Monday, October 21
On Saturday afternoon I built the last of the curing burns in the masonry heater. Then I closed the dampers, and Attila and I headed out for a visit with Luna and Janus and the Grandbabies.
Luna and Janus moved last week, to their dream house. They bought a 1908 vintage home, with five bedrooms, a huge yard, private views, and original wood interior features. The home is walking distance to their previous home, in the same school district, so there will be no jarring changes for the family.
It was a wonderful visit. Imp and Elf are eight years old now, and quite the characters. Tink is five and a bundle of cheery energy. They are wonderful children, thoughtful and interactive. We spent every minute we could with them.
Attila helped Janus move the washer and dryer at the new house to the old house, and the washer and dryer from the old house to the new house. The really fun project was moving the huge backyard trampoline from the old house to the new house. It was a family project, although all of the lifting and carrying was done by Janus and Attila. They carried the trampoline the whole way, with an entourage. As they awkwardly carried the trampoline down the quiet streets, Luna, myself, the Grandbabies, and Bim all followed along to cheer them on, and we did our best to stay out of their way, we really did.
Last week Terra gave me a small watermelon from her garden. She wasn’t sure it was ripe, or would be edible. It was ripe and delicious. We brought it with us on our visit to Luna, and it was enjoyed by all of us.
Luna and Janus’ new old-house is in need of renovation, but quite livable as it is. It is a home built for a very affluent family, and has servants quarters on the third floor, with a separate stair case for the servants. The wood trim and stained glass windows are the outstanding features, but both are in need of tender loving care. To bring this home back to a state of grace Janus and Luna will be working hard indeed. They plan on living there until the Grandbabies have flown the nest, then they will sell it, because that is what they do.
Janus says that he is flying to Dallas, Texas in two weeks, for training. He is getting all kinds of advice from people as to how to protect himself from viruses, although he does not work in health care. It will be interesting to hear about his experience when he gets back!
We drove back to the country house on Sunday afternoon, through sunlit golden fields, and bright red and yellow forests.
I have been keeping an eye on the indoor temperature at the little house in the city, which I can do with an app now. The heat system has not been activated since we left, which is great. The temperature continues to fall though, as autumn deepens. By the end of this week the temperature in the little house will fall below the threshold of 10C, and the heat pump will begin to do its thing, keeping the house at an ongoing 10C when we are not there. I wanted to set it up with a temperature lower than 10C, but our certified technician (Lares) said no, that it would compromise the system and was a very bad idea. So we went with the expert advice, and have set the system up to maintain 10C when we are not there. Hopefully, with the new windows, added insulation in the dining area and kitchen, and the screen door on the front door, we will not use very much fuel.
I want to insulate the attic hatch on my next loan trip, to further reduce heat loss. Next summer we will be putting a new window in the back bedroom, that should reduce heat loss for the winter of 2015/2016. I continue to consider ways to reduce heat loss, that fall within our financial means. I think we are gaining ground on that front, as when we visit the house it heats up to a comfortable temperature in under 30 minutes, and stays comfortable with the heating system running only occasionally. Terra stays there sometimes in the winter, when she works nights, and the roads are really, really bad, as she can walk to the little house from her workplace. She observes the same thing, the house warms quickly and stays that way without much activity from the heating system.
We arrived back from Luna’s to a chilly house, 13C, so the first order of things was to bring in firewood to light a fire in the masonry heater. Attila lit another this morning, but the draft is not well established and it went out. I spent my morning working to establish a good draft and get a proper burn. Although it was warmer today than when we arrived home, the temperature was still hovering around 17C, which is chilly without warm footwear, a jacket, a scarf, and gloves. I own these things, so all is well. Mist found a comfy spot near the heater and slept away the day; she has not been complaining, I guess she was giving us some time to adjust our set!
Attila came home for lunch, which was rare treat, and brought in adequate wood for an early afternoon firing. After he had left to go back to work, I set the fire. It made all the difference, within two hours the temperature in the living area was very comfortable.
Mist is sleeping in ecstasy. Cats can do that.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
The house is warm and cozy, a nice contrast to the drizzle and grey outside, where Attila is spending his day. The temperature in the house remained comfortable overnight, so that the morning fire was not started until mid-morning. One firing a day should keep the house toasty warm for the next few weeks, then the two-fires-a-day weather will set in.
All was quiet on the home front today.
I cleaned up the hard drive on my MacBook Air, preparing it for an operating system upgrade to Yosemite. The download took over eight hours, it was a tiresome process. Luckily the iMac was in perfect working order, having already been upgraded to Yosemite, so I had a computer to work on during the day. The iMac is a 2007 model, so this was probably the last Operating System upgrade that will be installed on it. When I upgraded it to Mavericks it was horrible! The iMac slowed to a snails pace and there were multiple issues to work through. The upgrade to Yosemite, on the other hand, was seamless, and the iMac actually runs faster and more reliably now. I have hopes that the same will be true on the MacBook Air.
I puttered around with filing, frequently wondering where all of this paper comes from! I voted in the municipal elections, which could be accomplished online in two of the three municipalities in which we vote. I experimented with cleaning the washing machine, first running it with baking soda, then with vinegar; it did not work. We have the high efficiency washer and it has developed a bit of an odour, which we cannot seem to get rid of.
Other than that a quiet day, but for the steady bluster of wind, and leaves and debris clattering against the side of the house, as the wind carried it down from above.
Date: 12:02 PM EDT Monday 20 October 2014
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Visibility: 8 km
Wind: SE 13 km/h
Date: 11:18 AM EDT Tuesday 21 October 2014
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 10 km
Wind: NNE 11 km/h
“No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently.”
Agnes de Mille
1909 – 1993