Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Wherein I spend time kicking myself and berating myself for all the basic household knowledge that I do not seem to have.

Basic knowledge.

And when there is basic knowledge missing and you need to find someone who has that knowledge you always pay.

And not just in mental anguish. But of course I could spare myself a lot of mental anguish if I didn’t tell you all these little things that happen here at Chez Knit. Those little moments in life when you think, “Why don’t we just live in a hut on the beach.” But if I didn’t tell you then I would be so lonely and you would be so unhappy and….

Sorry I digress.

So Winter is trying to make an appearance here in the Frozen Northeast Ohio. That seems to happen every year about this time no matter how I try to stop it. Darn snow and cold. When winter comes it is cold. And if it is cold outside that usually means that it is also cold in the garage.

But not if you have one of these little beauties.
IMG_0800This is my garage heater. I love her dearly. She is my friend in the deep mid-winter when the winds blow and the cold descends. For she keeps our garage at a comfortable 45F when the thermometer dips down in the polar regions. We don’t need the garage to be too warm, just warm enough that the cars are happy and that the snow and slush melts.

Oh such luxury.

She rests all summer and then when it gets colder I flip her switch and voila!

Or at least that is how it is supposed to work. And she did work flawlessly. Until yesterday that is. I will admit that it seemed a tad chilly in the garage but not too bad. I didn’t really pay attention to it at first. But then it occurred to me that I didn’t hear that faint and constant hum that comes from the heater’s pilot light.


Walk over to that side of the garage and look up at Lola (that is her name).

No comforting blue flame off to the side.


And here would be the time when I would say…

Ah heck, I just got up on the ladder and relit that baby and we were good to go.

No, I didn’t say that because I wasn’t sure that it was the pilot light. It could have been something much more difficult….and costly.

Oh please don’t let it be anything costly. PleasePleasePlease

So I call my plumber/heating/cooling guys. I love them too because they try as hard as possible to get there the same day. We had already funded at least one of their children’s college funds this year with the air conditioner repair. Melissa must just see dollar signs when my phone number pops up on the caller id.

Finally the time arrives and Jay pulls up in the van. I explain the problem to him. He nods and goes back to the truck. I go back in the house and continue on with my work, thinking I would have a bit of time to get some things done.

10 minutes later there is a knock on the door.

Hey Jay, is there anything that you need?

No Mrs. Q I am done.

Done? Like in all done? Like in the repair is completed?

Oh there was nothing to repair. The pilot light was just out. That will be $126.

Jay did you just say that the 10 minutes of your time just cost me $126?

Yes Ma’am. You can pay with a check or credit card.

First of all I was thinking to just strangle him because he kept calling me ma’am. They won’t notice that he is gone will they? And then I just had to look at the receipt just to see how we had gotten to $126. $85 for the service call??? $41 to relight my pilot light and look the unit over????

Are you freaking kidding me????

I am so in the wrong line of work.

So after I slowly and painfully forked over the money I made Jay go out to the garage with me and show me what he did.

Turn this knob to “pilot”. Hold the flame here. Push this button down for 30 seconds. Turn the knob back to “on” and you are good to go Mrs. Q.

IMG_0801 At least now the comforting little blue flame is back. And I am paranoid about it. I spent a lot of time just going out there to check. And now every time I go out the the garage I have to check to see that Lola is working.

Like I said, a hut on the beach sounds good. For so many reasons.


  1. This is good to know, as I also have a Lola, and it's been shut down since we bought the house.

  2. I can completely relate. We always say the first step in any home improvement/repair project for us is: get an estimate.

    Glad that Lola is up and running!

  3. What happened is you paid Jay $126 in tuition to learn how to light the pilot light.

    I need a plumber to come over. I have 3 toilets that will not shut off unless I turn the water off to them. It started with 1 and now is 3. There's one more to go but I'm calling them this week and getting it taken care of. I don't think I'll be learning how to do it myself though.


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