Friday, May 14, 2010

Mother Innovation

Our Seniorville home came with three challenges. To break up the height of the wall, the architect put plant shelves in the entrance hall and along one wall in the living room and dining room. Some homes I have been in have all sorts of fake or real antiques, vases, wooden animals, wire sculptures, and/or artificial plants decorating the shelves. One person has a collection of ticking clocks that ring, chime, ding or dong every hour on the hour. (I took off my hearing aides until I left her home.)

I’ve seen plants and bric-a-brac on high shelves in restaurants, but restaurants have professional cleaning services to climb up and dust. After a year of staring at the empty shelves in my home, I decided to compromise. We put some colorful stuff on the foyer shelves but left the living room and dining area bare. Since I do not intend to dust the sky-high bric-a-brac on a weekly basis, I figured the dust would not be noticeable in the dimly lit foyer. However, since those guests who have had cataract surgery would be able to spot it in the bright light of my dining room, those shelves are dramatically bare.

Another challenge we had to deal with was the A/C filter that some “genius” installed in an 18-foot ceiling. I don’t know of any acrobatic senior who dares or desires to climb up a 12-foot ladder once a month to replace a filter. The first time I saw a ceiling filter was when my brother moved into a Seniorville near me 9 years ago. “How will you change the filter?” Hubby asked, pointing to the sky-high filter.

Big Bro, who never had central air until moving South, replied, “It’s a permanent filter – we paid extra.”

He was not happy when Hubby explained that permanent meant you could hose it down monthly and then put it back up.

Obviously, necessity is the mother of invention because someone invented a sealed filter that can go into the A/C handler even if it is in the garage. You know who bought it as soon as we replaced our 9-year-old A/C a few months ago. Now, instead of doing it ourselves, it will replaced once a year when the A/C is serviced. Cost conscious Hubby quickly informed me it was much cheaper than hiring someone to climb on the ladder to change the filter monthly and even cheaper that the box of filters we used per year.

The third problem acted up today. Our fire alarm started chirping this morning. It is also perched in our 18-foot hard to reach ceiling. If it was up to me, I would yank it out, but Hubby told me if our house burns down, we won’t be insured. Please let me know if this is true – one friend asked how anyone would know since I’m not connected to the fire station but Hubby insists we are connected to something. In the meantime, he is off to the store to buy a 5-year nine-volt battery. It’s expensive, but since the handy man who climbs the ladder to change the battery charges more than the battery, it isn’t that expensive. Since he can’t come until tomorrow afternoon, I am trying to figure out how to shut the stupid “bird” up so I can sleep tonight. I would throw a shoe at it, but unlike a noisy pigeon on a windowsill, it won’t fly away. Instead, I will go to bed with cotton stuffed into my ears and try to become Mother Necessity in my sleep and invent something that will be successful so I can continue to pay for all these new cost saving items.

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