So we had to have it replaced. The original fencing didn’t even have concrete poured for the posts! No wonder it collapsed. Hubby and I ripped it out bare-handed, and had this gorgeous new gate installed:
It’s so pretty and functional and pretty! We also ripped out the old wood that was edging a garden patch the previous home owners had put in. As we know from previous installments, those people were idiots, so they put in a big pile of terrible dirt right where the yard should drain when it rains. This creates a moat around the porch that our tiny dogs can’t overcome. We’ve started working on the yard a TON now that baby Nacho is old enough to run around back there.
We actually dug out by the other gate (because so many leaves and whatnot had built up water wouldn’t drain that way either) and discovered a small concrete patio! We’ve lived in this house for over 6 years now, and had no idea it was there. Now we have a new place for our trash cans! I have gotten COUNTLESS mosquito bites working outside, in spite of bug spray. UGH. I hate being outside. This just shows how much having a kid can change you.
This next part is tragic, and horrifying. Our electric bill had been weirdly high for about 3 months. We called an electrician about something else, and he found that we were getting power surges. A city electrician then came out and discovered this:
This poor snake apparently crawled into the electric box during the winter, looking for warmth. I guess his bar b queued carcass was causing the power fluctuations. We didn’t change anything in the house, other than removing the “reptile torture dungeon of horrors” (quote stolen from Timmy), and our power bills went back down to normal.
After that, both our washer AND dryer died, which is normally bad, but since we use cloth diapers was unacceptable! Thankfully, a friend had an extra washer laying around she literally gave us for free (THANK YOU LYNN), and then I went and bought a dryer. So we’ve had a very productive, yet expensive few weeks.
Am I going to leave you with the traumatic visual of snake jerky?
Oh okay, fine. Here’s a picture of Stefano, the Overly Excited Cloud:
We had an “incident” at the house the other day. As with many other such occurences, I can look back and see that there were ample warning signs; warning signs that anyone who had not ironically dubbed themselves “clever” would be sure to notice. Me however? Hell no! You may have to start calling me The Hubris-filled Chick. It was bad. Here’s the epic story:
I have recently acquired a tiny ceramics kiln, much to my delight. I’ve been wanting one for years, and I was excited to finally start firing. The one problem is the kiln has to have 6 feet clear all the way around it when firing, but the cord is nowhere near that long. We used the extension cord pictured above to make it reach. The test firing went off without a hitch. I loaded all the stuff I’d made into the kiln, and got it ready for my first real firing!
Looking back, the warning signs were obvious. This extension cord is supposed to be 3 pronged, but the third one, the ground, was missing. We’d used this same cord before to run the lawn mower, and it worked fine, so I kind of ignored that. Apparently, that is pretty important. You can also see electrical tape on the left hand side of the photo up there. That’s where the cats chewed it, and we electrical taped it back together. The third problem was that the orange plastic around the base of the plug had worn away, so that you could see about an 1/8th an inch of the interior wires. In my mind these were all separate incidences, but they should have added up to a major warning. Alas, I just went ahead.
Hubby started the process for me while I was at work and he was off for the day. He followed the correct procedures, and checked on it, then went and ran an errand at my request. When he came home, the whole house smelled of burning plastic. He found the cord, melted and turning to charcoal. He quickly unplugged it so the kiln would shut off. That was probably not the safest choice, but that’s what he did. He had to open all the windows and the garage to air the house out, and we left them open overnight.
The plastic is fused to the chair. I know we had a super close call, and I’m sure in an alternate universe, our house caught fire. I am so thankful that my husband and all our pets are fine, if slightly retarded from the plastic fumes. We now own a heavy duty extension cord that is used only for the kiln. Anytime we fire, one of us checks on it every hour or two. The stuff that was inside the kiln during the melt down was not affected, and the kiln seems to be working great also. So there’s the whole gory story. I’m glad my misfortune amuses you all so much!