Geekwif
“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet

 

Monday Morning Mithridate

Monday, December 31, 2007


mith·ri·date [mith-ri-deyt]
–noun Old Pharmacology
a confection believed to contain an antidote to every poison.
(And who can't use an antidote to Monday?)


Easy Recipe

Cashew Green Beans
You can substitute any oil you like for the walnut oil, but I find that a nut oil gives the best flavor for this recipe. Also, if you want meat in it, you could add just about anything you like – chicken, beef (not ground), or shrimp would all work well.


1 lb green beans, fresh or frozen (trimmed if fresh)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp walnut oil
1/2 med. onion, sliced
8 oz mushrooms, quartered
3/4 c. chopped cashews
1/2 c. hoisin sauce
Steam cook green beans, just until tender. In a large skillet, saute garlic, onion, & mushrooms in the walnut oil, until tender. Add beans, cashews and hoisin sauce. Mix well and cook until all ingredients are heated through. Serve with rice.


Quote

Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to.
Bill Vaughan


Scripture

Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:4-5

Read the next post if you would like to contribute to the Monday Morning Mithridate!

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Want To Contribute To the Monday Morning Mithridate?


The Monday Morning Mithridate is open to contributions from anyone who might be interested. If you would like to participate, here are a few ground rules to follow.

1) The MMM is broken down into categories, of which I’ll post from three each week. The current categories are as follows:
  • scripture verse
  • poem
  • joke
  • quote
  • trivia
  • entertaining news item
  • tips
  • easy recipe
  • top ten list
Your contribution should fit into one of these categories, or, if it doesn’t, you can suggest the addition of a new category.

2) Keep it brief. I’m not going to give a maximum word count, but ideally your contribution will be no more than one or two paragraphs. (Some categories may stray from this a bit, like the Easy Recipe and the Top Ten List.)

3) Keep it positive. This is an antidote to the Monday blues, so the idea is to be cheerful and encouraging.

4) If you submit a joke, quote, recipe, etc. from another source, please give credit where credit is due. I will add that credit when I post the MMM, along with your provided link to that credit if appropriate.

5) I reserve the right to refuse to use any particular submission if I don’t feel that it fits the spirit of the MMM or the Geekwif blog. It is my blog and therefore anything I allow to be posted is a reflection on my own character and that of this blog.

6) Here’s how to submit. Email your submission to gwmondaymorning@gmail.com. Include the following:
  • The category into which you feel your contribution fits
  • The contribution itself, of course
  • Any appropriate credit and link
  • Your name (blog aliases are fine) so I can give you credit for your contribution
  • A link to your blog if you would like me to add it

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The Search

Sunday, December 30, 2007


For more than twenty years I attended the same church. We’ll call it Rez. I first visited Rez with my parents when I was a teenager and we joined shortly thereafter.

I was very involved in the youth group and all my closest friends were from Rez. Almost all my social activities as a teenager were centered around the church and my church friends.

When I was 21, the Geek started attending there. We met, fell in love, and were married there just a few short months later. For many years we were active members, serving at various times in various ways: cleaning the facilities; singing in the choir; playing musical instruments on the worship team; singing, playing, acting, and writing for Christmas musicals; leading a home group. Our lives were completely wrapped up in Rez.

For nearly fifteen years, we have dreamed of a home in the country. When that dream first began to take form, we dropped most of our obligations at Rez in order to concentrate on the dream. The further we became immersed in our plans – buying land, designing our home, arranging the building of the home – the less we attended church at Rez.

We did still attend, though. It was sometimes every other week, sometimes once a month, sometimes less than that, and when we were there people would ask us if we would continue attending Rez after we had moved to our home in the country. “Sure!” we replied with confidence. After all it was only an hour drive and Rez had been our church home for so long we couldn’t fathom leaving it.

But as the house project continued to move forward, our attendance continued to wane. The less we attended, the less we felt a part of the church family. We would greet a few friends, enjoy the worship, and occasionally even go out to lunch with friends afterwards, but it got to the point where there were more faces we didn’t recognize than those we did; more songs we had never heard than those we could sing by heart.

And then, two months ago, we moved.

There is something about moving to the country that makes you not want to leave it. Maybe it’s the quiet beauty that makes you not want to go back to the noisy clutter of the city. Maybe it’s the novelty of a new home. Maybe it’s the same no matter where you move. There is something to be said for making your church home in the community in which you live.

So, despite our confident replies, assuring people at Rez that we would not leave, we have begun the search for a new church home. This is a completely new experience for me. Rez was my church home all my adult life. I have never had to be part of the decision process of finding, choosing, and settling into a new church. Now that we have started that process I can attest to the fact that it is more difficult than it seems.

Churches, by nature, are very social groups so each time you enter a new church you are sure to meet many new people, even on the first visit. This in itself can be stressful. Almost subconsciously you put on a face that says “I’m happy to be here but still searching, interested but not decided, searching but not vulnerable”. You smile and shake so many hands, hoping that no one expects you to remember their name just yet. You wonder what they say amongst themselves after you have left, or if they even remember you at all.

And then there are the questions that must be answered. What kind of music do they sing? Can you worship with them? Do they have lots of activities going on? Are there so many activities that you may get roped into being more involved than you can handle? How about the sermon? Is it meaningful? Well-delivered? Sincere? Biblical? Sound? Insightful?

We have visited two churches so far. One just wasn’t our style, though they did tell us that the first and third services were more contemporary. (We had attended the second service.)

The other was an Assemblies of God church which tends to have a good, solid, Biblical foundation. The people there were friendly, the music sincere and worshipful, the message was very good actually. And yet....

We’re going to visit them again this morning, give it a chance, continue to investigate and see whether it could become home. There is just a strangeness to this whole thing. I think it stems largely from the fact that, for the first time in over twenty years I have no church home.

After so many years of dreaming and planning, we finally have our dream home in the country, but now we face the new challenge of finding our new church home. I just hope and pray that we can find a place that is as much home to us now as Rez was for so many years past.

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Silent Saturday

Saturday, December 29, 2007


As I mentioned before, I’m trying out a new format for my blog posts. Each day of the week will have its own theme. This week, I’m defining each day’s theme, and next week I’ll start posting according to this format.

Saturday.

That’s all, just Saturday.

Saturday is going to be my day off, my break from blogging, my day to catch up on house things, life things, everything.

Saturday...is...silent.

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Freestyle Friday

Friday, December 28, 2007


As I mentioned before, I’m trying out a new format for my blog posts. Each day of the week will have its own theme. This week, I’m defining each day’s theme, and next week I’ll start posting according to this format.

Friday is my second favorite day of the week after Saturday. Okay, maybe third – Sundays are pretty good too, but with Sundays you always know Monday is right around the corner, whereas with Fridays you’ve got the whole weekend ahead of you. Friday evenings are my very favorite, even above Saturday, because Friday night is date night.

All of that really has nothing to do with Friday’s category, which happens to be “Freestyle”. Friday is my “anything goes” day. You just never know what you might get that day. It might be something that doesn’t fit into any of the other categories. It might be something that does but I just felt like posting it on Friday. It might be something funny, touching, sad, joyful, intellectual, completely stupid, or something else altogether.

I guess you could say Freestyle Fridays are going to be like the wild card of my blog. Which basically means that Fridays from now on will be what my blog has previously been up to this point.

Happy Friday!!

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Thimble Thursdays

Thursday, December 27, 2007


As I mentioned before, I’m trying out a new format for my blog posts. Each day of the week will have its own theme. This week, I’m defining each day’s theme, and next week I’ll start posting according to this format.

In keeping with my cheesy “same first letter” rule, Thursdays are going to be “Thimble Thursdays”, and they’re are all about crafty things. They may or may not be crafts that actually require a thimble. Beading, crocheting, sewing, papercrafts, etc. are all fair game on Thursdays. I may show off projects I have undertaken myself, or I may link to a favorite website or a project that impressed me.

I haven’t talked a whole lot about my crafty side on this blog – at least not that I recall – but I do love to make pretty things, and I think this may encourage me to start doing some of the projects I would like to do instead of just looking longingly on the pretty pieces of things that have never been completed. Hopefully you’ll get something out of it too.

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Words on Wednesday

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Before I start on my description of Wednesdays to come, I just have to announce that it’s my 15th wedding anniversary today! Woo hoo!! 15 years ago today a very young Sweet Geek and I vowed to spend the rest of our lives together and it was the best choice we ever made. If you’re reading this Sweetie, I love you with all my heart and after 15 years I still wouldn’t want to spend my life with anyone but you. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next 15 years take us.



As I mentioned before, I’m trying out a new format for my blog posts. Each day of the week will have its own theme. This week, I’m defining each day’s theme, and next week I’ll start posting according to this format.

Wednesday, ahhh Wednesday. I have decided that Wednesday is all about Words. Yup, Words on Wednesday. I have a bit of an obsession with words; their pronunciation, their spelling, their usage. I would not call myself a wordsmith by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy putting words together in various ways, whether it be a blog post, a novel (I’ve started several, finished none), lyrics, etc.

Words on Wednesday will encompass all of this. I may link to a favorite website about writing, or the website of a favorite writer. I may review a favorite book. I may write about grammar or spelling or pronunciation – and yes, a few of these may become rants about people who say “reelator” instead of “realtor”, or “comfterble” instead of “comfortable”, but I will try to keep the rants to a minimum.

I may even do a little writing of my own now and then on a Wednesday, which may seem and odd thing to say considering that writing is what one does on a blog; but there is some sort of line in my head – a fuzzy line, but a line nonetheless – between writing for my blog, and writing for the sake of writing.

Words on Wednesday is going to be an interesting adventure for me. I can’t wait to get started.

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It's Christmas Day!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Merry Christmas!

The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

And by the light of that same star
Three Wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

This star drew nigh to the northwest
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both Pause and stay
Right o'er the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then entered in those Wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

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Trivial Tuesday


As I mentioned before, I’m trying out a new format for my blog posts. Each day of the week will have its own theme. This week, I’m defining each day’s theme, and next week I’ll start posting according to this format.

You may have noticed a trend starting here. Sunday Sanctification. Monday Morning Mithridate. I’m kind of keeping with the whole matching first letter thing. It’s a little cheesy, but it works.

So I had to come up with a T word for Tuesday. Tuesdays, to me, are kind of like a second Monday, so I decided to keep it light again with Trivial Tuesday. This has nothing to do with Trivial Pursuit. I won’t be asking you questions from the game cards or even posting trivial factoids.

Trivial Tuesday gives me a chance to be light-hearted and fun. I may write about my favorite TV commercial or episode of Friends. (Yes, I am a Friends freak. There, I said it.) I may post cute pictures of my pets. Maybe I’ll tell about my latest goofy dream. Whatever it is, it will be of little importance or depth – trivial.

Are you tired of these daily explanations yet? Eh, who am I kidding. It’s Christmas Day! No one’s reading this anyway. You’re not reading this are you? Hey! Go sing a Christmas Carol or something!

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Monday Morning Mithridate

Monday, December 24, 2007


As I mentioned before, I’m trying out a new format for my blog posts. Each day of the week will have its own theme. This week, I’m defining each day’s theme, and next week I’ll start posting according to this format.

But before I get started on all that, since so many people start celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve, I’d just like to say Merry Christmas!! I hope you all have a wonderful time celebrating the birth of our Savior with family and friends.

Okay, back to business. Monday’s are fun. Bet you haven’t heard that one before, huh? Monday’s at Geekwif will now be the home of the Monday Morning Mithridate.

There’s a little history behind this one. Several years ago, I had the idea to start a little Monday morning email with my friend, Blond Girl, to lessen the sting of Monday a bit. A “mithridate” is an antidote against a poison. Our Monday Morning Mithridate was an antidote to Monday, our most abhorrent day of the week.

We talked at one time about setting up a blog for the Monday Morning Mithridate, but it never happened, and now, it seems to me, that this is the perfect time to bring the MMM to the world at large (or really the world at small if you consider the current size of my readership).

Blond Girl, I hope you’re not too jealous, but I do have a plan that I think will soften the blow a bit. The MMM is going to be a joint effort. I will moderate it and probably do the bulk of the posting to it, but I will consider submissions from anyone who is interested.

You (Blond Girl, and the rest of the world) can email me something you think will fit into the spirit of the MMM. I’ll have a special email set up just for it which I will reveal next week on Monday. It should fit one of the categories of the MMM, but if you have something you want to submit that doesn’t fit any of the categories, you may suggest an additional category. I will retain full control over what is posted and what is not since it is on my blog.

Next week I’ll post my own and also a list of categories and instructions for your submission. Just watch for the Monday Morning Mithridate to cure all your Monday woes starting next week!

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Sunday - Sanctification

Sunday, December 23, 2007


As I mentioned before, I’m trying out a new format for my blog posts. Each day of the week will have its own theme. This week, I’m defining each day’s theme, and next week I’ll start posting according to this format.

Today, Sunday, is all about Sanctification. I thought of using “sacred” or “spiritual”, but I think “sanctification” better defines what this day is about.

Sunday’s posts will reflect my faith in Christ, my walk with Him, and the process of his sanctification in my life. I may post about some specific aspect of my walk with God; I may post a scripture verse that is particularly meaningful to me; I may write about our search for a church home in our new community. Whatever it may be, Sunday’s posts will reflect my journey toward being “holy as He is holy”.

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Whose Dream Is This Anyway?

Saturday, December 22, 2007


I was asleep when it attacked, gripping my leg in pain. My calf screamed out for me to save it, but sleep still kept me powerless to assist. Somehow my reaction to the pain woke my husband next to me.

“You okay?” he asked groggily.

“Mmm....” My language skills were slow to awaken. “Cramp,” I managed to mutter. When he didn’t respond I repeated the single word, the only word my brain could find at the moment. “Cramp,” I said a little louder.

Suddenly my vocabulary burst over my sleepy haze like the first rays of sun over the horizon. “Charlie horse,” I blurted.

“Ohhhh.” His voice oozed compassion.

“It’s starting to fade now.” I realized that my pain had disturbed his sleep as well as mine. “I’m sorry,” I said.

“For what?”

“For waking you.”

“Oh, it’s okay. Those things can really hurt.” And knowing that I was okay again, he rolled over and went back to sleep.

I, however, was not so lucky. Nature called just moments later, so I rolled out of bed and made my way blindly through the dark into the bathroom. Walking was a good way to work out the remains of the leg cramp anyway.

Diva was lying on the rug in the bathroom. Her purrs immediately filled the room when I entered, and she began to rub on my ankle, the wall, the floor – anything that might be willing to scratch behind her ears.

I tried to remember the whole of my recent ordeal. How did I wake him anyway? Was I writhing that badly? Did I actually cry out in pain? What woke him?

Several sleep-filled hours later, nature decided it was his turn to be awakened by its call. His absence woke me too, and the question was still there. “So how did I wake you anyway?” I asked him.

“What?”

“When I woke up with that charlie horse – how did I wake you up anyway?”

“Um, I think you dreamed that.”

“No, remember? I woke you and you told me it was okay because those things really hurt.”

“No, I think you dreamed that whole thing.”

“But I remember. And I got up and used the bathroom afterward. I remember it.”

He crawled back into bed and went back to sleep while I laid there wondering.

Did I really dream the whole thing? Or was he sleeping when he responded to me? It’s strangly unnerving to know that this is just one of those questions that will never be answered.

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Changing Things Up At Chez Geekwif

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Getting back into blogging after my sabbatical and the move has been a challenge, as you can probably tell from the infrequency of my posts this past month. There are several things that have contributed to my bloggy slothfulness: Dialup, long drive-time to work and therefore short time at home, etc, etc.

I’ve also been a little uninspired. I suppose I could write about the holiday party we went to, or my day shopping with Blond Girl, but while those were both very enjoyable events for me, they would not make very interesting blog posts.

I’ve been thinking about what I can do to perk up my blog a bit. I’m planning on a new design, though that won’t happen until after the new year, and a design change in itself won’t change content problems.

So, I have decided to try out daily categories or themes. Each day of the week will have it’s own theme, some more specific than others. I tend to prefer a life with very little structure, but sometimes a little more structure can be a source of inspiration rather than a hindrance to it. That’s what I’m hoping will happen here.

With Christmas coming up, I’m going to keep it simple. Rather than digging right in with my new format, I’m going to take each day to explain what the plan is for that day. I’m also going to wait until Sunday to start. After all this time, I’m still trying to catch up on my blog reading, so I’m going to dedicate a few days to that before I really get started on my own blog.

I’m excited about this new plan. I think it will eliminate some of the stress of trying to come up with something to write about every day. Plus it’s going to give me a chance to explore some things I haven’t before.

I hope you enjoy it too. See you back here on Sunday!

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Adventures in Waterlessness

Thursday, December 13, 2007


So, when you move into a new house in the winter, what are the two major systems that you really want to work? Heat is nice to have, right? And we finally have heat after the drama of the past month (which I recounted yesterday).

The other thing you want working, no matter the time of year? Water. Yeah, water is good.

Before moving to our new home in the country, I thought having well water was a nifty idea because you wouldn’t have a monthly water bill. Yes, you pay for the well up front, but eventually you use enough water to make up for it and it’s all free water from then on, right?

Oh, I could not have been more wrong. Our water saga begins with the digging of the well, for which I will direct you to our Dome Geeks blog. Just go to the linked page and search (control+F on a PC or command+F on a Mac) for the word “hydrofrac”.

By the way, the hydrofrac worked, but it cost us oodles of cash. As a matter of fact, it cost 18 oodles...if an oodle equals $1000. That’s a lot of oodles.

But, we have water. 1/2 gallon per minute, which, while significantly slower than city water, is plenty of water for a two people. Between the pressure tank, the water heater, and the well reservoir, we should have about 400 gallons of water waiting for us at any given time. And yet we seemed to keep running out of water.

Okay, let me back up a bit. The first few days we were here painting, as I mentioned yesterday, we were without water because they were still working on hooking it up. So we brought a case of bottled water for drinking, washing hands, and brushing teeth. We were going into town a lot for food and trips to Menards so we just used the bathrooms there anytime we drove in.

The mornings were the worst part those first few days. The first morning I got up at 5 a.m. and drove into town to the Holiday where I bought a couple of 20 oz. Cokes so I wouldn’t feel guilty for using the restroom. The Geek just used the biffy they had on-site for the construction crew. I wasn’t quite so brave...at first...but after the first 2 days of driving into town every time my bladder demanded it, I finally gave in. With the Geek standing guard, I used the biffy.

That’s all I’ll say about that.

Well, that and this: Did you know that there is cold air in there? Seriously, there’s a breeze. Really cold air. And THAT is all I’ll say about that.

By the official moving day, we had running water. And shortly thereafter we ran out. One of us turned on a faucet, and it just stopped.

Great.

So we called the builder. He came out and showed us how to reset the pressure tank which supposedly keeps it from trying to pump a dry well which can wreck the pump.

And we reset it...and reset it...and reset it. And every time we let it sit for hours without turning on water so that it could refill. And every time we wondered how in the world we were using 400 gallons of water in a relatively short period of time. And every time we tried to find ways to use less and less water.

Keep showers as short as possible.

Only one load of laundry or one dishwasher load every day, but never one of each.

Don’t let the water run for even a a few seconds if you’re not using it.

Finally, I called the appliance company and found out how much water our washing machine and dishwasher used per load. The washing machine uses anywhere from 10 to 19 gallons depending on the load, and the dishwasher uses 10-12 gallons.

So we added that to the water we used for showers, toilet flushes, and hand washing. There was no way we were using 400 gallons in a day, and yet still we kept running out of water. We contacted the builder, who spoke with the well guy, who said that based on what we told him it seemed the system was working normally.

And then the Geek made a startling discovery. After resetting the pressure tank one day, rather than not touching any faucet or water-using appliance for several hours, he (gasp!) turned on a faucet! And guess what? There was water! Not just a trickle, but real water, and it didn’t run out immediately.

But eventually it stopped again and we reset it again and then it worked again. It seemed we weren’t running out of water. The pressure just kept dropping for no apparent reason.

Eventually it got to the point where we were resetting it every...single...day. It’s not a huge stinking deal to run to the basement and reset the switch (except that it sparks and you have to be really careful not to get a nasty shock, which we each found out WILL happen at least once before you learn the trick), but it’s annoying (even without the shock). We have known plenty of people who have well water who have never had to reset their pressure tank even once. So why did we? Especially when we weren’t running out of water?

So back to the builder we went, and the well guy called us back. Amazingly enough, he was able to come out on the same day as the furnace guy to check it out. He went downstairs with the Geek and took one look at the pressure tank gauge and said, “Oh, well here’s your problem.” He took out a wrench and started cranking on a pipe and the gauge moved from the 40 mark (which we thought was normal because that's where it had been hovering since we moved in – except for when it was at 0) up to the 60+ mark.

And we haven’t had to reset that tank since.

The moral of the story is this:

It is GOOD THING to have water and heat! Woo hoo!!!

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Adventures in Heatlessness

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


When the time was coming close for the Geek and I to move into our new house, we decided to spend a few days painting the interior before we officially moved in. That would eliminate the problems of painting around furniture and trying to keep pets from getting paint on themselves and then distributing it all around the house in inappropriate places.

On October 31st we drove out and got started. The builder was here finishing up a few things and the water was not on yet, but we knew that might be the case so we bought a case of bottled water, set up the air mattress on the bedroom floor, and prepared to “rough it” for a few days.

That night it started cooling off and we realized that the furnace wasn’t running. Great. Well, at least we had sleeping bags that were rated down to 15 degrees, and it wasn’t all that cold yet. I think outside it was getting down into the 40s outside at that time.

The next morning when the builder showed up we asked him about it. Turns out that the furnace wasn’t on. There’s a switch on the furnace itself that looks like a light switch and turns it on and off. We had no idea we would have to turn on the furnace. Don’t those kind of things just work?

A few days later the house was all painted; the furniture had been moved in, thanks to some very helpful friends; and the contractors were (mostly) finished with the house. We settled in for a good night’s sleep in our very own bed in our very own house...and realized that once again we had no heat.

The builder got the furnace guy out to look at it. This time the cover was on wrong. We have no idea who took the cover off and then put it on the wrong way. Maybe some fiendish fairy living in our basement? Who knows. Anyway, since the cover was on incorrectly it wasn’t hitting a switch inside the furnace which detects if the cover is installed correctly. Once the problem was rectified, the furnace started purring happily again.

Until a couple weeks ago. We came home from work one night and the thermostat read 65 degrees. Not freezing cold, but since it was set to 68 it seemed strange that the furnace wasn’t running. The Geek investigated but could find nothing wrong, so he flipped the “cool/off/heat” switch on the thermostat to “off” and then back to “heat”, and voila! The heat was back again.

But alas, our problem was not solved. Every day or two the same problem would recur and we would flip the switch off and on again. After a while it started taking 2 or 3 tries to get it to work. The Geek checked out the manual which told him there was a blinking light that indicates problems. It was blinking 7 times and then pausing which meant that the furnace wasn’t getting gas.

So we added it to the list of things that need fixing and sent it off in an email to the builder. He answered back that he was trying to reach the furnace guy and would send him over. He also gave us the furnace guy’s number so we could call him ourselves if necessary.

That night, which was Monday of this week, it happened again.

We flipped the switch.

Nothing.

Flipped it again.

Nothing.

Again.

Nothing.

Are you noticing a pattern here?

Now in case you don't know, we live in the upper midwest where it’s really cold this time of year. In fact we are having some unseasonably cold weather. The night time temps are down around 0. Yes 0. And that’s Fahrenheit, not Celsius. But we didn’t know what else to do at 9:30 p.m. so we went to bed and huddled down under our comforter.

By the next morning, which was yesterday, the furnace still hadn’t kicked in and it was 57 degrees. The Geek decided to stay home and make sure we were able to get someone out to fix the problem since the temperature in our house seemed to be going down at a rate of about 1 degree per hour. With a little boiling water on the stove, and some pizza rolls in the oven, he managed to keep the temp from dropping below 57 while he called the furnace guy and the builder and left them both messages.

The furnace guy showed up around noon, about 1/2 hour after the furnace had spontaneously started working again. He opened it up and found a piece of debris between the gas line and the regulator which was blocking the gas from getting through – but only sometimes. Sometimes it would shift and let gas through, which is why we could sometimes get it to work. He blew out the debris, checked a couple other things to be sure that was the only problem, informed the Geek that we could call him anytime (including late at night) if our furnace ever went out again, and was on his way.

Last night our house was cozy and warm and continues to be so today. Here’s to hoping it stays that way!

Tune in tomorrow for Adventures in Waterlessness!!

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My Poor Old Car

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


I hinted in an earlier post that our move out to the country may have involved some drama. I’ll get to that one of these days, but for now, the past day-and-a-half has involved enough drama of its own.

We’ve had quite a bit of snow this week. Not huge, mind-blowing, stuck in your house amounts of snow; just enough to make the roads slick and the traffic so slow the tortoise looks speedy.

Now that we’ve moved, we have two houses – one in the city, which is not far from my workplace, and the new one out in the country. Since the city requires that home-owners shovel their sidewalks within 24 hours after a snow or risk paying the city $100 to do it for them, I decided to spend my lunch break shoveling snow at the city house. After shoveling the sidewalk, I got in my car and turned the key.

Nothing.

I tried the lights, the radio, the wipers – all fine. I turned the key again.

Nothing. Not a peep. Not even a click.

So, I grabbed my stuff and headed into the house, thankful for a warm-ish place to sit while I dealt with this mess. The sad part is that I’ve done this so much lately that it really didn’t phase me much.

Two hours later a tow-truck picked up myself and my car and transported us to the mechanic of my choice. By this time I had figured out that I wouldn’t be going back to work, and had left a message for my boss to that effect, bumming while I did so since was just out for two days last week getting my car fixed.

After an hour, the mechanic had good news and bad news for me. Good news: it wouldn’t cost me a penny since it was the starter which was still under warranty. Bad news: they couldn’t get the part until the next morning.

Sigh.

So, my dear sweet Geek came to my rescue, driving an hour out of his way to get to me and then two hours home to the country. Our poor Razzie puppy had been in her kennel for 14 hours by the time we got home, and yet the floor was still dry. Much praise was lavished upon her for her amazing feats of bladderly strength.

This morning, in order to get us both to work on time, we got up at 4:30 (which in my book is still night time – morning doesn’t start until at least 5:00), left before 5:00, and the Geek dropped me off at my parents’ house. My mom then took me to work at the appropriate time, and picked me up in the evening and took me to the garage to get my car. With traffic as it is, I got home at 7:00.

Whew!

So, in the past week and a half, I have gotten new brake pads and rotors, a new starter, new tires, and a few other minor things. And we’re making two house payments. Fun.

If you know anyone who wants to buy a cute house in a really dangerous lovely, family-oriented neighborhood, let me know. I could use the money to pay for car repairs. Come to think of it, I think I’ll use it to just buy a new car.

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Our New Home

Sunday, December 02, 2007


I've been promising pictures of the new house, and now that I have found the cable to upload photos from my camera and have internet access at home, I can finally make good on that promise.

Photos of the construction process can be found on our Dome Geeks blog. Here are the photos of the house as it looks today.

The laundry room is also the entry from our garage. With shoes and coats and a pretty large washer and dryer, there's not much room left in here. We considered leaving it white, but that pretty green makes it so much more welcoming. And I just have to say...I adore my new front-loading washer and dryer.


The master bedroom is next to the laundry room. Say "hi" to YoYo! (Isn't he cute.) There's pretty much always a kitty (or two or three) on the bed.

We painted this room what we thought was a nice olive green, but it turned out not so olive. The olive/gold curtains don't match very well now, but I think I can make it work with a little finesse here and there. I'm considering a special paint treatment (been watching old taped episodes of Trading Spaces and getting inspired), and we're going to put up crown molding. Of course, a headboard and some artwork will help a lot too.


The bathroom is the same color as the laundry room. I know, it looks like every room in this house is green but it's not. Just these first three rooms. You can't see it all in this photo, but while this bathroom isn't huge, it is way bigger than our old one.


This is the view into the great room as you come down the hall. I just love that vaulted ceiling. We chose a warm yellow for this whole area – kitchen, dining, living room, and hallway. The Geek is going to try his hand at some wood-working and make us a grand book case for that spot where the picture is. The books displayed on the existing shelves are only a minuscule representation of all the books we own and we need more space.


The kitchen is wonderful. I have never had this much storage space in a kitchen before. It's great. I actually have some space that isn't being used yet. And the island? It rocks. Perfect place to roll out a pie crust. I love it. Oh, and I think all kitchens should be yellow. It's just so happy.


The dining room is a little bare yet. The table is borrowed from the Geek's grandparents so we would have room for guests on Thanksgiving. Yup, that's right. We hosted Thanksgiving this year just a few weeks after we moved in. We were determined to do so, since we hadn't really been able to host anything for the past two years with all our stuff in storage.

The office isn't ready for use yet, so this room is sort of serving as a temporary office as well. Thus the computers and computer equipment on the tables.


And last, but not least, our living room. We just got the tree today from a tree farm just a few miles away. We were like two giddy little kids out there searching for the right tree. The blue tote holds our Christmas decorations which I haven't seen in two years. We'll be decorating tomorrow. I can't wait.

So there it is! The grand tour of the Geek and Geekwif's new home. We are so happy to be out in the country. Oh, and if you are wondering why this isn't a dome home, check out this explanation. We still hope to build a dome someday, but it just didn't work out at this time and living in the country was more important to us than building a dome. Even though it isn't what we had planned for, we are more than happy here. It's a great house and will be a lovely home for years to come.

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Erik the Bike Man

Saturday, December 01, 2007


I despise local television advertisement. It's not that I don't want my local businesses to have the opportunity to hawk their wares. It's just that you rarely ever see a decent local commercial. They are always poor quality. The owners, who are clearly not actors and terrified of the camera, always stare at the screen like deer in headlights while reading the text in a horribly unnatural monotone. I could go on and on.

Here in my neck of the woods, however, there is one shining exception. The following, in my opinion, may just be the most brilliant commercial ever made. Just check it out.



Now think about it.
  • It's got bright flashy colors and attention grabbing lyrics.
  • The sing-songy "Erik the Bike Man" bit is an extremely memorable hook, but it doesn't make you cringe. Quite the contrary. The Geek and I do our best impression every time we see a company billboard, truck, or store, and then we bust out laughing.
  • It's fun and playful, but not obnoxious.
  • It's got just the right amount of campiness to be fun without feeling amateur.
  • Best of all, the owner, who looks very much like an ordinary guy and not a smarm-bag, makes a very brief appearance and says just one quirky line – just enough to let potential customers see the face behind the company without letting him ruin his own commercial.
It's the epitome. Seriously, whoever made this commercial should write a book for local business-owners who want to make their own commercials. And then they should all read it. It would save me a lot of headaches in the future.

P.S. This was written before we moved when we still had TV. Since we now have 2 house payments until we sell the old house, we're finding creative ways to cut back. Out here in the boonies you can't get network TV without having satellite, which we opted not to have. I have not seen a single TV commercial in over 3 weeks. With this exception of a very few gems out there, like this one, that makes the Geekwif a very happy girl. And honestly, the TV? Haven't missed it a bit.

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Guess Where I'm Posting This From!


Home, Baby!!!

The Geek, who is an absolute genius and happens to be adorable to boot, spent much of his very valuable time and energy working to get us up and running with a wireless network and a dialup server at home, which means that for the first time since we moved, I can get online at home! Woo Hoo!!

My Geek Rocks!

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