Every housewife should know

So, the fuse on the lower left was the one I had to SLAM in with my RIGHT hand when I got here yesterday. The big boxy one. It turns on the water heater.

I am not crazy about this arrangement of fuses from the getgo. Knowing that I would have to slam the big boxy fuse in (with my right hand) when I got up here added more stress to my week than I am willing to admit. “But when I get there, I have to deal with that damn fuse!”

After a couple of tries, I did in fact get it in correctly. Why did I have to use my right hand? I was perplexed about that rather adamant instruction. A beach urchin suggested something involving an electrical current traveling up the left arm to the heart. Yikes? Nope. It was just that the way the fuse box is situated relative to the other objects (and walls) in the room, the path of least resistance was to use my right hand. And I am also right-handed… And this operation does not result in an electrical shock. I have actually done it before. I just don’t like doing it.

So I got the damn fuse slammed in and I heard the water heater make little noises so I figured all was good. But. Much later, I was only getting lukewarm water out of the taps. Oh dear, that will not do for washing the dishes or my morning shower. I couldda done the dishes by heating water on the stove like we used to do in the Jurassic Age but the shower was another story. It is toooo cold to swim in Gitchee Gumee at this time of the year. Unless you are five years old.

A phone call or two later, it turned out that both of the faucets *under* the moomincabin deck needed to be turned off and were *not*. I’m not sure why they weren’t and I don’t really understand the issue, but once I turned them off, voila! I had hot running water and a loverly shower this morning.

I want to replace this arrangement of fuses with a modern circuit breaker box. When I am on the Planet Ann Arbor and there is a brownout and Gertrude (my stove) has a seizure (i.e. starts making all kinds of crazy noises), I can just run down to the basement and flip a circuit breaker with one finger. It doesn’t even matter which hand the finger is on but usually it’s on my right because I am right-handed.

This all reminds me of The Gumper, my beloved father-in-law, and his “Every Housewife Should Know” lessons. The Moldy Old cFam cabin probably had a similar arrangement of fuses and he made sure to instruct every new person using that kitchen as to which appliances could or couldn’t be plugged in at the same time. Having grown up in a shabby little bungalow and the moomincabin, I already had a pretty good idea not to plug in every single blasted appliance at once. But I loved him and appreciated his guidance.

One Response to “Every housewife should know”

  1. Margaret Says:

    My late husband was a lot like your FIL and wanted everyone to know how things worked or didn’t. When he was around, I didn’t worry about it since he could fix or figure out most things. (so can John) Now that I’m mostly alone, I pay much more attention to details like how to turn off/turn on things. I even “fixed” my gas fireplace. LOL