Adventures in Home Improvement (no doubt to be continued ad nauseam)

Lao Tzu might say Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. It's all Small Stuff. It is. It is.

If not for enjoying the pleasure of how well the blue paint for the family room turned out, I would be in a fetal position.  Today’s meditation is Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

I’ve mentioned that all efforts in the barn are one step forward, two steps back. Sure, it’s a cliché, but clichés exist for a reason. [Go ahead, ask me about the time the freak tornado landed in Cabell County when the roofing crew was installing the barn’s first real roof. And two of the roofers crashed through the only room of the house with a finished ceiling.]

The craziness started just before the holidays. Circuits kept blowing – either the furnace circuit or the electrical outlet next to this desk (which, by the way, looks absolutely fabulous after a thorough cleaning and set against the blue).

The ancient furnace when it was only 10 years old - now roughly 22 years.

I didn’t think too much of the problem. We were in the midst of that bitter cold and the furnace was cranking nonstop. It’s an old furnace which is on the list of things that need to be replaced and replaced soon.

Then I discovered water in the plumbing closet – dripping from pipes and bathing my walls in a fine mist with significant splashes, and a waterfall now and again. [I believe I’ve effected a fix, temporary, to deal with the problem. Knock on wood.]

And then the dishwasher circuit blew. I’ve already talked about the dishwasher along with the sparks emitted from the top of the hot water heater. Ancient burial ground, I’m telling you.


Yesterday, I loaded the dishwasher with the blue porcelain and other objets d’art to wash, in cold water. I duly discovered the dishwasher soap to be frozen. Since I do, in fact, store the dishwasher soap INSIDE the house, this was a puzzlement. It’s not been cold enough, by a long shot, for stuff to freeze inside a cupboard inside the barn, with a furnace that does, albeit temperamentally, run.

The furnace circuit tripped just after I’d started the dishwasher to wash. I reset the furnace only to have the dishwasher (and light in the laundry room) go out again.

It seems I can run the dishwasher OR the furnace, but not both. (Guess which one I’m going to pick.) I cannot run the dishwasher under any circumstances with hot water.

In the midst of this chaos, I’m on the phone dealing with a Significant Personal Problem and attending to work tasks (the paid employment type) so as to not have to burn more annual leave to deal with domestic crises.

Good riddance despite the cause.

While on hold with the crisis and waiting for work stuff to scan, I dust the banker’s lamp that USED to sit just to the left of the laptop. The lightbulb exploded and, yup you guessed it, sparks flew and the circuit tripped.

It was, to borrow a phrase and mangle it, an Awful, Horrible, No Good, Rotten, Stinking Very, Very, Very Bad Day.


The ray of sunshine in all of this is the fact that this room looks great. And I’m not even done (damn the dishwasher).

My benchmark for decorating success is if it looks like it always should have been thus said decorating is a Great Success. The family room was born to be blue and it’s a pity it took so many years to uncover that fact.

[And losing the ugly lamp on this desk and replacing it with a much loved Tiffany reproduction was a stroke of serendipity – I’ve been looking for the right place for this lamp to live.]

I have a thing for Matisse - I'll probably explain it in another post someday.

After a night’s sleep which included some really bizarre and amusing dreams, I feel enough of my wa has been restored that I can hum Onward Christian Soldiers and deal with matters at hand – all of them including the predicted winter storm that will find me walking the hill again. [Provisions will be acquired today with the time-honored Appalachian Snow Panic Method.].

For the moment, until the ancient spirits get playful and/or vindictive again, I am hopeful that I can maneuver through all this with grace and style. [Famous last words, perhaps.]

Futilely, the puppies waited for heat from the vent. I moved the space heater over there to fulfill hopes and dreams. Kerosene heater is on the list of provisioons to purchase today.


[Sigh. The furnace just tripped again and now the circuit won’t reset. Plus the circuit is hot. This can’t be good. I knew the above was famous last words. I jinxed myself. 

It’s all small stuff.  It’s all small stuff.  It’s all small stuff.  Today’s meditation is It’s All  Small Stuff.]

It’s all small stuff.  Truly.

4 thoughts on “Adventures in Home Improvement (no doubt to be continued ad nauseam)

  1. Good grief. I would expect you to be soddenly drunk by now. This is crazy stuff–and probably will be something as simple as don’t-plug-this-in-if-that’s-plugged-in. But then, seems like you’ve already been there.

    Maybe the weekend storm will miss us. Maybe you’ll wake up in the morning and everything will be humming as normal.

    Maybe we’ll all win the lottery too. Good luck, Connie. This sounds like madness and mayhem, waiting for the final stroke of genius.

    Fire insurance paid up? Just asking…

    • I kinda thought I should be sober when the electrician and/or the fire department showed up – good impressions and all that.

      I’m scared to death of it, but I’m also pretty impressed with my new kerosene heater.

      Speaking of which, I need to go put fresh batteries in the smoke alarm.

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