Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Baby, It's Cold Inside!

The past day or so we have had record setting cold for our area.  The temperature has gotten down to -14F (-25.6 C) and there has been a stiff 25-30 mph wind.  That feels REALLY cold to me.  We have really enjoyed our free heat that we enjoy by virtue of possessing a gas well on our property. Everything was cancelled for today.  No schools open, governmental or courts are working.  People are staying home and hibernating in their warm homes.

Ice on the inside of the double paned window.
 Well we are still on a steep learning curve on the farm.  We keep finding things that nobody told us about.  We noticed yesterday that the furnace was not able to keep  up with the cold outside.  The thermostat was set at 70 degrees, but the temperature wasn't above 66.  We wondered about it, but didn't worry about it.

Elizabeth wore her robe to stay warm while eating breakfast

Last night, I stayed up late reading a mystery and watching the end of the National Championship football game. (Florida State beat Auburn in the last minute.  SEC lost)  As I got towards the end of the book (It was closing in on 2 AM) I realized that I was getting cold.  I put my feet over by the fireplace to warm them up, when all of a sudden, "Poof" the fireplace went out.  I looked over at the inside thermometer and it read 60 F.

'View' out the back door.  Ice covered!
 I wasn't sure what to do, so I woke up my DH.  He suggested I try turning on the stove to see if there really was no gas.  The flame only sputtered for a few seconds on the stove and then went out.  Snap!  What to do?  We pay a small monthly fee so that if our gas well ever falters we can use gas from the main in front of our house.  We called them at their emergency number and they said they would pass the message along.  What to do?  Crawl into bed where it was warm!

T-Bob dressed up warm to eat his breakfast.

By 7AM the house temp was down into the 40's. Brrrr!  My DH drove up to the old house to bring back our electrical heaters.  About the time he got back, the neighbors and the gas company stopped by.  They told us that because of the very low temperatures, the water vapor in the well froze and blocked the flow of gas.  We needed to turn a valve out on the tanks and switch over to the gas company.  The newer tanks do it automatically, but ours are elderly tanks and have to be done by hand.
The kids built a blanket tent over electric heater to warm up
 Nobody thought to mention that to us before this morning.  Oh well.  Now we know.  We are once more running on gas, but this gas we will have to pay for.  Hopefully, it will warm up enough tonight that we can go back to our own tank and free gas.

Gas tanks are located behind pines in the middle of the picture.
 The neighbor did invite us over to warm up if the house ever gets cold again.  He also told us that the previous owner would put hay over the gas lines to insulate them from the cold every autumn.  It is a little late now!  Apparently ours are not buried deep enough to protect them.  Live and learn.  The house is up to 60 degrees inside now.

Winter Beauty

It is beautiful outside in the sunshine.  The chickens have been doing well in their coop.  We didn't see any evidence of frostbite.  There were coyote prints around the run-in.  Good thing they are in a secure coop.  Some local farmers lost hens to the coyotes.

We are thinking that we will be able to go skating on the pond now.  With this cold, it should be frozen plenty thick!  We are still loving the farm life!

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