Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lessons From A Faucet

I stink when it comes to most repairs.

That's a bit hard to admit sometimes. My dad was skilled with his hands. Tight finances and a general awareness that he could fix most of the things around us meant that we almost never used outside people for repairs. My younger brother is pretty much like dad. Most of the time he does his own repair work. His job pays pretty well, but he does it because he can and would rather save the money for something else.

So here I am today attempting to put a repair kit in a kitchen faucet. The instructions in the package were simple. Well, maybe they are simple for someone else. When I got stuck in the middle of the job with the water off throughout the house, I went online and looked up a more detailed set of instructions. I wasn't encouraged when the writer described the job as "takes only a few minutes." Grrrr.

After much frustration, about an hour invested and the kit only partially installed, I put the whole thing back together enough to turn on the water and told Cathy I need a repairman to do it right.

The interesting thing is that I can do most of my own computer repairs. I have some confidence in my ability to install both hardware and software. I actually find that work relaxing rather than draining.

But the next time the faucet drips...PLEASE remind we what I wrote!

Here's a question for you. What are some of those things you would rather do yourself? What are some you would rather pay someone else to do?


Rachel Cotterill said...

If I know how to do something, I'll do it. If I don't know how, chances are my husband has an idea. Otherwise, we're stuck and that's when we start looking for a professional

There are some things which I enjoy doing (like planning holidays, the wedding, etc) where I would never want to pay anyone because I enjoy doing it.

On the other hand, if I was hugely wealthy, I might get a cleaner!!

Liz said...

I am very blessed to have a husband who can do just about anything. He's an IT guy so he keeps our computers in tip top condition. He's also very handy- he built a deck on the back of our house, he installed our dishwasher, he's replaced 2 faucets, he's fixed our clothes washer. Anything he can't do, he looks up online and figures it out.


It takes a LOT of pushing to get him onto a project. So there are times that hiring someone would at least make the end result come faster!! We've lived in our house for over 6 years and I still have 2 light fixtures sitting in boxes- they were purchased with the intent of changing them out prior to moving into the house!

For me... and this is partially inspired by your daughter Beth's post today... I'd love to be able to decorate cakes. I can barely do a basic 2 layer cake. I can bake. I just can't decorate. And if I didn't have hubby to do the household fix it stuff, I have no skills in that area. I'd also like to learn more about car maintenance. I can change a tire, check my oil, even change my oil. But I'd like to know more.

I feel like I should say that I want to hire a housekeeper... balancing full time work with motherhood and being an attentive wife and involved at church and maintaining friendships and... it's hard for housework to be a priority. So it isn't. But I won't hire someone. Because I feel like my kids need to see that keeping up with at least the basics is a personal responsibility thing. It's just how I'm wired.

Sandra said...

Sam -- As I read that you find computer stuff RELAXING, I thought, "Boy, I wish he was my next-door neighbor!" But, you're probably lucky you aren't because I would be asking you a.l.l t.h.e t.i.m.e to help me with doing something or fixing something on my computer.

Re. something that I'd rather do myself, I guess it's cooking. I find THAT relaxing.

As they say, "different strokes for different folks."

Dina said...

My husband is an engineer and also an all around handy man, so there is very little he can't fix. I find doing laundry oddly relaxing and I'm starting to enjoy cooking more and more. So, I guess the only thing I would hire out if the budget allowed would be cleaning. I love having a clean house, but don't enjoy the process very much.

C. Beth said...

I would rather decorate a birthday cake myself...even if it takes hours.

I would rather pay someone to change my oil...even though it would be fast to do it myself. Or so I've heard, anyway.

Sam said...

Thank you each for your comments today. Tonight I rest so Cathy and I can drive to Phoenix tomorrow to pick up Chickie and Zoodle. Oh, C. Beth, too!

Sandra said...

Sam -- love your comment about who you were picking up at the airport. We have our priorities, don't we?

When Jenny had her first child, the first time they planned to drive down to visit us, I told her, if they were pressed for time (ahem), they COULD just honk at the curb and we would come out to get the baby and they could just drive on back! Of course, the first time Coco woke up in the middle of the night, I'm sure I would regretted THAT suggestion!

Grandchildren -- the frosting on the cake.