Living the cottage life, Alaskan style!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Our New Woodstove

Woo hoo!  I'm going to be warm this winter!  Woo hoo Woo hoo!  That's me, doing the happy dance!

For years, my hubby and I have had discussions of an alternative heat source for the house.  When we moved into this house, there was electric heat and a Monitor stove.  We knew we wouldn't be using electric heat and the Monitor was old and not efficient. 

So we installed a boiler.  My husband thought that was the solution to my problem of always being cold. 

But it wasn't. 

So two years ago we applied for a state energy audit and the experts came in and did their tests and outlined all the steps we needed to do to take our cute little cottage from a two ** to a four ****.  So we did. 

It didn't help.  I was still cold.  And it didn't matter if it was winter or summer or spring or fall.  I'm always cold. 
So this year I finally convinced my hubby that a wood stove, not a pellet stove or an oil stove, but a wood stove is what we need.  This has been my mantra for years now.  Something we can cook on when the power it out, to warm our clothes on a cold winter's day, to dry out our mittens after shoveling snow for hours.  It would cut our oil bill down considerably which was another major consideration. 

For whatever reason, he jumped on board and immediately had a wood shed built and firewood delivered.  Now the fun of stacking it although I have to say I wasn't allowed to help....  I guess it's a "man's" job..... But I do I find myself going out to look at it and feel proud of our wood pile.  I can feel the warmth! 
No, I couldn't help pile the wood, but my little grandson could!  Look at him go!  He filled his little 150 Ford truck with wood, then drove it to the woodshed, helped unload, came back for another load.  This little guy worked! 

This is our wood stove.  Nothing fancy.  We were asked if we wanted the gold trim.... no....  Any fancy attachments?  No.....  This is a work horse as far as I'm concerned.  We got it for one reason and one reason only.  To stay warm. 
And for the first time in years, I've been warm.  I sit in my rocker in front of it and read, enjoying the warmth that creeps through every part of my body.  Eventually, we'll look at the thermostat and it'll be 75 degrees or hotter, and I'm just comfortably warm.  That just goes to show how cold I've been if my new norm is 75! 

I'm looking forward to winter for the first time. To being warm during winter, for the first time. 

Later....  Nancy
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Sunday, October 2, 2011

This Week With the Grandkids

We had a really busy week with the grandkids. 
Lots of fresh air.
School time.
And long naps.
I have to admit that I've not yet gotten used to their pre-school schedule and not having them here all day, all week. 
And even though they're in pre-school two mornings a week, I still want the rest of their time at Grandmas to be special, productive, and worthy. 

So this week we bundled up and gathered leaves from the yard and up the road a ways to make a special Fall decoration for their mommies and dads. 

I had to laugh as we went walking down the road and Ellis, carrying her basket to put leaves in, goes, "I'm Little Red Riding Hood!"
Would that make Hunter the Big Bad Wolf.....?
Both kids love craft time, but I think Hunter has a better time.
Especially when there's glitter involved!
He really concentrates when he's working on crafts, whether it's a painting project or stringing beads.
Our project this week was to string pretty Fall leaves onto autumn-colored braided string (for a better description). 
I had already added the pretty beads to it so all the kids had to do was stick the leaf stem up into the beads, which would hold them in place. 
Aunt Georgia, the one on the left is for you!  Ellis made you a Fall decoration, but after I explained that the leaf was going to dry and become crumbly and it wouldn't make it to Kalama, she opted to have a picture taken of her holding it up for you.
So there you have it!  Enjoy! 
Ellis made several "leaves" that she was going to share with her mom and daddy. 
Hunter hasn't decided, yet, who he's giving his leaves to.  He thought maybe Grandma Wendy or Grandma Jill.  The decisions of a three year old. 
Regardless, they were both so very proud of their projects.
And this little darlin is Avery. 
 It's one of the few pictures I have of her because she's always moving so quickly. 
All I seem to get is a picture of her ear.  Or her hair.  Or her jacket.  Or her butt.  Something other than a cute picture of this adorable little girl.
But rest assured, we DO have a third grandchild that we take care of! 
Ellis got into sending emails this past week (or maybe it was last week....).
She sat at my computer and just typed away. 
Every few seconds, she would hesitate.  Then with her index finger would hit the bracket key.  Then the B key.  Then continue typing away.
A few seconds later, she'd do the same thing.
With the same keys.
As if she actually knew what she was doing. 
She's certainly watched her mom (or maybe me) type!
We sent off emails to her mom, dad, Grandma MiMi and Grandpa Steve, Aunt Georgia, and Josh and Shodie.
And was thrilled to get responses back!
So much, that I got a kiss! 
I'm sorry if you weren't on her initial list of emails, but maybe next time. 

Later....  Nancy
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Saturday, October 1, 2011

This is why I don't have anything nice!

They start out so cute.
And I have to admit, I love my Chippy.
I feed him peanuts.
But he's started chewing up my outside tablecloths! 

He's yanking and pulling with all his might, trying to get the cotton backing off.

I know he's lining his nest somewhere, and I'm almost tempted to just throw some cotton out for him.  Maybe he'll leave my tablecloths alone.
He probably thinks I'm the nicest person ever to provide this nesting material for him.
So I let him.  The tablecloth is ruined now, anyway. 
Later!  NancyPosted by Picasa