Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Cool Down...Period

When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce. -Sun Tzu

After calling for a cooling down period—literally—the refrigerator war finally is over and, although our new relationship started tenuously and is still fragile, I am ignoring its chilling looks and focusing on the exchange of cold foods that was the point of the war. I appreciate its beauty, how it blends in with the other appliances, and how seems to be fitting in well now, as I am sighing in relief and thanking God it is over.

I had to cancel my daughter's piano lesson and not go grocery shopping yesterday because yesterday afternoon was the soonest we could get the new non-working refrigerator swapped out for one that looked exactly like it. Once everything was hooked up, I heard the very quiet hum just like the last one. I pace in front of it hoping it will cool like it is supposed to do...and, yes, I did place my refrigerator/freezer thermometer inside, despite the warning I was given to not do that. I am still rolling my eyes over that one!

Within a few minutes the gauge read about a degree or two lower. Yay! About an hour later it was in the low 50's and still going down. At around 8:30 p.m. I began moving all the things in the coolers into the refrigerator. I found that one item had not been as sealed as it should have been and had gotten knocked over one of the times we got in it, so broth had leaked on a few things and sat on the bottom.

I do not have everything arranged the way I want it yet, but at least everything is staying cool now!

Midnight, our outside cat who seems to want to be an inside cat whenever she wants to be, was particularly interested in the refrigerator swap as the front door was open, I picked her up and held her to keep her out of the way. Unfortunately, Midnight did not let me know that she had urushiol from poison ivy on the her fur on her right side. How do I know where it was on her, you may ask? Well, she likes to perch herself to look over my shoulder and she usually prefers my left shoulder, but I also had her on my right side and I have three spots between my shoulder neck on that side and only there. It is even more ironic that I was telling one of the delivery men, who is a cat lover, that she tends to give me poison ivy.

I had been looking for my poison ivy homeopathic for the last two weeks thinking I needed to start taking it to avoid the problem starting in February every year, but I just was not looking in the right places. This morning it had a higher priority and I found it.  I will be taking it daily until fall when poison ivy dies back.

I am not in the mood to get into another war, especially not with poison ivy. I would like to have some peace for a little while at least.

My Lord, thank you for reminding me how blessed I am, how the things I take for granted every day are things about which people for centuries did not even know was possible and would have seemed miraculous...and some people in the world still do not have. Help me to be grateful for each moment an appliance works as it is suppose to do so that my life is easier.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Heating Up the Cold War

God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.
-Vance Havner

It is with a heavy heart that I find myself dragged into yet another Refrigerator War. You may remember The Refrigerator War that started in November 2016 and we ordered a new one in the same month, Fire and Ice and Colds and Rain. Once I got it completely defrosted, it seemed to be working. After we waffled back and forth on getting a new one, we decided to cancel the order because the old refrigerator seemed to be working. Actually, the old one really was working at keeping things cool, but it was no longer defrosting automatically as it should, which meant ice would build up on the coils and eventually there would be no air flow. I soon learned that every two weeks I would have to pull out the few items we had in the freezer to be placed in the freezers downstairs and turn off the refrigerator with the freezer door open to allow for the ice to melt overnight. It was not difficult to do, just one more thing I had to remember to do and it would not be too convenient when we have so much we have to do in Florida with preparing my mother-in-law's house to be sold.

We decided, again, to just buy a new one and we were waiting for the Presidents Day sales hoping our favored model would go on sale. It did not. Thinking that we may be moving ourselves in a year or two, we decided to upgrade our choice to one of those fancy-schamcy types with the water and ice dispenser on the outside of the door and a cool touch pad to adjust settings on the door also. The one we wanted previous was $190 less than list price with the setting panel inside and the upgrade was $700 less than list price and just $290 more.

So this time we were determined to go through with it!

You know, I always hope for the very best, but I expect the worse...and I really hate it when I am not surprised!

We decided to have the delivery on Saturday when my husband would be home. Saturday deliveries always worry me a bit because if something goes wrong, there is no service on Sunday, but I still hoped for the best.

The delivery was to be between 8 and 12 in the morning. At 11:15, I was calling to find out when the delivery might be, because my husband traded working in the afternoon that day for Friday off so he could go to Florida and settle some of his mother's accounts. I finally get an answer that the delivery guys had trouble with directions and were running 45 minutes late, but were at the stop before us at that time. Now I am thinking, if I were running that late, the last person on list is probably going to be outside of the delivery time and I should call.

The guy did call to see if we would still accept the delivery, which we did. We quickly moved everything in the refrigerator into two coolers and were done before they arrived. The fellows were very nice. We allowed their battery-dead phone to charge, which is why they had problems with directions and calling us.

Okay, I get it. I am lost without my phone also.

They did a great job of getting the old refrigerator out. I cleaned the floor while they prepared to bring the new one in.

So, the refrigerator is in, hooked up to water and electricity. Lights are on and the very quiet hum of the compressor. All looks good, shiny and pretty. I signed for the delivery and they left. My husband left for work. My daughter and I watched a show while we ate a late lunch.

We were told it would take about 24 hours for the refrigerator to level out the temperature and I checked it after about two hours. There was no difference in the temperature since it was brought in, so reads my refrigerator/freezer temperature gauge. That did not particularly concern me as I understand it takes time to cool down, but what did concern me is that there was no air flow. Now I had been dealing with a refrigerator that would ice up and not allow air to flow so I know that the new frig is not going to cool without air flow! I call the manufacturer's customer service to ask when I should expect the fan to blow the cool air into the refrigerator and freezer compartments or if the fans automatically turn off when the door is open. She simply tells me that I just had it delivered and it takes 24 hours for it to level out the temperature. I ask again saying that it will not cool of there is no air flow and I am told the same thing again.

So, now I feel like I am over-reacting, but still it just does not feel right to me, and wait a couple more hours. Same-same.

Then I call the place where we bought it. We tried a few things to be sure it was not in demo mode, which means all the lights work but not the refrigeration. Still the same.

Knowing we are not going to get this resolved at least until Monday and even then it will be at least another day or two to swap it out, now I am rather upset. We eat mostly raw, fresh foods (our pets too) and coolers are not regulated well enough for them to keep well, plus it is really inconvenient to try to find food in them, especially when we packed them quickly thinking they would only be in them a few hours.

My husband calls and asks how things are going....way wrong thing to ask the woman who is now becoming unglued!

The soonest they can possibly swap it out is Tuesday, my errand day. I say that I need to be the first delivery and I am told they cannot promise that, probably because they contract the delivery, but I am thinking they can request it considering the circumstances.

Last night, being that my husband and I were both spent, we ordered pizza and had the last of the greens for a salad. We are living out of coolers until the refrigerator is replaced.

I wake up quite early this beautiful Sunday morning to check on the new refrigerator, hoping it just magically started working. I find my husband reading through the manual. Apparently, there has been no change and I go back to bed. I wake up a little later to find my husband sleeping soundly.

I call the manufacturer again because I am not pleased with the fact that I was not listened to about it not working. I get a man, who during the conversation, says that they tell customers not to place refrigerator/freezer thermometers in their refrigerators because the temperatures fluctuate and they think it is not...

Oh, no! You don't go there with me!

I cut him off right there. "Sir, please understand that I am not upset about the refrigerator being set at 37°F and it goes up to 44°F after I open the door, which is normal. I am saying that the inside temperature was 60°F when it was delivered 20 hours ago and now it is 68°F."

I am not calling for them to fix it, I am calling to complain that I was not taken seriously when I called the first time. Had the lady told me that it did not sound like it was working right at that time, I might have been able to have something done—most likely not but I did not even have the possibility because I was not taken seriously. I asked about when the fans come on. I asked if they shut off when the doors are open. I asked questions that she did not answer and that he could not answer either, which I found to be highly frustrating as it was not in the manual.

So, as I am writing this, my husband took off the back panels and gave it a look over. He thinks the compressor is not working correctly, because the one tube going to the compressor should be hot and it is barely warm and the other should be cold but is barely cool. Since he fixes machines for a living, I am trusting he is right.

Anyway, we will be living out of coolers for the next few days. We are promised to be reimbursed somehow although that is vague.

This is why we are always hesitant to buy new things. If anyone is going to get that one that does not work quite right, even brand new out-of-the-box, it will be us. We tend to buy refurbished computers for this reason. Each one has specifically been tested to be sure it works as it should.

My Lord, I suppose there is good in this somewhere, somehow. Help me to see it.