House shaped paper cutout and tools on wooden table.

House Maintenance: My Husband is Great!…but…

This is hardly a rant against my husband, but more so praise at what he is good at. He works hard and runs his family business; working along side his family can be very emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting. He became the patriarch without his say-so by doing what he thought he needed to, to keep the family business going, once his uncle passed away back in 2011.

Just because we are business owners doesn’t make us wealthy. In fact it doesn’t make us any different from anyone else. Some people have a boss they report to, while we work hard and make things happen for our customers. So our customers are our bosses, they can fire us and choose to do business elsewhere. The biggest difference between being an employee and a business owner is when you are an employee you can leave and go home. You can focus on your family and your home and what needs to be done to keep your personal and home life going. As business owners you never get that break. You are constantly working for your business, either going in on a Saturday. Driving out at 2am to jump-start a car for one of your employees, you are always ‘on-call.’

I want to recognize that he does work very hard, but… this leaves much of the home “stuff” to me. Yes I run a business, and I have clients that I work for as well. I also do much of the caring for our 2 year old son and our 10 year old bulldog. I respect that his business takes much of his time and energy.

But you know what I find that I do not have the time to make it all happen! I wish I could say I do it with flying colors, but I don’t. Instead of flowers, chocolate or a fancy dinner for Valentine’s Day this year, I asked for his time. I asked that we spend the day cleaning our home. We got a sitter and got started. I work for my business Wine and Canvas on Valentine’s Day, so we ‘celebrated’ early this year. Six hours of house cleaning wasn’t even enough!

The things that are still out on the to-do list involve some things I haven’t made a priority yet.

The underneath light on our microwave is out. The filter needs to be replaced on it as well.

My Oven

Need to soak the showerhead to get back our water pressure!

My showerhead

The kitchen faucet has dripped since we bought the house!

My kitchen faucet

And when we had a water leak in our home back in 2016 the wall didn’t get repainted and the plumber said it was not his job to put the backing back underneath our bathroom sink. SMH!

My wall didn’t get repainted       underneath our bathroom sink

All of these things should be done, right?! DIY or die, correct? Is there a reason I haven’t done them? TIME! Chasing a toddler, juggling phone calls for Wine and Canvas, working for clients, maintaining the house and my sanity all have come first.

What’s the problem then? Knowing that they need to be done and getting them done are two totally different things. I can paint the wall, but getting paint out with a toddler and bulldog who both are constantly following you around is not the best idea. Could I do it when my son is asleep, probably, except you never know when he will wake up! Sometimes he wakes up right away after laying him down, other times it is at 2:00am then other times he sleeps right through the night. It is anyone’s guess as to what kind of night it would be!

Then there are the simple things like hanging a bag of white vinegar on the showerhead… or buying the filter to go in the microwave. #NOEXCUSE… I will say that figuring out how to fix the faucet has been a daily frustration. We have replaced the little black circle thingy, but it still leaks. I like the faucet itself and a new one is at least $100 for a low-end model like the one we have.

Not too long ago our water heater had issues, AGAIN! First my husband wanted me to know he did NOT use all the hot water in the shower, so I didn’t yell at him later. He went and looked the hot water heater over, said looks like the pilot light is on, but he ‘re-lit’ it just incase. After hours of waiting for hot water to come back and it didn’t, I of course called our home warranty company and told them that we had no hot water. They referred us to a local company by putting in a ticket for us to file a claim to have it repaired.

I felt lucky, it was a fairly new water heater and it shouldn’t have any issues. I knew going into the service call my fee was $60. When the tech arrived he said my pilot light wasn’t on, lit it and then told me that my home warranty company wouldn’t cover a service call for lighting a pilot light. So begrudgingly I paid the $110 service call fee to the company. Then hours later NO HOT WATER! GAH! It was after 5:00p, so I called the next morning back to the home warranty company and they said to call the local company again and they will use the same ticket as before. The service company sends the same tech out and he decides that my pilot light won’t stay lit, which is an issue that would be covered by my home warranty. Chances of getting my $110 back from the day before, zilch, but they said they wouldn’t charge me another service call fee, G-thanks!

The service man commented on how my water heater was pretty new and that the pilot light should not have quit working. He goes back and forth to his truck. Mind you I am unable to work at this point, so both visits are costing me time and money. He comes up after some time messing with the water heater and wants to show me what he has done. He shows me that he installed a ‘duct-tape’ version of a new pilot light device. Here is how I can light it if it goes out again. Excuse me!? I am paying for a professional service and you thought you could just do a makeshift job on making my water heater work that is only a few years old? I mean I get it, if we had no choice because the water heater parts were no longer made, but that is NOT the case.

UGH – I send him on his way, assuming the ‘duct-tape version’ will work until I have time to call and request that they perform the fix, as it should be with the proper part. NOPE! The next day I still do not have hot water. I guess they don’t make it like they used to. I call AGAIN… I tell the lady on the phone with the service company that I was NOT ok with this jerry-rigging of my hot water heater and that if he did not have the right part he should have gone to get it instead of assuming that I would be ok with this type of fix. I request she send me a different service tech and she does. I am now going on day like 4-5 without hot water.

New different service tech guy shows up, looks it over. He claims that if he can make it work he will replace the whole thing, since we have several months left on our manufacturers warranty. He gets on the phone with the home warranty company and gets them to agree to pay for the new water heater, but I have to pay for the disposal of the old one… At this point I just want hot water and to get back to my regular life! I agree. We get a brand new water heater, no more hot water issues. I still feel like I shouldn’t have had to pay the extra service call fee of $110 for the first day. I also feel that not asking me before the first tech decided to jerry–rig the pilot light was unacceptable. But all things said and done it would have been hundreds of more dollars had I not had the home warranty to help cover the cost of the repair or replacement of the hot water heater. Such a pain!

My after thoughts, my husband was able to relight the pilot light. Had we continued to relight it, the issue would have shown that it wasn’t staying lit. I don’t have that kind of time, nor does my husband. Neither one of us is what you would call ‘handy.’ We also understand that time = money. If we pay a professional, they should do it right the first time and it will be faster than either one of us trying to figure out how to fix it. So while we still have a small honey-do list at our house, we have hot water, warm air when we want it and cool air when we need it. Our microwave still works, just can’t light up the stove underneath. All of these things on my honey-do list will get done… sometime! There is no need to remind him every year or so… he knows already=-)

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