. What I’ve learned in life is that it’s not the Whole Foods itself, but the town in which a Whole Foods is located that determines how annoying it’s gonna be.
Before I could leave my home for my happy expedition, I needed to host an HVAC guy to get a quote for the boiler. Last week, before the blizzard got too bad, a guy came out to give us an estimate. He informed us that the boiler was not at imminent risk of failure (oh good), but probably should be replaced (we know). We were told that not a lot of companies make steam boilers anymore.
“It’s just old tech, you know? Nobody wants single-zone heating anymore,” he said. “But believe me when I tell you that you’re the envy of everyone in town. You’re getting that nice, even, moist heat. I petted my dog this morning and you could see the sparks comin’ off of his fur, the air is so dry! Can’t find a humidifier to save your life today!” He said with a chuckle. We chuckled, too. It’s fun to chuckle along.
He told us that, because nobody makes these anymore and it’s such a “simple machine,” it would all be relatively inexpensive. A few hours later, he sent us an email with a quote for $7,000.
In what universe is 7,000 whole American dollars an inexpensive thing? I mean, I know where we live, but damn.
We shook it off, knowing we were going to get other quotes. We prayed over our boiler for these ridiculously cold days. She worked so hard for us. It dipped down to -33 degrees at one point this weekend. That was air temperature, not the wind chill! The boiler kept this house at 68 degrees. I talked to her, I encouraged her, I begged her, I thanked her… ya’ll know how I feel about talking to inanimate objects! She was here for it and endured.
This morning, the guy walked in with a heavy bag containing a computer and a printer so he could give me a quote on the spot. He took measurements, told me that they don’t make tankless boilers anymore (our boiler does our heat and our hot water). He refused to get too close to the machine, saying, “well, if she kept you warm over this extreme weekend, she’ll probably last you the winter.” That’s… reassuring…?
He wanted to take measurements of every room of the house. I informed him that we’d been cooped up in this house since the blizzard and the house wasn’t “measurement ready.” He settled for a square footage estimate from my husband (via text) and went from there.
He left me with three estimates for three different options, none of them under $9,000.
Oh Lord, what have we gotten ourselves into?
We’re going to get more estimates, but I’m sensing a theme here. The theme is, “homeownership is expensive and you’re totally screwed.” This is major money we’re talking about. We’re going to have to decide how best to deal with it. It’s going to hurt no matter what we do.
So, that on my mind, I went two towns over to Whole Foods in search of comforting, pacifying, supposedly delicious, ramen.
You know what happened, right?
“Oh, we decided to make him a permanent cart in the store. But it’s not ready yet. Uh… I don’t know when he’s coming back. But I know when he does, it’ll be over here! Guess you’ll have to visit again!” A very friendly Whole Foods employee told me.
I had made my way over despite the funny looks from the delightful people in the store, including the lady with her not service dog in the baby seat of a cart. She actually stared at me and grabbed for her purse when I walked past her. God bless her. I totally had plans to swipe her Medicare Part B card. There was also the lady on her phone in the fully-length Canada Goose coat who slammed into me with her cart, looked at me, shrugged, and kept walking. I won’t be going back. Not without three eye witnesses that he is there and this is happening.
I settled for a beautiful creme brulee. The custard broke before I could get it home. My chickpea fritter sandwich was ok, at least?
Umph. Must be the moon.
It’s Monday, Dear Reader. The good news? My week can only get better from here.
I decided to start with a little treat. I’d added a page for my fiction here on the site and that includes a sneak preview of my second novella, Hewitt & Sons, which will be coming out soon. So if you purchased Patron of the Meadowlark Inn, thank you! Here is a preview of the second book! I’m formatting and preparing it for publication really soon! Hopefully before the month is out!
It’s Monday, Dear Reader. Only Monday. But the week… it has so much to offer us, doesn’t it? Are you here for it? I am, and I’m right here with you. Let’s accomplish something together!
Until Wednesday, take care.