The past week, I keep hearing news about taxes. Apparently the deficit has gotten so bad members of Congress are talking about tightening the belt, so to speak, and they seem to think that eliminating tax cuts is the way to go. So, I guess it's a good thing I'm taking advantage of some of this years' tax credits while they still exist.

To that end, I just had a tankless hot water heater installed yesterday. Of course, I don't have any hot water yet, but I'm excited nonetheless.

Why am I excited about a non-functioning hot water heater, you may ask? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that in preparation for its installation I had to have my old gas meter upgraded, and during that process was informed that I had a gas leak somewhere.

This, of course, was the day before Thanksgiving, so getting it fixed was put on hold until after the holiday weekend. Meanwhile, the gas company cut me off, so I've had no heat and no hot water for the last week and a half while I've argued with home warranty representatives.

It's like camping...involuntarily...and without the pretty scenery.

I am, however, grateful that the leak was caught before my house blew up...with me in it. Funny how once the gas was shut off the weird smell in the master bathroom suddenly vanished. Guess I now know what gas mixed with soap scum smells like. Good to know.

And the house? Well, knock on wood, but I've replaced just about all the major parts, so I'm hoping that 2011 will be a little bit cheaper on the home front. My credit card company, however, would be quite content if the home repair spree continued at its current pace. I have a feeling I'm paying for some nice Christmas gifts for a few executives' wives.

Dear Madams:

Keep your diamonds; I'll take a hot shower for Christmas, please.