Sunday, February 25, 2007

Where Did Winter Go?

Here we are, it is still the middle of winter. This weekend was beautiful. The low was in the fifties and the high in the seventies. According the Laura Skirde, the KXAN weather forecaster in Austin, it is going to be like this all week. The new weather forecaster on KWTX in Waco agrees with her. Where did the winter go?

This weekend, we pulled down about one hundred feet of three-foot fence in the southwest corner of the main pasture and replaced it with four-foot fence. The eleven-week old puppies were jumping over the three-foot fence. They saw the hill on the other side and got both bold and stupid. To get over the four-foot fence, they will need to learn to climb. Unfortunately, their mother is uniquely skilled to teach them. She climbs up and over ranch gates.

We also replaced some broken horse fence up by the rental unit. We put up one hundred feed of three-foot high fence. It is a start toward allowing our tenant to let their dog off of the chain and allowing him to run in a fenced in enclosure.

While we were out, we looked at the trees and shrubs. The trees are starting to put out buds already. The bushes are being a little more conservative - no buds yet, but the swellings are there.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Water Heater Arrived, But No Technician

The other day, my wife talked to the Sears technician. He will be on vacation friday, February 16 through Monday, February 19.

Guess when we recieved a call from Lowe's - Friday morning! The water heater has arrived! Murphy's Law strikes again. You have no idea how frustrated my wife is.... Guess who is going to have to install a how water heater? Yours truely, of course...

This morning, we trooped down to the Lowe's store, loaded up the hot water heater, bought some additional parts and headed home.

First, we have to remove the old water heater. It does take a while to drain a fifty-gallon tank through the little valve at the bottom of the tank. We got the old one out fairly easily. Now to install the new one....

Murphy's Law strikes again! The old water heater had the flue on the right. The new one, of course, has it on the left. Now, we need to move the flue - another trip to Lowe's for parts for the flue and for another, longer flexible water pipe.

After that, the water heater went in without a problem. Now, it is working great! Ahhh! To be able to have a hot bath or shower without carrying stock pots full of hot water!


Friday, February 09, 2007

The Hot Water Heater Did Not Arrive

Well, the hot water heater did not arrive. Because of severe winter weather in Tennassee, it has not been shipped yet. A spokesperson from Lowe's said the vender will get it to us early next week and no later than February 16.

Oh, joy! Another week of heating water on the stove in order to take a bath or wash dishes. My wife is furious.

Sears is now telling us that they will not install it once it arrives. My wife called Sears corporate and yelled at them for a while. Some Sears lawyer called back and said that yes, indeed, Sears will install the water heater - it is in the contract.

Now, if the water heater will only arrive....


Monday, February 05, 2007

The Water Heater Died

Just our luck.... The water heater died. That's the bad news. The good news is that we have a Sears master extended warantee agreement. The Sears technicial camd out and told us the propane valve needs to be replaced, but they do not make the valve we need any more -- some story about it not meeting current statndards. He said Sears would replace the hot water heater at their cost and he ordered us a replacement.

A few days later, the new hot water heater arrived. The only problem - it is the wrong one. We need a fifty-gallon propane heater with a power vent, because the flue runs out the side of the house instead of up through the roof. The one they sent does not have a power vent. A new one is ordered.

Several days later, we are told that Sears no longer sells fifty-gallon propane heaters with a power vent. They will have to order one from another vender.

The next day, we are told that fifty-gallon hot water heaters with a power vent are no longer made. A quick search of the web tells us that there are at least three companies which make them, one of which is Whirlpool and Sears sells Whirlpool hot water heaters. We are being lied to.

We go down to the local Sears store and talk to a saleswoman and to her manager. The saleswoman was the one who attempted to place the original order for the replacement - the one which arrived without the power vent. Her manager gave us $400.00 which we used to order a fifty-gallon propane fired hot water heater with a power vent from Lowe's home improvement store across the street. On the web:

Because of the power vent, the hot water heater cost more than $400.00 Sears allowed us. Because Lowe's does not have themin stock, we had to special order it. We were told it would arreive by February 8, 2007.

After it arrives, Sears is supposed to install it.

In the mean time, we are heating water on the stove for baths and dishes. Fortunately, the dishwasher heats its own water and most of the dishes can go through the dish washer. Washing clothes is out, however. Unfortunately, we live out in the country and the nearest laundrimat is in town. Going to the laundrimat will be a major undertaking.