Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hey, My Memory Sucks, Too

By Jeannie "Really, it's the 9th?" Watt

The reason I live on a generator--peace and quiet.
It must be something going around. Unlike Kay, I'm going to grab onto my excuse and squeeze it for all it's worth. I spent the day worrying about losing power because my generator started making "the noise". The noise is a nasty thing to hear because it means no power, followed shortly by no water. No water means thirsty horses. The noise is a bad thing.

After living on a generator for eighteen years, I know most of the noises and what they mean. The out-of-fuel noise is my favorite because it's the most easily fixed. It rarely happens, but when it does, a phone call fixes the problem quickly and efficiently. Most other noises are not so easily fixed. My generator is an Isuzu and hard to get parts for. My long-time mechanic, whom I love so much that I dedicated Maddie Inherits a Cowboy to him, quit the generator business and went to work for  a mine, so now I also have to find a new mobile diesel mechanic. This is like finding a new doctor. It's not easy. Today when I heard the noise, I called a guy, who called a guy, who called a guy and I think I have someone who can help me and my power source.

However, in case you think I'm complaining, I'm not really, because there are trade offs in life. This is the price I pay for living where I do, and frankly, it's worth it. In case you read on past Beth's blog, which will probably load about ten minutes after I load mine, I'm offering a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly selected poster who tells me about a trade off in their life. The winner will be announced on Saturday.

Thanks for tuning in!
Jeannie


35 comments:

Kristina Mathews said...

Hi Jeannie,
I thought of you as we drove home through Nevada. My husband has found his dream retirement home. It's in Kingston. The nearest town is Austin. The nearest actual grocery store????? But they do have electricity.

Whenever I get frustrated with living in California, I try to remember what I enjoy. Things like running water even when the electricity goes out (the longest we've ever gone was 3 days in the winter, but we live in an older home so we have a wood stove and propane cooktop). My youngest son goes to an amazing school that despite the budget issues gets better every year. I now work there, and bow down to the teachers and principal for their dedication and talent.

Yes, it is hot here. Supposed to get over 100 this week, but the river is a half hour away, Tahoe an hour (unless it's a major holiday. It once took us four hours to get home one New Years Day. And it wasn't because of the weather).

I guess I can't complain too much. But if I ever do get to the point where I could support my family soley by writing, I'm sure we will move. Just hopefully to someplace that has stores and restaurants.

Mary Brady said...

Hi Jeannie! Knew it must be something serious--hope yours is as good as mine today. It could have been the water pressure tank ($$) or the well pump ($$$$$). It was the pressure tank. Yippee!!

My big trade off was to give up my day job and stay home with my son 21 years ago. He and 3 of his cute and lovely friends are on break from college and here for the evening--yes they do get cute and lovely again. There are many, many thing I don't own (new carpeting in the living room, a cottage up north, etc.) but I would not change a thing. I got so much, so much! And I am still reaping the rewards.

Good luck with your generator! And thanks for making me think of the good things!

linda s said...

One of the things I loved most about coming home from overseas was that when I turned on the light switch, the light came on... every time! My sympathies with your generator. Hope it is something simple and quick to fix.

marybelle said...

It's funny how you recognize the noises your gear makes. So familiar in the background. It's easy to spot a problem.

I know that guy, that knows a guy who called up another guy.

Jo's Daughter said...

I live in a small town with only 1 supermarket, a mailbox and a hairdresser. There is nothing here really but I love the quiet pace of life. So for a movie theather, shops and a nice place to eat I gotta travel.

Kathy Altman said...

Jeannie, I hope your new guy is an Isuzu generator wizard! And although I don't live quite as far off the beaten path as you do, we do live out in the boonies, and you're right, the tradeoff is so worth it (although I might have said differently last week when it was 100+ degrees and we had no AC). We don't own new cars and our furniture is all castoffs, but we do have peace and quiet. Huh. I'm sounding a little old, aren't I?! :-)

mary sullivan said...

Jeannie, I hope the problem with your generator doesn't turn out to be serious!!!

I have to go with Mary on the trade off I made when my daughter was born and I decided to stay home with her. I lost my career in the first six years of her life--darkroom printing, which was an awesome job for me--and I never did really take to computers, which replaced enlargers, but I LOVED being at home for my girl.

The things that other people owned, like finished basements and new sofas and two cars, were made up for by the times my daughter and I spent together. It wasn't easy to do without, but the rewards were good.

Hope you get your generator fixed quickly.

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Kristina--I'm familiar with Kingston because my father lived there once. My step sisters loved it so much that when Dad moved back to Idaho, one of them wanted to stay and live with friends. They went to school in Austin.

I really love northern California. Gorgeous, gorgeous place and it sounds nice where you live. Congrats on being involved with a school that keeps getting better! I hope you eventually find a place with electricity, stores and restaurants that your family falls in love with.

Thanks for posting!

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Mary--the stay at home trade off is huge and so worthwhile. Lol, I, too, have found that grown kids get cute again. My son and his girlfriend visited for the weekend and we had so much fun!

Glad to hear it was only the pressure tank! I think my problem may be as simple as filters. We just changed them, but may have gotten a wonky one. I'm hoping anyway (as I listen for the noise.)

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Linda--Yes, dependable electricity is a blessing. Especially that "every time" part, lol.

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Marybelle--That guy is a great guy, isn't he?

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Jo's Daughter--I've lived in very similar places and always thought the trade off was worth the quiet life. I love that there's a hairdresser in your small town. I bet she does well. :)

Jeannie Watt said...

Kathy--We may sound old, but we are not old, lol. I thought about you guys in the 100 degree heat and no electricity while it was happening and was majorly empathetic.

Also, I'm no stranger to castoff furniture. My dream is to have real kitchen chairs instead of a collection of rolling office chairs. I plan to (finally) purchase them this month if the generator doesn't explode. Now watch--Martha Stewart will showcase an eclectic collection of rolling office chairs as kitchen chairs and I'll be all mundane with real chair.

Jeannie Watt said...

uh, that would be "chairs" not chair.

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Mary--I agree that there is nothing like being able to stay home with your kids. The financial trade offs are so worth it.

I'm fascinated that you were a dark room printer. A friend just gave my husband her entire darkroom set up, so now he's looking at framing in a darkroom in our (unfinished) basement. But, I will have my kitchen chairs first, lol.

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

I guess my trade off is I work full time, so we have more money to do things - take vacations etc. But, if I was a stay at home Mom, I would be able to spend more time with my daughter.

Anonymous said...

Guess I traded all friends of lifetime, community, too....to move to country 4 yrs. ago near dh family. Closest Walmart 30 mi.; closest grocer 11 miles.....I do enjoy the quiet though....but probably less than he does! lol
Would love an A card to get books cause I have plenty of time to read!
jackie.smith (at)dishmail[dot]net

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Jeannie,

I was thinking about trade-offs on Saturday night. We were on our way to the drive-in movies with two carloads of neighborhood boys--9 boys and 4 adults. So much fun, but a pain in the neck to drive 45 minutes just to get to the theater. (It's still a theater if it's just a big wooden wall in a field, right?)

I'd spent the week driving back and forth every night to a baseball tournament with my son and the last thing I wanted to do was drive anywhere, but then I looked out the window and man, do I live in a beautiful part of the country. I love this place...even if it is a very inconveniently located place.

Maybe on our next Jeannie vs. Ellen quiz we can include this question: I use rolling office chairs as seating in this non-office room: A.) Kitchen B.) Family room.

That's right, the Hartman family watches TV in faux-leather executive office chairs. Convenient if you have to roll over to turn up the volume on the TV or steal the snacks from your brother, but I do not think Martha would approve. :-)

Hope your generator is okay.

liztalley said...

Your view is so beautiful...just keep telling yourself that every time you hear a weird noise from that generator.

Hmm...my trade off is my dogs. They are a lot of trouble and expense. My little Boston terrier is a sick puppy today with tummy troubles. He's made some messes in the kitchen and then when I put him outside, he found a dead bird to roll in. Needless to say, I'm tired of disinfectant and the smell of candles. But...he's so stinkin' cute and loves me with a purple passion. Anytime I'm feeling low, I can count on Ike and Georgia to make me feel better. Something about those plantive eyes and acceptance that love is the best thing around keeps me happy about the tradeoff.

Anonymous said...

My dishwasher went on the blink about a month ago and I did not replace it. I don't use that many dishes since it is just me and I eat out a lot. So I do them all up once a day if needed. No big deal but when I eventually remodel my kitchen, I will be putting in a new dishwasher. They really are convenient.
Joye
JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

Jeannie Watt said...

Tammy--My mom worked while I was growing up and I appreciated that she did work so that we could have extras. She wanted to stay home, but sometimes I think her working helped me be more independent.

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Jackie--I'm glad you enjoy the quiet. Kind of funny that you might like it more than your husband. Time to read is golden.

Jeannie Watt said...

Hey Ellen--of course a big wooden wall is a theatre. The best kind. You do live in a beautiful part of the country. A great place for a wedding, I hear.

I am so happy that your family has faux leather office chairs, too. Secretly I love them because of the rolling you mentioned, but on the rare occasion that I have visitors, I feel kind of shifty about them because they don't seem real normal. However, we do roll them into the TV room when we need additional seating. Yay, office chairs.

Jeannie Watt said...

Liz--I love Boston Terriers. I've never owned one, but really want to, even if they do roll in dead birds and suffer tummy problems. I love dogs in general. Yes, they are a lot of work, but the trade off is great. Give the pups a little hug from me.

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Joye--I don't have a dishwasher right now either and since it's just me and my husband, I've been doing dishes by hand, too. I hope you get to remodel soon!

Laney4 said...

My tradeoff would be that rather than me working full-time outside of the house, I work part-time in my house and save money whenever possible (so that I can be available for family and friends whenever necessary - especially these days with parental health issues). I use coupons, stock up on sales, trade freebies with girlfriends (like toothpastes and perfume samples), modify items that can no longer be used for their original purposes, mend as many clothes as possible, eat healthy meals at home rather than going out to eat, and have friends and family over for said meals often - and I wouldn't trade my world for anything. We don't make much money, but what we do make is spent well (in my opinion).

Rogenna Brewer said...

LOL--I loved Maddie Inherits A Cowboy and I remember those generator scenes well :)

If we didn't live so far apart I'd loan you my Nuke Machinist Mate husband :) Nuclear power aside he can work on any kind of diesel engine, in his sleep, blind folded with one arm tied behind his back. S

Seriously

Anyway, glad you're back online.

Jeannie Watt said...

Laney--Your life sounds wonderful. Back in the day, that was what home economics was all about--cleverly making the most of what you have and enjoying life more because of it. :-)

Jeannie Watt said...

Ro--My pulse started to race as I imagined being married to a man who can work on any kind of diesel engine. That would be so cool. Every now and then when I'm having a rough day teaching I think that I should have become a diesel mechanic.

Snookie said...

We had power and phone when we moved into our house in 1990. It was originally wired for generator as there was no power up until a few years before we bought it. We got cable and DSL a few years back. We still catch our water though and are dependent on the rain for our drinking water. Nearest Walmart is about 25 miles away and the nearest full size grocery store is about 16 miles. But I wouldn't give up living in the rain forest :) I work on Oahu because the job is good, the pay and benefits are good and the "old" folks are there :). But I sure love going home back to my rain forest on the weekends. Maybe once the boy gets out of school and the school loans are paid off, I'll move to my rain forest and let him take care of us :)

Jeannie said...

Rain forest...*dreamy sigh*

Kay Stockham said...

I live in the boonies, too, though nowhere near as far away from civilization as you, Jeannie. Trade-offs--no traffic jams LOL Unless you get behind a farmer on his tractor, then it's dodge-em as you try to pass. LOL

Hope your generator is okay. After this last storm we've decided we need to buy one so we don't lose our frozen foods again. At least with the last storm (an ice storm) all we had to do was stick them outside! :)

Kay

Snookie said...

Jeannie, some day you must come visit me in my rain forest :) I will take you to the top of Mauna Kea and places not to many visitors get to see if you like!

Jeannie Watt said...

Wow--Hard to believe that I forgot again and did not post the winner on Saturday. My apologies. I blame flooring amnesia. We laid many square feet of flooring this weekend. I've waited 18 years for my floor and I am thrilled. (And forgetful.)

The winner of the gift card is...Laney! Congrats, Laney! I'll be in contact.

Laney4 said...

Thanks so much, Jeannine! I just sent my email to you.

I finished reading THE BABY TRUCE last Friday and loved it, loved it, loved it (so now I'm reading the second book in the trilogy, before moving on to the third later this week). I thought your reactions to certain events were written quite realistically (like when Tom was told Reggie was pregnant). I thought the love "build up" was also realistic and didn't feel the story was rushed in the slightest; I devoured every page. What I really liked was how I, as a reader, had an idea of what the "solution" to their problems would be, but you wrote it in such a way that I was still surprised when I read it. Amazing stuff.

Thanks for many hours of enjoyable reading, and thanks for the gift card to help continue to do so!

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