Come on Baby, Light the Fire

We’ve had more fires in the fireplace this last weekend than we’ve had in the last year. It wasn’t to spark a little romance or to round out the picture of a happy family gathered around the hearth. It was stinking cold here last weekend.

It wasn’t as cold as when the power went out for four days last January during a snowstorm, but it was strangely cold for a house with the heat on. You see last weekend, the overnight lows were in the 20’s. This was the first time that the new heating system couldn’t keep up with the demand and tried to switch to our old, gas-powered boiler. Our 20-year-old boiler decided it liked its vacation and failed to power up leaving us at a chilly 55-degrees inside over the weekend. Now Baby Girl was toasty warm upstairs with the heat pump, but downstairs we were wrapped in blankets and busy keeping the fire blazing.

It did work into dinner out and the new Bond flick on Sunday to help keep us warm. All problems come with a silver lining.

The Mr also discovered a switch for a fan in the fireplace that keeps warm air blowing out. I had noticed a breaker labeled “fireplace fan” out in the box when he was showing me how to switch on the generator, but I had no idea what it was. You just have to crawl around on your knees–it’s right below the hearth. The Mr also found that you can keep quite warm splitting logs under the house, and Baby Girl got over her fear of climbing up and down the ladder to the crawl space where we keep the wood.

We have trap doors, ladders, and secrets around here? Yes, we do.

The mechanical room in the entry looks fairly innocuous.

All you have to do is pull back the carpet to reveal a trap door leading to places unknown.

OK, maybe I’m being a little dramatic. It just leads to the “crawl space” below the house where we store the wood and other exciting things like lawn furniture and scaffolding. My favorite hoe disappeared down there for months, but that’s another story. Anyways, one of the really nice “gifts of the house” was the ton of wood the former owners left behind. I do believe it would have been a major pain to haul all that wood out, but it was still a nice surprise for us.

We have a dumb waiter for the wood pile, but it’s not currently working. Since we rarely use the fireplace, fixing the dumb waiter hasn’t been a priority. So instead, the Mr and Baby Girl hauled wood back up this ladder. I’m not that coordinated, and I don’t like dark, creepy spaces, so I just cheered them on.

We were able to store a few logs in the top area of the dumb waiter–hidden from sight.

After our chilly weekend, we got a hold of Northwest Mechanical, and they sent a workman out to get things up and running. It’s so nice to be back to heated floors and normal temperatures. Next time the boiler fails to fire up when needed, there’s a big, red reset button to push. The Mr had pushed the button, but he’d also turned the boiler off prior to pushing it. I guess that did a whole lot of nothing. We are learning so much about our funky place and all these weird systems.

What’s funny is that with the winter sun so low in the sky, on sunny days it gets quite warm in here.

I had opened windows last week when the temperatures reached 80-degrees inside. I guess it’s feast or famine around here.

Along with the boiler guy, I had the appliance repairman out. Our new microwave has never seemed to latch properly, but giving the door an extra push seemed to make it work fine. Well, last month when I was making baked potatoes, it stopped more than a dozen times. I was a little crabby and gave the appliance store a call. The repairman was out within a few days; unfortunately, ordering the part and another appointment with the repairman took awhile. At least it’s up and running now.

Always a fun time hanging out with repairmen on a holiday. Bogart was excited to have visitors, so he got me up nice and early (5:45 am) in anticipation. Now things are back to normal, or as much as they can be, in the big white house.

How did you spend your Veteran’s Day Weekend? Do you love James Bond? Baby Girl and I both were sad to see the manor house at the end of the movie…

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3 thoughts on “Come on Baby, Light the Fire

  1. We didn’t do anything exciting, and had work on Monday, so no long weekend here. I do love James Bond – Sean Connery James Bond, and only because he is Sean Connery. I’m afraid I have never been that in to the actual movie, and definately not the other actors that have portrayed him.

  2. Pingback: November Revisited « bigwhitehouseonthehill

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