As I mentioned on the RevGalBlogPals website, Fellow Traveler and I almost made ashes of ourselves, and not a good way.
We had spent our first night back from Florida at The Big House, then packed up our things and our animals Sunday evening and moved the 10 miles or so north to Cold Comfort Cottage for the remainder of the week. (We move back and forth on about a 10-day cycle, something that completely mystifies our friends but that makes perfect sense to us.)
Monday when I got home from work, Fellow Traveler related that she'd gone back to The Big House to retrieve something or other and found the low-tech coffeepot still on, the contents turned to burned sludge. "Everything in the house smells like burnt coffee -- eccch." We agreed that it was a good thing she'd discovered this oversight before something worse happened.
Last night FT made the trek to The Big House again -- and found that the furnace wasn't working; the house was cold. Again, we agreed that it was a good thing that we'd disovered this malfunction before the weekend, so we could get it fixed promptly.
This morning FT left The Big House very early, as I was headed to my satellite office, to call the furnace guy and get the repair process started. When I got to work, I got a call: "Are you sitting down?"
Here's the story: When the furnace guy came, he smelled the funky smoke odor in the house. Fellow Traveler told him about the coffee pot. He sniffed again and said, "Funny -- that doesn't smell like all you scorched was the coffee." He then went into the crawlspace to inspect the furnace.
"That's not coffee you smell," he announced. "That's your house -- on fire."
It turns out that, at some point during the week, the furnace overheated. It caught its foundation on fire -- enough to damage the siding outside. But the fire was somehow self-contained enough to put itself out.
FT is, even as I keyboard, getting the ball rolling with the insurance company.
FT hasn't owned her home for very long, and got a fast education in some of the structural issues she unwittingly inherited with this property. Meanwhile, I will never again whine and moan about paying Furnace Guy for his annual inspection of the Cold Comfort Cottage furnace.
Postscript: I guess the dog-shopping is off this weekend.