Ahh, the smell of burnt rubber in the air

I've never been one of those people who believe that "things come in threes," you know, three bad things happen close together? This time, however, I'm hoping three is the end.

The day after I fell and broke my ankle (mind you, I didn't know it was broken yet and I was hobbling around in pain) the hallway in our house was so dirty that I just couldn't stand it anymore, so I pulled out the vacuum to ease my mind. When I turned it on I realized that the belt was broken. I had purchased the vacuum over a year earlier and never had to replace the belt before, but I pulled out the manual and got the part number and the next night when Frugaldad was going out anyway, I had him pick up a replacement belt.

Fast forward a month. I was vacuuming the front room and a loose thread from the curtains caught in the beater brush and I turned off the vacuum quickly and I think I saved the belt. But a couple days later I was vacuuming the entry and a shoelace got caught in the brush. Later that day when I turned on the vacuum, black smoke started coming out of the cracks and the whole house smelled of burnt rubber. I dropped everything, and went to the store and bought two replacement belts.

And this morning, four days later, the 7-year-old volunteered to vacuum her room and a backpack strap got caught in the brush and burnt up the belt and black smoke came out. I'm glad I had an extra belt on hand, but give me a break! THREE belts in five weeks! I am typically really careful about having the floors clear when I vacuum, and from now on I'm going to be religious about it.

The Cost of Quality?

Does it really save you money to buy the cheapest stuff available? It may seem so in the short run, but when the cheap stuff wears out so quickly, you ending up buying a replacement much sooner!

Let's use shoes as an example. Several years ago Frugaldad would go to the shoe store, buy a $30 pair of sneakers, and wear them to work every day. After only a few months they would wear out. The fabric would tear, the rubber soles would crack, and he'd have to go out and buy another pair.

A few years ago he decided to try a different approach, and he went to more expensive shoes. These would cost between $60 and $80 a pair and would last at least a year. So while it seemed that he was spending more on shoes, one pair was lasting as long as two or three pairs of the cheap shoes so the cost was at least the same, or less.

Then he tried again. It was always the fabric on the cheaper shoes that would wear out first, so he bought a pair of all-leather sneakers that cost almost $100. Almost three years later, these shoes are finally starting to wear out. So for the cost of 3 pair of the cheapest shoes, they lasted 9 times as long.

So sometimes, it seems that buying the cheapest thing is the best idea, but not always!

Ding Dong the Boot is Gone!

I went to the orthopedist today and got a rigid splint to wear instead of that horrible heavy boot! I can even put (well, I'm supposed to for support) a sneaker on over it. So while I'm not going to be running a marathon, let alone walking down the street, I have a little more range of movement in my ankle now and hopefully in the next couple of days I'll be able to drive again. I feel a little unsteady when I walk but I'm sure over the next few days, as my muscles get used to moving again, I'll be a little more mobile. In the meantime, I need to catch up to Tami and Heidi and Erika in the Stash Game. These ladies are leaving me in the dust!

Told you so!

The recovered cell phone seems to be fully functional. The whole thing is just amazing to me!

One of the reasons you should weed

Last summer Frugaldad lost his cell phone. We knew exactly which day it had been lost. It was a day in late June, and we had been running an ad in the local classifieds to sell the rest of the previous summers' hay to make room for the hay we planned to cut the next week. He had helped someone load a trailer full of hay bales. The phone turned up missing soon thereafter. He kept the ringer on "silent" so we couldn't call it and listen for the ring, but I did, on a few occasions, go outside in the dark and call the phone, hoping to see the display light up or hear the vibrations it made in silent mode. After a week or so, we gave up looking because we knew the battery would have gone dead. We had checked all over the yard, the lane, in the ditch, the remaining hay bales--everywhere. We figured it had ended up in that load of hay and now resided in the belly of a horse or on a barn floor, or it had fallen out of his pocket in the parking lot and been pulverized.

It was a prepaid cell phone and since we were able to login to the online account, we knew that the phone was lost, not stolen, because the minute balance stayed constant. A few months later, Frugaldad bought another phone and had the old minutes transferred to his new phone.

Fast forward to today. My sister-in-law and I were out front pulling out all the old strawberry plants. In a section that had been overrun by long grass, she pulled out a very dirty cell phone. The lost cell phone! The display is clouded up with condensation, but since I have washed a phone in the washing machine and it dried out all right, I imagine when it dries out it will be as good as new.

I guess we should have weeded the strawberries a little better last summer.


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