The other day, my poor washing machine started acting funny. Long story short, I called the repairman and he was kind and honest enough to tell me that it may be better to buy a whole new washer than to have him repair it. That's not an expense we were planning on! We've also realized that we have several other things that need to be repaired before things get really bad.
The back of our house needs to be either painted or sided. We determined that we can't really afford to get it sided, so it looks like we'll be painting sometime within the next couple of weeks. Our house is kind of weird. Three of the sides are covered with vinyl siding, the back is covered with aluminum siding, and the family room is painted. Oh, and we'll need to get a pressure washer to help clean off all of the old paint, so we're trying to decide whether it would be better to rent one ($53 for four hours or $75 for 24 hours) or to buy one.
I kind of wonder if they make bamboo siding. That would be a great way to cover our house with a sustainable material, although I'd wonder how we'd finish that kind of siding and what kind of upkeep it would need.
We have two roof leaks. One is over the garage, and when it rains, the water basically pours right through the ceiling into the mud room. The other leak, albeit tiny, is over the family room, around one of the skylights. The family room skylight leak isn't too bad, but is probably going to require the help of a professional roofer...something that we also can't afford right now, so that repair will have to wait. The garage roof, however, will need to be patched, but luckily, we can probably do that ourselves.
Finally, on our list of things we need before this winter: New tires for the Pilot, and snow tires for the new Jetta.
I had an idea...not sure if it was good or bad, but I decided that it was good and went ahead with it anyway. We have a family message board where we post news, pictures, etc... I'm not sure if people use it because I'm practically the only person who ever writes anything on it, but I thought I'd use that forum to send a message to anyone who buys us gifts. My dilemma was that I didn't want people to think that I was asking for things. The point is to tell people what we need, and therefore HOPEFULLY they will refrain from buying us useless crap as gifts. We get a lot of thoughtful but very wasteful gifts. I don't want or need expensive things. I'd rather have reused items or things that we use everyday (cleaning products, food, etc...). Actually, I have decided that when we have kids, I will look for used furniture, and just buy a new crib mattress. Reusing is one of the best ways to reduce waste!!! So anyway, for the upcoming holiday season, if people buy us gifts (keeping in mind that I would prefer if they didn't get us anything at all), I hope that they use our list and just get us stuff that we need.