Thursday, December 5, 2019


First of all, I was (very pleasantly) surprised at the favorable comments I received on my previous post. I didn't expect my depressing poem to be appreciated.

My poetry and piano videos are consistently my most unpopular posts. I admittedly inflict them upon you to show off - - and to confirm the fact that I'm not just another pretty face.

Should I insert a sarcastic *smile* here?

Depressing poetry is better than agonizing descriptions of my pathetic life. My problems multiply every day. Just when I think things couldn't get worse, they inevitably do.

Here's a (small) sample of my grim reality: 

I never found my gold and amethyst antique Italian ring. I did the most completely thorough search possible and came up empty. It vanished into thin air and I'm baffled.
Perhaps the Ring Fairies took it.....
or outer space aliens transported it to Roswell. 

After a long agonizing week I'm still without heat and hot water. During the coldest time of the year.
To compound the situation, my back is so bad that I can hardly crawl out of bed - - and my left knee is swollen (again) and I can't bend my leg.

  My attempt to fix the water heater the other day turned into a fiasco.

For some inexplicable reason, the water heater is situated in a small, windowless alcove adjacent to a dark, narrow closet. A wooden panel has to be removed before the water heater can be accessed.

 Water heater behind wooden panel -
illuminated by camera flash

It is completely PITCH BLACK in there and loaded with cobwebs. Due to my painful back and stiff left leg, I had to crawl through the closet - dragging my bad leg and holding a flashlight.
When I got to the mysterious wooden panel I encountered a spider that was bigger than a Frisbee.

I wish you could have seen how fast I crawled out of there in reverse. 

Next time I ventured in I had a flashlight, gloves, bug spray, and various tools. 
Working on the water heater in complete darkness with a bad back, stiff leg, and prospect of Mega Spiders isn't easy.
I occasionally had to hold the flashlight in my mouth in order to work with two hands (no, I'm not kidding).

Sometimes a big mouth comes in handy.

Unfortunately, I didn't fix the water heater. Yet. And I didn't dare tackle the furnace. Yet.
I'll have to force myself to look at it soon, because this is absolutely the COLDEST house I ever lived in.  
Heck, I don't need a furnace.....I need an exorcist.

I have two small heaters that do a reasonably good job of heating the bedroom, but I wanted to get another one for reassurance.

So I made the excruciatingly long drive into town and bought a heater at Walmart (last week).

Got it home. Plugged it in. Turned it on.
It was completely dead. Didn't work at all.

I reread the directions multiple times to make sure I was doing everything correctly:
"Plug it in. Turn it on".
In fifteen languages.

I'll return it to Walmart next time I go to town. If I don't freeze to death first.

Meanwhile, Bosco and Scratch are huddled in the bedroom by the heater, hoping for spring.
And so am I.

Bosco was so sick last week I thought I'd have to take him to the vet. He had a wicked respiratory virus - and for some strange reason one of his hind paws swelled up and he was lame (I think it was strained).

I gave him mega TLC, including vaporizers and a heating pad. He improved rapidly and is now eating heartily and walking on all fours.

Which is more than I can say for myself.

This post is far too long and boring, but I'll risk sharing it with you anyway. 

Hell, no! 



  1. it must be the year for problems compounding themselves. i have similar issues here. i'm glad to hear the cat's health has returned. but i'm bummed out to know that you are suffering. i feel for you. i understand the kind of pain you are in. and it isn't easy to get by. you just have to grit your teeth and bear it. space heaters are great, it's true. but i know you want a working furnance and hot water. hopefully something will work out soon. i might add that spiders creep me out too, especially when they are the size of mice. and in dark places. sending warm thoughts your way. take care.

    1. This definitely has been the year of problems for both of us. I haven't even mentioned half of my problems - - I don't want to depress everyone.
      There are many times when I just want to stay in bed and never get up again.

      Life in the wilderness is much more complicated and stressful than I ever imagined. If I were 20 years younger with unlimited financial resources I'd be able to survive - but, as it is, I'm getting too old for all this crap!
      Your kind thoughts are greatly appreciated. Take care.

  2. Being cold is depressing and demoralizing. We had a long power outage several years ago(of course in the winter) and I was a weepy mess. I would NOT have liked that spider, although I'm not scared of normal size ones. However, if I see an earwig, I pretty much lose my mind. Hope that the kitty and you are improving.

    1. Furnaces inevitably fail to work during the coldest weather. This has happened to me several previous times.
      I've always hated spiders and Tennessee has the biggest ones I've ever seen. When I lived in Texas there were scorpions everywhere. I once found one on the headboard of my bed!

    2. Scorpions are also terrifying. I live in Western Washington and we have very few bugs. The ones we do see aren't very big. Whew.

  3. Sounds absolutely awful! I'm glad Bosco is better but you need to get better, too.
    I hate spiders lurking in the darkness--awk!! I pray things improve!!

    1. Two things that always scare the jeeters out of me are spiders and scorpions. There were lots of scorpions where I lived in Texas. Here in TN some of the spiders are gigantic.

      I'm really hoping things will improve, because I'm completely stressed out. I feel like hibernating...

  4. I hope you get your heat fixed before it gets colder. I have central heat but so for I use the two infrared heaters I have and stayed warm. One looks like a fireplace I love looking at it remines me when we use to have a wood burning fireplace. I hope your back and legs get better soon. Take care, Jean.

    1. Your infrared heaters sound nice and cozy. I used to have a fireplace when I lived in Texas and I miss it. It would be great to have one here in the woods. I thought about getting a wood-burning stove.
      Take care and stay warm!

  5. Hey Jon:

    Looks like I was the very last one to comment on your beautiful poem? I'm having MAJOR computer issues ( it would appear that Windows 7 is totally done for?)

    I'm desperately trying to find something I can afford that will work best. This is not easy.

    Your cats look so happy and content in front of that space heater! I never have bought a single item from Walmart, but I tend to shop at Target the most: I paid $ 14.99 for a heater back in 2015 - it's still going strong.

    Oh my God, Your hot water heater looks so ancient! I just got a new one last year (all paid for by my building manager), so there's plenty of hot water to go around. I guess that's the best thing to say about living in a high rise apt. building? When something breaks down - they fix it quick!

    Sending you warm hugs,


    P.S. Sorry about your favorite ring not turning up - but don't abandon hope!

    1. Dylan, I loved your comment on my poem! It means a lot to me.

      Windows 7 is really obsolete. I still have it on my desktop computer - and it hardly works anymore. I always use my laptop now. It has Windows 8 and that's almost outdated already. I hope you can find something suitable and inexpensive (easier said than done).

      I don't know how old my water heater is. About two years ago the plumber told me it was in good shape.....but I'm afraid that I'll probably need a new one.
      I don't even want to think about the furnace. They cost thousands.
      You're fortunate to have a new water heater.

      Walmart is really starting to sell a lot of junk. Items at Target are higher quality.

      P.S. I won't give up looking for my ring.

  6. have you looked in your breaker box?
    could be 1 or more breakers may have tripped.
    try to plug heater into an outlet you know is working to test it.
    one time my main breaker went bad, 1/2 my house was out of power.
    wish I lived closer to give you a hand

    1. I checked the breaker box several times and everything is working okay. I have no clue how old the water heater is, but I'm afraid I'll probably need a new one.

    2. it looks electric.
      sometimes you can just change out the heating elements at less cost than replaceing entire tank

    3. Ron, it is electric. I plan to look at it again today (if I can crawl out of bed...)

  7. When it rains it pours! Our hot water heater broke the day after Thanksgiving. It was a miracle, but we found someone to come out same day AND he actually had the right part (ignition something or other). Today, my dryer stopped heating. I spent hours online trying to figure it out to no avail. Calling someone will just mean another $200 service call and a $50 part. I decided to just go buy a new dryer for $400 tomorrow.

    I don't know how you are dealing with no heat. That is just miserable, Jon. Bundle up and keep your kitties near.

    1. I'm glad your water heater was quickly fixed. When I lived in Texas my water heater sprung a leak and flooded the bathroom.

      Ironically, my clothes dryer stopped working and I've been forced to hang the wash outside to dry. I'll probably get a new one soon - - it's a LOT easier than paying expensive repair bills.

  8. So sorry to read you are having problems with the water heater and heating, there's nothing worse than being cold...
    You need one of those headlight lamps so you can still have light and both hands would be free to work. Heck I've even got one :)
    I have been having sciatica for the past month, it's driving me crazy, but too stubborn to go to the doctor for fear he will want to do surgery.
    Go figure !
    Hope you are able to get everything sorted, and sending healing wishes.

    1. I thought about those headlight lamps when I was checking out the water heater!

      I can identify with your sciatica problems. All of my back trouble is caused by old spinal injuries that never healed properly. I don't want to go to a doctor, either, because I know I'll need surgery. I'd rather suffer silently....

  9. At least you (seem to) know what to do when heating fails. If it was me I would scream help at the local electrical shop or water board. Sorry to hear that the sciatica continues to plague you. Sending sympathetic hugs in the hope they act as a cure.

    1. Your sympathetic hugs are always welcomed, Valerie. When it comes to fixing things I never know exactly what I'm doing - but if all else fails, I'll call the repair man.

  10. Unfortunately, these are few things I can add, Jon, to the previous comments because you really have had the worst of luck with both the water heater and the furnace crapping out at the same time😕. The good news was that your cat, Bosco, responded well to your care and glad to read that. We avoid Walmart shopping and thankfully the closest one is not all that close and I hope you can replace the heater but also know that will be an ordeal in terms of getting there. If good wishes of fellow bloggers could help your situation you would surely have a lot of help. But all we can do is offer words of encouragement in hoping that things will eventually get at least a little easier for you.

    1. Many thanks for your words of encouragement, Dorothy. I also appreciated your comment on my previous post. I'm going through bad times, but these certainly aren't the worst I've ever been through.

      I dislike having to shop at Walmart, but the town that i go to has a population of less than 2,000 and the places to shop are of the many frustrating aspects of rural life.

      I'm really relieved that Bosco recovered. I was dreading a trip to the vet.

  11. Oh Jon! I don't know what to say, that hasn't already been said. Well, except you're not the only one who's held a flashlight between their teeth. Color me MORE than a little relieved to know Bosco's recovered. (My apologies for writing 'Scratch' last time.) Selfish perhaps, but I'd be even more relieved to know you're considering a move to a WARM city apartment close to shopping and medical.

  12. Myra, it's reassuring to know I'm not the only one who has purposefully had a flashlight between his teeth. My life has been one consecutive disaster after another, so I'm used to it - - but it gets more difficult as I grow older.

    You're one of many who think I should sell and get outta here. I've moved so many times in the past, that I think another one would kill me. Not sure what I'm going to do.....I'd mostly just like to cover my head and sleep...


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