Monday, 11 January 2016

oh mickey, you are not so fine

The electric furnace died.

For a few days it had been a little noisy on startup. On Wednesday past, it was louder than normal and we noticed the ducts were pushing a strange burning smell like the demise of a hairdryer. After the worst of the fetid furnace air, I turned the heat off completely. In January. In Northwest New Brunswick. By choice.

Thankfully, two of the rooms in the house - the den and the master bedroom - have electric baseboard heaters, so they groaned to life like Frankenstein's monster and kept us above freezing.

With the landlord's input, we called in an electrician. Lovely man. The good news is there was no need to turn the heat off. Bad news? The motor had already died. Not just worn bearings or in need of a drop of oil - flat out dead. 

And speaking of lack of life, apparently the odiferous waftings were not simply the last gasps of a fading motor. Stuck to the elements like a miniature Salem trial were two tiny fried mice. Mice, not rice. Fried mice. That acrid smoke? Dead mice.

As you can probably glean, one problem evolved into two. What to do about effing mice. With small rodents, the rule is see one, count ten. If there were two in the crisper, there's a higher number throughout the home.

There were also two teeny corpses behind the chewed filter.

I am not afraid of rodents, but don't want to share my home with any tiny critters that carry serious diseases. Compromised immune system aside, we live in open territory, so deer mice aren't uncommon and those adorable fuzzballs can carry hantavirus. No, thanks.

The electrician recommended I call my husband and get him to bring home mousetraps. 

In the meantime, things were getting chilly in New Denmark. Ringo seemed to think he was part of my outfit. My usual hoodie and jeans ensemble was not cutting it and I opted for extra layers. Did I mention we didn't order wood for the stove?

The electrician replaced the furnace motor after hunting down a suitable replacement. And the mouse situation is being addressed. Time to relax, right?



Tonight, while Nance was facing network connectivity nonsense, I noticed that the night's unseasonable +4 C downpour had triggered a major leak in the living room. The collective leaks were/are [sadly, ongoing at 11:49 PM] over a large window, but water was pitterpattering from a crack in the trim, underneath that sill, and also from the edge of the pane. And one for the little boy who lives down the lane.

Two buckets with strategically placed supports, five towels, a sponge, and a smattering of f-bombs, and I think the leak is slowing to more of a drip than a stream. I am sleeping - or not, as the blog update shows - in the living room to empty the buckets when needed. At least the drips have rhythm. It's almost as if I can hear them telling me just what a fool I've been.

I feel bad for our landlord. She lives well away from here and is trying to sell this house. I can't imagine she was pleased to have to buy a new furnace motor, or to hear there's a mouse problem, or there's a floodgate over the biggest window in the house. Yay! At least we were here to tell her about the problems, I suppose. Better than busted pipes and a mouldy living room. Home ownership blows sometimes.

1 AM update: still dripping and now it's blowing a 75 km/h gale and our curbside garbage can has pulled a Mary Poppins, ffs!

1 PM update: sun is shining. Fascia is torn off the front of the house and where did all those shingles come from? Also, we have ladybugs now?

In lighter news, we had a grand visit with a friend and her very handsome pup over the weekend. Two large dogs under one roof is a combo that will always make me happy. A familiar face, wine, dogs - what more could you ask for?

Maybe a life preserver.

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