Saturday, December 13, 2008
Adventures in Utilities
Current mood: cold
The last 8 days have been all about the utilities. See, 8 days ago, the water was off for about 3 hours in the early evening. And it was really noticable while trying to make dinner. (lol) What I learned about myself is that I wash my hands a LOT while cooking! I stopped counting after the twelfth time I tried.
For the last week, the City of Ozark has been going around and trimming the trees away from the power lines--even cut down three perfectly healthy trees on our street! A huge oak by my friend Jeanie's house. And the only large Magnolia on the street.
Well, we had some -serious- wind and rain yesterday. I woke up at 5 am yesterday morning, not to the sound of Mark's alarm clock as normal, but to the sound of pine cones raining down on the roof, followed by a REALLY loud boom, and the sound of the power going off in the house. Turns out that really loud boom was a huge tree limb falling from one of the pine trees in the front yard. When you look up at the tree, it's plain to see -why- it broke-- the branch on the ground is 90 degrees perpendicular to where the branch USED to be in the tree! We were very fortunate that it didn't hit the house! That sucker embedded some of it's branches (up to a 4 inch diameter) 7 inches in the ground!!!
Well, the thought that crossed my mind as I drove my oldest off to school to come back to a house without power was, "And I thought no water was inconvenient...." No power is a whole lot worse. I did see why we didn't have any power though. (lol) One street up from ours, a dead tree fell on the power lines.... You know. The power lines they've spent the last week clearing so things like that wouldn't happen. (;
We didn't get electricity back for 5 1/2 hours. And not 20 minutes later, the cable went out. That one wasn't so much of a bother for me-- we can watch movies-- but Grandmother pretty much lives for watching her television, so I set up her radio for her. Cable was out for 3 1/2 hours.
Well, this morning, I woke up chilly at 5. But I knew the electricity was on. Snuggled back under the sheets and ignored it. But when I got up at 6, the house was 67 degrees! I messed with the thermostat-- I could get the fan to run for a minute or two, but couldn't get the heat on. At 7, I woke my father in law to see if there was a trick to it. Nope. So I called Carroll Heating and Air to have them come out. Then I got the space heaters out of storage that we bought for the little white house when we lived in Virginia. Put one in Grandmother's room to keep her comfortable. And one in the living room to take the chill off.
Well, at 10 this morning, the heat came on! The house was 65 degrees. I called Carroll Heating and cancelled. Well, it cut off again at noon. Same problem I had at 6 this morning! So I called the gas company to see if they were working on the lines around here. Nope. But they came out to check and make sure we had pressure in our gas line. Yup. Not the problem. So I called Carroll Heating and Air -again- to ask them to come out. (lol) They probably think I'm a silly goose (;
Well, at 1, the heat came on -again-! And once again, the house temp was 65. This is where I figured out it was the thermostat. But Carroll Heating showed up not 10 minutes later. I told him what it was doing and what I thought it was. And he agreed with me. Replaced the old thermostat-- which turned out to have 2 different problems. The first was that the thermometer was off by 6 degrees. The second was that the magnetic catch that is supposed to move when you move the temperature gauge was no longer doing so. So we replaced it with an electronic one. You can't even program it. And it was WAY over priced. But it was replaced by a professional. Installed properly. And confirmed that it was indeed the only problem. And my father in law paid for it, so I'm not complaining too loudly.
It's been 8 days to make me appreciate and curse our modern necessities. Yea for the Romans who gave us running water! ....as long as the water is running. If it's not, there is no water and no well to hand pump it from! Yea to Thomas Jefferson for the invention of electricity, and all the wonderful advances that came with it! ....as long as the electricity is working. If it's not, then you better have candles or flash lights for light. And some other means for heating!
...and it appears I bragged on the heating too soon. It's doing it again. So it's not just the thermostat, though that needed replacing for the previously mentioned problems. But the house is now 69 where it is set for, and had been reaching 72. But not it's not clicking on. Mark is trying to trouble shoot it now. (sigh) And I thought our adventure was over!