I am making slow and steady progress on settling into the new house. Taz has decided he likes it for the most part. The cats are pretty cool with it, once the initial moving day chaos faded and they discovered there are literally dozens of neat places to explore and hide. I know this for a fact after Aspen scared the daylights out of me the second night by hiding up on top of the kitchen cabinets and all I saw were two glowing eyes in the dark. Today I lost little Avery Faith. I thought it might be a good thing until there was this terrible rattling noise in the living room closet. Upon bravely investigating, she popped out with a full body shake and disgusted look at me, like it had somehow been my fault she was stuck in there.
Apart from the pets, I’ve managed to get the furniture set up where I want it. Now it’s just unpacking the billions of boxes and hanging pictures. Today I decided–foolishly–to hang a few sheer drapes. How silly. The wood in this old house is real wood. No prefabbed, glued together and held with spit compressed wood. This is real wood and it takes real nails and real muscles to pound anything into it. Even a tiny brad tack which is what I finally resorted to before surrendering. Sheers can wait.
But I have had my share of successes since moving in. I tried to do some laundry the second day and realized the washer would only spin the dry clothes and never filled up with water, regardless where the dial was turned. It took some time but I finally figured maybe the water wasn’t turned on. Sure enough, once I turned the water on, I had water in the washer and all over the walls. Okayyyyy. I grabbed a pliers and tightened the hoses and had water just in the washer like I wanted. Problem solved.
They got harder unfortunately. Next day I suddenly realized part of the power was out in part of the house. Fish tank, computer and one random wall. Good thing it was still relatively daylight and I knew where the breaker box was. Heading outside, I realized not one single breaker was labeled. Oh well, when in doubt, flip them all. So I flipped each breaker and back on again, raced inside and realized nothing had changed. Back outside, repeated steps one and two, pausing between them. When I came back in, everything was working properly. Whichever breakers were not working, I had managed to flip. Wish I knew which ones they were.
Next, today. I awoke to a freezing cold house and some lovely snow on the ground. I attempted to light the pilot on the propane heater. Now, I’d tried this the day before and only managed to set off the smoke detector–sans smoke. But that was yesterday and it was warmer yesterday. Today it was cold, blowing and snowy. I was a tad more desperate. I tried both propane heaters, one lite, one would not. Both set off every smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in the house. Again, no smoke but yeah, I was getting just a little worried. I opened four windows in an already cold house and went around, flapping a magazine trying to air it out.
Once the detectors stopped screaming, I hopped in the warm shower. Of course I’d long ago turned off both propane heaters, pilots and supply valves. I needed time to think of my next step and a warm shower seemed like a good place to think.
A few phone calls later, I went to town, bought a $99 electric space heater and a $7 can of compressed air. I blew the darlings out of the one heater I could light the pilot on, opened five windows, said my prayers and lit the pilot. We had pretty flames and no screaming detectors. Success!
Over the next couple hours, I slowly increased the heat setting and gradually closed the windows, watching the house temperature steadily crawl up from a cool 45 degrees when I awoke to a balmy 63 now.
Now, the electric heater is another story. It was pretty straight forward. Remove from box, screw the plastic legs in, stand upright, plug in and feel the heat. Okay!
Well.. not quite. To screw the plastic legs on required a Philips head screwdriver. I searched high and low for one and found six flat head screwdrivers. My one and only Philips head was a battery-powered deal that was too fat to fit between the leg and body of the blower. It was another hour with me on my knees, cursing at the terrible design flaw as I tried to wedge my tiny little fingers in the narrow space and turn the Philips screw with a flat screwdriver. Finally I got the legs tight, the device upended and plugged in and soon heat was pouring out into the room like sweet honey.
Final adventure of the day was when I tried to take a simple spare house key and insert it on a spare ring to hang up for safekeeping. Not a big deal. Well, lately the easiest things turn into a project taking four times as long as expected. While I was rooting around for the pair of needle nose pliers I know I just saw not long ago, guess what I spotted buried in the shoe box temporarily used as a tool box? A green handled Philips head screwdriver…
Tomorrow I am going to finish the edits on Clouds. That chore has been my only break from the joys of unpacking and repairing these little teething pains. I know once the edits are done and sent, once the shears are hung, once the heat is all fixed and any other little inconvenience is corrected, I can sit back with a nice cup of tea and enjoy the fruit of my labors. With my Philips head screwdriver and extra blanket.