Case in point: There is a thermostat in one of the upstairs bedrooms, another in the front room, another in the master bedroom, a fourth in the family room and a fifth downstairs in the office.
Which controls what? Who's on first?
Why, if I set the front room at 65, is it 33 in the kitchen? And if I set the bedroom thermostat at 62 (I like to be able to see my breath when I'm sleeping - of course I look around when I'm sleeping and notice if I can see my breath. Don't you?) Anyway, if I set it at 62, it hovers at 72 and I'm dying. So last night I was watching television in the family room, which has its own zone, and I had set it very low. I was buried under two blankets and wearing a hooded sweatshirt and I guess I didn't notice that it was colder than usual when I unearthed myself and went to bed.
About 4 a.m. I woke up when my Emma was pushing me out of bed. She was trying to get closer and closer to get warm - WE HAD NO HEAT! It was 44 in the bedroom. I swear there was ice on my eyelashes and a colony of penguins had taken up residence under the north window. I didn't look but I do believe there was a polar bear in my shower. He was singing sea chanties and reciting "The Wreck of the Hesperus."
I couldn't even feel my feet and the dog, the poor dog, was crawled up inside my pajamas at this point.
So I checked and, sure enough, no oil.
At 4 a.m. when all good people are surely still asleep, I was trudging up and down the cellar stairs with wood and kindling and more wood. I got the fireplace in the living room roaring which helped warm up the rest of the house a tad.
Like one degree.
Like not even noticeable.
So from 4 a.m. until the oil man arrived at 9, the dog and I hugged the fireplace. I was gorgeous: a grey t-shirt covered by a lime green sweatshirt with hood up, multi-striped flannel pajama bottoms and navy and white polka dot slippers. Dahling. I was a vision.
So my front, the part of me facing the fire, was 970 degrees, while my back was 12. I fell asleep sitting up in a wooden rocker twice, waking with a start when the fire crackled and I thought the house was burning down. I heard the paperboy come and go, watched lights wink on and off in the neighbors' houses, and generally tried to keep my circulation from stopping dead by running up and down the stairs bringing more wood.
The oil man came, filled the tank, restarted the furnace and left, leaving me still in an icicle state since it took forever for the boiler to heat the water and then circulate it around The Mansion. (Have I mentioned that there are three floors, three bathrooms and 12 rooms?)
Now I am still in a pickle because I have to wait until the fire goes out so I can close the damper and then turn on that thermostat to get the living room, dining room and kitchen warmed up. I've run around the room and lit every candle I could find so that I could trick myself into thinking it is warmer. The poor dog has not budged from a quilt placed for her in front of the fireplace. I'm sure she's stopped speaking to me because she is upset that penguins are now living in our bedroom.
And as for the bear, I definitely asking him to leave, unless he can figure out all these thermostats.