Oct 26, 2010 | 3:59 AM PST
spooky halloween... October is our somewhat difficult windy rainny month.The rain itself in the fall or early spring is a bit raw and chilly-never mind when the winds blow.The temps can be anywhere between 30*-70* all month long.Thats quite a large span.In the night they can drop to 28*,then warm up & climb to 70* during the days at the first 1/2 of the month,then the last 1/2 of the month,it usually narrows a bit more.Right now we're averaging between 28* to 60*.Its a bit tricky running the stoves too.As the coal stove keeps the cellar toasty warm,so the feet feel good,and the air temps are good,but if the outside air temps happen to climb up over 60*,then its too warm air temperature inside of course.So we usually get a good cold snap the 1st half,but end up letting the cellar stove go out at any point till its a more stable coldness.The pellet stove upstairs warms the house temps just fine-but let the cellar stove go out,and its cold feet,so its usually a back and forth thing,playing with the stoves,watching the weather like a hawk.And speaking of birds,another Bald Eagle overhead the other day,flying real low.We do know it was much worse with the inefficient forced air furnace.The cellar never got above 60*-our feet were always cold, no matter what the temps.Growing up, most of us had a stove of some kind,either in our cellars or in the house,used as a supplement, or as the central heating.It wasn't until we were adults,that most of us had oil furnaces,just push the button, and its there-pay the bill.As more time went on,many of us decided somewhere along the way, to have both, or go back to just burning with stoves.Well,as long as we're not out burning the midnight oil, and partying till wee hours of the morning during the winter,then we're not gone for long periods.Those days are long gone anyways.My brother No. 3,stopped in last night on his way home.I am very happy he's got a good job now.He delivers oil & propane to customers.Its year round,he likes his work,has a good boss,and he gets a discount which is fantastic for him.But he'll never sway me over to using oil again.In his younger years-when he had plenty of spunk,he always burned wood,mainly as his main source of heat in most his houses.There's always going to be people who like oil,have a very efficient furnace,and a hundred other very valid reasons why they stick with it.I do believe where he lives now, he has a wood stove back-up also.So we're opposites on this.We almost went with wood.I don't know what steered us to coal,besides a whole lot of reading.We still like the pellet stove in the living room,but our main source during the colder winter months is Anthracite coal.Hands down it out-performs what our furnace did.Since my brother had his little grandson here also,they went down cellar to smoke a cig.Well,the cellar at that point was a toasty 80*.I had turned off the pellet stove early morning to clean it,never got that far,but didnt need to turn it back on anyways.Brother was amazed at what the stove put out,since he hasn't experienced coal before,and he's so used to wood & oil.Its built like a german tank.It wasnt cranked up on high.Every once in a while,I look into another brand,or even a coal furnace,but I always come back to the Harman.Its all paid for,probaly is the main reason,and it puts out.I could probaly do a commercial on that stove.So for now I can't be swayed to switch.I told him he'd probaly have to peel his shirt off.A wood stove would heat the cellar also probaly just fine,but with more tending.I just didnt happen to want to deal with the bugs,and the mess it would make storing the wood.There are 2 things we consistently heard about coal. 1.Its a learning curve. 2.You either lov it or hate it.There's no in between. If at all possible, if your thinking of going coal,it would help if you could actually meet someone who already has it-go see it in action, and learn about it before you do it.We're the only ones in our immediate family who burn it.We've only chatted with people on the forums who have it-but haven't met anyone in person who burns it-but decided to take the road less traveled and took the plunge..After talking with Dad,in his generation of course, it was much more common,even more common than wood burning to heat their houses,but they did burn alot more Bituminous coal-which is dirtier.Thousands & millions of years of compressed vegetation,mixed with Dinosaur dung.I watch the "blue ladies", and wonder which Tyrannasaurus met his fate,probaly only his compressed bones to end up in my stove keeping me warm.The moisture is long gone in the cellar now,only a thing of the past-which was a serious & costly problem.I think now,I could hang the garlic down there to dry if I needed to,and it wouldn't get moldy on me.Occasionally I'm asked,whats my hobby? Gardening, and coal are the main hobbies.It covers my whole year.I'm never bored with life,never run out of things to do to improve it,and always have something to chat about-which may drive some people crazy at times.Right now, I'm done with the season of garage sale.This week,I pack up a bunch of clothes in garbage bags for the Salvation Army Store donation.There is no lack of clothes out there, and it'll free up some space for other goodies next spring.Today-if I can remember to, I need to bring in my 2 Amaryllis pots-thats on the list,but I never make it that far.I'll have to store the bulbs in the little fridge,or on the front porch,since now the cellar is too warm for them.I haven't dressed up for Halloween the last 4-? years,so this year I told my daughter I will meet her in town dressed up,when she takes Landon around.Don't tell him what I'm doing,and I'll fly around on my broom till I find them.And we'll put together a costume for her.A hundred things can be done with a white sheet....and I'm feeling just a bit sneaky and devilish now...
Oct 13, 2010 | 3:41 AM PST
paint in my hair... but now its getting straightened around.I had gone into semi-retirement from my cleaning jobs last winter.I was down to 2 clients,plus running the garage sale-which was ok.In the springtime I picked up 2 more,even though I knew better,but they couldnt find anyone else. Needless to say it was more than I could handle,which I figured would happen.Many things didnt get done that should have,and all other chores suffered,not to mention my sanity.Finally a couple weeks ago the garage sale has proved to doing well,but I'm all pooped out.I told my daughter if she wanted to pick up the 2 to take care of,then that would help them plus herself,and me.She agreed with that-I talked to the clients and their ok with that too. She has gone with me all summer on my other 2 business accounts,so she has a good idea of what to do.So I can go back into semi-retirement with taking care of just 2,until I retire full time,and this time I'm not coming back out.The garage sale proved to be doing good all summer, at first sporadically on weekends,then every weekend and an occasional weekday.2 & 3/4 very full bays,plus the yard.I think the decision to go from just a 2 season garage sale,to a 3 season Thrift-Junk Shop has been made,we just dont know when we will officially do it.The winter will give me a breather,and attend to my own stuff.Parking is also a problem during the winter months,so I don't want to bother with it. I'll open much earlier in the spring,and close later in the fall.I'll be open again this weekend,and we'll take it one weekend at a time according to weather.I set the prices from downright cheap to very reasonable,everything is in working order,and clean.I too lov going to junk shops and yard sales,lov to recycle,but not this year,no time.Selling everything to do with household,including a brand new bathtub,tools,garden,some truck parts,and some antiques.Its also helped me clear the unnecessary clutter from my own house.The 2 stoves are all set and up and running.The roof is redone again and finally not leaking.The fuelshed lattice on the back wall,was taken down and replaced with OSB.A storage rack overhead was built in the tractor shed,another soon to be built.The kids long porch was jacked up and leveled,ready as its going to be for winter.In the spring,daughter and I will give it a fresh coat of paint,and hang some curtains to cut the hot glare of the sun.The daughter and I are also on a painting job this week because the lady couldnt find anyone else.A small apartment,that desperately needed a paint job before the next rent could come in.I'm on training with her with the 2 clients this week and next,then she's on her own.If she needs to give them up at any time in the future,-thats between them,but dont call me-I won't do it.This is also the last painting job I'll do for other people,with the exception of the daughters house.These younger kids have to catch a clue,and learn more things,so us older people can retire.I don't mind working way past 62,but not doing this rough physical work.One of these times,I'm afraid I wont be able to get up off the floor.And there she lies,in a fit of laughter,rolling in the paint..who is that woman..? Rubber room here we come.The daughter is keeping me laughing with her stories,and I'm teaching her the painting techniques and lingo.Anyways, we've had some beautiful fall days,nice sunshine,crisp air,grass growing to beat the band.The garlic still not planted.But it goes in this weekend.I forgot to cover the last 2 tomato plants by the compost that just didnt want to give up. The frost got them,so its 1/2 a bucket of green tomatoes to ripen up.Last night a round of fried green tomatoes.This time they came out better.If anyone has a good recipe for that I'd appreciate it.This is a southern dish,as up north here we make alot of relish with them,but right now I have no time for that even if I wanted to.I'm looking forward to closing the garage sale also,so we'll go this weekend,and maybe another.Even though its packed full,we'll still be able to get the cars in there,after I pack some clothes & stuff in totes and stack them up.The blueberries have grown up just enough,so I should be able to open the orchard for picking for just a short time next year.My Morning Glories were beautiful this year,taking off soon as summers heat let up which was August.Another frog hopping around in the cellar,hubby set him free.I don't know where frogs go in the fall,but he's going to be some cold.I did finally get some pics of the Morning Glories,but not in the album yet.Another day upon us now,full of sunshine..