Scary. That’s what it was, scary.

Did I ever tell you that the house we rent has ancient wall heaters with metal coils that turn bright red when in use? You could easily burn your ass (if it happened to be bare) or leg if you stand to close to them – which is also the only way you could possibly feel warmth because these heaters heat the wall and not the rest of the house (great design, that). Anyway, we used these heaters last winter because that’s all we had and, luckily, the house never burned down (but I would have liked to burn my electric bills down).

This year we decided to try our luck with oil-filled radiators instead so we bought one and asked the landlord to buy a second one in hopes that our 1,050 square foot house would be warmed adequately by them. They do a so-so job (radiant heating can only do so much) but we got quite a scare by them the other day. I had showered and dressed, eaten breakfast, and was walking out the door when I walked past one of them and noticed that the electrical outlet it was plugged into didn’t look right. It was black.


Hmm, me thinks black outlets aren’t a good thing. Also? How do I say this? It was crackling. Like, lightning bolt crackling.


I immediately turned the heater off and, despite my adamant objections, Huz reached down and yanked the plug out of the fried electrical socket. Thank God he didn’t get electrocuted. Down to only one working radiator, we fought about how we were going to keep the house warm the rest of the day for Cambridge and Neville (I know we both didn’t want to come home that evening to catcicles, but I refused to plug that heater in again anywhere else). So we left in a frustrated, freezing huff. Great way to start the day.

Once at work I called the maintenance man to fix it, which he did (both the socket and the plug on the heater). Wasn’t that was nice? And guess how much it cost us? Nothing. Because we rent. That’s the one thing I’m going to miss the most when we’re homeowners. I guess we’ll just have to read up on do it yourself stuff and bite the bullet if we can’t fix it ourselves. That’s home ownership, right? That’s what adults do, right?

Anyone got any book recommendations on how to fix house stuff (replacing faucets, fixing drippy faucets, changing light fixtures, laying new flooring, etc., etc.)?