Na Na pinches her pennies

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Power outage

Last weekend I was setting at the computer after I had just finished typing a post but hadn’t proofread it yet.  I decided to take a  break before proofreading.  I fixed lunch and ate before getting back on the internet.  As I was preparing to answer a comment from Cath I hear a faint pop and the computer goes dark.  Aww, ghee whiz.  What is it this time?  Its not a neighborhood power outage because the hall light works and so does the kitchen light.

Well that means it must be a circuit breaker.  Yep, one of them has tripped.  I try to push the button to reset it but it won’t reset.  I tried several times.  Nope, it won’t reset.  Hmm, maybe I over loaded the circuit when I plugged up the new space heater.  I unplug it but I still can’t reset the breaker.  Must be that the breaker has gone bad.  They do that even though it doesn’t happen very often.

I guess this means its time for a call to the electrician.  Do I have enough money for a repairman? Before I can set up an appointment I need to be sure I have enough money to pay.  How much is their fee?  Only one way to find out and that is to call to ask.  I look in the phone book for someone with a nearby address and pick up the phone to call.   Arrr, no phone.  The phone is on the same circuit that won’t reset.  So is the computer with internet.

I can’t call anyone and they can’t call me.  But my brother will be here in a couple days to pick me up to chauffer my SIL to her appointments.  We have a pre-arranged routine so its not necessary to call before arriving.  Nothing else I can do until then.  I still have heat and lights in other rooms.  I decided to do some machine quilting.  Dang!  The quilting machine is on the same circuit breaker.

Only thing left that I can do without power is cook or clean.  I decided to do a little of both.  Junk day was coming up which was the time to get rid of larger items.  The love seat that I originally planned to reupholster got tossed.  I was a little sad to see it go but I simply can’t do that kind of work anymore.  I offered it on freecycle but no one wanted it.

I donated a couple dozen fairly new quilting books to the library book sale.  I got rid of the baby bed, the brand new mattress, the baby gate, and several infant toys.  I seriously doubt there will be any more infants staying the night with NaNa from now on.

I was really sad to see that go.  But, time marches on for all of us.  I still have lots to sort and purge.   I decided now would also be a good time to do some canning since the weather is cooler.  I need canned navy beans prepared because I’ll be baking bean pies as Thanksgiving gifts.

So, I canned beans.  Navy beans and Boston style beans.  I use the plain navy in the bean pies.  The Boston style is flavored like baked beans but are not baked before canning.  I had gotten sweet potatoes on sale at .49 cents a pound the week before so I canned ten pints.   I’m hoping they go on sale again this month and I’ll can more.  I eat these often and its so easy.  Open, drain, add a pat of butter, and heat in the microwave.

I had called to set up a Friday appointment with the electrician when I was at my brother’s house.   Friday came, the man took out the old circuit breaker and installed a new one.  Voila!  Power again.  But the phone and internet box needs time to reset itself and I’m about to leave to chauffeur again.  Its later in the evening when I return home and both phone and internet work fine.  Which brings me up to today and this post filling you in on what happened.

However, last night (Friday) at around 1 am I start hearing a beep every few minutes.  Its the beep of a smoke detector signalling its about to go dead.  Every room in this house and also the stairway has “two” smoke detectors.  The person who lived here before me must have had a great fear of fire.  Upstairs has two chain escape ladders too.   By morning I hear not just one beeping but four different ones.  Aw come on now, give me a break!  At about $25 each its going to be expensive to replace.  Hopefully I can find these in bulk purchases at Lowes or Home Depot.

Now to finish proofreading the previous post and get both published.

18 comments on “Power outage

  1. Nini
    November 18, 2018

    Check with your local municipalities or fire hall. Many here in Buffalo give the detectors out for free for low to moderate incomes.

    Like

    • Anita
      November 18, 2018

      Thank you Nini, I did. They give one per household. It was the same ten year kind I had so it was easy to install into the old base already on the ceiling. I put it in the kitchen.

      Like

  2. Marybeth
    November 5, 2018

    Glad you are fully operational again.

    Like

    • Anita
      November 5, 2018

      Thank you Marybeth.

      Like

  3. Tracy
    November 4, 2018

    ‘chop wood, haul water’….loving thoughts and energy to you Anita.

    Like

    • Anita
      November 5, 2018

      Thanks Tracy.

      Like

  4. Margie in Toronto
    November 4, 2018

    It most likely was the new heater but the circuit breaker did it’s job. My old office building was an old building and even though everything had been rewired and was more than up to code we still had issues come the winter. With so many people and computers per floor plugging in space heaters (for those who didn’t have the sense to layer up a bit) always caused a power outage – a whole line of computers and lights would suddenly go dead. The engineers in the building had to constantly explain that you couldn’t have two or three people in a row with space heaters going – it had to be about every third cubicle (but then they of course fought over whose heater got to be turned on) – and it really wasn’t all that cold! They draw a lot of power so try to think about what can be turned on at a different location. Good luck!

    Like

    • Anita
      November 5, 2018

      You are right Margie. It probably was the heater added to everything else electrical on the one line. I’m being more careful about what I have turned on at the same time. I am grateful it did its job.

      Like

  5. Momo
    November 4, 2018

    Maybe try calling your fire department. Sometimes they come out to give tips on preventing fires and give out free fire alarms.

    Like

    • Anita
      November 5, 2018

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll give that a try.

      Like

  6. Linda in NE
    November 3, 2018

    Can’t you just put new batteries in the smoke detectors? Ours uses a nine volt battery.

    Like

    • Anita
      November 3, 2018

      I know the kind of detector your talking about. I had those at my other house. These don’t have replaceable batteries in them. These can’t even be opened. Think of them as disposable smoke detectors. After ten years you throw them out and get new ones.

      Like

  7. Cath young
    November 3, 2018

    So what caused the problem with the circuit breaker? Was it an expensive fix? What do people without that money do when this happens? Was it a dangerous situation?

    I’m glad you are back

    Like

    • Anita
      November 3, 2018

      He charged me $189 for replacing the one breaker. He told me that replacing a whole complete breaker box can run three thousand or more. I’ve had to shuffle my budget quite a bit to pay the fee because I need power to the quilting machine. That’s my income. Anyone who can’t pay when this happens? They do without.

      Actually no, it wasn’t a dangerous situation. Circuit breakers are a safety against electrical fires and/or shocking yourself. If anything goes wrong with any of the outlets the circuit breaker instantly cuts the power. In the old days there were fuses to be replaced but the circuit breakers with a switch was a big improvement. They do go bad the same as any other electrical device although not very often.

      Like

  8. Amy Wilson
    November 3, 2018

    Someone told me smoke alarms “talk” to each other. Did anyone else ever hear about that?

    Like

    • Anita
      November 3, 2018

      Yes, there are some that when it detects smoke it sends a signal to other detectors in the house and they also start the alarm. This is to give occupants a few extra seconds of warning time which could mean saving lives.

      Like

  9. Nancy Lotzer
    November 3, 2018

    Ae the smoke detectors wired in or battery operated? Usually the beeping means that the battery needs to be replaced. It’s usually a 9V battery. If they are wired in – well, I’m really sorry.

    Like

    • Anita
      November 3, 2018

      Yes, the beeping is the indicator the smoke detectors are going bad. No these smoke detectors are not wired but do have special built in batteries that last for ten years. The batteries cannot be replaced. You must replace the whole thing. With a ten year life the price isn’t too bad and if I buy them in multiples of six its even cheaper.

      Like

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This entry was posted on November 3, 2018 by in Canning, CLEANING, DOWNSIZING MY LIFE.

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