4.23.2014

Living the Cooler Life

Our refrigerator started making a really loud humming noise on Saturday morning. My 8 year old has since described it to his father as sounding like a lawnmower. I started to dismiss his description until our 10 year old said she didn’t think that was a bad description. Then I started wondering if I’m deafer than I realized.

It was hard to not notice the lawnmower sound in the middle of the kitchen. I did what every other normal grown adult would do in that situation. I turned that puppy off and on and when it stopped making the noise called it a victory and ate breakfast. Then I went for a walk. 
Pretty sure the freezer and fridge aren't supposed to be the same temperature.  Not a good sign.
When I got back, the noise had returned. So I did what any normal grown adult would do in that situation. I yanked that puppy out from the wall and unplugged it for awhile. In my head, the fridge just needed a little rest before it got back to work. When I plugged it back in, no noise again. I called it a victory and took my kids to see the new Muppet movie. When we got back, the fridge was giving me an error message and was clearly nowhere near as cold as it should be. 
You know you are in trouble when the temperature readings have become letters instead of numbers.

My husband was out town. This is unfortunate. Mainly because I know next to nothing about appliances let alone how to fix problems with appliances. Therefore, I was forced to consult Google. Much like googling random medical issues will lead you think you are dying, my googling mostly had me convinced we’d be shopping for a new fridge soon. But I did detour onto a few pages that claimed the back of my fridge might just have a lot of dust and crap in it. So there went an hour of my life dragging a shop vac in the house and climbing behind the fridge to blow dust all over my clean kitchen floor. Google is a lying whore and that did not magically fix what was clearly a more serious issue.

Sadly, by this time it was 4:30 in the afternoon and it was Easter weekend. No one but me was going to care about that refrigerator until Monday. Cue the coolers.

We have a giant freezer which came in super handy for shoving crap in. Obviously the whole freezer section of our fridge got shoved in there. But for that matter so did plenty of stuff from the fridge section, too. I went through the fridge doing an actual “can I freeze it?” assessment. As an example, my assessment determined Lunchables might turn out okay in the freezer. Turns out, I was right. Toss that thing in your kid’s lunch and it’s just the right temperature by lunch. My 8 year old would like you to know his ham slices were a little colder than he would prefer. I would like you to know he eats lunch early and no one cares about his ham temperature preferences anyway. It wasn’t frozen and the crackers were absolutely fine. Work with me here.

I’ve discovered that my household is clearly addicted to condiments. The majority of what I had to shove into the coolers were condiments. Why one household needs 7 bottles of salad dressing is beyond me. My husband’s pickle and mustard collection was also impressive.

At one point we were operating two large coolers and one small one. It was beautiful. That’s if beautiful means super annoying because daily ice runs are annoying. Monday I took the small cooler to work with me. Instead of filling it with ice again, I just shoved it all in the fridge at work and then brought it home with me again that night. Someone mentioned at work that a half drunk gallon of milk was odd to find on Monday morning. I told them to stop judging me. My husband brought home a smaller fridge he had at his desk at work. It was like a gift from heaven. That’s if a gift from heaven makes you feel like you are living in a dorm in college again. But we have successfully shoved a whole lot of stuff in that little fridge and it’s awesome. We’re down to one large cooler only and the fridge. Important stuff goes in the fridge. Less important no one will die if it goes bad stuff goes in the cooler. That means the butter for my morning toast is in the fridge and the fleet of salad dressing is in the cooler.

The current set up.  I'd post a photo of the 3 cooler set up but I was too busy freaking the hell out at the time.  And , yes, the set up includes putting the cooler up on a chair.  Less bending and stooping while you dig through the ice.  If you were living the cooler life you'd understand that was a popular innovation we came up with.
Every meal since has been something out of that fridge to empty it as much as possible. Leftovers were the first to go. Scrambled eggs for breakfast. Pizza to use up the dough and half empty sauce jar even though we only just finished eating the leftovers from the last time we made it. I do not care if anyone is tired of scrambled eggs. Eggs were on sale at the grocery store three weeks ago and we stocked up. That’s the cooler life. The cooler life also includes shoving egg cartons made of cardboard into the cooler only to have the ice melt and get the carton wet and then the carton slowly starts to disintegrate. Then you find yourself with little bits of egg carton on your salad dressing as you make everyone start every meal with salad to move the lettuce along.
Monday we finally got the call about fixing our fridge. Too bad the call was to let us know they’d be coming Tuesday between 8 and 12. Too bad my mother who was supposed to open the door for the repair guy suddenly announced the next morning that she had a doctor’s appointment at 10. Naturally, that meant the repair guy was at our door at 10 on the dot. No heads up phone call to let us know he was on his way so we could meet him.

While standing on our front porch, they called my husband to make him aware of the situation. He immediately had visions of extended cooler life in his head and told them he was jumping in his car and don’t leave. He said he’d be there in 15 minutes. Apparently, the repair guy didn’t care and left shortly thereafter. So then my husband had nightmares of extended cooler life in his head and called the company and convinced them to send the repair guy back. Except then he didn’t come back so apparently he’s a big fat liar. So then my husband called again and it’s for the best there were no small children in the vicinity for that phone call because odds are there was cursing involved when they told my husband the repair guy couldn’t come back.

My mother called me at 11:30 on her way back from the doctor. She asked what the status of the fridge repair was. I told her the guy was there at 10. She was delighted and asked if it’s working now. I told her the repair guy decided not to break and enter into our house and left since no one was there.

We are rescheduled but have to wait another two days. In the meantime, my hacked off husband called someone else and they are coming today. My hacked off husband also let me know that he’s prepared to not cancel the rescheduled appointment and will just let that repair guy ring our doorbell for 10 minutes again. I guess that’s repair service karma. The goody goody in my soul is pained by even the idea. But the goody goody in my soul is also confused about when it became acceptable to issue an 8 to 12 window and not provide a courtesy heads up phone call to tell you they are on their way.

Some guys at work have been doing some fad diet they read about online that involved counting carbs. They’ve been trying to get me to do it, too. I was forced to explain to them Monday morning that I’m living the cooler life currently and that I’m not prepared to do any food related branching out right now. Cooking out of coolers is enough work. Every ingredient requires digging through ice to locate it. Not to mention you have to be able to locate stuff based on the top of the container not the side and everything seems to look alike. It’s like a fun scavenger hunt that’s light on the fun but heavy on the scavenger. Not to mention, pretty sure “counting carbs” is diet code for “limiting your carbs” which is code for “less carbs entering my body” which is code for “crabby as hell.”

The cooler life is not intended to be carb less. It’s also not for the faint of heart.

1 comment:

Desiree - Finding the Skinny Geek Within said...

Ouch feel your pain. We had to replace our fridge last summer, right around the time that our A/C went on the fritz. It wasn't pretty. Hopefully yours can be repaired and you won't have to get a new one!

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