the perfect storm

06 January 2014

I just want to preface this with an apology for the length of this non-romantic telenovela and to assure you that no one dies no matter how bleak the painted scenes might seem. There's a not terrible ending, I semi-promise. 

I really should title this, "the perfect shit storm" but lets be literal tonight and mercifully ... there was no literal shit involved in the odyssey that keeps on chugging that all started with ....

Night Float. 

Yes, it's that time of year already. Again. My least favorite two months of every year of residency. Simon's gone from 5pm - 8am every day and sleep with a newborn is downright decadent compared to the paranoid "a predator IS going to break in tonight" snatches of sleep I get during these months. Totally my issue. Totally not fixable.  It's beyond miserable but we make it through and on Simon's last morning of night float in the spring of 2015 we will be serving multiple kegs and multiple eggs to anyone that would like to join us. Mark it down. Okay so first night of the hell float. Checkity Check.

What else?

Drowned Phone.

thanks to ...

Teething Baby.

Theo is cutting his canines and teething babies ain't no thang until you've got one on your hands. And I've got one. He was throwing one of his more flaily tantrums last night when he kicked my phone directly into a soaking pot of water in the sink. I don't think he killed it completely but it still needs about 30 more hours in the rice bath so .... my only line to the outside world was emailing on the laptop. What else? Ah, yes.

A Dusting of Snow.


We went to Mass yesterday morning and that was thee only other car in the lot. We made up half the congregation and between being five minutes tardy and Julia's (predictable/reliable) trip to the bathroom I pretty much missed all but communion. Fastest Mass ever. Everyone was smart and stayed home because the roads were admittedly terrible. We dumb. What else? Whaaat else? Oh ...

The Tepid Temperatures.


Which made this minor little deet super duper convenient ...

The Furnace Died. 

Dead. So Dead. I noticed less than an hour after Simon left for work. I remained sort of calm. Right. No I didn't. I think I've mentioned that our house was built about 80 years ago and retaining heat isn't exactly her forté and well ... I freaked and frantically emailed Simon. Anyway, you can imagine the string of emails that went down as he was on the phone with the heating company trying to diagnose the problem via phone and then email to me and to be 100% honest with you yesterday morning I could not have told you ...


"sooo ... like ... where is the furnace?!"

Oh, to be a fly on the wall of Simon's call room intercepting that little gem of an e-question. But I went from thinking the furnace was the air conditioner (WRONG - that is located outside, apparently ... something new every single day) to dismantling the thermostat from the wall (after a loooong series of convoluted questions and semi-confident answers ... this was determined to hold the key to the problem) and using a pair of Cutco scissors to cut wires and eventually twist them together (after switching the furnace to the off position - Simon CAPS LOCKED THOSE DIRECTIONS) ... I believe it's called "hot wiring" and I did it. Wait, or maybe it's called hard wiring. I'm not sure I could be any stoopider hear. But it doesn't matter because the hot/hard wiring ....

DIDN'T WORK. 

And the house was getting colder ... 15 degrees colder over the course of two little hours to be precise. And ...

We Have One Space Heater.

And

There Was a Foot of Snow/Ice on the Ground. 

And

The Van Was Buried in Drifts from the Plows.

And

Simon Had Taken the Shovel to Work. 

(still confused as to why but ... you don't question a man digging out his car for an hour before baaaaaaaarely making out of the driveway to go to work)

So. I threw Sebastian's crib in Julia's room. Threatened lives, turned on two sound machines, cranked the space heater, closed the door, said 99 prayers and ..... silencio. Miraculously. Had I known it would be that easy I would've had them bunking up two years ago. Theo can roll out his sleeping bag on the floor tomorrow night and Simon and I can stop tip-toe running past his crib anytime we need to get to corner of the attic where we sleep. Anyway ....

Then God Smiled.

Simon's chief (thanks Gavin!!) told us that you can FaceTime from the computer so we did AND God smiled even wider when St. Danny from Anton's Air Conditioning and Heating (bless them) had a change of heart and decided to come in his Monster Truck and help an igloo out. He determined that some wire under the furnace had shorted (impeccable timing, good wire) and it was totally their fault during installation for tucking it under another wire (?? not a language I frequent) this summer so it was free and he had a little chuckle at my thermostat hot/hard wire job, "welll I would put the thermostat back together but look how short you cut those wires!!"

Blink, blink, blink. Oh, yes. Lots of forethought went into my expert hot wiring. Trust a mother cutter.


But No One Died. 

Bash: "no-man!!!!"
Julia: "no, Bash."
Theo: "ho! ho! ho!"

So we all lived warmly ever after.

And if you happen to need me I'll be very, very busy hating on winter harder than ever before.

Some minor details ...
+ at one point during the tropical vacation our internet went out for about ten minutes. Imagine tangible hysteria. Then imagine tangible hysteria on steroids. Multiple that by 100. And again. Oh, yes! There I was.
+ I do think it would've been a possibility for Simon to come get us to sleep at the hospital so really it's not like we were in any crazy grave danger, I don't think.
+ Technically we were only without heat for a little over five hours. But still. 
+ because of the weather Simon had his slowest night at work of all time which enabled him to e-coach me through my plight. So ... polite nod in the weather's direction but my hateful sentiment remains the same. Forever.
+ A very kind reader from BERMUDA happened to randomly email me last night as I was eyeball deep in "hmmmm, is this electrical tape or painter's tape or washi tape?" and don't think I didn't take that as some sort of beautiful foreshadowing for the future. Or just a sick twist of cruel irony for the present. I'll going with the former but know deep in my stone cold heart that it was totally the latter. 


Stay warm.
And now go rest your eyes.
They're fatigued after being raked over such a light-hearted little read.



45 comments:

  1. I didn't mean to laugh at this post. But...I did. You just have the best way of telling a story!

    Our electric went out once and I was without it all day long {with a newborn} before I realized I just needed to switch the fuse back on. I blame Mom Brain.

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  2. Last night, as the wind chill hit -50, I was seriously praying that the power would stay on for everyone dealing with this crazy cold. Too little, too late? I'm so glad you got everything sorted out! Hope today is much better with no storms, shit or otherwise.

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  3. Can we start a Get-Grace-an-ADT-system Fund? or maybe you can tell ADT you are the poster child for needing an alarm system-a and you can be in an ad and tell give you an alarm system freebie for your time!

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    1. hahha. believe it or not even having one doesn't help! I'm that insane.

      this made me laugh though!

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  4. Okay this is killing me. So hilarious. "Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure." Adventure- you nailed it. At least in the retelling. ;)

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  5. So you know! If you have a mac computer, and if you've updated it to mountain lion (fo free!), the ichat app becomes the same messages app that you have on your phone, and you can text via imessage- it's the same as on your computer! Hope this helps for in the future!

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    1. oh this is SO helpful!!!

      my phone just rebooted (well is still updating) but is it embarrassing to admit I got happy teary? I hate being so out of touch.

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    2. hooray! welcome back to the land of the communicating!

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  6. Bah! Oh boy. So happy this ordeal is over.

    And clap, clap, clap for making it to Mass. We are lucky to have church(es) close to us so it really wasn't a perilous drive yesterday.

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  7. I can't wait to leave my 73-and-sunny climate to head your way.

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  8. Well you had me at teething!! I am dealing with death my a teething 7 month old right now and I think I might start writing my eulogy. But then the heater, I mean what the eff man! I would have been freaking out. I know all too well what its like to be held hostage by snow. And I can relate on the paranoia of not sleeping because someone WILL break in. When my husband is gone for weeks or months and an icicle falls off the house and comes crashing down, I jump up and grab whatever "weapon" i can to go investigate I am sure my neighbors see all the lights go on and me running around trying to come up with a plan of attack or escape and think "her husband must be gone again". But you survived!! Woo Hoo!!

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  9. OH MY GOSH I'M SO GLAD YOU DIDN'T DIE. From being without the Internet, you know.

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  10. Why oh WHY is it that heaters ALWAYS go out at the best time?!? The same happens with air conditioners. Ours went outright before a week long heat wave a couple of summers ago (I'm sure you would welcome that right now).

    I keep thinking Henry is teething because of the fussiness, but still no teeth. I hope that still counts as teething, and you aren't telling me it gets worse...

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  11. Okay, that was my worst fear yesterday and today. We've stayed toasty warm the whole time, but my husband also had to go to work and I am 100% in the throes of cabin fever because of this stupid storm. I think even going to the grocery store sounds fun at this point!

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  12. I read all of your posts in their entirety - you are so entertaining!
    Audra

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  13. My husband travels out of the country a lot for business and we finally got an alarm system last spring. I sleep much better when he's gone now that we have that! Hoping these two months speed by for you.

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  14. I can't tell you how happy it made me that you guys also braved life and limb to make it to church. We did the same yesterday, and after Frank spent 15 minutes after Mass pushing our car out of the unplowed and deserted church parking lot (with a little help from a non-English-speaking Mexican guardian angel who showed up out of nowhere), I finally admitted that he was right and the wise choice would've been to stay home. I feel so vindicated now knowing that you guys did the same!

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  15. Oh wow. That sounds awful!! Glad you survived!
    Just know it was -17 here this morning. Downright balmy your way ;)

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  16. Sounds awful! But you write so well :) And I can't sleep in an empty house either if my housemates are out, it totally freaks me out. Sending happy vibes from England for the rest of the night float :)

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  17. You know you get serious bonus points for going in crappy weather.... so good job you.

    Good luck with night float, I would die. And then I'd complain a lot about it. The night float, not the dying...

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  18. Oh Grace! This happened to me (much less dramatic though since I had a working phone) last week and it was -15 outside. I had NO clue where the furnace was! And after hours trying to get directions from my husband he just came home from work early to fix it. *face palm* Stay warm!

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  19. This was a horrifying story!!!! Glad all survived!

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  20. Oh man, that is what you meant by "back to wiring"! Now I see that my email was a bit of salt in the ol' wound. Sorry!! You are such a trooper, you might not know but you are.

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  21. Oh my goodness!! I'm glad you got everything running again! We're having the coldest overnight temperature in Atlanta in 18 years. I think the windchill will be -6 tomorrow morning. Schools are cancelled, etc. ,etc. Cray-zee! And no phone and then no internet? I would freak too. Maybe this will be the worst it will get during the two months - all the bad stuff up front.

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  22. Total party--NOT! Good thinking on the space heater and why in the world did Simon abscond with the shovel? Doesn't he know you might need it to ward of unwanteds in the snow storm? :)

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  23. Furnace, what's that? It must be next to the elusive sub pump and water main and dehumidifier I hear so much about. I think you need a big dog - that might solve all your problems...he could keep you safe at night, snuggle up to the kids to keep them warm, entertain them, and pull you on sled through the snow.

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  24. i'm stressed out just reading this.

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  25. BUT!

    That picture of you and Theo in the snow!!! LOVE!!

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  26. omg, talk about a nightmare. i'm impressed by your hot wiring skills! and that you were following email directions, i would have needed a step by step phone call!

    i'm glad the crisis was averted, and that it was free! that never happens.

    also i have the same fear that someone will break in when i'm home alone! i will never outgrow it.

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  27. this was such a good read. I SO feel for you! our power was out for two days a few weeks ago and it was freezing in here. no space heater allowed. so sorry about your phone, and also, I also hate winter!

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  28. Night float is the worst ever. Ever. Ever. All of the most terrible things happen during NF months. Prayers for you. Love your blog!

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  29. Night float is the worst ever. Ever. Ever. All of the most terrible things happen during NF months. Prayers for you. Love your blog!

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  30. Oh, poor you :(
    But it kind of makes me see you as Super Woman.
    So there's that.

    Manda from Eat Cake

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  31. Not fun. I have to admit, we probably would have been at Mass too. It would be kinda cool/weird to have the church (mostly) all to ourselves.

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  32. Started to go to mass and realized that my husband's car is eating oil like it is an all you can eat buffet of truffles.

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  33. Gah!! Things be crazy in your Winter WonderHell. I can't deal with the cold - even in Tejas where it is in the teens only in the morning. Nope. Don't do it. I had the opposite happen to us the DAY/week we got home from the hospital with Lukas this past July. A/C was out for a couple of days and continued to break throughout the week. Week of hell. But I think I would rather sweat my arse off than freeze it. You are a trooper! Glad everyone got fixed.

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    1. Everyone...everything. I'm sure it was all the same in your scenario :)

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  34. you poor woman!!! it's like the world conspires to give you good blog material.

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  35. Omigosh, that was both hilarious and awful all at the same time! The furnace has cut out on me before and it is no laughing matter. I didn't know how to turn mine on, and in Canada that's practically suicide. Or against the law. And maybe now they'll all sleep silently together in the same room - a storm miracle!

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  36. I laughed so hard that my two big kids came to see what was so funny. You made my day, which is pretty great since I haven't left the house since Friday and my kindergartener is home for his third snow day. Five year old, two year old, and an eight month old make for quite the chaos after being cooped up inside for this long. Thanks again for the laugh, I really needed it today. Glad it all turned out okay and try to stay warm - although it's a whole lot better out there today.

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  37. I'm so sorry to hear all you went through!!! I tell ya though, your husband is a SAINT!!! I was totally picturing you like McGiver with those wires :) I'm glad to know you didn't freeze!

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  38. At our house:
    Them: "Why you laughing mama?"
    Me: I'm reading something funny.
    Them: "Show us"
    Them: not amused
    Them: "that not funny. That mom funny. Not kid funny."

    So...not funny...but kinda.

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  39. Yo, Grace! Order FrontPoint security system! Among a million other nice features, there are door and window locks that beep whenever they are opened. Super helpful for little kids and also for sweet dreams! We got one for our house after seeing the one my brother and sister in law have in the wilds of Philly. :)

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  40. Glad you survived! I found your blog via the Alive Mag list today - I'm a food blogger in St. Louis. Love your writing style and am excited to follow along - under lots of cable knit blankets because our house still isn't all that warm after that storm.

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  41. When you said that your phone was drowned due to a teething baby, at first I thought you meant drowned in drool… which actually happened to me. My phone stopped working, and when I brought it to Verizon he said, "You have water damage… were you aware of your phone getting wet?" Um… you mean I shouldn't give the baby my phone as a teething toy? Sometimes it's all about survival and you use what you have... Anyways, glad you survived the "shit storm," glad there wasn't really any shit… the furnace dying during a winter storm is my nightmare!

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