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Dang Cold!

December 9, 2009

I tend to be a hold out for the calendar version of seasonal change (it isn’t winter until the Solstice) but even I must admit that it is now winter. 

We are experiencing the brutal aftermath of the winter storm that swept through the country yesterday and today.  Yesterday it rained; it was miserably chilly and damp and just rained and rained and rained.  This morning, when I awoke it was about 27 degrees and there was a dusting of snow, and the winds had picked up.  It was all down hill from there.

Now, at 4:30 it is 16 degrees with below freezing windchills.  If you walk face into the wind it takes your breath away.  I have the faucets dripping in the bathrooms to keep the pipes from freezing and am tempted to hole up in the laundry room because it is on the opposite side of the house from the wind and is relatively toasty.

I hope the bees are cozy.  I’ve checked on the hives with binoculars from the house and the top covers seem to still be on – that’s about all I can do for them at this point.

The llamas ventured out of the barn but stayed out of the wind.  We should have closed the doors on the north side last night for them.  I wonder if my husband has shut the water off to the hydrant by the barn?  It is very inconvenient to have it off, but not as inconvenient as broken pipes.

The furnace goes on and off, on and off.  It is set at 64 but it is still taking a lot of natural gas to keep the house there.  I’m glad the kids aren’t squawking about being cold.  The upstairs is warmer so one is there, and the family room also seems to stay warmer – despite 2.5 exterior walls.  The insulation is better there than in the rest of the house I guess.  That would be because I don’t believe there is any insulation in the walls of the rest of the house (it’s 90ish years old – insulation will come with new siding in about 5 years I reckon).

I learned a bit about furnaces today.  We had a recurring wet spot on the floor near the furnace.  At first I thought it was from water coming up from the ground through cracks in the cement floor, it has been so rainy this fall.  Then I was afraid it was from the furnace and coming out the bottom – that maybe the drain pipe was clogged – although water was dripping from the pipe quite steadily.  As I pondered the puddle a drop dripped from above.  The water was coming from the vent pipe. 

I did figure it was condensation running back down through the pipe from the opening.  I was afraid it was building up at the elbow and so full it was leaking from a seam.  But, no, the condensation is suppose to run back down through the vent pipe back to the furnace where it then goes into the drain pipe and down the floor drain.  The only reason it was dripping was that one connection hadn’t been glued when it had all been assembled 10 years ago.  

That’s all that is new from this winter not-so-wonderland (snow would make this much more bearable).  Now it is back to grading final papers.  If I burned them I could heat the house…

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