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Author Topic: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters  (Read 44360 times)

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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2013, 06:44:26 PM »
Amava, you had me in tears with that description. :)

The stuff of Elephantschild family legend:

I was about 10-11. My younger brother was about 3-4. Dad was somewhere, I don't really remember. Mom was getting ready to go to work and went upstairs to get showered and dressed, leaving me downstairs with DB.

I am a bookworm. I have always been a bookworm. And I acknowledged her request to keep an eye on him, but I also had a book in my hands. See where this is going?  ::) ;D

Mom came back downstairs a bit later to discover DB standing at the foot of the stairs, beaming, clutching a box of dry cereal. Then she noticed the wet little footprints leading to the kitchen.

"Oh," she thought, "he's gotten into the dog's water again!"

It wasn't the dog's water. It was cooking oil.

DB had gotten into the kitchen cupboard and gleefully upended just about everything. Cereal. Pasta. Flour. Cooking oil and cracker crumbs and vanilla and spices. It was a mess of epic proportions.

She stormed back out to the living and said, "Elephantschild! Why aren't you watching your brother?!"

I lifted my head from my book, blinked and looked at the grinning imp, then slowly took in the footprints and beyond him, the mess.  And I said, "Oh! You naughty boy!"

Today it's an amusing story. (DB, who is in his 30s, is probably tired of hearing it.) But mom admits that at the time, she was in tears and furious.

She got her revenge, though. YDS is just like his uncle, personality-wise.  ::)
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2013, 06:55:47 PM »
I learned the hard way that the fill/drain valve for automatic dishwashers will eventually fail, and that the best insurance is to replace it at least every five years before it fails. I learned this after being away for a long weekend while water trickled through the failed valve, soaking the kitchen floor, cabinets, living room carpeting, furniture, and so on. I had to hire a disaster recovery company to use special vacuums to remove as much water from the carpeting as possible before mold started to grow. Then I got to live with three enormous, noisy dehumidifiers for a few days so that the cabinets and furniture could dry out. Cost of clean-up was $2,000. Cost of a new valve was less than $10.
"I never explain anything." ~Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2013, 07:17:56 PM »
When I bought my first house, I was only 25 years old. While I was smart enough not to actually take out the maximum mortgage I was approved for, there still wasn't a lot of room in my budget after the mortgage was paid each month, so even the smallest "joys" of homeownership felt like disasters. My favorite memory is The Great Exploding Stove, which I blogged about on my MySpace account (this happening in 2006 when MsSpace was still all the rage). I logged back into my account just now to pull the story, which probably had Tom Anderson, or whoever owns MySpace now, jumping for joy.

The Story of The Great Exploding Stove (as originally told on 7/24/06)
About a week ago, I created a "His and Hers To Do List".  On my side of that list, somewhere in priority after scraping, priming, glazing, and repainting the windowsills before cold weather sets in again and they rot away over the winter, was fixing two broken burners in my 1960s Tappan Fabulous 400 stove, and finding someone that could figure out what was wrong with the big oven and put it back to rights.  I haven't been able to bake a pizza since I've had this house, the pizza pan won't fit in the little oven.

Well, in true it-never-rains-but-it-pours fashion, since this was the weekend that I was down to the wire helping my boss meet an important State Bar deadline, this also had to be the weekend that my little oven decided it was going to present a show of solidarity against the neglect of my big oven.  And in quite spectacular fashion, at that.

I was on something in the line of my fifth cup of coffee for the day, and had thought a cinnamon roll might go nicely.  Heaven knows I wasn't going to find time to pull together any sort of nutritionally beneficial meal until this stint was over, might as well push through on a caffeine and sugar high.  I flipped the oven to 350, tossed a bakery cinnamon roll into the Springform pan that happened to be the first thing I found when I opened the cabinet door, and went back to work.  Not two minutes later, there was an incredible racket from towards the back of the house, and as I went to investigate, the kitchen was filled with flickering orange light.  As I raced through the doorway into the kitchen, I could see that this flickering orange light was caused by a veritable fireworks of sparks exploding within my oven.

Acting on terror and addreneline, I burst across the kitchen and yanked open the oven door.  It occurred to me, after this heroic act, that perhaps it would have been wise to throw the breaker before touching a sparking electrical appliance.  A check of the breaker box showed that my house's electrical system has more sense than I do, evidently, and the breaker had already been thrown.  The sparks danced around like kernels of popcorn in a pan, and slowly began to die out.  I stood sentry the fire extinguisher, and a wary eye on the glowing red ember that was my molten oven element, the cause of this great excitement.  I didn't want to use the extinguisher unless I absolutely had to, those things make a darned mess, and the oven was already in sorry shape, what with the explosion it had just contained.

Having spent its energy on a showy display, the element cooled down demurely, and I retrieved my cinnamon roll from the oven.  After all the hoopla, the pastry was lukewarm, at best.

I took a couple deep breaths, calmed down enough to dial the phone, and called sweetie on his cell to tell him we were minus another oven.  I may have been a bit exciteable during this call, he has pointed out to me that the stove did not actually catch fire.

Semantics notwithstanding, it was agreed that the stove was no longer safe, and besides, neither of us felt like scrubbing the oven.  Online research and several trips to the appliance stores settled us on a GE 30" ceramic cooktop range.  The old stove has been disassembled and hauled to the curb, leaving a lovely view of 1960s wallpaper.  Sweetie tells me he painted over that this morning.  The man is worth his weight in gold.

RIP my sweet Tappan.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2013, 10:53:38 PM »
Many years ago I was defrosting a chest freezer in our cellar.  DH decided that he would help me get the icebergs out quicker with his handy dandy propane torch. 

He lit the torch, put it into the freezer, and shut the top.  After several minutes he opened the freezer and saw that the torch flame was out.  He said that he supposed that he had smothered the flame when he shut the top of the freezer.  As he reached in to get his torch out I told him to be careful, that the bottom was probably full of propane and it would be bad for him to breathe the stuff.

DH scoffed that I didn't know what I was talking about, such a thing couldn't happen.  To prove his point he quickly lit an match and threw it in, before I could even get a word out to stop him.

Fortunately DH was standing several feet back, because there was a mini explosion as all of the trapped propane in the bottom of the freezer ignited at once.  Fortunately, everything around was concrete, and the ceiling was too high to catch fire.  The freezer was OK too, surprisingly enough.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2013, 12:22:24 AM »
Can I just say, I hope no one here or in that kitchen disaster thread minds if I'm in tears of laughter right now  ;D.  I suppose if you didn't want people laughing at your stories, you wouldn't post them.

Here's some from me (and my parents):

One Easter, my dad secretly got the idea that it would be fun to make a bunny foot out of an old powder puff, tape it somehow to a stick, and make bunny tracks with flour in a kind of trail to follow for the eggs  ::).  He waited until we were all in bed to make all his tracks.  What he didn't anticipate is the fact that flour is hard to clean up (and Mom made him do it all).  He also didn't think that our two cats would find the flour pans, and mixed in with the bunny tracks were hundreds-thousands-of paw prints on the floor, the furniture, everywhere.  My mother was not amused.

For a brilliant man, he didn't think things through enough.

My parents' family room had two floor-to-ceiling bookcases flanking the fireplace.  One night, there was a huge BOOM!  When we ran downstairs, there were two terrified cats under furniture, and one of the bookcases was completely collapsed, with books everywhere.  There was a bright end to that story; instead of building the bookcase again, they knocked out both of them and put in a sunroom behind the original family room. 

In my own house, we have a gas fireplace.  Right after Christmas, there was an ice storm and we lost power for four days.  DH got the fireplace going (it's rarely cold enough to use it here), and that's what I tried to cook Chef Boy-Ar-Dee over, in the dark or by flashlight.  Don't know if that counts as a "disaster", but it was definitely disastrous cooking  ;D.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2013, 07:26:53 AM »
My ex-father-in-law had his own interior decorating business.  One day,  he came home with a strip of wallpaper.  "This is what I put in a lady's house today," he said, "what do you think?"  The wallpaper was very pretty - a white background with little bunches of pink and blue flowers.  Thing is, he was holding the strip so that the stems of the flower bunches were pointing upwards.  We said "It's nice, but aren't you holding it upside down?"   He looked dismayed and said "Oh, NO!"

This reminded me of my own story!  I had remet my now husband, (we had gone to school together), and I thnk we were either dating or by this time had moved in with him, (myself and my two children from a first marriage).  We were eating dinner in his kitchen, (city, small row home), and were admiring the decorated paneling he had put up.  I don't remember it being wallpaper.  It also had some kind of flowers on it.  And I said, "It looks nice, but isn't it upside down?".   Uh oh, it was!  It had been up for years, I think, and it still looked nice, and apparently, I was the first one who noticed it anyway, so no big deal! 


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2013, 08:52:25 AM »
It was a lovely spring day so we left the windows open when we went to work. 

The brickwork on the building was being repointed but they were working on the other side of the building, or so we thought.

For some reason, the workmen decided to work on our side that day.  We returned home to find brick dust all over absolutely everything.  Even the air in the living room was pink. 


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2013, 09:10:56 AM »
While we were at work one day back when we lived in our last apartment, our landlord finally got around to spraying in the insulation he’d been promising for two, maybe three years.

Everything went well that first day—he sprayed it in the broad side of the house where we could sometimes actually feel a draft through the walls. We were very excited about our potential lowered energy bills for the last couple of months we’d be there (we’d just put an offer down on the house before this started).

The second day didn‘t go nearly as well. Or, I should say, he thought it went swimmingly, but he didn’t bother to look through the windows into our apartment as he sprayed in the front of the house.

At the very front of our second story apartment was a porch. You accessed it through a small alcove that had a door to the porch and a closet (which was mostly filled with various things we never needed).

When we moved into the apartment four years prior, the landlord had just finished replacing the porch door. Part of that process required that he strip all the plaster off the lathe (and some of the lathe strips too) on that wall (about 4" on either side of the door). I don’t know why. Anyway, he still hadn’t fixed it when we moved in, and always promised to do it sometime, but never did. We just hung a curtain over the doorway to the alcove to hide it and block any drafts in the winter.

Yep, you guessed it. When he sprayed in insulation through that part of the house, there was nothing to trap it in the wall—it just sprayed all over our living room and into that spare closet. It was a total mess.

On the bright side, it got us in gear to clean out and pack up that closet for our move!


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2013, 02:35:44 PM »

Some friends of our have an oven/stove just like yours (or very similar to it) and are still using it.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2013, 03:04:53 PM »
I was about 14 years old, and my mum and I were spending the day at my Aunt's house.  This was *not* an unusual occurrence - mum and Aunty were very close and visited with each other most week days - shopping together, just hanging. 

I was sent into the kitchen to make a pot of tea.  At that time, Aunty used leaf tea.  There wasn't enough in the caddy and so I reached into the cabinet to get the fresh box.

And then


The kitchen had a solid, tiled floor. 

My mum and aunt came running in from the next room to find me standing there, holding the two cupboard doors surrounded by the contents of the (at that time) only food cupboard in the house.  I was surrounded by loose tea, sugar, coffee, pickles of various types, ketchup and their broken bottles and packaging.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2013, 03:47:48 PM »
A near disaster today reminded me of a real disaster from a long time ago.  At the time, my father owned 27 houses in south Miami-Dade County.  This is the area that was hardest hit by Hurricane Andrew. Every single house was completely destroyed.    With that many destroyed houses, it became necessary for all us kids to spend every free moment helping to rebuild. So one afternoon we were working on the roof of one of the houses.  Somehow or another, my foot slipped and I kicked a 2X4 off the roof.  It was like it was a guided missile right to the front windshield of my father's truck.  It was not a happy few minutes after that.  My dad was livid, but called out a guy to replace the glass.  Not an hour later, my father was loading boards into the back of the truck and swung too hard.  I must be a horrible daughter because it took me forever to stop laughing after he threw yet another 2X4 straight through the back windshield.
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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2013, 05:07:07 PM »

RIP my sweet Tappan.

Oh, so Sad! I had a stove similar to that (it was gas) and I LOVED it! I wish they still made a model like that, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I had to give it up when I sold my house.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2013, 05:24:21 PM »
Useless ex-H was good at household disasters. 

He fell through a wall once, putting on his pants.  All the way through.

He put a new thermostat in my car - the wrong way around.  The car boiled three times in a 7km trip, I essentially missed a day's work.

One day I was baking, rental house, leaky old gas oven.  I didn't realise how bad it was.  As I was putting the pavlova in the preheated oven, I noticed a small, black spider spinning down on a web from the exhaust vent above.  'Oh, pretty spider...' then I noticed the red spot on it's bum.  Yup, don't like redbacks in the house!  So I'm whacking away with a fly swatter trying to kill said redback, which fell down between the stove and the fridge next to it.  Useless had been napping...  he came out when he heard the ruction, and asked what the 'f' I was doing.  I explained, in a state of panic by now.  His bright solution was to use flyspray to kill the spider.  So I got the spray, gave a good blast to the area between the oven and the stove.  The resulting ka-boom was pretty impressive!  Yes, the spray ignited and exploded.  Luckily there was no damage, and no, I never did find the spider...

At least there was a kaboom!

No one ever says, "Why me?!?!" when something good happens.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2013, 05:42:02 PM »
My husband and I moved into our newly decorated apartment. One day (while he was at work) I had finished my daily chores when I noticed a stain on our brand-new carpet. I had no idea what had caused the stain, so I used just water to clean it. The spot dried and the stain was gone.
The next day I was very surprised to see that the stain was back. Well, water worked the day before, so I cleaned the stain again. The wet spot dried and the stain was gone. Again.

The next day: stain was back. Again I cleaned it with water, but I was getting a bit worried. What was causing that stain and why was it coming back over and over?
The day after that? No stain! I had done it, it was gone.
The day after that? The stain was back. I was reaching the end of my rope: it was a new carpet, I didn't want to use anything too harsh to clean it, but this was getting ridiculous!

The day after that my husband was home and the stain came back. I pointed the stain out to him. He dropped to his knees to examine the stain and then started laughing. After he had regained his composure he started asking me questions:

Does the stain appear in the same place? When it's sunny outside? And always at the same time? And never when it rains? Yes, yes, yes and no, but why would he ask that?

He then pointed at the stained glass window hanger that made a stain-like shape on the carpet when the sun hit it at the right time. Yes, people, I had been cleaning a SHADOW the entire time!

I'm just happy I only used water and not any of the more aggressive cleaning solutions. Because bleach WOULD have left a stain, a nice white one.
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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2013, 12:46:41 AM »
We bought kind of a fixer-upper. It was in good shape, but really dirty, and the paint colors were atrocious (my favorite rooms were the sickly mustard yellow, the PURPLE! room, and the Green Bay Packers room, which was dark green on top and gold on the bottom, and all these rooms were pretty small). We did a lot of cleaning and cosmetic work on it ourselves. I spent ALL DAY cleaning the refrigerator. Our realtor had done the trash-out, so there were no containers growing anything, but every inch of it needed scrubbed. I was six months pregnant at the time, so it was even more super fun. I finally finished up and took one of the glass shelves upstairs to clean in the bathtub. I must have dragged the glass across the tub floor juuust right to cause precisely the necessary vibrations because it EXPLODED in my hands. I am so glad it was over the bathtub and not in the kitchen. It still took forever to clean up. Tiny pea-size beads of glass everywhere.

We also spent a lot of time picking out paint colors. We chose complementary colors for the living and dining rooms: pale sand, almost white, on top, and then on the bottom, a warm brown in the dining room and a muted darkish blue on the bottom.

Pale sand: Pink. Or pale lavender. We couldn't really tell. It was one of those things where it looked different from different angles. Like a hologram. Only not fun.

Muted darkish blue: Superman. Recycling bins. Gym class mesh jerseys. The most violent, unaesthetic royal blue that you can think of. That was it.

Warm brown: Maroon.

We had spent our paint budget, so we just had to make do. We did both rooms in the pink/maroon combo. It was not horrible; in fact, a lot of people specifically commented that they liked it. But it was absolutely not what we wanted, and our couch was blue. If you ever get Glidden paint, ask for samples actually painted out; don't rely on the chips in the store. Ugh.

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