May 18, 2022

Hillbilly status chekclist: couldn't make this up if I tried

I was smokin' on Mother's Day. OK, so it wasn't me - it was our microwave. 

When it smokes rains, it pours. 

While we were in Prague in early April, the kids let us know that our dryer (not a typo, we have MULTIPLE appliance issues at present) was making a weird noise. I legit thought they had just hit a wrong button, because they don't know how to use it. Turns out, it needs a new part. Remember the dryer? It was new JUST before covid. 

Anyone else wonder how we told time back before we had covid to use as a starting point? 

You remember Coach had to rip out the doorway and increase the size of the door jam in order to fit the thing through the laundry room door. Days before Christmas. 

It's times like this and back when the kids Coach stuck that 'gas appliance' sign on my back during the dryer delivery that make me so happy I have a blog. Where else would I share these stories? Better to be able to laugh at the irritating parts of life, than sob over them. 

Mr. Appliance Fixer, who I love, came out days after we returned from Prague. He said: I don't service that brand. *too lazy to haul my butt upstairs and look at what brand we have*

He agreed to order the part. He told me it was a good thing we'd noted the sound, ignoring that might lead to bigger issues. He said he'd come back the following week. 

Weeks later, I called. We got on his schedule. A grandkid of his got covid, and he took the day off when he was supposed to be here. Plus a long weekend. He came back out last week, but had the wrong part. Meanwhile my newer dryer thumps away, making me cringe because I fear it will die completely. He called Monday but I was walking out the door with my tiny folk. I must call tomorrow to see when he can come out. 

Anyway, a loud dryer doesn't make us hillbillies. Pardon the appliance offshoot. 

I thought maybe the microwave, like everything else under this roof, just needed a good cleaning. After my scrub-fest, it still wasn't acting right. It smelled like melting wires. Call me crazy, but something to be concerned about. It wouldn't cook my frozen GF muffin. It looked like bolts of lightning were shooting around in there. Well, I'm no appliance guru, but that can't be good. I found out they call it 'arcing'. Listen, I enjoy few treats, so no one wants to spend time with me if I've been denied my GF muffin. ABT, where we bought all of our appliances, came out again. They'd just been out to service bury the fridge drawers. 

$141 service call. 

I found out the microwave is toast, not like it will make toast - it's kaput. Done. Finished. Like the fridge drawers, it was new in '17. AND NOT CHEAP. What on earth? 

I called Thermador per the ABT guy's suggestion. The customer service person said she'd file an appeal for me. She took my info. I wasn't satisfied. I kept prattling on about my fridge drawers and my other Thermador appliances that needed to be serviced over the last few years DESPITE being new. 



There was a heavy sigh on the line, but she did give me an email address so I can share my full story. I'm nothing if not all about the full story, am I right? 

I haven't written the letter yet because I'm busy with Mini's senior video and the problem (which is a good problem to have) is that I took so many videos, going through all of them is a TAD time consuming, but also fun and heart warming. 


The news of the burned out microwave happened a few hours before the phone call from the camera store. Replacing the microwave is $2,000. Um, ouch. But when I found out the videos were watchable, and are they EVER - in fact, I'd say they are down right addicting, I said: HEY, NEW MICROWAVE - NO BIG DEAL.

Still, I hope Thermador will do something to compensate us. 

I chuckled Friday night when Coach pulled Lad's college microwave out of the crawl space and set it up in the middle of the island. I was like IT'S OFFICIAL. WE ARE HILLBILLIES. I snapped a photo and made a mental checklist:

* old microwave in the middle of my island, 

*just beyond that a dog that I don't own tied to my back door, 

*and a partial working fridge in my dining room. 

Saturday morning before heading to travel basketball games, I decided to freeze a bunch of fresh fruit for protein shakes. Reg was in the kitchen packing snacks for his game. 

Reg:  (pointing at a red thing on the floor in front of the fridge) I THINK THAT'S A FROG.



His little feet were covered with evidence of dust bunnies, because he'd been hanging out under my fridge (see note above about how everything in this house needs a good cleaning). I was BESIDE MYSELF. I thought at first that Finn dragged it in, but then I remembered that Finn's owner has a bunch of aquariums in his bedroom that he claims belong to a friend and he's returning them next week, etc. 

I took out my hillbilly checklist and added RED FROG HOPS OUT FROM UNDER FRIDGE. 

Anyone else have a hillbilly component to your life? 


Charlie said...

Did I read that right - $2,000 to replace your microwave??? Wow, that is some bit of kit, no wonder you were so fed up that it broke in no time. I think we paid about $150 for ours and it's lasted for at least 8 years so far. I have insurance on all my kitchen appliances for about $7 each per month. It covers call-out charges and they even let me insure my old washing machine, which was actually so old that they couldn't source a part for it, so they had to replace it a year or so after I started the insurance plan. Win! Do you have that option?

Nicole said...


Wow, $2000 for a microwave seems really high. I thought they were much less than that (although it's been a while since I bought one myself). What a hassle - I hope your dryer holds on!

Amie said...

Appliance breakdowns are so annoying! I would have died if I saw a red frog in my kitchen!
Hillbilly component in my life right now - my house is getting lifted to have a foundation poured, I have two containers in my yard holding furniture and other fun house things. Oh and a port-a-potty was delivered yesterday for your bathroom needs.

mbmom11 said...

I hope the frog escaped unscathed!
We have a washer and dryer situation right now. The washer was squirting out water after the spin- so soggy clothes. The dryer, which must husband fixed last month, has started squealing again.
But last night the washer went through a cycle correct, so maybe prayers work to get appliances repaired?

Ernie said...

Charlie - My fault, I didn't explain that properly. It's a built in fridge drawer. So it is mounted under the countertop and it slides out at the touch of a button. I don't know that we could've insured the appliances exactly, other than paying to extend the warranty a few years, but in my experience the thing dies as soon as the warranty expires. It is an amazing appliance - lots of awesome features. And it doesn't take up space on the counter.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Yes - A FROG. That was the most shocking surprise. Couldn't have predicted that one.

The microwave is so expensive because it is a microwave DRAWER. The Sharp brand makes one that is $1500 but those are backordered, probably because the rest of them are closer to $2000. The Thermador one is actually $2,000 and is in stock, but I'm waiting to see what the Thermador people say. I suppose I could try to get on the Sharp waiting list while I'm waiting. The thing is it fits inside a cabinet and I need the exact measurements. I'm guessing they are close but I haven't investigated, because it's such a headache.

Ernie said...

Amie - Appliances are so NECESSARY. It throws everything off when they breakdown. Never mind the price and the waiting around for them to be fixed or replaced.

Your house is being lifted. Holy cow. I thought that was only something they did for women who wanted to look a certain way despite the aging process and gravity. Goodness, I hope it goes well.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Appliance issues are the worst, affecting us more than we think they will. Also, they cost us more than we think they should. I hope your upcoming letter to Thermador works. I agree; why spend so much on top-notch things when they fail?

I'd be on bended knee in front of the dryer praying. I can't imagine you having to take ALL Those clothes to the laundry mat.

That is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill outside frog. I believe that is an exotic frog. *wondering if you can sell it for 2K?*

Ernie said...

mbmom - After I calmed myself, OK - no, I was not successful in calming myself. I called Lad and he was VERY apologetic. He said it must've gotten out when he fed them the night before. As in, the frog escaped upstairs. He managed to hop down a flight of stairs and get under the fridge? My mind imagined a million different scenarios of where that frog COULD'VE gone and what would've happened had I found him in a different place. Not sure I will ever recover.

Anyway, he asked us to scoop it into a cup. It wasn't until after we left that he realized that he should've had us put a little water in the cup. Tank and Mini were caddying and by the time they got home to 'just add water' the dog had died.

You must know special kinds of prayers. Mine never work that way. ;)

Ernie said...

Suz - Yes, appliances . . . where would we be without them? They do so much work for me. And so pricey. Ugh.

That dryer better keep on going. Fortunately my mom lives close and has very little laundry, so if it goes I'll be showing up at her doorstep with my drippy laundry till we can get it fixed.

That IS an exotic frog. I'd love to know how much Mr. Saving Money to Move Out is spending on his frog collection. It better NOT be 2K per frog, but I like your idea. For your plan to work, the frog would've had to survive and sadly, he did not. Lad should've told us as we were racing out the door to basketball in the city (not down the street) to put some water in the cup. I'm just starting to figure out how to care for a dog. I was unaware of frog care protocol. We put him in a red solo cup, covered it with a paper napkin, and texted the kids who were caddying not to drink it. WARNING: LIVE FROG. Lad was so flustered by my hysterical phone call that he failed to mention that we should add a little water. Guessing the little guy was not in top health to begin with after spending the night roaming around our house. :0

Ally Bean said...

What a stupid problem. I hope Thermador responds to your problem quickly-- and in a way that pleases you. At that price it seems like you should not have to worry about your refrigerator. I say a silent prayer when I walk by our KitchenAid refrigerator because I don't want to be stressed buying a new one.

Kari said...

With six children, I feel like you should anticipate appliances to fail much sooner than typical wear and tear. It makes sense to me. They are opening and closing them more frequently, you are using them more frequently, and in the case of the refrigerator, you are keeping more food than a regular sized household. All of this to say, you're doing just fine. :)

I've never seen a red frog in my life. Are you certain he's from around here?

Ernie said...

Ally - It is a stupid problem. The woman I spoke with from Thermador was telling me how they might give me some money by prorating the microwave for how many years we've used it, etc. I was like YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT. Her refusing to let me mention the other issues with Thermador was burning me up. Coach heard the phone call from my end and when I hung up he said YOU SHOULD'VE BEEN A LAWYER. WHO CAN ARGUE WITH THAT? I hope your prayer works. Replacing these things is a frustrating situation.

Ernie said...

Kari - Ed felt like if the microwave was going to break it would be the door because of all the open and closing we do. But no. A hole burned in the roof of it, I think it is called an apron. They can't replace that part.

The red frog is NOT from around here. Lad buys them at exotic pet stores and has them shipped here. For real. See, can't make this up.

Anonymous said...

Probably the most hillbilly thing about us is the sheer volume of half-finished projects we have in the house and project-related debris we have in the yard. My husband is handy, and our house is a lot nicer than it would have been without his work... but I could stand for the "it'll just take a weekend" stuff to actually take that weekend and cross the finish line. Some of them are coming up on 4 years of not-quite-done.

Still, he's done a ton of work. We wouldn't have been able to afford the house in its current shape, and it's much nicer right now than I ever imagined it would be. I'm not complaining much.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - I hear this. Loud and clear. Honestly most of Coach's projects are completed, but there are a few things in the basement that never happened. A small wall that butts up to a granite counter top that he planned to drywall, so the edges weren't so rough. I guess we're just embracing the rough edges since it's been like 8 years or more. Also once he's worked in an area, I must return to that area for MONTHS or more to see if that's where the hammer or screwdriver might be hanging out. It is nice to have a handy husband who can bring the house to the next level.

Gigi said...

With all the appliance trouble you've been having I would look into a home warranty - they cover all the appliances in the house (and HVAC). I think we pay $50 for a service call and they either service or replace the appliance.

A frog - of any color - in my house would have freaked me out so much that I probably would have had a heart attack.

Ernie said...

Gigi - We had a warranty when we moved in and it felt like they'd find the simplest reason not to replace stuff. Maybe we should look into it again.

In all seriousness, this frog thing almost put me over the edge. Clearly it was accidentally released IN.MY.HOME. The thought process about where it could've gone or what other things could be lurking is rather unsettling.

Pat Birnie said...

Oh my goodness - that red frog! I have always loved frogs; I definitely want one, but will not be paying 2K lol. I'm sorry he didn't survive. Appliances are such a pain. I'm hoping you've let Thermador know that you are an International blogger (Canada here) and your review of them will be very impactful. They would be well served to make you happy!

Ernie said...

Pat - Like minds think alike. I planned to let Thermador know that I write a blog, but hadn't thought to toss out 'international'. Well played, my friend. I will include that in my letter, which I hope to draft today as it is my day off. I just need to pull myself away from Mini's video project long enough to do other things. Laundry is piling up.

I do feel bad that the frog didn't make it. Had it not been such a mind blowing moment combined with us hustling out the door and not having factored in a WHO'S-GONNA-CATCH-THE-FROG moment, I might've been able to set him up in a better situation than just a red solo cup. My guess is that his needs not being met all night played a big role vs the couple of hours he sat in the cup. *reminds self: I refuse to feel guilty about this.