Monday, January 12, 2015

No good - rotten - Friday

Friday was about the worst day I can recall in a long time.  It seemed that everything that could go wrong, did.

First we woke up in the morning with our water pump frozen which meant no water.  I set up the space heater in the basement in front of the pump to thaw it out.  I knew it would take hours but it had to be done.

I made some calls to try and get a cord of wood delivered.  With our new pellet stove, we are fine with heat but it seems we will need to put some heat into the basement to keep the water pump from freezing.  Fortunately, we have a massive wood stove furnace in the basement, just no wood to burn.

The "wood guy" was supposed to deliver the wood about 11am.  Ashley had left to get some errands done and pick up cash for the "wood guy".  Just after getting off the phone with "wood guy" I got a call from Kaleigh's school.  She was running a fever and needed t be picked up.  Unfortunately, it had just started snowing, the roads had not been plowed yet and the visibility was awful.  I set out to get Kaleigh regardless.  Sliding all over the road I made it there and back safely.

When I got home, I fiddle some more with the water pump and got it working but "wood guy" was no where to be seen.  Ashley returned with her completed errands, still no "wood guy".  After several calls, "wood guy" was on the way but now it was 3 in the afternoon.

The day seemed to be on the mend as "wood guy" arrived and deliver the 1st half of the cord of wood.  We paid for the half that "wood guy" (who actually turn out to be wood gal) delivered and stacked it.  Heading back upstairs to get ready for our usual pizza friday evening before "wood gal" returned with more wood and the pellet stove fan shuts down.

It was now about 430pm and the service place I know closes at 5pm.  I tried a few little things to get it fired back up before deciding I needed to call the service place and see if they could walk me though it.  They were flabbergasted at the issue.  They recommended that I shut it down.  Let it cool.  Clean it again and check to make sure it was sealed up well.  Then unplug it and let it complete a hard reset.  Then plug it in and fire it up.

As I was cleaning the stove, the filter for the vacuum failed and ash and smoke blew all over the house.  It was a mess.  I had to stop cleaning the stove to clean the vacuum.  Once I had cleaned the stove (for the 2nd time of the day) I unplugged it and let it rest.  Before I was able to fire it back up, the power went out.

We called the power company and they said it would be out for an hour and a half.  We had no idea when "wood gal" was arriving so we decided to leave and go for a ride.  Both Ashley and my phones were about to die and it would give us a chance to charge them in case of emergency.  Just as we are about to pull out of the driveway, "wood gal" shows up.  We unloaded the wood in the dark and paid her the remainder of the money.  Off to the store.

On the way back from the store we noticed that even more people had no power so we called the power company back.  It was now going to be off until 8pm.  We arrived at home, I started a fire in the wood stove for some heat and we broke out the candles and our new game of Sorry!  After a round of Sorry! we called the power company back.  Now the time was midnight.

Sadly, we now gave up on our usual pizza Friday and had peanut butter and jelly by candle light.  Not exciting.

We decided we would crank up the heat in the wood stove (without power all the heat is residual through the floors and what seeps though the ductwork since the blower will not kick on.  It was time to give up and go to bed.

I threw a bunch of wood into the stove and began to leave the basement when I realized that the stove pipe was cherry red!  I yelled to Ashley that we might be having a chimney fire and told her to go out and see if there were flames coming from the chimney.  No flames but billowing clouds of black smoke wafting through the neighborhood.

By now I had shut all the dampers and called the fire department.  I knew I did not know enough about chimneys to feel confident that I had contained the fire.  The fire department could not find the house since these rural areas are constantly changing street names.  The stove pipe had now gone black again and it the fire seemed to be out.  Finally the fire department arrived and check it all out.

They verified that I had in fact suffocated the fire and the fire never got into the chimney.  Which made me feel good because the contractor and I had inspected the chimney and it seemed safe.  The fire was in the actual pipe and had likely burned itself out.

With a smokey, chilly, powerless, house we went to bed.  About 1am we awoke to the power coming back on.  The house was about 50 degrees so I went to see if I could get the pellet stove to fire.  It fired up with no issue.  We cranked it up.  Checked to make sure the wood stove had gone out (it had) and put Kaleigh back in her own bed.  It had been a long day.

With it all behind us, the following day I found a great use for some clementines that were starting to get too soft to peel and eat.  Juice them!

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