Thursday, January 31, 2008

The house was warm

I arrived home to a warm and toasty, stinky house. I am so proud of warrior #2(W2) and his accomplishments in regards to the furnace. Apparently it took a couple trips to the hardware store and the local Oil Supply company for parts. God forbid it be just one thing! Seems that not only the pump went but during the course of going, it blew some other parts to pieces. Good fun for W2, who knew little to nothing about the pieces and parts involved in a furnace. But he figured it out and as you might be able to tell, I am thoroughly impressed.

I should mention that I sleep soundly. The reason I mention this is that I did not know that W2 was up three or four times during the night of no heat. He went down to the basement, ran the salamander heater, stood with it to make sure it didn't catch anything on fire, returned upstairs and ran water in the sink until it was hot. He did this three or four times. I slept through all of it. Warm and snug under a mound of blankets, feathers, and fur.

Having mentioned W2's nighttime adventures, it may come as no surprise that we accomplished nothing on the house last night. We had dinner out, as usual, as we have no kitchen, then returned home to watch a movie. Movies are our only form of entertainment since we have no cable, internet or phone. Not usually an issue as we are always working on the house, so there is very little time for entertainment.

So now I am hoping to get home early enough to open at least one window and point a fan out so that I can blow some of the fuel smell out of the house. Then maybe we will be able to move on to mixing and pouring that concrete that didn't get done last night.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Four months and 20 days...

We have owned our house for four months and 20 days. It seems like a blink of the eye and a lifetime all at the same time. We worked like warriors for three months prior to moving all of our beloved belongings (and some not so beloved) into what we hope will one day be a home. For now it is a construction zone that is safe to live in. Not always comfortable, but safe.

To say that our house is drafty would be an understatement. It is often times under 50 degrees in our bedroom. There is little point in turning up the heat because it just blows out the cracks in the walls and windows. We've put 22 new windows in the house. They are vinyl replacement windows. I personally stuffed the casings with as much insulation as my husband would allow. There should be no draft from the windows. When I actually have the energy to ponder this out loud to my husband, I am told it's not the windows leaking air, but the walls.

Ah, the walls. You many wonder how walls leak. I know I did. But when your home is 120 years old in the Northeast, you may have a variety of insulations. Horsehair, fishgut, blown in, gypsum, fiberglass. These are all options. We have them all. They're just not thorughout the entire wall, or the entire exterior of the house. The aged blown-in insulation has sunk to the bottom of the walls, leaving a good 6 feet of un insulated expanse. Thus allowing for an incredible amount of cold air to enter the house, through the wall. It's fabulous!!

Last night I arrived home to a VERY cold house that smelled of oil. Neither of these things was all that pleasing. The cold was that unique cold to vacant buildings. Cold trapped air. I heard my husband pull in the driveway and was promptly told to lock the house and go with him. The beginning of our adventure to find a fuel pump at 6:00 p.m. in a small Northeastern town. Let me just say it did not go well.

Our fuel pump had died at some point during the day, allowing for the fabulous cold to permeate our home. As luck would have it, it only dropped to 28 degrees last night. The interior temperature in our house got to 35 degrees. Our bedroom was somewhere around 50 degrees due to an oil filled electric radiator (thank you very much mom and dad!). Rehab warrior #2 (aka fabulous husband o mine) was able to purchase necessary fuel pump and parts this morning and fumble his way through replacing them. Yeah rehab warrior #2!!!

Oh the things we have learned. And I know there is more in the future...

For now we have heat and when I leave work I will mix the second round of concrete for the slabs in the basement!