Yesterday I finally had time to clean the house. When I tried to fill a bucket with hot water to mop the floors, there was none to be had. I narrowed down the issue to lack of gas getting into the house through the regulator outside. We have discovered in the past that it is located too close to the downspout at the corner of the house, so if we have lots of rain, where the gutters run over or the downspout splashes up (which happened Wednesday) and then cold (down to the teens Thursday night) it freezes and blocks the incoming gas. Sigh.
I heated water on the stove and poured it over the regulator, and checked that it was unfrozen by testing the gas burners in the kitchen (we use them just for emergencies, or the pressure canner - which doesn't work on the induction range). Things looked hunky-dory, so I turned off the gas to the water heater, waited the requisite 10 minutes, then lit the pilot light. After a couple of minutes, I smelled hot/melted plastic, and all of the smoke alarms in the house went off at once.
This completely freaked me out, so I turned off the gas again and had a small-ish meltdown.
I had another slightly larger one once I determined that my house was not on fire and the smoke alarms finally went off. This issue, which will likely require us to hire someone to replace the regulator, and possibly the water heater, is just another one of the things like the drilling rig sitting in my yard for weeks on end that is slowly killing my soul.
I'm no longer sure that I love living here, or that I never want to leave. I often feel isolated and overwhelmed, neither of which are warm fuzzies. Not to mention that January has arrived, with its dark, cold, gray days. Maybe when the sun shines, and the green returns I'll feel differently?
There are good things going on too, or I would be in a permanent fetal position in the back of a closet somewhere. Things like my youngest falling in love with Basketball. She had her first game bright and early this AM, and although her team lost, JP said she was hustling up and down the court. And just look at her jump!