How do you keep a gas stove from charging?

You don’t.  You do, however, stand back when lighting it.

I discovered this morning that when I open the fridge door while standing in bare feet, that I don’t get shocked!  That’s always been the case in the kitchen.

However, now when touching the side of the gas stove, I get that familiar cattle fence charge (or when touching the small, aluminum step ladder that was leaning up against the side of the stove which is how I made this secondary discovery today).   So…the renegade electricity seems to be moving toward the doorway.  Maybe it’s trying to escape?  Is there something unnerving about having an electrified gas stove?  It doesn’t seem to bother anyone else around here.  I guess “no one’s died yet, so what’s the problem?”

I remember the little “pink house” we lived in for nearly 2 years in Honduras.  Whenever we picked up the telephone we could hear a radio station in the background, and sometimes two or three other phone conversations would be chattering with indistinguishable voices, but we could still hear them nonetheless.  The worst part was having to sit on a chair and lift our feet off the floor while talking on the phone otherwise we’d get a pretty big shock! Leaning up against the wall while talking on the phone was known to have a 33% mortality rate.  We know this to be true because only 3 people ever used that phone while we were living there, and neither of us died.

Welcome to the land of “everyone is a plumber and every plumber is an electrician.”

In other electrical news, the August 3rd lightning strike apparently took out my laptop Ethernet card, the office printer, the office local phone set (just the base but that controls all 4 phones which are now unusable), the sound on the office TV, the Vonage adapter (all of these were supposedly grounded and protected by surge protectors and a voltage regulator), in addition to the timer on the dryer, our bedroom turbo fan for drowning out nighttime noises (i.e. dogs barking, sirens, late night party music, jake brakes, etc), and my MIL’s TV.  Did I forget anything else? 

Oh yes…last week the air bag light on the passenger seat of the van began blinking constantly.  I’m not sure if that is due to a bad sensor or if it just knows that Bethie usually sits there.  (*duck* I think I’m going to be in trouble for that one)

It’s hard to tell because we’re finding things that no longer work as we get to using them, except for the fan which was fine for a couple days and then just sort of slowed down and after a few hours…stopped.  Gone.  We’ve replaced the fan already as we’d never be able to sleep without it!

There were no wires running up near the cupola, so the lightning may have simply traveled through the walls of the house and who knows how it selectively hit things via the phone line and electrical system, but it was obviously trying to dissipate a tremendous amount of electric energy.  It’s amazing we didn’t lose everything in the house that was plugged in at the time.

I started to count up our losses and the cost of new glasses (Friday, over $500), two wisdom teeth surgically removed (Cameron’s on Saturday, over $300), one broken tooth in the process of being repaired (Beth’s, another couple hundred dollars), an online high school biology course (Cameron, $360), and the July trip to the USA (we’re talking thou$and$)…whew!  I hope we can put the drain plug back into the bottom of our bank account!  You ever had a time like that?  When it rains, it pours.  It happens.  God provides.

When we hear any storms while we’re home now, we unplug virtually everything.  Although today, we should be OK from lightning strikes because there are two guys up on the roof working.  It’d hit them first and the house would be spared!  Human lightning rods.

Of course, that’s not true because they’re standing on the roof, so we’d first lose the workers and then have other problems because that charge would have to go down into the house once again.

Maybe I should ask them to run a grounding wire around their belts and down to the garden….  Yes, my morbid sense of humor is taking advantage of my Monday morning disposition.  I’m sure the guys will vacate the roof if any storms head this way.  Hope they have that hole covered up first!  Well…can’t have them up there exposed to the elements should it rain.  I’m currently rigging up a golf umbrella with a wire….

In other news (already alluded to above) relating to the lightning damage, two workers came this morning and demolished the damaged cupola.  They’ve been chipping away at stuff and I noticed a round(ish) piece of tinted glass making its way up stairs and a ladder.  I see now that the plan will be to not rebuild the cupola but to turn the whole hole into a skylight.  The lightest room in the entire house will now receive a lot more light!

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