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If I Make it Through January

18 Jan

You know, I started the new year living in the soap room because my furnace broke down and I had CO in my cold house.

Bob Cat

We got through that, and everything’s good now.  We’re in the house and warm.

Sky and Bob

Snickers

Four days after my furnace was fixed, my car was having some problems, and I took it to the shop.  The engine was diagnosed with “multiple issues.”  I now have a farm truck to try and help the car last longer.  I do really like the truck, and I’ve needed a farm truck for a while.  It was not the best timing though.  I’m not excited about learning to drive a truck in Iowa’s horrible winters, but sand in the back helps, and I am getting snow tires.

This past Monday (one week after the car break down), when I went to get water for the chickens, the hydrant didn’t work.  The well was frozen because my heater in the well house wasn’t working.

I put the heater I had gotten as a back-up in there, but it doesn’t work right either.  It won’t run or won’t shut off.  Well, I set it in the way it doesn’t turn off, so by the time I got home with a new heater the next afternoon, it was 90*F (32.2* C) in there.  My pipes were not frozen!

Now the new heater I got has a stupid safety feature that doesn’t like the rough floor in there.  I finally got it set to run, and it wouldn’t shut of either.  It was up to 110* F (43.3* C) the next morning.

I switched back to my original backup heater, and I think I have it now.  The temperature seems to be holding steady in there.  I swear, it should not be this difficult.  I am done with things breaking down.

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Still Surviving.

31 Dec

I still don’t have a working furnace and am still dealing with CO. I do wish the CO detector had come with better instructions.  After it went off again, I called the local fire department, and the chief, my cousin, came out with the department’s CO reader.  It gave me a ppm (parts per million) number.  Unfortunately, neither one of us knew what it meant.  I did some searching on-line, and found the information I needed–what is a safe level of CO.  Ironically the website was from the company which made the detector.

The CO reader said my house was at 68/69 ppm.  We turned the furnace on to see what happened, and it climbed to 71 in just a couple of minutes.  That explains why I had to take a nap and was tired.  Sky didn’t even wake up to go do chores with me, but once I got out there, I had more energy again.  My eyes.  My eyes were killing me.  Crazy stuff.  Anyhow, I took most of the cats back to the soap room, kicked Sky and Bob outside, and I spent the night at my dad’s again.

Rocky had to have a way to look out the window.

The detector was still going off when I came out in the morning.  At least this time, I knew to just let it keep screaming instead of restarting it and having to wait another eight hours to see that it was still in unacceptable levels. That meant I had to figure something out because our weather is turning horribly cold again tonight.  I had already been planning on cleaning the soap room out so I could paint the floor, so I just cleaned it out and turned it into a nice little living space (sort of).

The last thing was to bring Sky into the soap room.  He was extremely grateful and happy to be back inside with everyone.  So much for no animals in the soap room.  Sigh…

Sky

He was amazingly well behaved also.  I told him not to go out in the milk room (where the cat litter is), and he listened.  He’s such a good boy.

Of course, as soon as I got him moved, the alarm quit sounding.  That’s a good thing, but still…  Anyhow, I moved the detector to the upstairs.  So far it hasn’t gone off.  Tonight I’ll move it to the basement, and if it doesn’t go off down there, then I can move the cats back in.

Leo

I’m already back in the house with Sky because we will stay on the first floor that I know is cleared out.  I just hope the heaters manage to keep the house warm with the frigid temperatures coming.  I guess, if it doesn’t I can always go back out to the soap room.

This is really not how I planned to spend my winter break.  Here’s to a better 2019! (Although, I cannot express how lucky and grateful I feel right now that this did not turn out worse.)

Baby, It’s Cold Inside

29 Dec

Our warm rainy day ended with a cold front coming through.  That means that we went from 50* F (10*C) on the 27th to a high of 28*F (-2.22*C) at midnight for the 28th.

Annie in the doorway and Bonnie outside

It also means that’s when my furnace decided to break down.  I called the repair man first thing in the morning, and he blessedly made it here right away.  Unfortunately, the part he needed to fix it won’t be here until January 2nd.  He did a hobbled fix and got the furnace going.  He also really recommended I have a CO detector since I didn’t have one in the house.

I was just getting ready to run to town to get one when my mom called and said she had a brand new one that her sister had given her.  I could use it.  Yay!  Well, about 10:15 that night, it went off.  Joy.  I decided not to believe it and hit the reset button.  But I got paranoid and read more directions and decided to unplug it and plug it back in.  I wasn’t paranoid.  There really was CO, and it immediately began sounding the alarm.  That means I had to catch all the cats and get them out to the soap room.  They were not happy with that arrangement.

Snickers

Sky got kicked outside for the night.  Poor boy.

Sky

I shut the furnace off and went to my dad’s house for the night.  I came back this morning, and the house was luckily only down to 52*F (11.11*C).  I was quite happy with that since we were all the way down to 10* F (-12.22*C) for our low.  I unplugged the CO detector and plugged it back in, and it didn’t go off!  I got my space heaters out and borrowed a couple from my dad.

Now we’re in survival mode until the part comes in.  I brought plants downstairs and shut the door to keep all of the heat on this one floor.

Leo was not happy with not getting to go sleep on his bed upstairs, but he’ll settle for napping on mine all day.

Leo

I think the only casuality (so far) is that one poor flower in the cut arrangement I got just before Christmas.

I’ll call it a win.

I’ve decided I’ll just sit here and work on my current knitting project–another baby blanket.