#88 - Fix something instead of buying a new one...check!

Remember that list thing?  I am 222 days into the thing, which means at a pace of one task every ten days, I should have completed 22 tasks by now.  And here I am crossing off my twenty-third.  Not too shabby, if I might say so myself.

This week promises to be a productive one on the list front.  At least, I hope it will be!  The first task I get to cross off is #88 ~ Fix something instead of buying a new one.

I put this on the list because we have a disposable mentality, not just me, not just my household, but our culture.  I'm pretty sure this is our generation's fault.  My dad is a fixer, rigger, and make-it-work kind of dude.  My grandfather was the same way.  My boss tells the story about his father who kept three non-working washing machines on their back porch in case the working one quit, he could just walk out back and snatch a part off.  There are lots of reasons we don't think this way anymore.  Partially, we think it's not worth the time or money to fix something, especially when we can just buy a new one for a few more dollars.  Mostly though, I think we're lazy.  It's easier not to fix things.  End of story.

We got some new neighbors earlier this year.  They live across the street and they seem to be busy bees out in the yard, sprucing it up.  They're always trimming, clipping, mowing, and planting something.  This may have been what gave me a complex about our yard that prompted the big mulch adventure a few weeks back.   Although, if I were going to have a complex about inferior yards because of neighbors, I'd already have it.  The man on the corner has always kept his yard pristine.  (How does he do that?!)  Fine, I admit it.  I covet his grass that could double as carpet and his eternally pine-poofed flower beds. 

Between the always pristine corner yard and ambitiously trimming new neighbors, I turned to my house and decided it was time to trim the hedges.  This is no small task, as the previous owners spared no expense filling the flowerbeds with abounding amounts of needs-to-be trimmed flora.  No worries, though!  When Sam and I got married, my dad donated lots of tools to help get us started.  One of these tools was a set of power hedge trimmers that had, until recently, been nestled in a cob-webby corner of our garage inside a box of miscellaneous other previously-unused items.  Nevertheless, I remembered they were there and, by golly, I was finally going to use them!

I found our ginormous extension cord on a spool, plugged the puppy in, and pulled the trigger!

They did nothing....unless you count that grunting sound.

The things were completely and totally seized up with rust.

You know what my first thought was?  "Guess I need to get to Lowe's and buy a new hedge trimmer...'sigh'"  Sad but true.

Then I realized.  It's just rust.  Surely a little rust doesn't render something eternally useless, does it?  A discussion with Mr. Fix-it (aka my dad) confirmed that this was no job some Liquid Wrench or WD-40 couldn't fix.  A disassembly, a few sprays of WD-40, and no more than 10 minutes later, that things was fired up and ready to go.

It would sit in the garage for several more weeks as wasps, high-temperatures, and that thing known as "life" got in the way for that long.  Then on a whim, my wonderful husband decided to give me yet another Mother's Day present.  On Sunday night, he pruned our entire front yard with the trimmers.  Did it matter that he ran out of daylight?  Not to Sam!  He finished the whole thing up with nary a stinging pest or high temperatures causing even the slightest hindrance.

I like to think I made it all possible...because I fixed the trimmers...instead of buying new ones.  (I'm not sure Sam sees it this way.)

And with that, #88, consider yourself checked!


Diane said...

Jennie - sorry for the nerdy comment (in advance)! WD-40 is mostly alcohol-based, and is a temporary lubricant - basically it dissolves whatever is already there. Check your owner's manual (or online, if you don't have it) because your fix is temporary. The rust will come back if you don't have a good lubricant.

Disclaimer: I spent two years as the fluids and lubricants engineer for GM, and I loathe WD-40.

Diane said...

and nerdy comment aside - well done for fixing them! and same to Sam for using them!

Jennie said...

Hahaha! I love it. We'll be sure to consider that when we use them again in another seven years.

Is Liquid Wrench the same thing? I don't even know what that is.

I'm certain that the rust will come back...good lubricant or not. The humidity here is of the tropical caliber. Metal machinery does not like living in Georgia.

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