I’m packing a firestarter, Drew Barrymore.

So, I gave the coach the hat on Tuesday. I gave it to him in a plastic bag to show that I’m not always a tissue paper/Rudolph bag mom. And when I handed it over, I said, “We made an extra hat over the break for your wife!” He looked sort of confused, but then quickly recovered and said, “Now we don’t have to share!”

Yesterday, he was wearing the original hat, and I felt like I was pressuring him somehow to do something he wasn’t happy about. And we’re all adults, although my brain doesn’t really act like one, so I felt like I had to say something. (You know how I am.) I rolled down the window, and he said, “My wife was really happy with the hat, so thanks!” I came back with, “Great! And, hey! Please don’t feel like you have to wear the hat to school. I know you probably have warmer hats.” He answered with, “Honestly? They all feel the same.” And then I got really mad. (Not really. I just want you to know how my synapses fire.)

Let’s see.

Oh! Okay! Last Saturday our furnace stopped working. SO, the furnace man came over, changed the batteries in the thermostat, and suddenly everything started working again. Victory! And then Jeff left town on Sunday and the furnace stopped working! SO, the furnace man came over on Monday and replaced the thermostat altogether, and suddenly everything started working again. Hallelujah! And then on Monday night, the furnace stopped working! SO, the furnace man came over on Tuesday and replaced a metal thing that communicates between the flame and the blower, and suddenly everything started working again. Triumph! And then on Tuesday night, the furnace stopped working and I ended up on the phone (again) with the furnace guy and he talked me through lighting the pilot light and assured me that he would not ask me to do anything if it wasn’t safe, and I kept asking questions like, “Should I be wearing rubber-soled shoes?!” and saying things like “I need you to understand that I am alone in the house with my kids, and I can NOT explode right now.” And he said, “I’m going to send Mike over tomorrow to talk to you about your options.”

So, yesterday afternoon, the furnace guy’s estimating friend came over and we talked about my options (and the fact that he was peeing blood a few weeks ago. I’m 100% serious. I’m not sure why people feel so comfy around me). And after hearing the sentence “I thought I was pissing Sangria!”, I actually wrote them a check with a really scary number on it, and tomorrow at this time I will have a team of gentlemen in my home installing a new furnace and air conditioner. And please don’t ask me any questions, because frankly? I’m all furnaced out. I’m now having to drag myself downstairs to light the pilot light Every Time We Need Heat, which is often—because it’s currently 14 degrees outside, and the kids are suffering through their first snow day of the year, and furnacefurnacefurnace.

Two hours ago, the girls and I made ice cream out of snow. (Click on the photo for the recipe.)

When life hands you snow, make snow ice cream!

Meanwhile, Jeff is in California doing things like this:

Yes. He actually shot that video as he drove from San Diego to Palm Springs yesterday afternoon. And Clarence Clemons never once stopped playing the saxophone to tell Jeff a sob story about kidney stones and bloody pee. Furnacefurnacefurnace,etc. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

27 thoughts on “I’m packing a firestarter, Drew Barrymore.”

  1. As I’m sure you already know I was impressed with the snow ice cream when you posted it on Flickr. I’m even more impressed with your creativity and fortitude knowing that you made it WITH NO FREAKING HEAT IN THE HOUSE. Yowza.

    Yay that you’re getting a new furnace!

  2. Oh, you’ll love a new furnace!

    Yeah, with ours, we can record a different show on every TV! Oh, wait, that’s not a furnace…

    I mean, we are able to save tons of money by splitting a side of beef with someone and keeping it in our new furnace. No, no. That’s not right either.

    Ours gets better gas mileage on the highway than before! Er. It has a POT SCRUBBER setting and I don’t have to wash before I wash!

    Oh, hell. What good is a furnace anyway!!

  3. Is it weird that my first thought was “but you’re a knitter. You have wool. You don’t need a furnace” and then I nearly spit out my Lemon Ginger Tea at the Sangria pee comment.

    Also: can I say how brave you are for lighting the pilot light? I don’t know why but that scares me a little. I don’t know if I could do it without a lot of hand-holding.

    Glad the toque (hat) give-away went (nearly) smoothly!

  4. Down with furnace woes! Up with ice cream! We’re currently brokenvanbrokenvanbrokenvan here, and I’m done with that. I feel your pain.

  5. Excuse me, but did I correctly guess that Clarence Clemons piece was from “Thunder Road”? Did I win anything if I’m right???

    Your furnace tale made me laugh. You kill me!

  6. Snow icecream! Brilliant! :)

    Also – i once got hit on by the cable guy…it was way awkward. but the blood in the pee totally wins the awkward handyman contest!

  7. Wow! There wasn’t even any snow on the mountains! Or potholes! Or salty cars!

    You also just made me look forward to the snow we are getting tomorrow. So thanks for that!

    My condolences on your furnace. I’m impressed that you handled it like such a grown up. Replacing a furnace is one of the most grown up things you can do, you know. I’m just waiting on our (original, 1950’s) furnace to go. By waiting, of course I mean fearing, loathing, dreading. Neither I nor my bank account is grown up enough for that yet.

  8. Oh I’m so glad you gave it to him. He better like it damn it! If not, I’ll come take it from him and wear it with pride.

    I had to go through the new furnace/AC issue 2 years ago except it was during the 100 degree summer in Texas. Not fun. And oh the pain of writing that check.

  9. Beneath the city, two hearts beat, soul engines running through a night so tender…


    Okay, but, seriously, tell me the dude was NOT driving. Please, please, please. I live in California. I’m worried.

  10. re: people feeling comfy with you. You have what we call in my family “bus face.” That is, if you sit on a bus (or plane – planes are very bad for this) the person next to you will tell you their life story. I have it, my mom has it. My mom has actually put it to good use – she works for the census bureau, and she asks people how much money they make and all sorts of other questions – and because she has bus face – people tell her! Of course, there’s also all the legal protections for that information and she can’t tell anyone else and stuff – so there’s that – but bus face definitely helps in her line of work.

    We’ve actually turned it into a verb in our family. If you get stuck in a long random strangely revealing conversation with some clerk, or some passenger or some person who comes to the door – you just “got bus-faced.” Hearing about a workman’s excretions – blood or no- is a clear example of getting bus-faced.

    My husband, on the other hand, is always having people stop and ask him for directions. Even when we’re on vacation. We don’t have a name for that face . . . .

  11. My furnace is broken this week too! It sucks! It’s a never ending spiral of the furnace almost being fixed but not really and OMG is it cold in our bathroom. Luckily we’ve go a very old wall heater that is not connected to the furnace so we have heat in the living room/kitchen/dining(all one big room), but everywhere else, FREEZING.

    I hope your new furnace is awesome! We still don’t know if we can fix ours or need a total replacment ASAP.

  12. I feel your furnace pain. Ours stopped working two days before Christmas. I was sick as a dog with a cold/sinus infection and had pulled a muscle in my back from the coughing. The furnace guy gave us the bad news on Christmas Eve. We ended up getting a new furnace and a/c (we knew we needed the a/c, but planned on waiting a few more months). Merry Freaking Christmas!
    Our furnace guy told me he felt like he’d done about 3000 sit-ups because he’d been throwing up for five days (his wife food poisoned the whole family). You win though, with the ‘peeing sangria’ comment.

  13. Listen, you people in that other hemisphere, give the cold stuff a rest, hey? It’s 35C here & I’m over it. I would love a day or two of cold. But that’s all. Also, how did he get the slices of lemon out, that’s what I want to know.

    And yes, like ElandSimon I’ve been asked for directions in many unfamiliar cities, including Rome, where my basic Italian got me through that very strange experience. Bus-faced, I like it.

  14. Whoa, Jeff watch that truck..look out for that cliff!!! My knuckles were white as I watched that. The ice cream was a fun idea, not so great w/o heat in the house, though. Sorry your furnace probably spent your yarn money, that blows!

  15. Wow. Just wow. It still strikes me as funny that i am the grown-up now and have to be concerned with furnace type problems and not just what time cartoons come on USA Cartoon Express. So glad you were able to light a pilot light without incident. Bravo!

  16. The guy loves the hat!! He probably just didn’t know what to say. Maybe he thinks you have the hits for him

  17. Okay, so after reading Patois’ comment, I’m thinking the sax is more “Born to Run” and less “Thunder Road”. It’s a cinch that I am not well-versed in Springsteen sax solos.

  18. We just got a new furnace in November, which is an efficient improvement on the 1973 beastie in the basement we had before. We got three estimates, but did not go with the one who mentioned his Crohn’s disease. He was also the one who asked us if we are Catholic because we have four kids. Which we are. But STILL. Stereotyping someone to their face? And then laughing? Not cool. Sorry about your bloody diarrhea, but we won’t be paying you $10,000.

  19. I would love to see you knit a tea cozy for your new furnace. It might take you until next January but think of the possibilities! You could begin making them for everyone and sell enough to pay for your furnace!

    There’s a tea cozy on my head right now. That’s why I’m talking crazy.

  20. Because I’m so enamored with all of you online gals who knit, I’ve decided to learn. No joke…at Hobby Lobby there is a book, “Learn to Knit in a Day” and dang’it if I’m not going to be a perfect knitter (?), knittress (?), knitalicousesstress in JUST ONE DAY. Just you wait. You’ll be so jealous. All of you who have taken YEARS to fine tune your skills – heh

    I’m telepathic.
    The guy loved the hat.
    So did his wife – especially because of the lavender.

  21. I love the snow ice cream idea. Thanks for sharing!

    I’m glad nothing blew up when you lit the pilot light. I can barely stand to light the grill. A little voice in my head says “Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!” every time.

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