When it Rains, it Pours

If rainstorms inside my house aren’t enough of a sign from the universe that I’m not doing something right, Friday night our seven-year-old Subaru Forester decided to give Fuzzy a birthday present that was extra special: the “check engine” light came on about half way between the little Japanese restaurant we frequent, and home.

He pulled over, determined that there was nothing obviously wrong with the car, and we continued to the next gas station where, because we’re apparently overdue for an oil change (Fuzzy claims he’s been telling me this for weeks. I suggested that instead of telling me she should have done something about it. Also, I remember him telling me it was “about time” for one, three weeks ago, and nothing since.), Fuzzy decided checking the oil would help. We were low, and he did pour a quart in, but that didn’t solve the problem.

Now despite the fact that I’m writing far too many car articles for a person whose only real issue with any vehicle is “does it run?” I am not an expert on automotive things. For example, I don’t know the difference between a ladder rack and a gun rack, but I do know how to do research, and I can look up just about anything.

So while Fuzzy was stressing over the car, to the point where he refused to go out for lunch yesterday because he’d slept too late to take it in and have the code assessed, I spent five minutes on the Internet and had narrowed the issue down to one of three things: bad seal in the gas tank (a known issue with 2001 Foresters), bad exhaust gasket, or bad catalytic converter. Mind you, the only thing I know about catalytic converters is that they have something to do with emissions, but I read stuff, and was soon reassured that the car was not going to explode, or suddenly stop moving, or anything like that.

So, it’s one more thing we have to find money for, but we will, somehow – we always do – but I’m not going to stress about it. Instead I will be smug. Why?

Because when Fuzzy took the car to get the oil change done today (which didn’t happen, because he didn’t get up til noon, though they ran the code for us, and cleared it) he said, “I think it’s because we’re due for our 90,000 mile check-up, but my wife says it’s the catalytic converter.”

And the mechanic said, “Your wife is right.”

Indoor Rain

Today, we walked out into the living room to find a puddle on the floor behind the couch, and water falling from the 2nd floor hallway ceiling. There hadn’t yet been rain in our neighborhood at the time, so we knew it had to be coming from an internal source, and Fuzzy quickly found the culprit. One of the a/c units has a hose that keeps coming unsealed.

He stuck the hose back in place, and we mopped up the leak, and then I fired up my computer, and opened Excel, which I use as much as a financial reporting software solution as just a convenient place to keep all the various account numbers and phone numbers and passwords that one acquires along with a house.

I did not sacrifice a goat, but I did thank my mother for hammering the necessity of a home warranty into every client we’ve ever had. Why? Because I listened, and we keep renewing ours, and so whether the a/c problem is a simple little pipe de-clogging and filter changing job, or whether they have to replace the whole unit, it won’t cost me more than $55.

I’m not as certain that our insurance will cover the damage to the ceiling, and even if it does, I don’t think the cost to cure will be remotely close to our deductable. It’s a ceiling that doesn’t have a weight-bearing floor above it, and isn’t the inside of a roof. It’s literally a piece of dry wall, some tape, paint and texturizing goop, and maybe two hours of work.

While I was on the phone with the home warranty company, I also asked for service to fix the broken drain in the master bath, because bubble bath weather is fast approaching. That’ll be another $55, and a bit more dry wall, and maybe some caulking, but totally worth not having to pay for an actual plumber’s actual billable hours or parts.