Friday, November 2, 2012

The Heat is On

Lord of the Rings has a quote for everything.  "You shall not pass," is always a good one.  I've said, "It burns us," more times than I can count.  This morning, "I do not think this darkness will endure," worked perfectly.  I'm sure there were a few people who were thinking I was being all deep and whatnot with the state of the world and America and politics and religion and yadda, yadda, yadda.  Nope.  C'mon y' know I'm not that deep.  Raccoons got in the attic AGAIN last night and jacked up the ceiling fan.  It's pretty darkish in here.  Adam's supposed to fix it this afternoon.  So, no, I do not believe this darkness will endure.  I really should buy a "I'm a dork" t-shirt so they know to see it coming....

You know I never blog unless something goes wrong.  That might not be entirely true really.  Usually by the end something has gone right or else I probably wouldn't be blogging about it. 

It's the simplest things that get me.  Maybe I'm a book smarts person and my common sense is lacking.  As I said last night, I think I'm on some sort of twisted reality show.  They really should clue me in so I can at least get a cut of the profits.

Okay, so our house is old.  Very old.  I'm talking they brought this thing over on the Mayflower or some crap (me, exaggerate?!  NEVAH!!).  We have this huge floor furnace of a deal in the hall that heats the house.  Well, most of the house.  Well, that's not entirely true either.  It heats about 1/3 of the house if we're not counting the basement.  It gets hotter than the gates of Hades and if you step on the metal grate while it's on, you will have a nifty rectangular pattern all up on the bottom of your foot.  Now, I'm not judging the folks who get branded these days.  I hear it's a fad, but this is not even worth it.  After the first or second time, you remember.  Or at least you hope you do. 

Last night it was chilly in here so I decided to turn the heat up just a smidge.  Simple enough really, just adjust the thermostat and ta-da!!  Beautiful heat shall spring forth from the loins of the hunka metal up in the floor.  It's soooo much easier than wood burning!  Not as cheap, but you do what you can with what you got.

Last night I didn't hear the familiar "whoosh" I normally hear when adjusting the thermostat.  Okay.  No biggie, it's either the pilot light or the thing just isn't on.  Maybe it's just not on.  Glance---welllll poop.  Okay.  No biggie. 

For I am woman hear me roar.

Lalala....grab a lighter....lalala...head downstairs....lalala...I'm gonna light this sucker up and be done with it. 

Again, I only blog when something goes wrong.  I know you're not expecting me to say, "And the pilot light was on and everything was peachy and life went on as we know it and all that beautiful stuff."

Ah...and dear reader, I shall not disappoint.

So I'm standing there looking up at the knob I'm supposed to turn to press down for ignition.  First I should tell you I hate pilot lights.  They hate me with ever fiber of their being and I'll be the first to tell ya, the feeling is mutual.  I go to turn the knob.  I normally like to start these jobs cautiously optimistic, but again, this was a pilot light. 

The knob wouldn't turn.  Not left, not right.  It wouldn't push down or pull up.  It was just stuck.  I was halfway afraid of putting too much pressure on it cause I might break it off then we'd have a hecka issue on our hands. 

So I stood there for about 5 minutes putting a little more pressure on it both ways.  It was not moving. 

Sometimes I hate these blogs because they make me sound so stinkin' helpless.  I'm not helpless...Adam's my help.  Teehee....  So I call him up.  Apparently he's been stupid busy all night and I'm in no mood to be on the phone.

He says to turn it clockwise.  In my frustration I can not figure out what the heck he's talking about cause the ding dang thing will not budge.  So I'm like, "Toward the washer or toward the wall."  He's like, "clockwise." 

Mmmkay...clockwise.  The way a clock goes.  Narf.  So I give it a bit more pressure and it turns...finally.  We say our goodbyes, I apologize profusely for being a spaz and we hang up the phone.  So yay.  Now the button will push down and I can get this thing lit.

I hate child proof lighters.  I know they're necessary, but yo, this lighter was not only child proof, it was everyone proof.  It was one of those longer ones that we got just for lighting pilot lights.  You gotta push this thingy back with your thumb then push the trigger.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Dude, I'm telling you, 6 gallons of WD-40 would not have made this thing easier to light.  Well...that might not be entirely true.  That stuff is flammable and the slightest spark would probably light it up with a quickness.

Finally, I got the pilot light lit and I'm holding the knob of a deal down for a few minutes to get the gas flowing.  All the while I'm absolutely convinced something is going to go wrong and I'll go down in a blaze of glory, or in this case, an explosion of glory.  If there is glory in trying to light a pilot light.

I'm not kidding, y'all...  It took 6 tries with that stupid fat lighter making my hand get all crampy.  By this point I just wanna smack it...

With my mind on murder and murder on my mind......  (I use the term murder way too loosely these days...I know....)

So I did.  I smacked it.  Crampy hand, standing in the cold basement, very nearly in tears of frustration...I just hauled off and smacked it.  And dude, I'm telling you, it worked!!  I gave it one more try and it worked! 

"Up, up, up the stairs we go..."

And there it was!  Bursting with glorious heat!  I had beaten the dinosaur with one well placed smack!  They say violence never solves anything.  Pssht.

...and the heat is on...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Catching a Buzz

I love summer.  It's warm and sunshiney, you get to have cook outs, (while sweating like a pig, but not really cause pigs don't actually sweat) go swimming (if it actually rains enough) and generally frolic happily all the livelong day (slathered in sunscreen, of course).  But the one thing I absolutely hate about summer is mowing.  Yeah, I've heard this from me before, but it's important to the story that I reiterate just how much mowing is absolutely no fun. 

There's been a bit of a cool--er snap lately so I thought yesterday morning would be perfect for mowing.  I try to put it off as long as I can.  I know the neighbors probably hate me for it, but somehow I have a hard time being ashamed.  Anyway...I donned my old work Airwalks, turned the iPod up to "earbleed" and started in on the yard. 

In our yard there are many, many hills.  With a push mower, they're small mountains.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I'm literally making a mountain out of a molehill, but yo, did I mention the size of the gas tank on the mower?!  That thing holds more gas than Nathan after a bowl of beans...and trust me...that is gassy (mmhmmm, so gonna catch crap for that one if Nathan reads this).  So I'm basically trying to maneuver this big ol' push mower full of gas around endless Mount Everests while dying of sweating and slipping around on morning dew.  I'm sure it's not pretty.  It'd probably go viral on YouTube though.  Sooo not worth 15 minutes of fame.

There is one part of the yard I refuse to mow.  It's at the bottom of a hill near a HUGE rose bush.  These are seriously the most unruly rose bushes ever.  I know I should probably trim them, but I was cursed with black thumb.  In recovery they tell you to get a plant and see how long you can keep it alive before being in a relationship.  If I had done that, chances are Adam and I would still be separated.  Okay, that might not be entirely true...I have a ficus that has clung to dear life for several years now.  Mom gave it to me because they're supposed to bring luck.  I thought giving it to me would bring bad luck--for the plant.  By some odd miracle it's still alive though.  But that's basically why the rose bushes are so insane...every plant I touch dies.  I over water, underwater, leave it out in 30 degree temps...ya know...just generally murder them.  So I let them grow wild and crazy.

Oh man!  Talk about digressing!

So I won't mow that hill cause it's lame and I hate it.  Also, there were yellow jackets at the beginning of the year.  Poor Adam got several stings at once because he got drafted to mow it.  Yeah..I felt a bit guilty about that one.  I hadn't made him mow all summer cause he works and I do the stuff here for the most part and the one time he mows, he gets mobbed. 

I don't take bee stings well.  I used to be much better at it.  I thought as you grew older  you were supposed to handle pain better, not whine like a 2 year old who needs a nap. 

It's a little crazy how quickly the mind works.  I was moving right along on the side yard, thinking the tank of gas would probably poop out soon (oh darn) and jamming out to Uncle Kracker (don't judge me...he's peppy).  From what I thought was across the lawn I see a swarm of bees.  It takes about half a second to think, "Oh, those are bees...maybe I can stay far away from them, maybe I didn't actually hit their ne------AHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRGHGHGHG."  I don't know if the neighbors heard me, but I screamed like I was being attacked by a rabid zombie.  My head exploded.  Seriously.  I would  have said literally, but there wasn't actually brains and blood, just pain....sooooo much pain, just above my left temple, actually IN my hair.  So naturally I'm swatting at my head trying to get this spawn of satan out of my hair and then it hits me, "OMGOODNESS!!!  I am probably completely and utterly covered in bees.  They're probably trying to bore through my clothes and make nests in my shoes."  So I grab my shirt and very nearly take it off before I realize I'm in the middle of my yard.  So I take off running like a mad woman, swatting at my head, screaming like a banshee and thinking that I'm never going to make it in the front door without getting another 84 stings from the imaginary swarm that had taken up residence in my clothes.

I get in and completely strip down.  I have never in my life gotten that naked that quickly.  I think that's when I came to my senses.  My head was pounding and I looked up to realize that I'm standing directly in front of the picture window.  The curtains are normally closed, but I had opened them to let some sunlight in.  I really don't know if the neighbors got a full on peep show or not, but I'm thinking I'm going to avert my eyes when I see them out for a few days...ya know...just in case. 

One single bee flew out of my clothes.  To me, that is still one too many and I was eternally grateful that I'd stripped.  I think I might actually have a new and exciting phobia now.  Everything that flies is a bee until I realize it's not.  The really awesome part is apparently I left the mower directly over the nest.  Not near it, not on the edge, but directly over.  I wanna get a grappling hook to get it, but Adam doesn't seem convinced.  I mean come on...even if it doesn't work, I could at least use the grappling hook to pretend I'm climbing mountains.  It might actually come in handy the next time I mow.  Ya never know....

Yeah, we're gonna murder 'em.  They're gonna die.  I don't care how we do it, it's gonna get done. 

It'll be one time when I'm completely okay with being called a buzzkill. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Original or Extra Crispy?

I really have no idea what a 110 electric current will do to a raccoon.  I'm no authority on the amount of electricity it takes to kill a raccoon or run a ceiling fan.  I'm assuming it's a 110...seems 220 would be overkill (no pun intended).  But to get to the point, there is quite possibly a dead raccoon in our attic.

 For weeks we've fought tirelessly to get rid of the upstairs neighbor.  Okay, that's not entirely true...we've also fought while we were tired.  But see, the fun thing about this is, we don't have an upstairs, just an attic and the neighbor isn't exactly human.  In case you ever need to know, raccoons are not fond of Marilyn Manson or strobe lights. 

Before I get into this I should really say, we were here first.  Okay, okay..maybe not..I suppose animals probably roamed freely on our lot many, many years before our house was built, but do you see them coughing up money for the mortgage payment or even trying to put some of their foraging on our table?  I don't reckon.  Don't hand me that bleeding heart crap about how they're part of nature and we should love them.  I do love animals, just not ones who want to take up residence in my attic without my permission.

This afternoon Nathan and I went for a walk.  The temperature was perfect for it and you could smell the first kiss of fall on the air.  I was in a great mood when we got back and ready to take on anything the evening threw at me.  Lately things had been fairly normal so I wasn't expecting anything too insane as we settled in to watch a little TV and chill for a bit.

Suddenly, the ceiling fan lights go out.  First thought:  power outage.  This confused me for a moment though because this power outage hadn't affected anything except the ceiling fan.  How does that happen?  What?  I stood up, pulled the string a few times....nothing...  Hmmm....

Have you ever heard a raccoon scream?  I guess anything with vocal cords can scream, but I had never even considered what it would sound like if a raccoon screamed.  It didn't even register what it was for a second.  I'm standing there, wide eyed, pull string in hand, trying to figure out what was happening.   Finally, it hit me....

I decided the next best thing to do was call Adam.  Husbands can solve a lot of problems!  I was worried about fire more than anything.  I mean, really, I know I should have been concerned for the little dude's safety, but if the house went up, he would too, so I guess in a way, I was concerned for him.  After much mind cursing (I rarely curse aloud) and talk of buying a shotgun, Adam directs me to the light switch in the closet that I had completely forgotten about.  Who in their right mind puts a light switch in a kitchen closet that goes to the living room ceiling fan anyway?!  Oh yeah...probably the same people who put in the plumbing that we've fixed too many times to count.  Of course, it only gets fixed the second time because I was the one who fixed it the first time, but still...we're not talking about me.

I'm thinking tomorrow should be interesting.  There is no way I'm getting up there, yo.  The thought of spiders alone gives me the creeps...I can't even imagine what I would do if faced with a dead raccoon.

Moral of the story, folks?  If you're a cute but annoying creature, don't hang out in people's attics who have ceiling fans.  Either you're gonna die or kinda wish you had.  It's been silent up there since, so I'm thinking if he did make it, we're not gonna be hearing from him again (BRIGHT SIDE!!).  Nathan did make a good point tonight though as we were chit chatting about it...

Dinner!  And it's already cooked....

Don't look at me like that...I can't help that he got my twisted sense of humor.