Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Oven Conveys with the House.

Today I cleaned the oven.

Ok, ok, I have a self-cleaning oven, and it cleaned it self ... but when you clean your oven only every 4 or 5 years, it is a big frick'en deal.  So I take credit for hitting the self clean button and thinking, "Oh good, it still works."

It was a lovely day today, so I had all the windows open.  Why is that important?  You will understand shortly.

I am getting ready to sell this house and the oven conveys with the sale of the house, so it was time to clean the oven.  I mean, after all, when I start looking at other properties to buy I will certainly open the oven to see if it is clean!  :-)   You would do that right?? So my oven needed to be clean in case someone like me looks!

But I am so much better at this than I used to be.

Several years ago - well, maybe more than several years - like maybe 25 years ago, I remember deciding to clean my dirty oven.  It was a self-cleaning model then too.   The oven was very dirty.  Not just stained with cooked on stuff on the sides, but bunches of clumps of crusty whatever clustered on the bottom of the oven.  Yes, that bad. Time to do the deed.  I locked the oven door and hit the self clean button.  I smugly enjoyed the ease of this 20th century feature while my oven started its clean cycle.  I remember thinking that I was a modern 20th century wife and mother.  I didn't need to do this distasteful task myself.  With the flick of a finger, I was cleaning my oven.

Oh, did I mention it was January?  Did I mention is was about 35 degrees outside?  Well, it was. That's important to know.

Anyway, now the oven was cleaning.

Then the oven began to smoke.  Smoke started to creep out of the stove vents.  Not a lot but enough to be alarming.  The smoke detector sensed the smoke and it began to chirp ... ok, scream.  Yikes!  I tried to turn the oven off.  The oven ignored my efforts.   It was locked in its clean cycle, the heat was at hellish levels, and it was doing what I was asked it to do.  No stopping it now.  Crap!

I tried to turn the smoke detector off and realized I didn't know how to turn it off.  Great!  My eyes began to burn a bit, and although the smoke level was minimal ... (how do you judge "minimal" smoke in your house?) ... the smell was getting intense.  I started to cough.  I decided to turn off the house heat and open all the windows.  I had young children in the house, after all.  We needed to breath!!

Oh, and did I mention it was January and it was 35 degrees outside?  Well, it was.

So then the house began to get cold (but the air quality got better ... I am a "glass is half full kind of person.")  But we were getting really cold.  So we all put on our coats and sat at the kitchen table huddled together waiting for the oven to do its thing.  For 3 hours!!

Oh, and I also stepped down off my 20th Century modern woman pedestal long enough to figured out how to stop the blaring smoke alarm.

It was not my finest hour.

So this week (mid April) when I pushed the self cleaning button of my oven, the day was beautiful,  the temp was about 65 degrees, my windows were open AND I cleaned out the crust at the bottom of my oven in advance (Very.Very.Important)

We still had some odor.  My husband complained about the smell in the house and I cautioned him that things could be worse ... it could be 30 degrees outside, the smoke alarm could be screaming and he would need to wear his coat.

He had NO IDEA what I was talking about.  See 25 years ago he was at work when I last covered myself in glory with my skillful oven cleaning efforts.  I am so much improved now! :-)

Don't go looking for the 'before' picture.  There isn't one.
I have no intention of leaving proof behind of my house keeping  short comings.

Anyway, the oven is now sparkling clean.  

Now we can move.


  1. Oh I know exactly what you went through. I did the same thing many years ago. Even worse. I had left a cast iron skillet in my oven. You know how crusty they get. I had to call the fire department. My oven needs cleaning now, maybe this will encourage me to do the deep. Loved your telling of this story.

  2. I have never used my oven's self-cleaning feature because of the smell factor; but I guess a beautiful day like today would be a good day to do it....

  3. I have two ovens in my house. And only one of them is a self-cleaner. That is down right crazy. And guess which one I use the most....the one that needs me to clean it! I'm not sure why but it is. And it needs cleaning badly right now.

  4. Oh my, I laughed so hard at this. :-) I've heard both good and bad about self-cleaning ovens but I've never owned one to see if I fall in the category of loving or hating them. I bet you have plenty more stories you will end up sharing with your husband that he missed out on about the things that happened in your house as you pack up and prepare to move.


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