Wood stove learning curve

Just got off the phone with Uncle Rolly. He has two wood stoves of the same sort I have, so he is a good source of advice. He advised me to stuff the thing full of wood--which, when you have a four foot by three foot firebox, is a lot of wood.

The boiler water hasn't heated up past 90 degrees, and it is supposed to run at 170 degrees. The water is probably cool because slab is still cold--the main part of it began to be heated only last night--and there is no insulation in the house yet.

However, if the water falls below 120, the damper shuts down and the fire goes out. The stove assumes you are going away for the weekend. So, I have been running the stove in start-up mode today, and it simply has never gotten above 120, so the stove has thought it was just heating up all day today.

Got it?

I am starting to get it. I think. In any case, I just ran over to the house and stuffed a bunch of wood in the stove. Kind of sobering. I just sawed and hauled that wood today and now the whole load is virtually gone. This will, no doubt, get better when a) the house is insulated and b) the slab has heated up.

Ah, fun. I stained some more boards today. The days go quickly when you have a lot to do. I would have had plenty to do without going to Tucson next week, but that will be fun, too.

Cousin Tom stopped by today. He has built several houses, and he immediately attested to the quality of the work on the house. He said you couldn't get carpenters like this down in the cities.

As he was talking, Dean and Jeff were using a chainsaw to whittle the openings for the big windows on the prow down by one-eighth of an inch. The factory made a mistake. The openings were 1/8th inch too small for the windows they sent. So, the guys fired up the chain saw and fixed six six-foot-tall window openings in a couple of hours.

It makes me proud when people from elsewhere see the nice work done by the craftsmen around here. I don't know enough about building to know the difference, but I respect the opinions of people such as Tom, and it is nice to hear their approval!

TONIGHT, a post-Christmas gathering at Mom and Dad's. Aunt Lois, Aunt Beth and Aunt Ede (Dad's sisters) were over, as were Uncle Orv and Uncle Dale. Sister is still home, as is brother, so Mom cooked up a huge meal which set new records for number of varieties of vegetables. Homegrown corn, homegrown carrots, peas, parsnips, potatoes, broccoli, plus a salad with cabbage, tomotoes and lettuce--as well as saurkraut and pork chops, and kuchen! I do love case kuchen (German coffeecake). And honey cookies.

Mom and Dad leave early in the morning for Minneapolis, and Mom will take off for Hong Kong from there on Friday.