To say thanks to Mama Pea for getting me up off my butt, out of my head and cracking out there! I was on the way or there already when I saw the other comments. A big THANKS to you folks for calling me out on this one. I don't yet have close enough friends locally to run this by earlier. You know, the ones you talk to every day or most every day, so this stream of consciousness decision-making discussion could have come out earlier. I wish it had and I would have gone yesterday. It was a good time, although there were only about 15 people there today. They're nice folks. Noticeably younger than me, though I'm probably the only person that noticed (and I'm not that old!).
In other news - I figured out what the black smoky stuff is from. The key is that when I came downstairs from the shower this morning it was there. There was nothing running, no wood stove, no gas stove, no oil heater, no furnace. It is the water heater, which runs on propane, and has black, streaky marks on it. Either this is a load of dirty propane - is that even possible? - or the burners are clogged and need to be cleaned - can one even do that? - or the whole darn thing needs to be replaced. At least I know who to call for this one, which is a big step forward over last year.
Hope you all had a nice weekend!
3 hours ago