pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

Things That Nag Me

Last winter, I noticed that the fan was always running on the furnace, but did not call a repairman until I’d built up my finances enough to be able to pay the bill.

Not a cost-effective move, as it turned out. That fan running kept the FURNACE BURNING GAS, which I DID NOT understand. By January, I had to DOUBLE my payment for lp, and when the budget billing year reset in May, had a shortfall that came out as an automatic one time charge of over $500, which nearly bounced my account.

Thank heavens the lady in charge of the year round billing program thought to notify customers of unusual usage and make the option of a monthly adjustment to keep it all from hitting at once. That doubled payment from four months took enough edge off that I did not bounce.

This year, I may have inadvertently done the same thing to myself. By adding two more rooms to what is being heated, the furnace is running constantly.

Okay, maybe after all the warm weather, I’ve forgotten how often it clicks on in cold weather. Now that November/December temps have decided to show up, instead of being thankful we’re not having the frigid cold winter it looked as if we’d be having in October and being properly thankful for the three week reprieve, especially since that was when the cold would have been most unbearable to the workers building the room, basement, and reroofing, I’m bent out of shape about the living room temperature.

Last year, I kept the utility room door tightly closed with a block under the door crack to keep the cold air from leaking into the kitchen hall where the furnace room is located. That’s not possible with the two new house cats, as that would block them from their litter. The dreamed of cat door into the room has not turned into reality. It would probably leak a bit of cold air, as well, but not compared to what comes in with the door left open a crack.

However, I can do things on the other end of the house to help. I need to check the blue bedroom vent to be sure it has been shut off again now that the company has gone. (Done. IT WAS FULL OPEN.)

Living room temperature: 67. (Not the nightly low.... the ambient temperature -- as warm as it gets.) I need to fix the computer room door so the cats can't get in and leave it open. Two different workers have not fixed the trouble. I don't see how removing the latch is supposed to help. The latch plate, and chiseling out the hole where the latch would hit, yes, but... I don't have the skill to accomplish that. (This morning, Spelunker had loosened the rein I'd tied around the door handle, running the halter back to the library room door handle. Ah, ha! Thinks he. Another new toy... Now, the slip knot is backward. If he tugs it, the noose gets TIGHTER on the handle, not work itself loose.)

Saturday, I succeeded finally in getting the new construction under wraps. The door to the library is shut. I did stuff one piece of insulation (the one Spelunker and Two Faced were dragging all over the house, in their MOUTHS) into one of the cracks beside the door. I’m not sure why there is no facing on that inside door yet... I doubt it has anything to do with the mudding of the plaster board. It shouldn’t matter that the one side is framed while the other is not... but I’m not a carpenter, so maybe there IS a good reason.

I should get gloves and stuff insulation into all the cracks around that door, then lean something against the pieces down low enough for the cats to get into them rather than buy more gas heating stuff I don’t need to be heating. (Well, stuffing plastic bags the groceries come in works without the nasty aspect. And the part poking out should facilitate removal. The cats thought so. My ineffective barricades have turned into cat toys. Early Christmas presents, they seem to be shouting.)

When I got home from Des Moines Saturday (with NEW GLASSES, YEAH!) , Spelunker had again bounced the computer room door open, leaking cold air into the hallway where the thermostat is housed, the living room, dining room, and kitchen area. The furnace is again kicking on way more often than it should. I expected once the electrician came out and hooked up the electricity to the two appliances that I would be able to see what the new normal use for the trailer is.

The is a former horse owner (one of mine, of course), so when he came in to get the heat vent he’d agreed to put in for me after the electricity was on, he laughed to see a halter hooked from the door hinge to the shims, holding the door as closed as possible for it to be with the two cords running into the computer room to keep the freezer and refrigerator turned on.

I was apologetic for the silly solution, but he said, “It works.” I didn’t mention my fear that I’d damage the knob putting unexpected pressure on it like that.

The mobile home is only 13 years old, and the front door knob is the second one. Yesterday, I got back and could not get the door to open because the knob was so loose it would not turn. Just as I thought I was going to have to traipse around the house to the back door the way I did before that lovely porch got finished, it decided to work. My arms were full, so I got banged on the ankle by the storm door, which is missing the stop.

That’s the second time that doorway has caught me. Thursday, when it was so windy (15 mph with gusts from the east), I opened the door, holding onto the inside door knob with my right hand. The wind, which I didn’t expect to be able to gust with the new addition right there to block it, yanked me (barefoot) out of the door onto the porch, pulling my shoulder. I was afraid to let the door go, as the glass broke out of it the last time I let it bang in the wind. There was a railing for it to hit into then. I don’t know if it will open flat back and bang the house, but I wasn’t in the mood to risk it.

This morning, Spelunker again had that computer room door open. I suppose I could look into making a halter chain from it to the library door and latching it that way...

I tried to get the Amishman whose son did the cement work to fix that latch, but it was “old damage” and he left it once he’d satisfied himself that the trailer was level.

I tried to get my brother to fix it, and got lip service to that, the front door handle, the door shutter on the screen door, and the shelf trim in the pantry that hangs. He commented that all that last one would take was a ..., but when he left, it had not happened.

The next time I’m shelling out for labor, those things WILL be part of the deal. They are costing me money and/or physically hurting me (except for the pantry, which will just dump stuff, mostly cans, which are down low, so hard for me to get at rather than actually painful.)

One of the things that happens when you live alone, you have nobody to gripe at. When you want to talk yourself into a better mood, there’s nobody to purge on. (There’s also nobody to pick at you or take out their bad moods on. Even Steven?)

I’m trying to plan what I have to cover when financially. I have not paid in full for the hay, as I’ve been doing in past years, needing to see what was left after the construction was over. Now it looks as if I’ll be using the room for a year or more floorless and paintless while I regenerate my finances to cover the $11,000 to $12,000 needed to cover lovely ash bookcases, white painted walls, bamboo flooring of the best quality, well-laid, and finishing off the basement steps and wallboard, trim the library door and the stairwell to the basement.

That still will leave the problem of getting the truck home. I’m considering taking a bus out and driving it back myself, maybe with the “good” quality bamboo in it, then hiring cheap local labor to lay it instead of being hit up with a $500-600 hauling bill.

It’s a pain, though.

As I thought, with the new glasses, I can again read road signs. I was uneasy in busy Saturday December traffic, but no close calls.

I’ve again lost my depth perception on right hand turns, hitting the curb as I pulled in for gas, but I know I can readjust as I’ve already done it once. I had tight parking conditions in the Merle Hay lot, but without the traffic pressure, I was able to creep and keep it in line.

Part of the problem might be just the simple fact that I thought I was okay. Maybe just knowing I’m not 100 accurate for a tight corner will be enough while I adjust to the new glasses.

The eye doctor said any time there is such a huge difference between old and new, that will happen. The good news is that my eyes should not have any great changes now. The plastic lenses remove the greatest variable. He is hopeful that I will still improve slowly, is happy with the better than expected change so far, and thinks I may not need new prescriptions every year from now on. He again cautioned me to call at once if I was having problems.

Although I had several other right hand turns to make, I did not have any further miscalculations. None were “tight”, however. I will reserve judgement pending more information.
Tags: slice of life

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