When I moved out of the dorms and into an apartment (really the lower level of a two-story house) after my freshman year in college, we had the Laundry Conundrum. The landlord had a set of inoperative coin-op machines in the basement, and his comment on the topic was he could fix them and we could not bring in our own later, or we could just bring in our own but the inoperative set stayed put. Not wanting to rely on either questionable coin-op machines or our landlord, my roommate and I picked up a used set for $400 from another student who was graduating and moving on.
That was in 1998, probably around May or June. Those machines lasted through three years of college, a cross-country move, and another (almost) eleven years of service to Chris and I (and our pets), before the washing machine finally bit the dust on Saturday morning when the agitator stopped working. I can't say that I'm overly upset about it, as I've been swearing at the damn things to DIE ALREADY for about four years now - I've really wanted to upgrade to nicer front-loading HE machines, but I couldn't bring myself to replace perfectly fine working machines. So as part of our errands on Saturday (which also involved getting the Subaru detailed with a Groupon about to expire and de-winterizing the RV trailer), we stopped by Sears and ordered a new set for delivery on Sunday.
Chris didn't really have much of an opinion once I told him there was no way I was getting bargain basement bottom-of-the-line machines again, so I picked out the Kenmore Elite HE set that is the current top-of-the-line. The prices between the three "tiers" were within $300 of each other per machine, and the middle tier was actually more expensive because it was just updated, so we went ahead and got the nicer ones which were a bit cheaper. I drew a line at paying an extra $130 per machine to have it them in muddy silver (not even a pretty bright sparkly silver, or a nice rich color) instead of plain white. They have pretty blue LEDs on the front, they chirp cheerfully when powered on or done with their cycle, and there are so many choices for adjusting cycle type that it's ridiculous. The dryer has an insertable rack for drying shoes or sweaters, both machines have steam options for sanitization or refresh, and the capacity is huge. The machines have already gotten use with washing sheets and one of the dog beds, and so far so good. Hopefully they will last us for another 14 years, and by then maybe the new ones will simply live in my closet or dresser and clean things that are put in without any additional effort on my part. That would be awesome.
Last Thursday (March 15) was the cats' 11th birthday - we got them as kittens when we moved out here in June of 2001, when they were three months old. I had to throw out all of the bedding in their room a few weeks ago thanks to another infestation of those damn bugs (at least those haven't reappeared in the dog room yet, thankfully), so on Saturday I picked up some replacement beds. Onyx approves of the pyramid bed for sure, she's barely moved out of it since I brought into the room except when she fell off the top of the wardrobe in it. After that little incident she sulked in the cat carrier (which has a nice new purr pad in it) for a few hours before trying the pyramid bed again. I should probably put up some nonskid material to help keep it in place on top of the wardrobe, before she's scarred for life.
Today is March 19th, and last night it was snowing at our house. This morning the snow was still on the ground, there was some on the road, and the news was full of accidents on the highways and side streets due to the icy conditions. I'm getting really tired of this - there's record warmth on the east coast (it's been in the 80s where my mom lives), and we're currently running 10F-15F below normal. And then it snows or ices, which adds insult to injury as then I have to drive the truck to work instead of riding my motorcycle, which is a giant pain in the ass - I don't even get the benefit of going out at lunch, because if I move the truck then someone will take my spot before I get back, and the truck can only fit in half of the first floor due to the height. Bah. Hopefully the La Nina pattern that's been keeping us in this cold and nasty pattern for the last 18 months or so will clear out in the next few weeks like the weather blogs say it will...if I don't get a summer this year, I'm not responsible for any actions I take the following winter!