Here is a handy chart of appliance lifetime expectancy. if your appliance is older than the age posted, start saving up for a new one or expecting breakdowns. According to consumeraffairs.com, "Consumer Reports' expert advice for products that need professional repair is to toss any for which you paid less than $150, and to nix any repair that costs more than half the price of a new product. It doesn't make economic sense to repair off-warranty toasters, countertop microwave ovens, cordless phones, CD players, VCRs, inkjet printers, and conventional TV sets under 30 inches. Many such products aren't even serviceable."
I've been home schooling my children for over 20 years - just one left! I enjoy needlework, Scotland, flower gardening (but I wish someone else would dig out the bermudagrass for me) & learning new things.