Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It's Been A Long 24 Hours, Kids

Hey there, Friends.

Shortly after posting last about being an idiot and going out to explore in the blizzard, my furnace decided to stop working.  Blizzard raging outside, no heat inside.  Fun times.  It's been a long 24 hours, to put it mildly.

My Mom jinxed it.  I was on the phone with her and she started to say that at least neither of us had lost power or anything.  I tried to stop her.  Literally 15 minutes after I got off the phone with her the pilot went out on my furnace.  I have re-lit the thing successfully many times, but it was not happening yesterday.  I could hear the wind whistling down the chimney, and the flame on the lighter would go out as soon as I stuck it inside.

This is why I always make sure to take a shower before a big storm hits.  No, really.  I've been through stretches of four days with no power/heat before.  You don't now how much you miss your hot water and shower until it is unavailable.  Be prepared and start fresh in case the worst should happen.

I started keeping a list of what was going on in the notes on my phone.  I was really bored and getting quite frustrated that I couldn't get the damn furnace to work. I also developed the hobby of bird watching with Jazz-kitty.  No judging -- I find ways to keep myself entertained.

Join me, Friends, as we recall the past 24 hours of fun!

--Pilot out around 2 pm.

--Turn on the faucets to drip cold water so the pipes don't freeze.  Check!

--Try re-lighting the pilot again.  No dice.

--I think I'm going to start baking things now to keep the house warm-ish.  It should totally work.

--Find the electric heater and get that shit plugged in.

--Made a cake.  Currently roasting parsnips...because that's all I have and it should take a while.

-- 5 pm pilot still won't light.  Should maybe just try this once an hour.  Really don't want to blow myself up in the process.

-- Taking lots of pictures of the birds.  Kind of a new hobby that has developed.  I hope you like birds, Friends, because you are about to get to see a shit-ton of pictures.

There are little birds, sometimes blown right out of the Rose of Sharon

At least this one is kind of sheltered between branches

On the ground, under the feeder

In flight

Hanging by my neighbor's garage

Different bird, same windy location

Crows in the tree

This guy was pushy!

Blue Jay, pinned to the neighbor's garage roof by the wind

Bird eating popcorn.  (I know it's popcorn because I threw it out there for them.)

Waiting for the bigger birds to clear out

Crows are here

Feeding frenzy

Crow in the snow.

I told you there were a lot of pictures.

-- 6 pm  Going to light some candles.  I know it won't make much difference in terms of temperature, but it will give the illusion of being cozy.

-- Going to make fish and baked rice pilaf for dinner.  That's a good reason to keep the oven running a little longer.

-- 8:15 pm  Pilot still won't light.  I really hope it is just the wind and it hasn't died completely.  I love you, furnace!  Please, please keep working!

We've spent some quality time together in the last 24 hours

-- I f*%king hate spiders!!!  The cellar is full of them.  Each trip down to the furnace is nightmare-inducing.  

-- Well, at least the cake looks nice.

-- 9:30 pm.  I give.  Wind is still howling outside.  I'm cuddling under a blanket in front of the little electric heater. I'm closing every door in the house that I can to trap the heat in here with me.

-- Midnight.  Going to sleep on the couch in front of the heater.  Doesn't make sense to move it to my bedroom which is cold and start warming it up all over again.

-- Woke up at 2 am.  Jazz-kitty decided it was time to snuggle.

-- Think a plow went by some time around 4 am.  Something shook the house.

-- 6:48 am woken up by a text saying there will be a delayed opening at work.  Didn't get much sleep anyway.  Time to make some coffee.

The house was actually still pretty warm.  Thermostat was reading that it only dropped to 57.  I like to think that my "bake whatever I can" scheme helped.  In your face, naysayers!

And just about 21 hours later...

Now to finish up that pesky snow removal.  Thank goodness for my Dad and his snowblower!

 My neighbor, Walt, and I had a discussion about opening a ski resort for the neighborhood wildlife.  Small yards lead to large piles of snow.  They are taller than me!

View from the cellar window during the last trip to visit the furnace in Spider Land

Snow removal in progress

There's my Dad!  And this pile in the front? Comes up to my chest.  I would guess about 4 feet high.  All the snow drifted onto my side of the driveway.

This is the view of my house from the street.

And just about noontime today the driveway was cleared and my car was free from its snowy cocoon. If my Dad hadn't come over I would probably still be outside shoveling.

I went to the store like half an hour later.  I just needed to get out of the damn house.  Coffee and cat food...the staples for keeping the peace in my house.

So, the last 24 hours pretty much sucked, Friends.  I try to make make my own fun and just suck it up and deal.  Nothing you can do but try to make the best of it when trapped in a shitty situation.  Let's look at it as a learning experience.  What deep insights can I take away from this mess?

1) I don't like being cold.  I don't mind the cold so much, but extended periods of time being cold is not fun.  I know, I know, "57 is not that cold!"  It really isn't.  But it still sucks.  That is no one's first choice of temperature to live in.

2) At least the furnace wasn't totally dead.  I was really worried and stressing over that.  The poor thing is like 50 years old.

3) Fun fact: I get cranky when I'm cold for extended periods of time and don't get any sleep. Like I was seriously bitchy before I had my coffee this morning.  Sometimes being single and living alone is a blessing in disguise. At least I didn't take it out on anyone but myself.

4) Choosing to stay home is relaxing.  Being trapped in the house is not.  I probably wouldn't have minded so much if I had heat.  As it was, I was so ready to go anywhere by the time I got my car cleaned today.

5) I never realized how popular my yard was with the neighborhood birds.  It's like the coolest hangout on the block!

I'd like to thank my dear brother for not telling me how great the weather is in Florida (he's there for work).  I'm sure the weather in Texas is also delightful if he is back home at this point. 

Did you get to enjoy the blizzard?  I hope things went smoother for you, Friends.  Appreciate your heat and the ability to get in your car and go whenever you wish.  I know I do.

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