Wednesday, October 22, 2008


We have made a household pact not to turn the heat on until November. Right now it's 63 degrees in the house and my nose is cold. I'm working from home today in two wool hoodies and firing up the teapot. Outside, it's gray and drizzly and leaves are falling intermittently, which reminds me of one of my weirdest fever dreams: one leaf, taking an interminable amount of time to make its way from the bare tree to the cold ground.

The Brit's dad is coming for a visit on Friday, so we may have to cave on the heat a week early. On the other hand, English people are used to the cold, the damp, and wonky heating systems. I'll just be sure to bake a lot during his visit.

Other household news includes a slow-draining kitchen sink or perhaps a wack garbage disposal, and a little bit of under-sink drippage, which I can hear as I type. I have tried cleaning out the disposal with ice cubes, a recommended technique, and also baking soda and vinegar (with a chaser of boiling water). The verdict on the latter: delightfully fizzy but ultimately not effective. I don't actually know why it would be, since you put an acid and base together and they should pretty much just neutralize each other and make water and fizz, right? But all the green cleaning tips instruct you to use this combo, so I'm dutifully dumping it in the toilet these days.

Dinner tonight is definitely going to be chili and cornbread. Ace just sidled up to me and is pawing at one of the wool hoodies.

Also, I keep sneezing. That can't be good.


  1. We just had a clog problem that ended up costing us in plumber fees. We bought a snake, but couldn't get it to the clog. It's yours if you need it. The plumber told us to stop using the disposal, that they just create whirlpools that suck down food and don't really chew anything up. And if you've never seen where your waste pipe, it's not very wide - maybe half the size of your arm. We were then told that the blockage was severe and that the snake we bought wouldn't have worked anyway. On the plus side, the plumber has a special tool (haha) that involves no chemicals. Totally green. An no, it wasn't JOE THE PLUMBER.

  2. We actually had a plumber scheduled for today and the Brit canceled it because he couldn't stand the thought of having someone out before exhausting all home fix-it options. He did snake it once and no dice. We're done with the disposal in any case. It's stupid. Neither of us grew up with them, and we should be composting our scraps anyway.

  3. We caved and turned the heat on... but in this old drafty house, having the thermostat set at 67° only means that the upstairs bathroom is like, maybe 65°, after a shower or something. I have comfy knit cardigan over layered s/s & l/s tees, a pair of jeans, and should really be wearing socks with my slippers...

  4. My hair clogs up all drains everywhere and I've used the baking soda/vinegar fix many times with mixed results. I think it's probably a good maintenance thing, but it doesn't have the shazam to unclog a big problem.

    I find that the best way to warm up in a cold house is to sweep and vacuum.

  5. I was told by someone with years in the biz that using a garbage disposal is like 2 extra people on your septic system.

    I keep seeing a woman here, Michigan, that could be your twin.

    Our heats been on for a couple of weeks on account of children and a grandma. I'm dreading the next bill.

  6. My heat's been on for weeks. I keep it at 64 at night and 68 when I'm home and awake and 60 when I'm at work. Cannot stand it colder, regardless of wardrobe or indoor activity.

    I've tried the baking soda trick too, with boiling water. Did nothing.

    Where do you compost your scraps? Do you have a worm set-up?