Okay…I can do this….

This weeks’ honest-to-goodness blizzard resulted in some contamination of my propane fed wall heater –

“So what?” you ask…

So Glad you asked!  Here’s Flamethrower Story:

When dirt, grit, etc., get blown in/lodged/layered in mechanisms, “What?” takes the form of delayed lighting of heater, build-up of propane, and, eventually, mini-sonic boom and orange fireballs shooting from the wall into the living room – –

Rather an exciting afternoon, especially since no one got hurt once the ‘symptom’ of the storm’s actions showed/declared the new Presence of a Problem….

In case you’re new here at BallyBin, you should know –

I’m Skeered of Propane-Fed Thingamajigs

My parents put the Fear of God into me over some main conveniences/tools/appliances during the years they were in charge of me:

  • Gas/Propane
  • Pressure Cookers
  • Chainsaws

On the lighter side, I was also warned to never pee on, or over, an electrical fence, nor was it a good idea to lick a metal fence/flagpole in wintertime –

Since I didn’t have the requisite equipment to make such a folly easy for me to do (electrical fence item) and wondered why anyone, ever would think  licking metal outdoor structures was an adventure in courage or even worth responding to an idiotic double-dawg dare, I simply tucked those lil pieces of information away, should I ever have sons to teach – (yes, I truly think these two items fall under ‘male DNA territory…still can’t see the light so many, many males have tried to show me….)

Houston, There’s a Problem

The Problem caused by blown in particles of Mother Nature blessings, showed up without warning, when I was outside the doorstep, had just instructed man-child on why extra snow removal activities were needed now that the worse was over, in order to prevent ice hockey rink in front of primary entrance…

When, my wondering ears heard a loud bang, followed by a yelp, then some cursing from inside the house, as man-child re-entered abode to get suited up for more of Mama’s Please Handle/Help list –

“Did ya run into the doorframe cuz you were ‘snow-bright, sun-bright, blinded?”

“NO!  (insert grunt of disgust at misinterpretation of male sounds) “A fire ball just flew out of the wall furnace while I was walking by!”


“You okay?”

(terse, adrenaline response) “Yeah, yeah, I’m okay”

My Inner Committee to the Rescue

  • “Really!?!  Like right now?  Sigh….”
  • “Heat – Tonight – Top Priority”
  • “Sigh, will be working late today to make up lost hours spent dealing with this…plus time off to write about it, cuz seriously, won’t this be a funny blog post?”
  • “Umm…shouldn’t you be turning off the pilot and putting the thermostat to ‘Off’ position – Like, NOW?”
  • “Guess you messed up thinking you could delay that annual deep cleaning by an expert on such systems, eh?”
  • “Storm – delays to normal business – which expert may actually have the time to swing by and check out from my normal service providers?  So I don’t have too…”
  • “I Don’t Want to Deal with This! I’m Skeered”
  • “Tough, ya got to…Those who could help are busy catching up and helping those in straits more dire than yours, get over it”
  • “Check for dust, debris, first – Thank Gawd we have a handy-dandy new vacuum sweeper with really cool attachments….isn’t your brother awesome?”
  • “Call the office gals for the experts and ask how things are going for them – maybe the experts aren’t as busy as you think they are…you can at least check….”

Yes, my brain committee is Johnny on Spot, mostly because I like to listen to my brain committee and have no desire to “Shut them up” – So the above all took place in nano-seconds….

After Shut-Off, Vacuum, Further Cleaning, Inspection…

And after 2 additional phone calls….

  • One to office gal of local provider of ‘experts’, who graciously informs me of how things stand on their end,
    • (and yes, I felt bad – cuz she and her colleague made it to the office both days of the storm, to provide service – the experts/field techs had busted their butts trying to get to work, and make the rounds, and were still spending time fighting the snow, stuck equipment, drifts on county roads, etc…)
  • An hour later call to one who knows me, who is stand-in for moral support when I can’t call Mom to discuss/laugh/gird my loins to face my fears…
    • (One who laughs and listens to my funny stories about childhood, my parent’s advice, my joked about fears….who also laughs when I say, “Okay, will gear up to do, but if your office shakes and you see a black cloud to the north of you, know that I’m currently standing in front of St. Peter, stuttering out, “Wellll…yes, but really…I Thought….” and answering for my sins….)

Note! – My Mom can detect the smell of ‘leaking propane’ anywhere.  Even in a rental completely driven by Electrical systems and no gas/propane appliances, whatsoever  – I’ve learned this over the years, and she will worry if I look to her for ‘girding loins’ support on such topics –  since she doesn’t read my blog and/or, if she suddenly decides to do so one day, the danger is long in the past…etc., etc. Why should I initiate worry for her, before it’s fixed?  What kind of daughter would do that?! Knowingly?

Houston, Start Pre-Launch Checklist

  • “Okay – I’ve cleaned everything I can readily access, the propane feed has been turned off for an hour or more.. I’ve watched YouTube videos to make sure I know/remember the main feed lines and can identify the proper parts to watch/keep an eye on during Launch sequence”
  • “Every possible, removal, catch-fire item within a 4-10 foot radius of Fireball Thrower has been cleared- carpet not removed – guess we may have to replace if this turns ugly….
  • “Man Child Instructions Given for operations needed far from pilot lighting activities position”
    • Okay, when you’re ready, here’s what’s going to happen – I’m going to light the pilot – if that goes good, burns clean, stays lit, then I’m going to tell you, “Okay, turn it up!”
    • At which point, I want you to move this thermostat setting just above the current temp reading, and then skee-daddle to a good 10 feet away – DO NOT stand in front of the wall furnace while doing, -K-?”
    • I will watch the dual burners and see what color they are burning – so I want to stay down at pilot/burner level and may cut the feed if things look ugly…and shout, “Shut Down!
    • At which point, I want you to return to perimeter and place thermostat in Off position –
    • Got that?  Understand your mission?  Any questions?

Launch Report

  • Pilot lit, burned blue, stayed lit when depression of button released and dial turned to “On”
  • Burners immediately lit, no hesitation, no sonic boom, no fireballs when thermostat turned up
  • Dancing variables of orange amid the blue flames noted on burners for double check/info to expert who comes to deep, deep, inner parts clean…
  • Brain committee, wannabe sports fan commented, “See?  Sports are Important!  Ain’t you just seen the sign of  Blue & Orange Bronco Success?
  • Ears & brain simultaneously report no sound of man-child hurriedly clod-hopping further away after thermostat dial-up – sigh –
    • He might trust my preps, He might have learned silent warrior fast footwork OR we might have to talk about following directions, at least one more time – I won’t always be his boss – and he may end up in a nuclear powered facility…someday… – who knows? 🙂
    • You did see the note about my mom, right?  I come by worry-thoughts honestly – trying to improve upon the formula, but HEY!  Let’s take this journey one step at a time, shall we? 🙂

Post-Launch Analysis

  • I’ll always be ‘skeered’ or cautious or wise regarding propane –
  • I really need to not worry so much when those times come I must deal with the surprises – haven’t I proven to myself over and over that I’ve Got This!?
  • Young adult in house gets yet another reminder dose, both through action and spoken words
    • “This is what being an adult and getting to do whatever you want really looks like – Doing the very thing you’d rather not have to do and thinking about the possible contingencies – hold launch sequence – while I visit the ladies’ room – no sense peeing my pants, too, if this doesn’t go well….”
  • I really need to use my new vacuum to sweep out particles every month in winter, and especially after blizzards – not just twice a year…
  • There are those in my provider and friends circle, who forgive me my sins –
  • I don’t, yet, have to explain to St. Peter how I so royally mis-interpreted all the good advice provided to me throughout my life….


  • One phone call to service provider, “We’re good, put me in the schedule for the annual deep cleaning of system schedule when ever you have an empty spot of time to fill, that’s in the neighborhood – no hurry, but get me on the list…”
  • Two texts to support personnel, re: ‘Success!  Heater lit and no Fireballs!” and “Thank you for helping me gird my loins via talking myself up for it, and saving my Mom the worry of the conversation – You are appreciated!”  🙂
  • Write a long-arse blog post to provide amusement and laughter for others, over how silly this particular human being can be…

And now, I’m returning to today’s regularly scheduled program…


9 thoughts on “Okay…I can do this….”

  1. Oh I so so love you Tamrahjo.. I had all these visions of how you would Pee over the fence and your tongue frozen the the metal flagpole .. We had a dusting of snow only in January.. Ours has been flood after flood, thankfully I live on a hill.. Not so good in winter though 🙂
    You take care. Lots of Hugs.. and you brought me to laugh out loud xxx ❤ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny, sort-of – Always much funnier when after all is said and done (or ignited and blown, depending on the case) everybody is OK. We have a propane stove for occasional use. Your tale suggests I examine it and clean pronto. M 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always funny/interesting when you either survive close-up and/or view the destruction from a long distance away – (think the scientists enthusiasm in collecting data when space rock slammed into Jupiter some years ago) – 🙂 All in perspective, and folks that get that – well – all they can do is report upon their own observations, via the perspective they decided to take – which might be updated once time/distance issues have been resolved to one’s satisfaction – LOL


    1. Cuz we love how Mother Nature reminds us about priorities in our short time here, AND love that we get a ‘free day’ every now and again without digging ourselves out from coastal flood damage/earthquake chaos – just an un-substantiated, off the cuff response to my bloggy buddy in California – 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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