Feeling (and smelling) the Heat

31 10 2007

I got home from work yesterday and was shivering by the time I’d gotten the mail and fumbled with my keys to open the front door and punch in the alarm code (p.s. no further issues with “false” alarms… phew!) and I anxiously hustled inside, anticipating that cozy “I’m home” feeling to settle in… instead I continued my teeth-rattling shivers. It was as chilly (if not MORE) inside my house as it was outside! Yikes! So mark the date, October 30, as the first day I had to turn the thermostat to the “heat” setting in my new house!

So, I flipped the switch and waited… and waited… and waited… I thought I heard something warming up below my house (which would be nice, seeing as how that was the ONLY thing warming up at that moment!) but nothing was coming forth from the registers – heat-related or otherwise. I decided it was one of those “watched pot” sort of situations, so I went about my after work business… or at  least I half-heartedly went through the junk mail and changed out of my scrubs… always with a keen ear turned to the potential kicking-in of the furnace. And then… HEAT! And that unmistakable first-heat-of-the-season smell. I hoped that the smoke detectors would not register the smell as fire… I can’t handle another pseudo-alarm situation at my house just yet!

Short version of the story – burning smell faded and that cozy home feeling ensued!

Well, now I wasn’t looking to turn my home into a sauna, so after awhile it was time (like right before I jump under the glorious down-comforter bliss that is my bed!) to turn off the heat. So I re-flipped (un-flipped?) the heat switch… and nothing happened. Perhaps my particular furnace needs a little cool-down time as well? So I waited… and waited… and waited… And I was just about to give up and surrender myself to the idea that I would have to leave my windows open all winter long to offset the hot-yoga-studio that my little house would surely be, when the heat cut off and everything was as it should be once more.

Happy Halloween!





Too much excitement

24 10 2007

I was frighteningly jolted awake at 4 a.m. when my house alarm went off… NOT a nice wake-up call. Especially because those kinds of alarms never indicate that something good is going on. So there I am, alone in my house, in the middle of the night, with this alarm screaming through the dark silence. I ran to the panel and punched in the cancel-code, then realized that I’d just disabled the alarm so whatever tripped it in the first place now has full and un-alarmed access. *shudder* The alarm company called immediately and ran through their questions with me, and they said they’d send the police out to the house. I went into my pitch-black living room and sat staring out one open slat in the blinds, waiting and watching for the police to arrive.

The first thing they ask when they arrive (looking bored and irritated to have been bothered at all) is NOT “Are you okay?” But instead a demoralizing “Do you have an animal in your crawl-space?” What? Apparently the alarm company had relayed the message that my crawl-space door was the culprit for tripping the alarm. The next statement from the men-in-blue was “Usually the homeowner will go and check things out before we are involved.” Ummm, ex-CUSE me?!?! It’s dark and rainy and I’m all by myself and now horribly scared because my alarm just went off in the middle of the night… there’s no freakin’ way I’m going to go out there to “check things out.” That’s just stupid.

So, yes, my crawl-space door had somehow come open. Human? Animal? Force of nature? The mechanism of opening remains unresolved. And, yes, I technically did not NEED the police to come out to my house to check things out and just make me feel bad and embarrassed. I do hope that no one in the East Atlanta area was getting murdered at 4 a.m. because the police were at my house instead. But I just won’t think about that.

Who would want to hang out down there in that creepy crawl-space anyway? It’s my house and I don’t even want it to exist, let alone actually open the door and go inside. You can be sure I will be replacing the lock on that door to make sure this situation does not repeat itself. I simply do not need nor desire this kind of excitement in my life.





Oktoberfest(s)

21 10 2007

Ahhhhhh…. Oktober…. my favorite “fest.” Apparently this was The Weekend to schedule your outdoor beer/music/wine-tasting/etc festival. Originally we’d been planning on going to the Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival, but after all the time spent in coordinating who wanted to go, who would think about it, and who might have other (better) plans, the 5000-ticket quota had been filled, and we were all simply out of luck. Drat! Plan B – Steinfest ’07 in the Highlands!

Steinfest

(awesome location description – “in the parking lot behind the corner of…” – love it!)

Financially, we totally rocked this weekend. If we had managed to work out our original plan, we would have been out the $30 admission fee, plus parking. Instead, we aimed for the $7-at-the-door option, and my magically fabulous parking-karma didn’t let me down – a street-spot about 2 blocks from Steinfest ’07! When we got to the gate we did hesitate briefly… there weren’t very many people around, and we weren’t sure if it truly appeared worthy of our hard-earned $7 (plus the cost of beer and food) The money-taker/paper-bracelet-applicator saw our indecision and made a BRILLIANT tactical maneuver… “The generators are down for a bit, so we’re not charging admission until they’re up and running again.” Free parking AND free admission!!! Go, us!

Pre-generator entertainment included a bean-bag toss (we split our two games, and decided it was best to refrain from the rubber-match, and leave with an “everyone’s a winner” mentality instead!) and scoping out the food booths – $2 for 2 soft-pretzels or $2 for corn dog nuggets and fries!!! Then the announcement was made that the brats and chips-and-queso were complimentary as well. All thoughts of loss over missing the Decatur event were quickly wiped clear from our blissfully content minds!

We did have to deal with some piped in music from the sponsoring radio station for awhile until the replacement-generator arrived and the bands could re-take the stage. And then take the stage they did! We saw a fantastic band with Sonia Leigh on vocals… she was phenomenal! One of the girls bought her CD right there on the spot!

I was lucky enough to enjoy a steady stream of score updates from Portland – GO DUCKS!!! Football was the theme of the evening, however, as our ultimate plan was to return to my house for the 9 p.m. kick-off time of the Auburn-LSU game. My little kitchen was full of game-food preparation and drink-mixing and the whole house rocked with cheers and laughter! When else besides October would you find a Duck, a Bulldog, a Yellow-Jacket, and two Tigers having such a great time together?!





Joyeux Anniversaire!

12 10 2007

I know that might translate into something closer to “Joyous Birthday” but in this context, I’m taking it to mean HAPPY PARIS ANNIVERSARY to me and Jocelyn!!!

That’s right… a year ago today, I woke up in Paris! Today I woke up in a surprisingly cool (temperature-wise) home. It’s Fall here! In fact, at this precise moment (long before any West-Coasters are awake!) it’s actually 9 degrees warmer in Portland than it is in Atlanta! Brrrrr! (but cozily so)

Today I’m sure to be somewhat distracted at work… as my thoughts and my prayers are back home in Portland with my dear friend and former-coworker. Please, any and everyone who reads this, send your healing prayers and good wishes to Maureen.

                            pink ribbon





Ahhhh… Recess!!!

3 10 2007

What glorious connotations are hidden within that one little word! And let me just tell you, I have come to realize that recess gets BETTER as you get older! Take Friday night at Piedmont Park for example… our group ranged in age from about 7 years old (a PT’s son) to quite possibly a 40-something or two (we’re not big on “labels” – including ages – in our department!) And every last stinkin’ one of us had an absolute BALL (pun only sort-of intended) out there! The weather was spectacular – one of those crystalline blue sky days, pleasantly warm without being too hot, blissfully breezy without being overly-blustery, just the perfect day to play outside. And play we did! We divvied up into teams based on… well, we’re still not quite sure what we based it on. Suffice it to say that by the end of the day, one team (mine) had 11 people, and the other time had 7 people… and they won!

Grady High School is directly across the street from our make-shift field, and they happened to have a home football game last Friday night. I don’t know who won, and I can’t tell you if anyone even scored a single point because all we heard throughout the entire evening was the Band! Actually it was one of either school’s band at any one time, and they were FABULOUS! I imagine the scene to be very “Drumline.” Either way, it was a great soundtrack to our game.

I don’t have any action shots because my camera just stayed safely tucked away in my bag while the beer and hand-mixed drinks flowed freely. One observation… when one is on the losing team, it is quickly apparent that one’s team is not up-to-kick long enough. And the way one knows this, is because one has the distinctive taste of air-temperature beer each time one tips one’s styrofoam (*shudder*) cup to one’s parched lips… That is, of course, until one simply decides to trot out into the field with one’s beer in tow! Makes for more difficult catches, but also serves to decrease the amount of time spent caring about those missed outs! I do have a darling “Team Photo” that I’ll post as soon as I find the cord that connects my camera to my laptop.

Fall seems to have arrived here in ATL. Which means more of those gorgeous breezy days with clear blue skies and undetectable humidity… or it means crazy yellow-skied storminess and thunder and lightning all night long… either way, times are a-changin’!