Fried eggs, anyone?

So it’s about 237 degrees outside, and thank god the mercury has dipped down that low (finally!), and it’s not often you’ll find me bitching about the heat, but when I can throw a steak on my sidewalk and come back two minutes later, eat it, and bitch that it’s too well-done, I think I have a valid excuse to bitch about the heat.

The new homestead is great, I love living here. Yes, sometimes my neighbors look at me funny, and one lady actually asked me if my boyfriend was black (if you haven’t visited me, I am the minority in my new neighborhood), but aside from that comment, it’s very non-intrusive to live here. My neighbors tend to wave when they see me and let me go about my business without interrupting me, and that’s really all I wanted when I moved out of The Money Pit: peace. And I love my house. It has hardwood floors, a front porch, and a fireplace (so VERY handy for the sub-tropics, don’t you think?), not to mention I HAVE NO ONE TO ANSWER TO BUT ME.

See, my mom is a little… let’s use the word anxious here, because I know she reads this and I love her too much to offend her further… anxious about my hot water situation. The situation? Well, I don’t have any. Oh, I bought a new hot water heater, a tankless, energy-efficient, space-saving model, that Tom kindly installed for me well over two months ago. However, seems that when my dad removed the old one, he noticed that the pipes connected to it weren’t, in fact, connected (information that would have been handy BEFORE I rushed out and spent money on a new one, eh?).

Now, I have an 80 year old house, a charming wood a-frame, pre-prefab, post log cabin, pre-preplanned community, post-outhouse house. And, because it’s wood, it’s built on a concrete block frame, which means that my plumbing and a/c run under the house in the crawl space. I mention the a/c because it will factor in in a moment. You see, when I purchased my dream home, it had no a/c, so I put one in (and by that I mean I paid someone to put one in). And he did an excellent job. Except… when Tom and I figured out why we could hear running water but see no evidence of it at the tap, we realized a pipe (UNDER the house) was loose. So I looked for an access point… which was blocked by a large, bolted down a/c unit.

So the next logical step is finding a way under the house. I am, to my father’s chagrin, unwilling to randomly remove concrete blocks that, for all intents and purposes, are shoring up my house, so I want to take a circular saw, some wood, and cut an access panel in my laundry room floor to get to the pipes. But I haven’t gotten around to it yet. You see, it’s August in Florida, and not having hot water for a shower really hasn’t become a crisis.

And I have no husband or tenants to bitch if it isn’t done, and to be honest, I’m quite enjoying NOT doing it simply because I don’t have to. Except I think it bothers my mom more than it could ever bother me. So I have no hot water, and I really don’t care. Yes, in a few months I will sing a different song, but when it’s 100 degrees out, I don’t care if I have hot water.

But at least it’s cool in here. $250 worth of cool, in fact. Yup, that’s my most recent power bill, roughly HALF of my mortgage payment, and about 9 1/2 Little League pictures for The Gabber. I about swallowed my teeth when I got the bill. Last month was $238, and I called Progress Energy as to why. See, last year’s July power bill for the front half of The Money Pit amounted to less than that, and they had FOUR wall unit a/c’s running almost all the time and three people living there. I have ME, NO hot water heater running (see above), and only about 800 square feet to cool.

Progress Energy suggested I turn my thermostat up to 78 (I had it set at 72 degrees). Now, I bitch about the cold incessantly, yes, but 78 in July just doesn’t cut it. I compromised; instead of a frosty 72, I cranked the a/c up to 75 or 76, depending on my mood.

And the friggin bill went UP. I would set the a/c at 78, but I’m afraid of what the power bill would be next month.

I guess that’s how you know you’re getting old; you bitch about things like power bills, eh? Oh, and people younger than you make comments that actually age you.

I was at the theatre tonight, stage managing a benefit the board’s putting on, and I was talking to two of the guys about a car I’m probably going to buy: a Volkswagen Thing. For those of you who don’t know, it’s an early 1970’s boxy VW. Drew Barrymore drove one in 50 First Dates; Mardi describes it as “a baby Hummer” (that makes me cringe). Anyway, I’ve been obsessed with these cars for a while and now have found one that I really like, and I was telling Derek and Christian about it.

They’re both early to mid 20s, and Christian had no idea what I was talking about.

He kept asking “A Volkswagen WHAT?”,

to which I would respond, “A Thing.”

“But what kind of thing?”

“A Volkswagen.”

“What kind?”

“A Thing!”

It started to sound a bit “Who’s On First”-ish, until Derek interjected that he knew what a Thing was and tried to expain it, finishing with the comment,

“A lot of Hippies like them.”

At which point, Christian looked at me knowingly, nodded his understanding, and I began to slide into menopause. I’m only 32! My parents could have been hippies (had they not been practicing Puritans), but I’m about 30 years too late! I don’t care, Christian has one of those “new” Beetles that he paid 30 times what my mom paid for hers, so that makes me feel a little better.

So what’s new with you guys? You should really come by and see the place, I’ll be serving breakfast tomorrow promptly at 8 am; eggs and bacon prepared on my back stoop.

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I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.