I almost burn down the house and other problems I have with machines

This was 1/2 a pita destined to meet some Wild Blueberry jam. Then it became a pita inferno.

I’ve had a rough week when it comes to machines. Last week, my electric tea kettle went kaput. Fortunately, it was under warranty so it was replaced. But given how much tea I drink every day, just those few hours without it was torture.

Then I found that the cord on the fan I’ve been using daily has been chewed by … well, some critter. Bits of bare wire were peeking through where someone’s little teeth had chomped through the plastic. (It was not as bad as the time I was sitting on the metal folding chair when the chair leg sliced through the power cord on my computer and zzzzzt!! Flame, smoke, and a big scorch mark on the hardwood floor. Good think I was wearing rubber soled slippers.)

The dogmobile had its own share of problems this week … to the tune of about $1200. Don’t get me started.

And then last night, I almost burned down the house. I was toasting up a nice 1/2 of whole wheat pita to enjoy with some super yummy Wild Blueberry St. Dalfour’s jam. (Amazing stuff.) I was using the toaster oven, because I use the toaster oven for 95% of my oven needs. (Did you know you can make mini muffins in the toaster oven? It’s the grown up Easy Bake.)

I don’t know if the actual toaster oven caught fire or if there was something on the bottom of the oven that caught fire. But I was in the dining room when I smelled something burning and when I went into the kitchen I found smoke billowing – and I mean billowing – out of the toaster oven. There were flames and everything.

Uh oh. That’s not good.

Using those skills I would have learned as a Girl Scout had I attended more than one Girl Scout meeting as a child, I quickly opened the toaster oven door and blew on the flames. And out they went, like a candle. Then I remembered that fire needs oxygen. Oops. That move could definitely have backfired.

And the smoke. Egads, one little pita sure can smoke. So I grabbed a couple of towels and managed to get the hot toaster oven outside, where I deposited it in the driveway. Flames out, smoke outside. Ta da. Problem solved.

Except the entire downstairs was filled with smokey haze and stink. Blech. (Kind of like that time neighbors had a bonfire in their backyard, almost directly under my bedroom window. And all of the smoke went directly into our house. I went upstairs to find my room engulfed in campfire smoke. Pretty. But I digress.)

I opened every window in the downstairs, turned on the fans, and hoped for the best. By this afternoon, the smell had definitely dissipated. No long term effects from my late night snacking, thank goodness.

 But it’s clear that my relationship this week with machinery is in turmoil. I’m afraid to run the clothes dryer or use the food processor, lest I provoke the small appliance gods even more.

Just another excuse not to use the vacuum, wouldn’t you agree?


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