I need a break!

1 Jul

I have never liked my electric cook top & wall oven–they came with the house. I’ve often scathingly referred to the oven as an “easy bake oven” because it is under sized and most baking sheets won’t even fit into it. I wasn’t thrilled with an electric cook top either.

With that said, I did have something to cook on. As of today, it won’t work. Lights flicker briefly, then vanish and the burners don’t heat up beyond barely warm. (I can actually lay my palm on them after having one on for 10 minutes on high.) I’d say it’s broke. Not that it ever worked all that well, but it did get hot now and again. (Pancakes were usually either burned or anemic looking, for example.)

I’m not defeated. Camp stoves I have, and can use. After 2 yrs in a travel trailer, I’m the queen of 1 burner meals.

But dang, I’d like a break. We spent $1200 to fix our vehicle today. Couldn’t that stove top have hung in a few more months? I really want to replace the wall oven & cook top with a more economical stove (a stove costs less than either component does) but that means some kitchen renovations have to happen, which we can’t afford right now, even as minimal as we intended. (New vinyl flooring, new paint, removal of 2 cupboard units, installation of gas line, new counter top, and a new faucet) I hadn’t even priced what it would cost us to get about 10′ of gas line & a new dog leg for the stove installed yet!

So, I get to stare at a hated cook top, while cooking on an all-too-familiar camping stove, trying to stay upbeat, and most of all, trying to write–about food, as well as fiction.  It’s hot.  We live in Mississippi and I don’t do well with the heat and humidity combination anymore.  I’m grumpy and short tempered.  I despise the fact that there will be no reprieve from the incessant hum of biting insects and air conditioners for two months now, as our temperatures approach the triple digit level.

Sure, I could leave the South and move somewhere with a climate that was more agreeable, but I also have a husband. I also want to keep that husband!  He does not want to deal with snow ever again, and while shoveling it is something neither of us can do anymore, trying to convince him that there are places that get very little snow and that it doesn’t stick around long enough to need to be shoveled is proving difficult.  It would also mean leaving our daughter and granddaughter behind to the merciless heat, abandoned to their own devices.

Okay, so that’s a bit of melodrama there.  But, Grandmas tend to get melodramatic about their grandchildren.  I only have the one, so I get to go absolutely gaga over her!  We live an hour away, and I’d rather she lived closer instead of further away anyhow.

So there’s the bait.  I stay, even though July and August mean I’m largely housebound.  Early morning, while cool on the desert, simply is slightly less hot but full of biting bugs here.  My perfume of choice? Repel!  Yep, I’m adapting.  Not sure what the husband thinks of that as my favorite perfume though.

So, I’m looking at scrimping and saving for however long, to accumulate enough money to buy a stove, along with the rest of the work that has to be done to allow the installation of said stove.   While I could just spend enough money to buy that stove on just the cook top, it would still have to be installed.  I already have 30+ year old countertops that are wavy and peeling–installing a new cooktop into THAT is silly.  We can install inexpensive counter tops for a couple of hundred dollars.

I could give up the idea of a gas stove too, and just use the wiring that is in place to install  a new electric stove.  That would be an “easy” fix on the expense of the gas line (we already have gas in the kitchen, just not to the stove)  but, we still have to take out at least one section of cupboard to install a stove, which means we have to put in new flooring and counter tops.  When we’re doing that much work, we may as well get rid of that hated easy bake oven too, right?

So that leaves us just needing to paint and replace the kitchen faucet.  (Sink is fine, if I can’t have the style I want due to budget concerns)  That’s the cheap part, actually–I am certain we can do both for under $200.

I don’t want to replace the cupboards–they are vintage wood, and mostly in very good condition.  There is some damage from a wheel chair to the lower cabinet doors, but that can be refinished and will vanish.  The handles, which were replaced in the 70s from the looks of them, need to go away.  I’d like to replace them with some sleek brushed metal ones, another inexpensive weekend project.

Sounds easy and inexpensive, right?


Murphy and his laws have been plaguing us for ages now.  Just when we think we have spotted a light at the end of the tunnel, something will jerk the rug out from under our feet and skid us backwards again. Things like $1200 mechanic’s bills.  Greg’s heart attack. Oh, the transmission.  Breaking equipment.

I just wish Murphy and his assorted laws would simply go on vacation, relocate, or find somewhere more interesting than our house.


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