Cold weather preparations are underway here at Peaceful Forest. Even though we are having an unusually hot late September, we are hurrying to be ready. Since early spring actually, we have been working on this. Our plans are to make this an easier life. As we get older, we find that is what we want. An easier life. Winter in New York can be brutal and most years it is. I don’t believe we ever really have had an easy winter. If it doesn’t snow in December or January, you can count on it for February. Last year, winter of 2017, we had snow right into April and it was cold right up to June.
Using two wood stoves for heat in our house means we need a supply of firewood. Chainsaw supplies such as extra chains, new files, fuel mix, etc. are a necessary part of the cold weather preparations. Making sure they are in tip top condition and running good is another important chore. As soon as all the leaves have dropped from the trees in our forest is the time to forage for dead wood that has fallen during the summer. I usually use my garden cart to scout for it but not sure about that this year since it seems to have a constant flat tire, even with a new tube.
This year we were finally able to put in one new window in the living room. All these years we have lived here we have badly needed new windows. These windows are probably the original ones that were put in this house when it was built. They have that wavy glass and are not energy efficient at all. I usually staple clear plastic over the whole window including the casing to keep it warmer. Not that it helps that much! I never realized I’d get so excited over a window, but I did and I still am. Next spring we hope to add two more in the living room and one in the bathroom.
We were also able to replace our exterior door in the kitchen. How happy that has made me! We lost a lot of heat through that for years. Now it closes tight and I can even lock it! Nope, I could not lock it even when we left the house. I used to worry about it but now I am relieved of that worry. Now we stopped using the sliding glass door because it is not energy efficient to slide a door open and shut. As soon as my old cat, Patches learns that door is not the one to use to come in, we won’t use it at all.
A sad note is that we had to remove our wood cook stove. I had always planned on replacing it with the Pioneer Maid. The Jewel though was falling apart and last spring it smoked horribly. I had always cooked on it even in the summer months years before because it didn’t really heat up the kitchen that much. Not this year. Then I thought we’d just keep it as a decorative item in a corner of the kitchen when it was finished being remodeled. I had the idea to store all my cast iron cookware collection on and in it. Well when my husband took it out, it just fell apart. It was ruined and there was nothing to save. So he loaded up on the truck and took it to the scrap metal place. I had cooked on it since 1997.
It was sad to see it go, but without it taking up the corner of the kitchen, now we had so much light coming in. I loved it! For this coming winter we bought a small wood stove just to get us through it. Once my husband had it all set up with a new brick hearth, I decided I don’t want to change it. I don’t want a big dark wood cook stove making it dark again. Since we started using electric for some of our cooking, I’d like to pursue that line of cooking instead. Easier and cleaner for both of us. I still have our monster of a wood stove in the living room that I can cook on. The little wood stove can be used for small cooking jobs, but its surface is very small. Our cold weather preparations here are an ongoing part of our life. Staying warm, having enough good food to sustain us, a dependable water supply and the determination to not let the cold weather bring us down is always our plan.
Text and Photographs Copyright © Kathleen G. Lupole 2017