Hello Zen, it’s Kate. Do you make house visits?

I am waiting patiently for the appliance repairmen. (Ok, not so patiently! I’m on my second mocha latte.)

Our 5-year-old top of the line dishwasher broke. We turned it on before going to bed and were greeted with an ocean-front kitchen the next morning. That’s on hard wood floors. The real ones that soak up water and warp.

The only day Mr. Repairman can come is the same day we are having dinner guests. We love sharing chaos with friends. We have plastic disposable dishes if necessary. It can be a picnic without ants.

In my youth appliances never broke. They got ugly. We insisted on replacing my mother’s 40-year-old refrigerator because the freezer was a big as a deck of cards and it was shaped like an inverted “U.” It worked just fine.

We replaced harvest gold appliances after 20 years just because.

In contrast we replaced our last refrigerator after six years. Yes it was also close to the top of the line model. I threw an adult tantrum at the appliance place. (My version is mild. I know it’s not their fault but it was so hard to believe that the lifespan of a $2000 fridge is 6 to 8 years.)

I am working on my “Zen.” (Is that a noun? Adjective? State of being?)

In truth, I am a lucky person. I have a home. I can wash dishes. I woke up this morning (always a good thing!). Nothing hurt. I have no medical procedure on the horizon. No one close to me died. I can afford to eat and feed my cats. My cats are healthy (and adorable).

We have friends that will think it’s funny if our kitchen is a little odd. They are in the middle of a major kitchen redo so they understand.

60 thoughts on “Hello Zen, it’s Kate. Do you make house visits?

  1. We have a refrig in our basement that’s 43 years old and still operating. They tell me it probably uses too much electricity. It uses less than a new refrig would cost. We just replaced the one in our kitchen after 30 years. They tell us it will last 8-10 years. Ranges only go ten years now. Dishwashers less than that. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? How did all this change and why? But we know the answer to that, don’t we. Sorry for your mess. I’m guessing it was an interesting dinner topic..:)

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    • On the bright side, we ate out a lot those few days. On the dull side, I still had to do cat dishes. The fix was easy (so easy we could have done it had we known). These days it’s hard getting attached to any appliance. It’s more like a rental than owning.

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  2. Harvest gold and avacado – shiver.
    We are on our 2nd dishwasher in 2 years. This one knows I’m onto it – it attempted that ocean thing a few months ago, but I was close by and hit the switch and grabbed the towels. We checked all the clamps and are watching it closely…it’s just biding its’ time…

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  3. I’m Zen by nature, but appliances test even my calm. Especially dishwashers which seem to buy every 4 years. Jealous that you could get yours fixed, wondering why they break so easily anymore…

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  4. I am HAPPY you got it fixed and hope your hardwoods are okay. I love the word ZEN and would love to say it all the time but someBODY on the internet told me I was driving them to distraction saying it so now I watch myself. But I love Zen!

    We have a small refrigerator that we bought in 1997 to put on the porch for wine and beer. It has moved twice and is humming happily on the four seasons porch as I type. I will cry if it dies. Our other appliances from 1997 have all croaked. Our dishwasher and fridge, 11 years old now, seem to be troopers… the washer/dryer combo I want to throw out the laundry room window! But I am feeling zen this morning so there is that… 😀

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    • As a hyperactive type A person, I am always fascinated by people who are calm. They can deliver a comic comeback so well while I am giggling and jumping about. I love Zen too and wish he would visit me more often. As for appliances, bleah! Fixed dishwasher is currently being tested. So far no waterfalls. Stupid clamp was expensive to fix. We have a lot of spares for the pond. They are under $2.

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  5. LOL!! I’m picturing those old appliances back in the day getting uglier and uglier. Like the energizer bunny, they just kept going. The short lifespan of today’s appliances is pitiful. But you’re right, Kate, most of us are so lucky.

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  6. what a giggly goof post 🙂 and true. hey, thats why i think they make computers to break. old ones used to last twice as long and if our world is getting so shmart, why aint’ the lifespan on these things growin’, eh?

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  7. We have a dinosaur of a fridge because I refuse to buy a new one until this one conks out! All other appliances are new. H thinks we need to buy a new and keep the old one also. “And put where I ask?” “In Andrews room.”/junk room that is soon to be not a junk room. He said he can put all that deer meat in it he doesn’t get every year when he doesn’t get any deer! MEN! I’m tempted to pull some wires loose…;)

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  8. We have stopped running our (relatively new) dishwasher over night just for that reason. Sometimes it’s not even the dishwasher’s fault… it could be a connector hose. Either way, I don’t want to wake up to wet tile and warped hardwood floors (which “should” straighten out as it dries). Good luck! I’m sure your guests won’t give a flip about being served on paper plates.

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    • Yes and tires too. I had a flat from a nail but can’t remember the last time I wore one out. Of course maybe I just don’t drive enough! Also love that the gauges tell you stuff. I never notice things going wonky in a car until I’m stuck.

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  9. My new refrigerator lasted only three years, my dishwasher six months, and my microwave a year. I can’t remember how long for the stove, but I know I’ve had two since the old one died and threw sparks across the kitchen. I think I have appliance demons living in my kitchen. By the way, homeowners insurance will pay to replace the floor. Don’t ask me how I know.

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    • We were lucky (???) in that the floor has very slight cupping. It’s not something we will worry about right now. When we refinish you won’t notice. We were grateful that the finish didn’t bubble. Yes, you do have appliance demons!

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  10. I feel like this is more of a 4 mocha latte situation. Or 4 mocha lattes and a pastry. I know it sounds excessive, but then again, so is the inconvenience factor in dealing with dishwasher and floors. Good luck my friend!

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  11. At times, I’m NOT persuaded that modern conveniences are all that convenient ~> like when the dishwasher goes on the fritz and an ocean greets me in the middle of the kitchen floor before I’ve had my morning coffee and, after mopping up the mess, I’m left waiting for the appliance repairman to arrive and tell me “it would be cheaper to replace than repair” the appliance in question.

    Oh, wait, that’s your ZEN challenge this morning, not mine.

    A Modern Day Truth: The more “bells and whistles” an appliance has, the shorter its life expectancy.

    Enjoy your dinner party tonight . . . even if you have to dine on paper plates!

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  12. My dear Ms. Kate. I’m rolling in laughter. Not at you, but with you. Two thoughts. One. Why has no one been indicted for replacing ‘durability’ with the idea of ‘planned obsolescence’ in the lexicon of manufacturing? I suspect there were MBA’s in the room.
    And Two. Not holding my breath for number One to yield much fruit, maybe ‘Zen’ is best thought of as a verb. This one being recently real as I drove back from the Big Lots store with our 3rd coffee maker in 2-years. Inhale. Hold it. Exhale. And yes, I would like another cup.
    Travel well,
    Dan

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  13. I’m always ready to sympathize with people who are facing appliance repairs. The most dramatic failure was our dishwasher. It kicked the bucket when my brother and his family were visiting. After a few meals we switched to paper plates. I’m glad to know your dishwasher is working again this time.

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    • AC only breaks on the hottest day of the year! You did ok. A woman I worked with bought a home. She had ordered carpeting to replace the old stuff but before she moved in the roof had a major leak and had to be completely replaced. She had to live with the old carpeting for a year. I don’t know how the roof passed the inspection.

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  14. I’m sorry to hear this, Kate. Companies certainly don’t make appliances like they used to. Nothing is built to last. The more bells and whistles, the more problems. Our neighbor has gone through three A/C units in ten years and you know those things aren’t cheap.

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    • We typically don’t have super hot weather until end of July or August but we had a run of 90 degree days a week ago. A friend lost their AC at the start of it and it wasn’t fixed until the temperatures dropped. It was a heat pump unit. Big $$.

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  15. We solved any dishwasher issues ……….. a double sink! Replacing the laundry washer and dryer are more of a challenge however…. and the stove??? Hmmmm…. I need to rethink our future plans! 🙂

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      • Yup! Hands can be quite useful. The washboard may be rather labor intensive, although a good rhythm on same could help move things along! How to dry clothes from October to May though? Hanging lines throughout the house would offset the need for a humidifier in our dry Winter (saved another appliance – humidifier). This is showing potential! “Little House on the Prairie” may have to be revisited for more ideas! 🙂

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        • My mother never had a dryer. She hung the laundry inside upstairs during inclement weather until I moved out and bought a dryer. Then I did her laundry (she still had an old washer with a separate spinner on the side.) You have the makings of another book there.

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  16. Kate, sometimes I feel we are the same person in parallel universes! We just replaced our GE Dishwasher, which was 6 years old. The new one is smaller, quieter, much more expensive and while it is energy efficient, I’m pretty sure the efficiency disappears if you have to run it every day. But it looks pretty. And unlike the old one it actually fits under our counter. So it’s got that going for it!

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