Wednesday, February 17, 2010

warm and comfy

Oh! I forgot to tell you... the new furnace is in, and we are warm. It is way more efficient than the dead furnace was, and it is also noisier. We don't mind, though... it is so good to be warm enough. Going without allowed us an opportunity to grow our appreciative skills!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

strange night noises

Sleeping in Spare Oom last night, to be nearer the fire's warmth, I woke about 3am to a strange light. Through my open door (to let the warmth wander in more easily) I could see the basement light shining. The girls were sleeping down there, because that's the warmest place in the house right now, right in front of the woodstove. Knowing they were fine, I rolled over to resume sleep. But what to my wondering ears should appear but the strangest middle of the night noise...sleepy brain took a minute to recognize it... it was the sound of paper ripping.


Long strips of paper.

I waited. Silence would come soon and I would sleep.

Then Ka-THUNK!! Long pause.....Ka-THUNK!!...

WHAT?? Sleepy brain is waking up fast now!




Now I have to go check it out. I have no idea what could be making such a racket. Creeping out of bed to head down the stairs, I find the girls up in the middle of the night. One has the ax held high and then down it comes...THUNK!!... They are splitting wood to stoke the fire!! Splitting wood at 3 am! Do you HEAR this??


I am sure Pa Ingalls never did it this way.

He slept at night and stoked the fire in the morning.

Our furnace quit, and we've been keeping the woodstove going during the days to take the chill off. The basement stays about 80 degrees, the main level about 63 and the upstairs, where the bedrooms are, is about 52. This is something of an accomplishment when the outdoor temp is only in the twenties.

We adapt. We wear layers. We let the sun shine in when we can. We bake more. But no matter what we do, it gets cold at night. It's 14 degrees outside right now, and it gets below 60 in the living room as the fire dies. We don't sleep in those 52 degree bedrooms; we find warmer places in the house to hunker down with our heated rice packs. If Laura Ingalls can do this, so can we!

The girls who were sleeping in front of the fire last night woke up when the fire got cold. So they got up, split a few logs, ripped up some kindling, stoked the fire, then went back to sleep. I just pull the blankets up and snuggle in deeper. They impress me with their strength and determination.

I think we might be sleeping light, all of us, in the cold, because we all feel tired during the day. We aren't getting a lot done these days, either. Keeping the fire going and finding ways to stay warm takes enough time and attention that other things, I'm afraid, get left for later. Apparently, a modicum of comfort does increase efficiency.

The new furnace is scheduled to be installed Thursday and Friday of this week. We should be warm by the weekend, and I think we will all be more appreciative of warmth when we get it back.

Monday, February 1, 2010

delights of daily life, a winter version

269. the quiet glow of pale blue snowscape under brightest moon, in cloudless sky

270. full moon rising huge

271. air so cold it feels crispy

272. crunchy footprints happening right under my feet

273. NOT getting stuck on the driveway-hill!

274. fireplaces, woodstoves, and the glowing orange they carry, blazing warmth right into our bodies

275. working in the kitchen with my children: making supper of hot soup, watching them create their own delicious recipes, or baking banana nut bread all together

276. roasting marshmallows in the toaster, on top of graham crackers, with a sliver of chocolate buried inside

278. the blackness of the night sky alongside a very full moon

279. stars twinkling

280. mysteries yet to be understood

281. warm sweaters

282. red

283. digital cameras

284. blogging

285. my new laptop, which I love not only for its beautiful white glossy coat,

285. but also for the way it helps me keep in contact with friends
and write papers for class.

286. the botanical gardens, especially in winter,
when warmth and green life is nowhere to be found outside,
but lush and abundant inside, and the air is moist and feels good to breathe.

287., where I get to choose my music.

288. Knowing that, even though the furnace doesn't work right now, I am still ok, and we are not going to freeze...what a great thing to be thankful for. Not everyone has this assurance. Some people are very cold right now and have nowhere to go.