Wednesday, October 14, 2009

the colder season is upon us

tabitha dug the sweet potatoes. they were huge. she left them out to dry and it has done nothing except rain ever since. we'll bring them in tomorrow and let them cure in the house. we removed the top super from the bees and got a little more honey. they are mostly closed in for the winter now. i have yet to wrap them in tar-paper and put their top feeder on. they should have plenty of honey stored for winter but i will feed them anyway. i don't want them to die. like the bees from last year did. strangely every ones bees in the immediate area died last year. that is little consolation though.

i replaced the gaskets on the wood stove. toly and rome managed to destroy them through out the summer. the remaining gasket was hard and crunchy. the wood stove manual suggest that they should be changed every year. i can't imagine doing that. the gasket material cost twelve dollars and the special high temperature glue was another five. not too expensive but it was a pain in the butt. i scraped and wire brushed the old gasket and glue and put in the new gasket. all the doors had to be readjusted the make a proper seal.

i had to clean the stove pipe and chimney too--messy work. the flue was nearly completely clogged. ash had fallen and settled where the stove attached to the pipe. i took it completely apart and realigned the pipe and made sure that it fit very snugly. all the proper heat shields needed adjusting too. it took a few hours but i feel much safer having gone over the wood stove in such detail.

i lit a small fire to take the damp chill out of the house. the draft worked great and the stove seals to the point of killing the fire with the damper shut. i'll trim the white rock-wool around the pipe next time it cools down. i left extra there to be sure i got a good seal and could use the surplus to stuff into leaky areas.

i also loaded a little wood on the porch. most of the wood is soaked from the wet weather we have been having. this should dry and keep us until sunny weather returns. i have taken a cold so that is about all i can do for today.

7 comments:

Wendy said...

We had our first fire the other night, too. It was below freezing that night with day temps in the 40s, and even though we wanted to hold out until Halloween, it just wasn't happening :). A lot of our wood is wet, too - same reason ... lots of rain.

Kathie said...

We replaced the gasket on our wood stove this year too. I agree its a total pain and our manual says it should be replaced every year or two - the guy at the woodstove shop (who's been in business forever and is great) said 4 to 5 years... Just keep an eye on it and use your own judgement was his advice.

We've had to burn fires a lot lately we had temps in the single digits over the weekend!

jenny said...

No fire yet, but it may be getting close for us. We are using a little space heater at night in the hall area where all the bedroom doors are. It keeps the rooms warm enough and the day warms up enough to not need it, but we are also wearing warmer clothes.

BTW, It's now cold enough that the remaining tomatoes on the vine will not ripen, so I looked thru your blog for that green tomato salsa recipe you posted once. Made it this morning and it is delicious!! My oh my!! I kept out the apple, since I didn't have any on hand, did you use apple in yours? I'll be making a couple more batches to can for later and wondered if the apple made a difference, since it was so tasty without it. Thanks for that link to the recipe!

tansy said...

we're on our 3rd year of the same gasket...perhaps it's time to check it?!

greg disassembles the entire stove pipe every year and completely cleans it inside and outside the house. and repaints it. i think he enjoys detail work like that.

i need to dig my potatoes still...waiting on that last bright, warm sunny day which will hopefully be this weekend.

karl said...

jenny, we have always included the apple. it is so loved and it makes the batches larger using less tomatoes. i'm glad you tried it. tabitha has made healing chicken soup--that is recipe worth having...

warren said...

I love the warmth of a good wood fire. Glad you cleaned it out...scary stuff can happen if you don't as you know. Stay dry...

Beau said...

Nice stove- I had to clean our flue a few weeks ago too. Trying not to use it yet, but it was a bit chilly last week. You've been busy (writing too!).

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