Well, the good news is that my Heat Pump is scheduled to be fixed tomorrow morning. The repair company called me this morning. They got their supplier to provide the part for free, they are doing the labor for free, I will pay for the replacement coolant ($200).
I accepted. They could have given me a bunch of technical runaround "proving" none of it was their fault, but they didn't. And I get the 1st appointment of the day, so I won't have to sit around waiting in a 4-hour window.
It will be good to having the heat pump working properly again (possibly for the 1st time ever). My electric company sends me monthly reports showing that my Winter electrical usage is 3x the average of my neighbors (Summer is close). And I have been extraordinarily fortunate that the outside temperature has been unusually moderate (highs of 70 and lows of 55 for almost 2 weeks while the system was completely off). I'm a real warm-bodied person and don't sleep well above 70.
I'm patiently waiting for the bathtub tile replacement. The entire tile surround and backerboard will be replaced, as well as the faucet and temperature valve, the showerhead, soap dish, towelrack, and the tub itself. I guess for a cheaply built "starter house", 30 years was long enough before some repairs were needed.
I was encouraged when the remodeler said not to use the tub before the replacement work (2 weeks hence) so that they could better tell if any moisture on the studs behind the walls was just dampness from the leaks or actual damaged.
I know that its routine for bathroom remodelers to go for increases to the work required claiming unseen stud damage or mold. That the remodeler seems to be trying to make sure any such signs of moisture are real is probably why they have an "A" rating on Angie's List.
The aggravation is that they say the work will take 10 days. I have a showerstall in a half bath to use, but I don't like it much. And I'm not thrilled about having to be available for workers here 4 or 5 days (it takes 10 days, but they won't be here every day - some things need time to "set"). But after a year of increasingly worsening tiles problems it will be worth it.
My knee (twisted on April 5th) is still not normal again, but I can walk straight-forward almost as usual. I still feel it on stairs and getting into bed. I've missed the whole Spring on yardwork, though and the weeds are taking over. I'll be busy when I can dig again!