Thursday, December 31, 2009


The last snowstorm gave us quite a bit of snow. We were thankful the township snowplow came in the evening before my brother Mike and wife Pam arrived from northern Minnesota, so they were able to get in. We have a new snowplow operator, and because he had not been into our farmyard before it seemed he didn't know exactly what to do and where to push the snow. He didn't even get close to making an open pathway to the house, so Andrew had to take out our walk behind snow blower to finish the job. It took him quite a while, but he did a good job making a path for us to get into the basement where we live.

Now we drive through a tunnel of sorts to get down to the basement door. Hopefully I can back the car up the path; backing up in a limited space is not one of my strengths!

Our family woke up the morning after Mike and Pam's arrival to the sound of the carbon monoxide detector going off. Jim immediately opened up the door and vented the house. We have had trouble before with the drastic changes in temperature outside, which causes ice to build up in the chimney pipe just as it makes a bend upward, outside of the house. The guys usually then take off the plate at the bottom of the vertical pipe and clean out the ice (doesn't everyone keep an acetylene torch in the house for activities such as this??) and we are back in business. Our usual notice that the ice is building up is a dripping of creosote/water into a bucket in the back of the wood stove, but this time it didn't happen.
Upon inspection, Jim discovered that two sections of piping located just above the insulated chimney pipe had rusted completely through, and was causing major problems with the exhaust from the wood stove.

The guys took a section of the ladder and headed to the old Norwegian cabin located in the woods a ways from our house. There was extra chimney pipe over there that is no longer being used, since the little wood stove they had installed in there is now located in our guest cabin.

They had some pretty sights while walking along the ridge to the old cabin. I'm thankful the guys were able to get the barn painted before winter set in.

There is lots of snow in the woods!

This is the old Norwegian cabin. When we first purchased our place the cabin had two additions on either side, but they were dilapidated and full of animal droppings. I guess at one time this cabin was used by snowmobilers as a place to get out of the wind and warm up. There had been a lot of wood pulled off from those old rooms and used as firewood for a bonfire site located just down from the cabin. We also had to clean up a lot of broken beer bottles and cans from around the abandoned area.

Off goes the chimney pipe.

Time to take off the rusted pipe. The brownish stain on the temporary vinyl siding was caused by a combination of creosote/water that had drained from the chimney piping.
When Jim saw how terrible the piping up there actually was, he removed the pipe and left it with the sections missing. We now are using our floor heat until we can get to Minot to purchase insulated pipe.
The decision was made that when we repair the piping it will now be located inside the house, and piped through the two floors above. Jim plans to build a brick chimney around the pipe after it's installed. It has taken a long time to figure out just how we wanted to situate the wood stove; whether to move it to the center of the house and pipe it up from there, or leave it in its current position by the wall facing the lake. Jim thinks it will work better staying where it is. The plan is to add a wood cook stove in the kitchen area on the main floor and construct a second chimney when that is utilized.

Later in the afternoon the Bartlett Boys gave Aunt Pam and Uncle Mike a concert.

Thanks, Mike and Pam, for making the trip up to visit. We miss you already! (Looks like Peter still has a ways to go before catching up in height to Uncle Mike!)


Kimberly said...

What beautiful pictures! Snow is so pretty.

Hoping you get your wood stove running again soon.

Marci said...

Hope you get your pipe up and working. We have to replace a couple of sections, but have waited until a warmer day... yeah right... Who knows when it will be switched out.

Kelle said...

Love that cabin! What a beauty, I'd love to have a guest cabin like that, well... maybe someday I'm working on a friend for an old cabin they have.*wink*

Thanks for posting on our blog, so glad to hear your cow is doing well. I will say it here and now I'm GREEN with envy over your having milk, we'll have to wait until end of April.

Make cottage cheese, yogurt, butter( from the cream of course) and we always loved pudding, cream soups, biscuits and sausage gravy, etc....

If you want to get into it more go for making soft cheese and then hard cheese, but just know they take lots of time in the steps of processing. Winter time is probably the best time to give them a shot*wink*

Take care and stay warm, sorry to hear about your pipe, man that insulated pipe has gotten expensive!

Kimberly said...

You need the Vitamin D-3. I have got some at Walmart. Dr. Mercola (you can google him and find his site) had some spray that was supposed to be more absorbable. When I tried to order some he was all out. So I found another source online and ordered it. Mercola also has good information about Vitamin D and how much to take on his website. Since we have been taking the D, the kids and I haven't had any colds or flu. I don't know for sure if that is why. But I like not getting sick!

Kelle said...

Lynn, see it's been such a long dry spell I forgot the best thing to use the extra milk and cream for.....Homemade Icecream!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn, Hope you all had a nice Christmas and Happy New Year! I was so sorry to read about the calf, I hope the cow is doing fine.Your chimney looks like quite a problem, especially considering the low temps you've been having. We built a rather permanent solution for our chimney for the woodstove. After insuring a good foundation it is relatively easy to build.( Especially for me, since my Dad and Jeff built it!) The chimney is built with chimney block, which are one piece blocks with an open center where you place the chimney flue tile, which are also one piece. Maybe you should ask Adam, as my description leaves alot to be desired! The chimney is easy for Jeff to clean with a 8" x 12" chimney brush and we have a iron door opening at the bottom for cleanout. That cabin is adorable!! I love log cabins!! Bye for now, Luella

chimney pipe said...

Your pictures are very beautiful! I l love the snow!

wish your wood stove is ok now.