Monday, January 18, 2010

Better Late Than Never

I *finally* finished putting up the filler pieces of ceiling tile in my kitchen (they were a big pain in the butt to cut and fit into place) and then got the whole thing painted.  I know, it took me a really long time to finish this. I agree. It's just such thankless work.

The ceiling is now a light sage green. It's hard to tell in the photos, but it's a lighter color of the green in the light shade. It's actually a 25% tint of the color I used in my dining room. The color also matches the wallpaper that will eventually go on the walls. The Benjamin Moore Super Spec paint was a dream to work with. Not a drop on me or the floor.

Next up is getting the crown molding cut. It's already stained and shellacked. I also need to get an electrician out to rewire the wall lights (the new ones match the ceiling light) and lower an outlet over the stove area. And of course, there is more paint stripping to be done.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Not About The House

I don't have any house updates, so I'm giving you a cookie updates instead. Granted, I'm a little bit early in making these Valentines Day treats....

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Electrical Outage

Yesterday morning at 3:30am the electricity went out in my house. I woke up from a dead sleep because all of a sudden my house was silent...and my alarm clock made a loud click as it's juice was cut off.

I laid in bed for a while trying to decide if the outage was just my house or the entire block. I got up and looked across the street and their front door lights were still on. I tried to look down my block to see if any lights were on. Couldn't tell one way or another.  I ended up calling the electric company to report the outage and the automatic message told me they were aware of the outage and were working on it. I'm sure the electric company was a little under the gun because the temperature was dangerously low (-15 degrees, I think) Not a good night for an entire neighborhood to be out of electricity.

I lulled myself back to sleep by thinking about everything I'd have to reset in the morning. My water heater & furnace are totally gas, so I'm always pretty well covered during outages.

When I first moved into my house the electricity went out a lot; every other week or so. It was always accompanied by a huge bang of the transformer blowing. I still have a nice collection of flashlights and candles from those years.

So, yesterday morning (well, afternoon) I woke up. It was a little cold. The electricity was still out. I got up and the first thing I noticed out from under the covers is that it was really the house. I went out to check my thermometer and it told me the interior of the house was 51 degrees.  Huh?

I have a really old furnace. Really old. It was coal and converted to gas in the 1950s. I love the thing. It is not dependent on anything. It runs without problem through anything.

My heart sank. I ran downstairs. I opened the furnace door and the area usually filled with big flames was not filled with big flames. I've watched this furnace get checked every year, but it suddenly dawned on me that I didn't know exactly where the pilot light was. I've never had to light it in my entire time in the house...and a pilot light is a whole lot easier to find when it's lit. The basement didn't smell like gas and my CO monitors had not triggered.

Nothing on my furnace is electrical. I started running possibilities through my head: a) the electrical company cut the gas to houses while they worked over night to prevent any dangerous furnace issues. b) the basement got so cold it affected gas flow; c) my furnace randomly chose this moment to give out unrelated to electrical; d) the upstairs wall thermostat was electrical and somehow triggered the furnace to shut down; and/or e) God was punishing me.

I went back up to the relative warmth of the first floor to think about what I needed to do next....and how I was going to pay for an entirely new furnace in a day.

All of a sudden the electricity came back on. So did the furnace.

I ran back downstairs. Said a quick little prayer and opened the furnace door to a big bunch of beautiful gas flames. If the furnace wasn't so dusty, I would have hugged it.

None of the utilities have Customer Services during the weekend, so I'm still not sure what happened. I have my money on the upstairs wall thermostat being electrical and turning down the flames (the pilot light stayed on). Note to self - learn how to disable the wall thermostat...and learn where the pilot light is.

There is nothing like 30 minutes of thinking you might have to pay for a new furnace (and abatement and new duct work) to put things in perspective for you in the New Year. Whew!

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