We decided to splurge and buy a grown-up bed. I have never in my entire life had a queen sized bed. Two reasons: They’re usually about $200 to $400 more than a full-sized bed; and the sheets are about $10-$20 more expensive. Make that three reasons: my bedroom is usually too small for a queen sized bed.
But we’ve been renting our house out (quite successfully), and the mattress was getting a little tired, and Sears was having a 50% off sale. It was Kismet. And I figured as long as I’m buying a new mattress, why not get queen-size? The guests will like having the extra room. I’ll like having the extra room (on the rare occasion I get to sleep in my own bed)(whatever little room is afforded me by my bed-hogging dog and cat.)(Yes, I know. Cesar Milan would say I am not being alpha dog. In truth, even the dog isn’t alpha dog, the cat is.)
Back to the bed. So I order the mattress. And somewhere in the back of my feeble little brain, I have fixated on a measurement I could swear I saw on an Ikea queen-size bed. My brain insists that the queen size frame is only one inch longer than the full-size frame. Six inches wider, but only one inch longer. And this is oh so very key, because length-wise in the bedroom — uh — things are a little tight. But I’m not worried about it. I shell out my non-refundable mattress money (non-refundable because it’s half-off, you see?), confident that the queen size bed frame is 80 inches, and the full sized bed is 79 1/8 inches. And I’m not going to notice the loss of 7/8-inch in space.
Only that is not the length of the Ikea queen size bed. It is not the length of any queen size bed frame I can afford. And I know. Because I have spent the last two weeks (post buying the mattress) scouring the Internet for a queen size bed frame that is no more than 80-inches in length.
They don’t exist.
Correction. They do. At fancy schmancy European furniture stores. One retails for just shy of $7,000 (a bargain compared to the other that retails for $12,000.)
I cannot see paying more for a bed than I have ever spent on a car.
Hm. Maybe we can put the mattress in the back of the pickup truck and sleep there?
I finally find a bed. It’s a mid-century modern jobbie. I love me some mid-mod. It is unfortunately a far sight more than the $199.00 Ikea bed. But infinitely less than the $7,000 for whateverthenameofthatridiculousstore was. And it was on sale ($216.00 off), and the delivery was free (although I cannot for the life of me figure out how we’re going to get it upstairs to the bedroom. We’ll probably have to rig up a winch of some kind to lift the bed over the balcony railing on the back deck. (Note: originally I typed “wench.” That would be funny. Some blowzy broad hoisting our bed up and over the railing. “Put ‘er there, boys!”) And then remove the sliding glass doors and hope the frame will fit at an angle through the opening.
Anyway, it was much more – like five times more – than I intended to spend. But the hubby said we could write it off against the money we made on the rental, and it’s high time we had some nice furniture instead of all the college-style stuff we have. So okay. No regrets.
And then I get up to the house to do the changeover today. And I’m running the hot water. And it isn’t getting hot. Tepid, maybe. But not hot.
Now maybe the coil on the water heater just needs to be cleaned (pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease!), but maybe our idiot renters have broken it.
Do you want to know what they’ve been doing? (You know you do. Don’t try to deny it.)
It’s what I would call mid-season weather here. Not quite warm, but not quite cold. Our house faces south, and during the day the direct sunlight does a pretty good job of keeping the place heated. It can be 53 outside but 73 inside thanks to the sun. But when the sun sets, it can cool down pretty dang quickly. That’s why we have these incredibly thick, I mean monster thick, curtains. To keep the cold air from all that glass from making the house cold.
But I understand. People come to the country. They want to look at the woods and the stars. So they don’t close the curtains. And the house gets cold.
We have radiant heat. The great thing about radiant heat is it is so quiet and so efficient, you don’t even know it’s on. Once the house reaches the set temperature on the thermostat, it’s very easy for the heater to maintain that temperature.
The bad thing about radiant heat is it takes forever to warm up. Forever. Eight hours minimum. So say the thermostat is set at 72 degrees, but during the day the sun heats the house up to 73 or 74 degrees, the heat is going to cut off. All day long it will be off.
And then the sun goes down and very rapidly the temperature will fall to around 68 degrees. At which point, I just put on a sweater. But city slickers? Brrrr! That’s cold!!!! So they turn the heat up. And of course it’s radiant, it is not going to feel warm anytime soon. So they turn it up more. And more. And more. And more. They turn it up to 96 degrees.
And then… sometime around, oh, 4 in the morning, they wake up and they’re sweltering. This house is so hot, they say. And they open the windows. They open all of them. They forget that they cranked the heat up to 96 degrees. They forget that the heat is even on because they can’t hear it. So then for the next — however many days they’re in the house — the heater, the poor beleaguered heater — it’s pumping its guts out trying to heat the house to the demanded 96 degrees, while the idiot renters still have all the windows open, and it’s 48 degrees outside.
I arrive and they tell me how incredibly tight the house is. So warm. They had to open the windows. But they don’t have to tell me that. The minute I hit the vestibule off the laundry room, I can feel the molten hot temperature coming from behind the laundry room door. And I know that the heater has been working overtime.
Now when guests arrive, the first thing I explain to them is how the radiant heat works. That it doesn’t matter how high they set the thermostat, it’s going to take a minimum of eight hours for the house to reach that temperature. I tell them if they get cold at sunset, the best course of action is to start a fire in the fireplace. The fireplace kicks out 70,000 BTU. It will heat the entire house within about 30 minutes. I tell them there is free firewood in the shed, use as much as they want. Let the fire go out right before they go to bed, and in the morning when they wake, the house will be cozy and warm because the radiant heat will have had time to kick in. I tell them if they can’t start a fire, to call my cell or text me, and my neighbor will come over and start the fire for them. He will do it every evening. They can go to dinner if they don’t want to be there, he’ll stop by while they’re out, and they’ll come home to a roaring, toasty fire (and home.)
But do they listen? No. No, they do not.
Our propane bill is normally about 800 for the entire year. It was $399 for the past month alone because of these ressin fressin puddin’ for brain idiots who rent my house.
So we’re having to have the most expensive plumber on God’s green earth come in here on Wednesday and fix the heater. And he’s installing a thermostat that we can control from our computers in NYC. I bet there’s a way we could find out from the security system (we have a security system) whether a window is open or not.
Even if we can’t, I think I’m going to tell people that I can monitor the windows and the heat from the city. And that if I see the thermostat set above 74, I’m going to charge them extra. Or that if I see the heat is on at all while a window is open, I’m going to charge them an extra $100. It is insane.
Do they not know what fossil fuels are doing to our environment?!!! Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! You have a brain! Use it for crying out loud!
Okay. Sorry. I know that had nothing to do with bones or health — well — maybe my mental health. Or lack thereof. But I just had to get that off my chest.