We've had several big ticket items break down recently. Luckily we've been able to make do with what we have, which will give us time to come up with a plan to repair/replace these items. Here's what we've got so far...
Upstairs computer-the motherboard is out on it. This is our business (financial) and personal computer. The downstairs computer (which I'm on now) is in the daycare and is used for kids games primarily. A few months ago, we got it hooked up to the internet so I can check mail, update my blog and frequent my favorite forums during naptime. I'm very thankful for that. Anyway, a family member of one of Hubby's co-workers has the computer and is attempting to retrieve the contents of the hard drive (please pray that is successful, otherwise I have a lot of work to redo and I've lost all of the pictures I've taken in the past 5 years!). We are looking into buying a rebuilt laptop and having him put everything from our hard drive on it. Total cost looks like it would be $250-much less than buying either a new motherboard for our current computer or buying a new laptop outright.
Dryer-a bearing is going out and it has this horrible squall (really HORRIBLE). I was going to buy an umbrella clothesline, but discovered in my desperation that hanging clothes on my chain-link fence works really well. So, this last time I bought a clothespin bag from Amazon paid with gift cards from Swagbucks. I have switched my laundry routine to 1-2 loads per day instead of 10 once a week. I put the load in the washer when I go to bed and hang it out when I get up in the morning. By the time the daycare kids go out to play, I can pull it off the line and "fluff" it a bit while we're outside and don't have to listen to the dryer noise. As for the dryer, Hubby says that he's going to lube up the bearing in hopes that will extend its life and if not, we'll buy the extra my parents have for $50.
Dishwasher-for several days last week, the control panel of the dishwasher didn't work at all. I handwashed all of the dishes and used the dishwasher as a giant drying rack. It stunk! Then last Friday, one of the daycare kids ran into it (the reason why is unknown) and now it works again! Woo-hoo! (And the kid is fine.) Those few days led us to the conclusion that this is the one appliance that we cannot do without for very long. With all the from scratch cooking I do, for the number of people I cook for, I typically run 3-4 full loads through it every day. We have talked with several sales people and have found that if we are buying a new dishwasher, there are two routes we could go. First, buy a commercial grade dishwasher for about $1000-wow, that's a lot of money. Second (and the more financially appealing), buy a solid bare bones $200 model and run it until it dies and get 2-3 years out of it. The mid-range models aren't built any stronger than the cheaper ones, they just have more luxury items. Armed with this information, we will be looking on Craigslist and our local Freecycle to see if anyone is getting rid of theirs. If our plan is to run it until it dies, we might as well go for a good used unit for less money. Another factor is that in the near future, I plan to scale back my daycare business significantly, so I won't be using as many dishes, and couldn't justify the smoney spent on a commercial grade appliance.
Crockpot-I busted the handle off of my crockpot lid. Who does that anyway? I had decided to use a meat fork to pry the lid up and lift it off with using a potholder, negating my need to buy a new crockpot. However, when I was complaining to one of my friends about all the stuff that had broken recently, she informed me that she had 6 crockpots and sent her husband over the next day to deliver one of her spares. So now I have a new crockpot! :) Thanks, Sherry!
Crisis averted (on many fronts). We are allotting money in our budget over the next couple of months to cover the cost of a new to us computer and dishwasher. Hopefully Mr. Murphy and his law will leave us alone for a while!