Sunday, January 18, 2009


You may not have paid it any mind, but for the most part—I try to keep my mood positive when I post my Sunday morning blog. Phil and I are so grateful for our lifestyle, our health and our good fortune—to be able to do what we want to do when we want to do it—it seems childish to complain.

Well, I’m sorry but I am perturbed today! On Friday morning, Phil left on a three-day trip to assist someone we love, take care of a bit of personal business. He will not be back until late this afternoon. I am usually a very competent person and do just fine when he is gone but even I have limits. When Phil worked for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA he traveled a lot. One trip he was gone for almost six months with a short break to come home for Christmas. We talked on the telephone every other day or so and of course, I missed him but I managed just fine. If our big old house gave me trouble, usually I knew what to do. But, if not, he could generally talk me through the fix over the phone or if it was serious we would agree when it was time to call a professional. There was not a lot of them but I did have several problems over the years, including the washing machine that quit pumping, an old car that wouldn’t run, plugged up garbage disposer, leaky pipes upstairs dripping through the hall ceiling, animals that were injured, sick or died and a catastrophic roof leak during a long rainy season that resulted in water coming through the ceiling fixture in the entry.

So … whenever he leaves home for more than a day, I always suffer a bit of well-founded anxiety. Most of the time, all is well and everything is fine when he gets back. Not so this time. Last night when I went to bed, I tried to turn on my bedside 12 volt lamp and the bulb was burned out. The last time I tried to change the bulb, I blew a fuse and Phil had to rescue me but I decided to give it a try. I’m a big girl, right? I can manage a tiny task like replacing a small 12-volt lamp bulb, right? Wrong! First, the shade finial was so tight I couldn’t get it unscrewed (remember I’m doing this in the dark with a flashlight). Okay, get a flashlight and a pair of pliers. The lampshade is off, I then went looking for a bulb. First I stole the one from Phil’s side of the bed. It worked but wouldn’t stay on … I wiggled and turned; it would come on and go off and then I went to Phil’s “junk” drawer and found a new bulb in a package. I went to put it in … it came on for a second then the whole 12-volt system in Penny went dark~~! Oh boy, I’m in trouble now! I can tell you right now, replacing those lamps has moved to the top of the “to do” list!

I do not have a clue what to do now. I looked at both electrical panels and they look fine to me but you realize that ALL of our light fixtures are 12-volt so we are in the dark until the sun comes up. I took my flashlight to bed and decided to sleep on it. This morning, still no clue what to do but fortunately, all of Penny’s plug ins are 110 which is still working, so the really important things, the computer, the coffee pot, the TV and our one lamp have power. I will call Phil in a few minutes and wait to publish this rant until he tells me what to do so I can pass it along to you, dear readers. Oh boy, here comes the sun … let there be light!

Well, I called Phil. Perfect timing, he was up and drinking his first cup of coffee. Now I know where the 12-Volt fuse panel is located (it is hidden BTW) but let’s see now, you have to get down on the floor (not easy with my knees—down is do-able, getting up is a whole ‘nother ballgame) and try to see what you’re doing through your bifocals and guess what? Oh yes, did I mention I’m holding a flashlight? I can’t tell which fuse is blown and if I could, my arthritic fingers cannot pull it out of that tiny little thingy and I’m not going to poke a pair of needle nose pliers (my third hand for everything the past few years) in there. My darling told me, “I guess I’ll have to buy one of those fuse pullers for you.” He didn’t say “Since you seem to have a penchant for blowing 12-volt fuses!” bless his heart. But, even though Phil told me where the new fuses are … this too will wait for Phil to get home. Hopefully, he will arrive before dark.


  1. I am a very self sufficent person but when Carmen leaves something ALWAYS happens. ticks me off. I hope Phil's home and all is fixed before dark.

  2. I know the feeling. Fortunately I am very familiar with elevtriccal. I hate 12v lights. The last tow coaches I ran at least on 120v light in every room. This one I ran track lights to read by in the bed, track lights over the couch wall lamps in Bath and over the kitchen sink. Unfortunately over the computers is still 12v. The comfusion is always one tit or two on the 12v. bulbs.
    Hang in there sounds like you are pretty self sufficient. TAke care.

  3. that would be a nightmare to deal well; hope Phil is back safe by now

    my husband didn't travel as much as Phil did, but when he did travel it was guaranteed something bad would happen, kids sick, heater go out, etc. I got used to it but it was frustrating at times

    hoping the rest of the week is a good one


  4. Phil, isn't it nice to know your missed? These gals need us ALMOST as bad as we need them!!!LOL

    Joy_enjoyed the rant!!:-)


  5. Joy, we understand your situation, but in our motorhome it's the other way around. If Suzy isn't here, I can never find anything! Heck, even if she IS here, I can never find anything, but then she's here to tell me where it is!

  6. Boy, Joy, I sure did enjoy your "rant". Just a reminder---that is usually how it goes even in a stationary home!!!! :)+