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When my mom’s at home during the day, she will open her front door, but leave the (glass) storm door locked, so she can see who is at the door.  Tuesday morning I stopped by to see about something and when I pulled up into the driveway, I saw her front door was open, so I knew she was home.  I plonged on the door bell, and waited for her to come to the door . . . and waited.  Rang the door bell again.  Stood there and waited some more.  By now I’m becoming concerned.  She has a garage door opener that requires a remote unit to open it, but it can also be opened using a key.  I have a key so that I can get into the house when the front door is locked and the storm door is latched from the inside,  so I let myself in through the garage — and there she was, pottering about the den.  Told her I had rung the doorbell several times, but she hadn’t heard it.  I went to the front door and tested the doorbell and immediately discovered why she hadn’t heard it.  When you pressed the button, nothing happened.

She has one of those wireless doorbells with the ringer unit that plugs into a wall outlet.  The button lit up when it was pressed, but it wasn’t making the chimes chime.  She assured me no batteries were involved, so it couldn’t be that.  (There had to be a battery in the button unit, since the button lit up when you pressed it, but I wasn’t going to argue.*)  This particular model had two chimes units, so she had one plugged into an electrical outlet in the den, and the second one plugged into an outlet in the back bedroom so she could hear it when she was back in the back part of the house. She had had that doorbell long enough that my dad was the one who had put it in, so figure at least 15 years and probably longer.  I figured it was probably just worn out and needed to be replaced.  I went on line to see where we could go to a store here in town and get one, and Home Depot had them.

We hopped into my car and went tootling down to Home Depot, but the only models they had on the shelf all just had the one chimes unit.  I had been wanting one myself, as in order to get the (mechanical) doorbell on my apartment door to ring, you practically have to hit it with a hammer, so we got two, paid for them, and tootled back home.

We opened hers up, plugged the chimes unit into an outlet in the kitchen, and pushed the button to test it.  Nothing happened.  I knew the button unit had a battery, and it was entirely possible that the unit had been sitting in the warehouse long enough that the battery was dead, so I took the battery out, and took the battery out of the button unit of her old one, and went up to the Battery Joe store that was just up the way and got new batteries.  Put the new battery in the button unit of the old doorbell, tried it, and nothing happened.  Put the new battery in the new button unit, tried it —  and nothing happened.

I took both new doorbells (one of which was still unopened) and the receipt back to Home Depot and told the greeter that we had purchased them not an hour ago, and we couldn’t get the one to work.  She called the “electrical guy,” I met him at the service desk, he played with it for a good 10 minutes and he couldn’t get it to work either.  He opened the other new one, and it worked fine.  He went and got another of the same kind, opened it, tried it, and it worked fine.  Evidently that one had been defective.

Back I go to mom’s house, pry off the face of the old button unit so I could take it off and found out that instead of using screws to affix the base plate to the door frame, my dad had nailed it.  However, the new button unit fit onto the old button unit’s base plate just perfectly, so that was no problem.  Now we have to test it.  We turn the volume up on the chimes unit as high as it will go and I go push the doorbell.  My mom has trouble hearing it while she’s standing in the same room with it.  When she’s in the computer room, she can’t hear it at all.  So I get on the interwebs and discover that we can buy a second “extender” chimes unit for that brand of door bell from Home Depot on line and get free shipping if it ships to the store.  If it ships to her house, she’ll have to pay $6 shipping.  She says it’s too much trouble for her to go get it at the store, so we pay the shipping charge to have it shipped to her house. It should be here late next week.

So, now that we’ve got her doorbell sorted I go home with my new door bell.  The button unit comes with a pair of screws, but it also comes with a piece of that “heavy duty” double sided sticky stuff  so you can stick it to the door.  I stick the button unit to my door, and tape a little sign under it “Please use this doorbell” with an arrow pointing to it.  Now I discover that I have a problem with the doorbell, too, but the problem I have with it is finding an empty plug to plug the chimes unit in!  My apartment was built in the 1960’s and only has, at most, one electrical outlet per wall.  Also,  the living room has no ceiling light, so the upper plug in those three outlets are wired in such a way that you can turn lamps on using the light switch. . . which means, if that light switch is off, those plugs don’t work. I went ahead and ordered an “extender” chimes unit for myself as well, as I had to plug the chimes unit into an outlet in the dining area and I’m concerned about being able to hear it when I’mback in the bedroom at my computer with my ear buds in listening to music (like right now).

2015_06_17-01In other news, I’ve not only finished the little “parfait pink” baby dress, but I’ve also finished a pair of booties to go with it.  I’m using the basic two at a time toe-up sock pattern I’ve posted on my knitting blog, with a “cuff ruffle” added based on the stitch pattern of the dress skirt.  I need to add the pattern for the cuff ruffle to the dress pattern.  I’ve got a bonnet pattern, which is where I got the stitch pattern for the dress skirt, but I’m trying to modify it to put a brim on it to make it a sun bonnet.  I’ve made a couple of attempts, but so far, no luck.  I find patterns for all kinds of baby hats — except sun bonnets.

Today, the black kitty got his rabies vaccine and the other vaccines the pet hotel requires. This is the first time he’s ridden in the new car, and he was not happy about it.  He was rather vocal all the way to the vet’s, but rather subdued on his way home.  When I took him for his shots last year, he weighed 16.6 pounds/7.53 kg.  This time, he weight 15 pounds/6.8 kg, so he’s lost a whole 1.6 pounds/0.73 kg, which is great.  He will be 8 years old this fall, and the vet said his teeth were beautiful, his ears were clean and that spot on the iris of his left eye that we are watching has not changed.  His coat is silky and he seems perfectly healthy, except he’s — shall we say — a bit of a butterball. The Petsmart PetHotel has a form that must be filled out, which I can print off their website and fill out ahead of time, and now I have the receipt the vet printed for me showing his vaccinations are up to date.  That’s all the paperwork he’ll need.  He will be the only one of my cats who has ever gone to a “hotel.” I’ve always had people come to my house to take care of them, so even when they were by themselves much of the day, they had each other for companionship.  But now that I’ve just got the one, it would be unkind to leave him here by himself.  Even though taking him to the pet hotel will mean he will be in a strange place, there will be things going on around him all day and he will not be all by himself.

*She was also sure that the button had electrical wires to it from inside the house, but I knew that wasn’t true either — They’re called “wireless” doorbells because they aren’t connected to the house’s electrical wiring. That’s their major selling point — You stick the button on or beside the front door, plug the chimes unit into a wall outlet et voilà!