Sunday, February 07, 2010


A week ago, on Sunday, January 31, I pulled a perfectly thawed pizza out of our freezer. Now I have to say, it baked up beautifully, but when removing something from the freezer, I don't think it is too much to ask that it be, you know, frozen! I was hoping it was something like forgetting to close the door all the way or something, but by Monday morning, the ice was melting and the temperature inside the refrigerator was about 55F (13C) instead of the expected 36F (2C). It was only 43F (6C) outside! Definitely not good. Upon inspection of the manufacturing plate inside, I realized that the refrigerator was made in 1999 and is by far the oldest appliance in the kitchen. I had been intending to replace it with a stainless steel (or stainless looking) one in the next couple of years, but not right now! Not less than 3 months after moving, right after Christmas, and before we close the sale of our old house. ::head desk::

I called a repair company, but they couldn't come out same day. "Would you like to make an appointment for Tuesday?" Yes, please, the earliest one you have. "Your appointment time is between 8AM and 5PM." Helpful, thanks. Could you possibly be less specific? Good thing I work from home! Phillip arrived around 10 AM to take a look and immediately diagnosed it as a bad thermostat. Not exactly cheap to repair, but only about 20-25% the cost of the new refrigerator I was looking at, so we'll go with it. Except that Phillip didn't have the part on his truck. "I used it on a repair last week, and they haven't restocked my truck yet." He called it in to dispatch, and there was another guy in the area who did have the part. They would add us to his list and he would swing by "sometime today." He pulled into our driveway around 4:30 (since we were now at the bottom of his list), but he didn't come to the door. In fact, it was almost 20 minutes before he knocked.

"The computer says I have that part on my truck, but I don't see it anywhere. We'll have to order it. It should arrive Monday, so I can come back Tuesday to install it." Excuse me? You want me to go another *week* without a refrigerator? I could buy a new one and have it delivered before then. "I guess I can put it down as an emergency repair." They were going to ship the part directly to our house, but they weren't sure if it would arrive by Friday. They booked us another very specific appointment time [note sarcasm] for Saturday, but we were to call and cancel on Friday if we didn't have the part.

I don't think I had ever realized exactly how critical a refrigerator was until I didn't have one for a week. Of course, I knew it would hamper my ability to cook (something I don't usually do much of, but I was doing so well in January getting back in the groove), but I didn't think about the fact that I use it for the filtered water I drink most often. The tap water is okay (better here than at the old house, actually), but it wasn't cold enough from the tap (plus no ice), and I kept forgetting to fill up some bottles or something and sit them outside. It was a very long and thirsty week!

Ironically, the part actually arrived on Thursday, but they were already booked for Friday, so we still had to wait for Saturday for the repair to happen. It was Phillip who returned to install it, and bless him, he put us first on his list. I'm not even sure he was in the house for 30 minutes. We let it sit the rest of the day to chill down and make sure it was working before attempting to restock.

Most everything in the refrigerator and freezer had to be thrown out, though we did eat a fair bit of the frozen stuff (like spaghetti sauce) as it defrosted outside (temps never above 45F/7C) over the course of the week. Three kitchen garbage bags full of food gone, including 2 pounds of pork tenderloin, a pound of ground beef, and about 6 pounds of chicken breasts that I had in the freezer that I had stockpiled when they were on sale. There just wasn't time to cook it all, or anywhere to store the leftovers even if I did. All the dairy, cheese, eggs, produce, most of the condiments, all the frozen veggies, and all the frozen Luke foods like pizzas and fish sticks, all trashed. It was very disheartening. About the only things that survived were the nuts, pancake syrup, jelly, and flour (don't use it often, so I keep it cold to deter bugs). We restocked with the essentials at the grocery store today (milk, juice, butter, eggs, cheddar cheese, mayo, small frozen pizzas, fish sticks, 2 packs of chicken breasts). We'll add the rest (salad dressing, other condiments, frozen veggies, other cheeses, etc) a few at a time over the coming weeks until we're back full again. I think we will single-handedly keep Kroger in the black this month.

Currently feeling: tired of groceries


  1. Maybe you should have just got the new fridge. It might have been cheaper without losing all that food and a new one is bound to be more energy efficient. :) oh well, glad the old one was fixable.

  2. Ugh! How frustrating and what a PITA. Hope all stays back to "normal" for you now.

  3. Definitely a PITA! Sorry you had to deal with that. Hope the repair lasts until you are ready to replace this time!


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