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OK, so everyone’s fine and the house didn’t burn down

It did hit 90 degrees in here though. And the landlord had come over around 11 and opened a window for us, she just forgot to call, so the animals were safe. The thermostat had to be replaced, and all the wiring for it. Apparently the person who ‘overhauled’ the furnace to begin with to get it ready for someone moving in (and wired the new blower motor backwards, starting off the whole chain reaction of furnace woes) was supposed to have done that but didn’t. So theoretically this is the last of the furnace issues.

We hope.

Today we go and get the very last of the stuff from the House of Mold and leave the keys and that will be the end of that. It’s kind of sad, actually… it’s such a cute house and we were so happy to be there and then it turned into a nightmare. But we are very happy to be back in Asheville and we love the West Asheville neighborhood we are in now. We didn’t really care for Hendersonville. Now we’re back surrounded by all our favorite things and places — just in time to enjoy our first spring back home.

OK, that’s it. Maximum stress level has been reached.

I have tried really hard through this whole House of Mold thing to be positive and upbeat and not have a cow over it. After all, I keep telling myself, look at all the people in the world right now who are facing much worse problems? What right do I have to complain because we’ve had to move after only 7 months and throw out half our crap… but this morning I just hit the last straw and feel that if I don’t have a ranting tantrum, then the top of my head might conceivably blow off. So you’ve all been warned. This entry is all about me wallowing in self pity so you’d be best off just closing the page.

We have now had someone out to service the furnace at the new house a total of six times. Well… actually the last time, (which I might point out, was just YESTERDAY) was a routine inspection to make sure everything was working right after the previous five repairs. We’ve had functioning heat for several days, the inspector that came out yesterday hooked up the kitchen duct (which wasn’t tied in to the heat system) and tested things out and pronounced the furnace healthy. We had 100 gallons of oil delivered and figured things were finally smoothed out and we could finish moving the last of the stuff out of the old house tomorrow (yes, there is still more to move) and work on getting settled.

So this morning, when I awoke after an uncomfortable, restless night to find the house oppressively HOT this time, and the furnace running full tilt even though the thermostat was set to 59… lets just say I’m running out of happy thoughts. I tried turning the thermostat all the way down to no avail, all along with me thinking "but that’s my $250 worth of oil that son-of-a-b**** furnace is eating!" We called the landlord, who called the furnace people, and then we had no choice but to leave for work since we couldn’t afford to miss any more of it and the clinic was short-handed. The landlord said she’d come out to let them in.

And then, halfway through the day, still having not heard anything about the situation, it occurred to us… ‘gee, maybe we should have left a window or two open, since it was 80 inside when we left?!’ I called the landlord who said she was on her way to meet them at the house, and she promised to open a window if it was really hot and to call when they were done. But I haven’t heard anything, I’ve left another message for her (four hours have passed) and I am starting to freak a bit. And we still have another hour at least to go at work, plus the half hour it takes to get home. Of course I am highly skilled at paranoia and conjuring up worst case scenarios, so at this point am convinced the house burned down… and feeling very sorry for myself — why can’t we just have some peace and normality in our lives? Why does everything always have to turn into chaos and calamity?

Furniture Rejection

We are still getting settled in at the new house, a process that was slowed down somewhat by not having any heat all weekend (a total of four different furnace repair guys have now had a crack at the cranky old oil furnace) and actually we still have a bunch of stuff to clear out of Mold Central before we are finished. Hopefully we’ll take care of that tomorrow and then will be able to move on with life. We had to throw out a bunch of moldy stuff, including a bed and our couch, and most of our books and some other things are now ‘quarantined’ in a storage unit until we can determine what is worth trying to clean and what we should just toss. The stuff that we did move, we decontaminated as best as we could… the best strategy for keeping the spores at bay is going to be to make sure the new house doesn’t provide a friendly environment for it. We’ve bought an indoor thermometer with a humidity gauge so we can make sure our house stays under 60% as much as possible.

The animals seem to be adjusting fairly well to their new home. Winter is going through some bratty teeenager phase and is into everything. Simon is enjoying the accoustics in the hallway (howling through the house in the middle of the night is apparently more fun when the noise has tile to reverberate off) and Wednesday seems to like her new home. Olive, who just started Prozac last week for her aggression issues, is doing pretty good even though she got stressed by all the repairmen tromping through. Cricket is the only miserable one, between the furnace being broken and living in ‘lap withdrawal’ since we have no furniture to sit on, but she does seem to at least like the yard. Lindsy is having a great time, having not only a big fenced yard to explore but also a new friend — she’s quite smitten with the Chow mix next door.

Yesterday we went sofa-shopping, hoping to find something cheap but sturdy to replace the mold-eaten one we had to throw away. We struck out at the used furniture stores and moved on to considering a new one, and found a possible couch at a store down the street from us. The style was OK, and it was really comfortable, but it was sort of a grey-blue color we weren’t sure about. We tried a few more stores, with no luck, then went back to look at the blue one. We sat on it again, weighing the decision, and I noticed that I kept hearing crackling every time I moved. I ran my hand along the material and it was the strangest sensation, like there was a forcefield of electricity radiating out about 4", it actually made the hair stand up on my arm. When I touched the surface, I got a huge static shock.

I tend to have issues with static electricity more than most people to begin with so I figured it was just me. I tried a few of the other couches that were made of the same microfiber material. Nope, just the blue one. Hmmm… maybe it was my coat? I took it off and sat down again. The entire sofa practically sizzled, and when I stood back up it zapped me in the butt! I tried touching something to discharge the static buildup before I sat down — same thing. It was the strangest thing, but apparently this couch wanted nothing to do with me. It was the only one we liked in the store, so we had no choice but to leave and go look for one somewhere else.

I guess it worked out for the best in the end, because we went back to one of the other stores we’d been to and found one we hadn’t noticed the first time that we liked a lot better, in a color that went much better with the rest of our stuff. It only cost a bit more than the blue one that tried to electrocute me, so we went ahead and bought it. The downside is that we bought from one of those furniture showroom type stores so we won’t have the couch for a few weeks. Oh well, with all the boxes to unpack, who has time to sit down right now, anyway?

Moved, more or less

Well, we are at the new house, as is most of our stuff (we didn’t get finished yesterday) and settling in. There will be, I think, a future entry called "the most awkwardly shaped, off by inches or missing outlets at strategic locations, things don’t quite fit, house there ever was." In spite of all that, it’s cute, we love the location, and feel like we are finally REALLY home now that we’re back in Asheville.

Catnip-crazy Winter