Miss Goody-Two-Shoes Goes on a Rampage

Many of you know me as a person who is prone to looking on the bright side. Look out!

As you may know, I live in a 100 year old Victorian home. In a house, you can imagine, that occasionally may need work.

“To be expected,” you might say.

And I agree.

I keep up with it, if I know something is amiss, I get ‘my fix-it guy’ (The one who fixes all things broken in the house).

Well, last month I was only home about 5 days.

While I was away the heat was turned down to just above freezing.  I was more than shocked to get a gas bill for $290.00.

My personal opinion was that the unit had epilepsy.

By that I mean that it goes along working just fine most of the time and then, Whammo!

All of a sudden there is a glitch and it stops. Then, when it corrects itself, it starts working again.

Since I wasn’t at home anyway, I could put up with the heater not working. But… when the gas bill was outrageous and the heat still was not working…

Now THAT’s a problem.

So, I called in my guy. And he called in another guy.

They decided that the lack of a cold air return for my first floor system was the problem. I’d known I needed this done for several years but had tried to get along without it.

However, since they believed it was the reason for the high utility bill, I finally acquiesced to the solution.

Even though the solution cost me almost $600 (more than my normal full year in gas bills), the prospect of an even higher bill this month while I am home made me bite the bullet.

“So,” you may ask, “what’s your beef?”

After two days of beautiful weather, last night it got cold again. I turned the thermostat up and later on went downstairs to find the first floor all nice and cozy.

(The reason I say the first floor is because my house has several different central air units. The one on the first floor is the one with the problem.)

I was happy and thought that the problem had been solved.  But, this morning I went down to find the temperature was only 55 degrees, the new thermostat (part of the fix) was set at 68.

The heater was not running. No hot air was coming out of the registers.

The epilepsy has returned. 

I’m $600 down, might have another gas bill close to $300 this month, nothing is working any better.

It is really cold down there… and…   

Oh, did I mention that the cold air return they put in required them to saw an 18” square hole into the 100 year old lath and plaster wall?

@#*^%$#@  

If you have never dealt with the dust raised by such an act then you have no conception of the kind of clean up required.  Don’t even think about comparing it to sheetrock dust.

Sheetrock dust can’t hold a candle to this. An 18” hole cut out of sheetrock would have taken about 15 minutes to clean up.

EVERYTHING on the entire first floor and the stairway to the second floor was covered with the finest particle dust known to man.  

Imbedded in every piece of furniture, clinging to the walls, enhancing every cob web in the corners of the ceiling, laying in the folds of all the cascading draperies, encrusting every silk flower arrangement, every piece of pottery, the table, the candles, grandma’s antique glassware, the area rugs, the hardwood floors, the fancy woodwork, and all the indoor trees and plants.

And that was only the dining room!

The living room, kitchen, bathroom and family room were covered too! The mess rivaled the damage of the great dust storms of history, completely held within the confines of one house.

I spent the entire last two days cleaning up this dust and I’m not done yet. 

The family room is still barricaded off as if it is a toxic dump site. Even walking thru the room with dust that fine would cause a flurry that could re-contaminate the rest of the house and undo the progress I’ve made thus far. I have paid my dues.

From now on, anyone who says I haven’t done my part to clean up the environment will be shot.

So, to finish this episode of the saga at hand…

It is Sunday, but I called ‘my fix-it guy’ anyway.  I just rambled off this entire litany of woes to him.  

Hearing the tears in my voice, he promised to call the other guy and come and look at the heating unit that has cost the national debt and still won’t keep the house warm. 

 I gotta go now. This guy does so much work for me that he has a key to the house. I have to go downstairs and make sure he doesn’t come in thru the family room and raise the dust.  

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