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2005-03-23 - 9:11 p.m.

The Great Furnace Fiasco of '05

I hope no one thought that my furnace exploded and my house was a pile of rubble and that's why I hadn't updated. Because that didn't happen.

But, wow. I just went nearly 48 hours with no heat in my home.

The furnace on Sunday was making those horrible, wretched BANGING noises that I was complaining about on Monday. Then I came home from work Monday to no banging! Joy! A quiet house! I walked the dog, came back home, took off my jacket, and realized that the no banging was because the furnace wasn't on. Hmmm... No furnace. Here in Chicago, we've been really stretching to get above 35 degrees this week. Farenheit. (It's March, also known as Still Winter)

I called the landlady, who was very apologetic and assured me that they would be out there with the repairman on Tuesday. As I wasn't sure how cold it would get (it was already down to 60 in the house), I called my in-laws to see if I could take refuge at their place, packed up my work clothes and the dog's food, and the dog and I headed out for a night in the suburbs.

I was about halfway there when my mother-in-law called. The transformer that supplies their neighborhood with power was on fire. Therefore, they had no power. "But you have heat, right?" I asked. Yes. Okay. Got there, came in, the three dogs were manic as usual but in the dark! So it was more fun for them! With much running full speed into my knees! Fun!

The dog and I stayed the night in warmth, but my lovely sweet dog was very upset that the night was going to be spent sleeping and not playing with the two other dogs and therefore whined ALL NIGHT. I WOKE UP ONCE AN HOUR. TO WHINING. Ack. We then woke up for good at 5am, showered without my normal shampoo which pissed my hair off quite a lot, and drove the 30 miles or so back home.

My poor dog had to spend the whole day in the house (which had dropped to 54 degrees at this point, causing me to question why I had driven all that way as I know I've gone camping in colder temperatures than that) locked in the bedroom because I thought the heating guy was coming in and I didn't want him to be scared of my very-friendly-yet-big animal. I came home from work only to discover that the furnace had very obviously not been fixed. And my call to the landlady (who felt very bad by this point) resulted in a promise that the heat would be fixed Wednesday.

So, it was still above 50 degrees meaning that I'm tough and can sleep in this -- just with lots of blankets and a warm dog! This decision led to the CUTEST THING EVER: the dog realizing that he's being encouraged to get under the covers and so turning around twice then cuddling with me under the covers with just his big black nose sticking out. He didn't stay there all night (he's so furry he would have overheated), but he was darn cute for a while and he heats the bed up much better than a hot water bottle. And it was cute enough to keep me from thinking (well, sort of) about how much more fun this little cold weather adventure could have been if my husband were, you know, on the same continent. (Five more days...Five more days...)

Anyway. Long story most definitely NOT made short -- the furnace was fixed today! We're back up to 65 so far and it's still going up! So, sorry about the lack of updating. I was too busy trying to avoid hypothermia.

Things that are easier with two people:

-Having a dog. The poor thing doesn't have any accidents in the house, but can you avoid peeing for 9 hours? He has a bladder of steel, but it can't feel that good.

-Bottling beer. Wow. I spilled so much weizenbock trying to prevent the dog from eating a fishing lure and/or drinking all of the spilled beer. The poor batch of beer made it through the household's Little Ice Age and then got spilled all over the floor as I was trying to get it into bottles.

-Working. This is kind of a corrollary to the first item, but I need to spend some extra time at my job this week due to some random crises and boy does that just pile on the guilt. I don't care if he has to go in the house, I just feel bad if he's holding it for so long, knowing I'm going to get back soon, and not wanting to make his home dirty. And then I FAIL HIM by not coming back when he thought I would. This hasn't happened yet, but there's a good chance it will in the next two days. Poor baby.

-Staying warm in a cold house. The dog helps, but it's not exactly the same.

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