Ms. Bean Is Cold Today And Would Like To Tell You Why

Snoopy, my spirit animal, sitting with a room thermometer on top of a bookcase in the only sort of warm room in the house.

IT SNOWED LAST NIGHT, not much, but a definite covering of the white stuff.  That however is not exactly why I’m cold today.  Nope, the reason, to put it succinctly, is that it’s 54ºF… INSIDE the house.

Thus I am huddled in our home office with the French doors tightly shut, sporting a ruana over my flannel + fleece jammies, sitting in front of my desktop computer with the little electric heater swaying to and fro behind me.

What has happened? WELL I’M GLAD YOU ASKED.

You see, yesterday was the last day of February, a short month of days that are soul-crushingly long.  A month that should never be trusted.

However, in the morning while waiting for the furnace service tech to get here for our annual check-up, I indulged in a moment of unbridled positivity.  Yes, I forgot myself and sighed a happy sigh of joy about making it to the beginning of March unscathed by February’s negativity.

I mean all that was left on my calendar for February was for the furnace to be serviced and then I had March, the action verb month, calling to me.

I like March.

• • •

WELP, I WAS WRONG to let down my guard regarding February, and by 3:00 p.m. our furnace had gone clunk.  Come to find out there is a breach in the heat exchanger at the 3rd and 4th cell of the primary, meaning that the whole system as been red-tagged and shut down… by law.

Also, the tech guy accidentally broke a switch which turns the gas on and off.

So, you know, WE GOT TROUBLE.

The cutest little electric room heater that ever was.

Hence I am sitting here this morning, the first day of March, waiting for a phone call from the furnace repair company to tell me IF they have the parts we need & WHEN they might be able to get here again to fix the furnace.

If there is a moral to this story it would be something like never count your chickens before they hatch, but my moral would involve swearing, muttering, and not just a little bit of self-pity because honestly, February is the SUCKIEST of all months.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Pleasantly crazy. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Wordy.

102 thoughts on “Ms. Bean Is Cold Today And Would Like To Tell You Why”

  1. Oh my poor Ms. Bean. A few weeks ago I woke up at 4:00 AM to find the house at 63°. Annoyingly the heat would not come on, but then it did. And my furnace guy had a better time with what I lovingly call the towering inferno and we’ve been warm ever since. Perhaps the difference was my utterly pessimistic expectation that I was going to have to replace the furnace and who knew what else. I actually put off calling furnace guy because magical thinking often helps in these situations. But it did it again the next night. But the towering inferno continues to scare the hell out of all of us and we are warm, waiting for spring.

    I hope your heat issues are resolved soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zazzy, I brought this on us by thinking happy thoughts, I’m sure of it. You, obviously, had the right approach: expect the worst, be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t happen. I know better, but here you have it. I like your name for your furnace, btw. We’ve not named ours and maybe that, too, has contributed to this problem. 🤔

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  2. I feel your pain, and cold Ally Bean! Same thing happened during the “prep the house to sell pre-divorce” period of time a few years back. Although it was May then, but definitely not warm. I think I actually argued with the guy, trying to convince him to leave the furnace on. I was willing to take a chance. He was not.

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    1. Deb, this is the second time in my life that I’ve had a furnace shut down by law. I just said “ok” when the tech guy told me the situation. I’d be over the top with angst if this happened while I was in the process of selling a house, but I’m not surprised the tech guy wouldn’t help you. 😐

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    1. Jill, you may be onto something there. I’d been hearing loud grinding noises from the furnace for the last few weeks, but I didn’t realize how serious this was so I was waiting for our annual service visit to talk with them about the noise. Little did I know…

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  3. It’s lucky for February the it’s a short month. Otherwise, damage could be done.

    I hope the company has the parts and can fix your furnace before an icy-blast from March pretending to be a lion comes through.

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  4. Oh no. I’m not sure I can think of anything worse than a furnace breaking down in winter. (Although they rarely break in the summer, and if they do? How would you know.)
    Fingers crossed they have the parts and can fix it before the weekend…and double overtime billing hours… hit!

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  5. UGH! Sorry you have to suffer through the cold. Sending good thoughts that they have the parts needed and you get heat again soon! Drink lots of hot things…coffee, tea, hot chocolate. Good luck!

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    1. Beth, I like cold, but on the outside of the house. Call me fussy, but 54ºF inside the house is wrong. I have a mug of coffee at hand as I type so I’m all in with the hot drinks.

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  6. Damn! Reminds me I once spent a winter long weekend without heat in my building. Tech told me he needed to replace a gasket. I said can’t you go to the hardware store and pick one up? He said, no it has to be special ordered, will be here Tuesday. So I spent a chilly weekend with a space heater in my smallest room, buried under blankets. Tech returned days later with special gasket, which didn’t work. THEN AND ONLY THEN he went to the hardware store and picked one up, installed it and was able to turn the boiler system back on. F*&#*!!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Deb, that is an awful story and I’m sorry that it happened to you. Not exactly surprised, but sorry. Sometimes common sense is what people need more that special gaskets. You may quote me on that. Sure hope that we don’t spend the whole weekend without heat, but if we do I’ve got my little electric heater to keep us warm!

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  7. Well . . . on the positive side of things . . . it is now MARCH (that action month that encourages us to toss aside the scourges of winter).

    And second, you got to introduce us to R3D3 ~> so cute!!!

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    1. nancy, yes I do like March. The weather may be wacky, but overall it means well and gets us where we need to be which is Spring.

      R3D3 is a great name for that little heater. It is cute + effective and easy to carry around with me depending on which room I’m going to be in.

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  8. That lil’ electric heater is the cutest thing ever, in terms of heating appliances! Sorry about your heater woes. I like that March is indeed an action verb month, but that’s all I like about it. It’s usually windy and sucky here, so I’ll take snowy cold February over that any day. I mean, I have really long hair and I’m not Beyonce so I don’t like having it blown all over the place, constantly, ya know?

    Wishing your heater a speedy recovery!

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    1. Tara, the little heater makes me smile even when it’s not heating anything. All appliances should be as cute as it is.

      When I lived farther north March was not a great month, but down here in southern Ohio it can be variable but overall it is a delight– like how April was up north.

      I’m shocked to know that you are not Beyonce. I was just sure that I was reading a blog written by Beyonce under your pen name!

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  9. That space heater is a keeper as long as it earns its keep by keeping your space warm and toasty! (whew, lotsa ‘keeps’!)
    Good luck with the furnace – seems like February wants to keep you in its throes (another ‘keep’ yikes!)
    BTW: love the insight into March being an action month – very clever!

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    1. laura, your comment is a keeper! The little space heater is doing itself proud this morning and has earned a place in my heart. Someone years ago pointed out how March was an action verb and to this day I think of that every March 1– because it’s true.

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    1. Janis, yes February has once again shown me that I must not trust it. I’m still waiting to find out the status of our parts, so me and my new best friend, the little electric space heater, are here for the long haul.

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  10. Oh dear. No heat. Not good. Been there, have the warm furry blankets to show for it.

    Hope you have warmth radiating through your house asap! Sorry, I mean ASAP! … because this is a winter emergency.

    btw – thanks for reframing March. It is a month I’ve learned to hate over the years and perhaps it doesn’t deserve it. March as an action month really appeals to me!

    I should also mention that during my 3 days without a furnace, during a Canadian February, my oven was immaculate. The self-cleaning feature is an excellent source of heat 😉

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    1. Joanne, we have many warm throws around here so I’m re-acquainting myself with them. The little heater is amazing, so even though I’m not warm per se I’m not shivering. Also the self-cleaning oven idea is GENIUS. Will be doing that shortly– and staying nearby to enjoy its warmth.

      When we lived farther north I never liked March either. But then someone told me that it was the action verb month and I began to like it more. Now that we live a bit farther south March is warmer and sunnier so that’s good, but I still call it the action verb month as a way of motivating myself.

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      1. Well, I have to say I’ve had a major burst of energy the past couple of days, so if this is an indication of March’s action influence, I’m all for it 🙂

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  11. 54 is a miserable temperature for inside! I will hope that all goes smoothly with the repair and that you “march” forward into March with a warmer house. Could you stay at a hotel until it’s fixed?

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    1. Margaret, we may end up in a hotel yet. It’s now later in the day and the inside is 52ºF. The temps are dropping outside and the furnace company hasn’t followed through by calling me back. The company has until 3:00 pm to make good on their promise to let me know what’s up– and if they don’t do that by then… I TURN THIS OVER TO ZEN-DEN ESQ. They will not be happy if he gets involved, I promise you that. 😠

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  12. Our furnace guy was here this morning to do a routine service. Sure hope he didn’t break anything! Good luck to you in keeping warm. We have a gas fireplace that has helped us in power outages (we have an electric heat pump). Hope you have something in case it’s not fixed until tomorrow.

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    1. Kate, the little electric space heater is doing a great job of keeping the home study warm so I’m not totally frozen. I know an old-fashioned trick for turning a clay flower pot into a small space heater so I may do that, too. In the meantime I’m waiting… waiting… waiting… for the furnace company to get their act together and fix this.

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            1. GOOD NEWS HERE: the tech guy is here as promised and the parts are here as promised and he is beginning to work on repairing the furnace as I type this.

              [Bad news would be that Z-D, Esq, had to get involved to make this *magically* happen. The furnace repair company should have played nicer with me… you mess with the bull you get the horns, so to speak.]

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                1. I do hate it. I want to fight my own battles, but this spiraled out of control quickly and Z-D knew how to get it done– and how to make sure that the right people know what happened to us. 🙄

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    1. John, here you do not necessarily have to replace the furnace when it is red-tagged. The last time this happened we replaced the furnace, but this time it’s one area of the furnace that needs to be replaced so we’re going to go that route… IF THE COMPANY EVER CALLS ME BACK, which so far today they have not. 😒

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  13. Oh, not the happy/fabulous “cool”. (Fleece is a wonder.)
    Similar incidents happen here in the summer when it’s 100F for weeks, then the AC unit gives up. (Replaced that decorative ceiling fan for one that actually works after that).
    AS you say, just when you think it’s safe….like last weekend I raked leaves out of the flowerbed and trimmed stuff and actually thought about planting delicate spring plants as it was so warm….now another massive cold front is about to attack bringing upper 30’s at night….gut it up plants!
    Cutest heater ever, there. Hope they get it fixed – no heat is worse in cold than no cool in heat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. philmouse, fleece is my friend. I lurve it so much, but wearing more than one layer of it does limit mobility. Just saying.

      I want to plant flowers and like you I always want to plant them too soon, but with age comes wisdom so I don’t do that anymore. But I get your desire.

      I agree about too much cold being worse than too much heat, but would suggest that neither option is all that great. I’m staying warm enough and am healthy so this is a huge inconvenience, not anything more threatening.

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      1. You could write a post/book “My Life as a Michelin Creature or Pillsbury dough Person”…luckily cold tends to make one sleepy so you can nap wrapped.
        I have managed to trim seasonal planting down to 3 pots of seasonal color (and ones that last until first frost) and enough ground cover in flower beds to eliminate the yearly mulching ordeal (except for one flowerbed by the front door…that will wait until all the oak leaves are finished falling.
        I enjoy looking at others’ yards (and their planting struggles) while sauntering with the dog

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        1. Yes, I’m about as shapeless as can be in all this fleece. It’s a wonderful fabric, but no one looks svelte in it.

          Your gardening plan is a a good one. This year I’m going to try more pots of herbs as decorative accents to the pots of colorful annual flowers. I like the leafy look and if the deer don’t eat all the herbs, I’ll be happy.

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  14. My mom had to come and spend the night with us recently because of a power outage that would have left her without heat for possibly 2 days. At 94 years old that’s not good. Luckily it was back on the next day. I would be afraid to have someone come and look at ours because it is SO old we don’t even have a thermostat to tell us the temperature! I love your little heater friend and think I may need to get one for my studio since, you know, out in the backyard and all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, we’re healthy and young enough that this lack of heat is a huge bother but not life-threatening. I can understand why your mother came to stay, under the circumstances.

      I adore this little heater. Besides being cute it provides good heat– and in the summer I use it like a fan to move air around in the home study. I got it at Lowes or Home Depot years ago and bless its little mechanical heart, it keeps on working.

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    1. marian, my heater friend is currently my BFF. I mean, until Zen-Den gets home, of course. This is a really dumb problem that I am not enjoying, but you probably figured that out already.

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    2. Yes, I’m thankful for many things as this situation progresses today, not the least of which is a reliable cute heater– and a husband [a lawyer] who gets things done in his own pleasant but forceful way. 😯

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  15. In the middle of that “four foot drift -70F windchill” blizzard, our furnace cut off too. But I knew what to check. The snow blocked the furnace intake and exhaust pipes. Not fun having to clear them three or four times a night.

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    1. Almost Iowa, that is awful, but wonderful that you know what to do to fix your furnace. Our problem is beyond our expertise– but thank heavens it’s nowhere near as cold here as it was where you live. I’m cold enough as it, thank you very much.

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  16. I’m no fan of March, which sounds like it should be the End Of Winter/Start Of Spring, and it is Neither. And March has 31 days of miserable weather, whereas February has the good sense to get out early.

    So sorry about your furnace! This has been the Year Of Broken Appliances thus far for so many of us!

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    1. nance, I didn’t used to like March but living farther south has made a difference in my attitude about it. Plus there’s Pi Day & St. Pat’s Day to look forward to, but I respect your desire to not like March… so by all means don’t like it.

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  17. ugh! this is so NOT the time to have your furnace broken. maybe you can forgive March 1st for being miserable since the incident happened on Feb 28th? Think of it as if it was a leap year today would be Feb 29th. Hope they have the parts and you get it fixed soon

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    1. teacherturnedmommy, excellent rationalization for this stupid problem. I can pretend this is leap day. The parts are here now, sitting in our garage! Tomorrow the furnace tech is to be here at 8:00 a.m. to get this furnace back up and running. None too soon, it’s 51ºF inside now and night is coming. 😧

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  18. Ug. I hope you stay warm tonight!

    A friend wrote me and told me she had “a case of the Februaries.” I’ve heard of the “Mondays” before, but that was a new one. Another friend tells me that her favorite day is March 4th because it’s the only day that tells you what to do: March forth! 🙂

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    1. Maria, we’ll be piling on the blankets tonight. I like the idea of having a case of the Februaries. That makes sense to me.

      Also, I adore March 4th or March Forth. That is so clever and might just become my new favorite day. Thanks for sharing that.

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  19. I agree, February is the suckiest month.

    Coincidentally, I also had furnace problems in February on a very, very snowy day–one of the coldest, snowiest Februarys we’ve ever had in the Seattle area. Also, by coincidence, my furnace problem was the subject of one of my blog posts that month. Thankfully, my problem was much smaller than yours, but unfortunately, the repairmen I called couldn’t make it through the snow and ice to my house. I spent a day and a half trying to find someone. It’s fixed now. Hurray!

    Our meteorologists are uncertain what we can expect in March. They say we have a 33.3 chance that it will be worse than February, a 33.3 chance it will be better, and a 33.3 chance it will be the same. I’m not only hoping for better, I’m betting on it.

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    1. Behind the Story, snow and ice in the Seattle area is more of a big deal than it is here. I can understand why your furnace repair guy couldn’t get to you. Lucky that you found someone who could make it to you. Heat is good.

      I haven’t looked at any report on what our March temps are supposed to be like. Let the weather do what it will in March. I know that even if it snows, the snow will melt faster than in the dark winter months, so whtever. Of course, like you, I’m all about betting on the weather getting better. Go spring!

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  20. Looks like your frustration is generating heat – get real angry to turn up the temps. Not nice when what’s been relied on, fails. Good luck. By the by, someone mentioned to me that Mercury is going retrograde and it’s in my house –

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    1. Susan, yes I figure what’s the point of having a personal blog if once in a while I can’t express irritation and frustration! Supposedly this morning the repair tech is supposed to be here to supposedly fix the furnace. We’ll see.

      I don’t keep track of the Mercury in retrograde shifts like some people do. Someone always has to point them out to me, too. Good luck, think good thoughts, be clear with your intentions– and carry on, my dear.

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  21. I sure hope it gets fixed before that really frigid air sets in… Sunday here, maybe a bit later for you. These things never happen when the weather is just nice. When my AC got vandalized due to copper thieves trying to steal it, it just had to happen during a June heat wave. And the first heat wave of the year… meaning everyone else had the service people busy and made me wait six days for a replacement!

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    1. evilsquirrel13, you’re right in that these things never happen at off times. I remember when your AC got vandalized which was lousy. This is in many ways a lesser problem in that furnaces wear out ’cause you use them. No one decided to break into our house and steal our furnace, so there’s some weird comfort in that. 🙄

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    1. Sheryl, it’s Sunday morning and all is warm here. The furnace repair company did a good job of getting us back to where we need to be. Only sorry it took Z-D, Esq, to get them to do so. 🤨

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  22. Dang. As you may recall, our furnace is a terrible diva and we have spent some time waiting for the parts for repair. Four of five winters here, no fewer than eight different calls for repair, and one freezing weekend to be exact. There is something fabulous about 54 degrees, in the sun, outdoors, wearing a sweater and boots and a scarf, walkies with dog — and yet, something positively cruel about a house at 54 degrees 😦 I did learn the word ruana, though, and I love to learn new words.
    I so hope you got warmed up quickly!

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    1. joey, yes, I remember your furnace, and not in a fond way I might add. This waiting for parts and fussing around with appointments is annoying, but like you said 54ºF [that ultimately went down to 50ºF] is cruel inside a house. But thanks to Z-D’s [shall we say] forcefulness, the furnace repair company followed through on their contractual obligation and we’re warm now. The end.

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  23. We live in a Florida condo, yet I’m nonetheless obsessive about our heating and cooling unit. The company who maintains it uses Olympic-style descriptors for the levels of service they offer — bronze, silver, and gold. I chose the gold coverage mainly, and the woman who sold it to me literally whispered to me on the phone, “You live a condo. Really the silver service should be fine.” But no, I have gold so I can sleep at night. Of course, if I’m in the same situation as you currently are, and I have to wait for a part, I’m sure it doesn’t matter what kind of coverage I have. So I’m probably throwing away good money. Anyway, all this to say I’m sorry for your troubles but glad they came through for you. Home ownership can be a real trial. – Marty

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    1. Marty, you’ve hit the nail on the head with your comment. Like you we have the top tier maintenance plan with our furnace repair company and therein was the difficulty. We are supposed to get bumped to the top of the list IF we have a major problem, and these bozos were not doing that. When I called they were trying to put me [us] off until Monday when the temps are predicted to be in the teens and we’d be popsicles inside the house. It took a phone call from Z-D to get these people to get it in gear and come on Saturday, with the parts they *suddenly* had. Uh huh. Ain’t homeownership grand?

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    1. deb, you said it! Are you a saint? 😉

      The furnace has been fixed and is running quietly + efficiently so this whole episode will just be a story from the past now. One that still makes me snarl a bit, but it’s over.

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  24. Oh my word. ⛄️ 🌬😱 So sorry! Someone else told me his furnace went out too. 😬 😰 Yikes!!!
    I think that space heater is adorable though. Such a kind face. I hope it is treating you well.

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    1. L. Marie, the little space heater is adorable and was useful to the the nth degree while the furnace wasn’t working. Fortunately the furnace is now fixed and little cute stuff is sitting in the corner, until he’s needed again.

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