This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Steve is H.O.T Hot!

The house in which we currently reside is really, really, old. I mean Benjamin-Franklin-probably-has-a-kite-in-the-attic-for-our-electricity old. I mean ancient (an antique, as the realtors say...). So it probably goes without saying that our heating system is old, baffling, loud, expensive, and well, baffling. Most of the house is heated by oil heat which means that the radiators in all the rooms hiss, clink, thump, and even occasionally give heat. The kitchen and family room of the house are heated by a pellet stove. A pellet stove is, in theory, a marvelous invention: wood pellets that are the by-product of the lumber industry are burnt in a clean and efficient way, or at least that's what the brochures say. In reality it means that our kitchen/family room are either freezing or burning up and we have yet another contraption that is hissing, clinking, and thumping only this one also squeals like its dying until it gets "warmed up" and keeps the house smelling like a constant campfire from the matches and accelerant it needs to get started. Oh, and our indoor air quality probably rivals that of any night club with all the smoke that it pours out. I'm not a huge fan of the pellet stove.

The two systems also mean that I get to pay for 2 kinds of heat: oil and wood pellets. Sigh.

But none of that has anything to do with why Steve is HOT. Allow me to set the scene: early Sunday morning, the kitchen and family room are freezing cold, Steve wants to start a fire in the pellet stove so he fills it full of pellets and then realizes we don't have any fire accelerant. I come downstairs to see him wandering around the house with a box of large kitchen matches muttering "what do we have around this place that will burn...?" Now my ears perk up, I will admit, but this is not the first time I heard Steve mutter these words and I am no stranger to him burning things. About 15 years ago when we lived in our first house he decided to burn the leaves instead of carting them to the curb. Unfortunately he received a phone call during the leaf burning and left me to "tend the fire." The wind picked up the second he left and the little leaf sparks that were gently floating on the warm air currents began blowing around the yard and starting little fires. I was screaming, pinwheeling my arms, and running around the backyard trying to get his attention and hook up the hose. By the time he finally came back outside I had turned the hose on full blast and put it (and my face so I could see what was happening) into the large barrel in which he was burning the leaves. The resulting steam and ash that shot out of the barrel singed my eyebrows and completely covered my face with soot. I should not be left alone with fire. So, yesterday when Steve was looking for something to burn in place of accelerant, I knew enough to give suggestions ("how about we go to the hardware store and buy some?") and then get out of his way. Luckily at Christmas Deb gave me some hand sanitizer samples she had and Steve saw those and his eyes lit up! Alcohol burns! He poured sanitizer all over those pellets, threw in the match and we all watched as the gigantic blue flames grew larger, even as our room smelled sanitizer sweet.

I like the addition of the sanitizer smell to our damp, musty, and smokey smell. I think it adds a little "eau du public restroom" that had really been missing.

I have to give credit for ingenuity though, when it comes to starting a fire, that husband of mine is hot!

1 comment:

Deb said...

I'm gald to know the sanitizer came in handy, had I known you had such a resourceful use for it, I would have given more to you. I also would have paid money to see your face apres the barrel fire. Sorry- but that is funny!