Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Am I on another planet?

Have you ever had one of those experiences where something you didn’t know you had ignored suddenly pops back into your head?  Well, about a week ago I did.  As I made my bed in the morning, I noticed the grate below my nightstand drawers and then it hit me.  During my walk through tour with the RV tech last May, he pointed out a filter that should be replaced periodically over the heat pump.  Oh, oh!  I don’t think periodically means every 7 months!  So, I removed the grate, and sure enough there was a really dirty 14X20” filter.  :(  My last rig (and the many before) never had a heat pump thingy.

So, today I headed into the booming community of Winnie, TX, to find a hardware store.  As I entered the small True Value store, one of the clerks asked if I needed help finding something. (I think I was their only customer, so they were eager to help)  I said, “Do you have furnace filters?”  She said “What?”  I repeated my request very slowly…”f-u-r-n-a-c-e  f-i-l-t-e-r-s?”  She said, “What would you use them for?”  I said, “For a furnace.”   “You know, one of those things that heats your house?”  “Oh” a fellow employee said, I think we have those.  Eventually, the filters were found, and I bought all three that they had in stock. (I won’t ignore this task again)

My question is this: am I using the wrong terminology, or is it a regional thing?  I know Laundromats are called Washeterias down here in Texas, but it seems to me that most houses must have furnaces down here even though the weather is usually warmer than up north.  Perhaps they call them heaters or something.  Can you southerners clue me in?  The sales receipt only lists a bunch of numbers; no description.  I felt like I was coming from another planet!  :)

The biggest hoot of the day came when I stopped at the local grocery store, Market Basket, and found similar filters there for half the price!  Who would have thought you could buy furnace filters at a grocery store!  Certainly, not me…

Some readers have asked if the freezing temps have lessened the mosquitoes.  My answer is…NO!  Both Emma and I were accosted as we sat outside this evening as the sun set.  She jumps around trying to snap them up in her mouth, and I just keep swatting and smacking any bare skin that is exposed!  It really puts a damper on social interactions with the other volunteers.

One of the blogs that I follow is written by Diana, another solo fulltime RVer, and she is currently posting her Top 10 Adventures for 2010.  I thought that was a great idea, so I think I’ll do a similar summary of my travels in 2010, but with a little different twist.  My first installment will be tomorrow if I don’t have an ‘out of this world’ experience on the bird survey in the morning.  :)

Thanks for stopping by….  talk to you later,  Judy  


  1. I don't know, I have always called it a furnace. but then again mine seems to be running constantly lately (it's been very cold up here!).

    Washeterias, have to remember that one.

    Sucks about the mosquitoes. I take alot of Vitamin B in the summer and since they don't like it, they leave me alone.
    Something in that doesn't taste good to them.


  2. I felt that same way when I moved to Ireland. Had to learn a whole different English.

  3. Back home it's a hydro company or hydro pole & down here it is the electric company. If I ask where the washroom is people look at me funny. Down here it's the bathroom. And while we're at it, why can't Cracker Barrel butter the toast!!!!

  4. The sales clerk must have been new, and not used to the upkeep of a home.
    They are still furnace filters here!
    But mostly used for the air conditioner in houses with central heat and air which use the same ductwork, and return air filters.

    Don't forget your roof AC has filters, too.

    As you are near Winnie, you are not far away from High Island. That is where Jake and his wife live, when they are not off in their MH.
    He has an interesting site: http://jatexas.com/
    It has a section about his stint in Antartica. Great couple, and they love to meet RVers. I have known them for years.

    Happy Trails, Penny, TX

  5. I call it an air filter. I alternate between the cheap one month type and the better 3 month type. Depending on who you ask, the cheap one is better because it does not stress the air cond/heat pump as much since it is easier to draw air thru the cheaper one. Sounds good, not sure if it is true. I change mine every month or so depending on what type I have in. I also label the date I put it in with marker, so I actually know how long it has been in.

  6. I'll be looking forward to your top 10 list! Glad you were able to eventually communicate your thoughts to the extra-terrestrial Texan.

  7. Furnace filter is all I've ever called them. Of course, I'm from up north but I've never heard them called anything else.

  8. we are looking forward to your top ten list!..and as for the washeteria??..that is funny!!

  9. I'm so sorry to hear about the mosquitoes. It's making me think we may not spend much winter time in Texas.

    Can't wait for the top 10 list.

    I don't know about furnace filters, but we know not to say bubbler unless we're in Wisconsin :)

  10. We did the same thing. We were mucking out under the bed and discovered our very dirty heat pump filters. By the way we have two compressors so we have two. I think you may also have two as your rig is a bit bigger than ours. The second one was a weird size so we had to cut one to fit.

  11. That's amazing that mosquitoes are out in the winter! I thought they hibernated or something. Looking forward to your top ten!

  12. I've never had a furnace, only a heater, but I'm in California. We also go to the grocery store, not the market. And I do "the wash" not "the laundry." I guess there's lots of regional lingo.

    There was a Herb Cain column in the San Francisco Chronicle when I was young about the lingo in San Francisco, also the way words are pronounced there that is different than the rest of the state. My folks were born/raised in San Francisco, and we used all the words in the article. Never knew until then it isn't gro-chur-ey, it's gro-sir-ey. And it's not warsh, it's wash. Things like that.

  13. Mesquitoes are a pain. This summer I tried the Off insect repellent clip on, and I was surprised how well it worked. It worked best when we were sitting around. It creates kind of a bubble that the mesquitoes stay out off. Dogs even figured it out, I caught them moving closer to the thing as the sun went down. I'll make a note of the washateria thing. My whole family are generations of Texans and it's always been furnace filter to me. My guess would be she hasn't had to do his/her own home upkeep yet. Or maybe hers is dirtier than yours was and she will have her own discovery when she gets home :0)

  14. Mosquitoes tend to swarm at sunrise and sundown. It's best to avoid being out at those times. They are also attracted to certain aromas like cologne or perfume.

  15. Thanks for the reminder...got me up and cleaning all ours. LOL!

  16. Oh yeah, the Washeterias...and what the heck is a taqueria?? a restaurant?? Sometimes when we go online and look for the nearest "laundry" we get a dry cleaner...gotta put in the term "coin laundry"...Up North it's pop, down here it's soda...Furnace filter is what we call it too...and we need to keep ours changed at home!!
    I'm excited to read of your 10 best trips..

  17. Thank you for becoming a Follower on my blog.
    I read yours every day. Great pictures, places and things there.
    Misty sends a 'woof' to Emma.
    Happy Tails, and Trails, Penny. TX

  18. I think you might have to ask for a central heater filter. Since my filters were always for both the central heater and the air conditioner, I just ask for air conditioner filters. And I don't do it in Winnie.

    I had much the same problem the one time I was in Canada. I wanted a collapsible pail to use to collect water from the middle of deep lakes for drinking while I was in the Boundary Waters. Two clerks had no idea until I called it a bucket. But I couldn't get the jokes I heard on the radio so I guess we don't really speak the same language.