Thursday, November 4, 2010

My House

Digging potatoes the other morning in my front yard, a man walked up to me from the street. His vehicle was not marked. After my recent experience with the city, I thought, "Great. What next?" (My yard is looking a bit shabby, the myriad plants dying off after the frost.) Turns out, it was a dude from the electrical company, at my house to turn the electrical on, though I had done nothing to initiate it. It took him a few minutes; he didn't even have to get into the house. Such a simple thing, after so long without electricity. That night, I stepped into a room in the dark and tried to find my way around, before remembering, "hey, I have lights." Several times. By the end of the night, I'd left two lights on that didn't need to be on, for at least an hour.

Turned the water on, too. The tub spout works. The bath, kitchen and utility spouts do not. The toilet tank fills, but doesn't stay filled, running continuously. I was happy to find, no pipes were busted. The water heater stopped working long before the water was shut off. Not that there is any gas coming into the house, yet. I have no problem going without hot water for awhile, but the heat has to be turned on soon or the pipes will burst.

I'm not sure what I'll do should the furnace prove to be dead. I would prefer a wood heater I can connect water lines to, to heat a suspended water tank, with radiant lines throughout the house. There's no money for that now.

Started filling the attic with leaf bags. Rented a friend and his van yesterday. We scoured the neighborhood. I opened the bags in the garden, the bags that had wet leaves or greens inside, to let them dry out. Can't have the leaves composting in the house. I filled 55 gallon bags and hauled them in the house and up the stairs. I'll need twice the leaves I gathered. Not all the leaves have fallen. In the spring I'll pull them out of the attic, grind them up and use them as mulch.

I'm contemplating how to use the sun to heat my house to my best advantage. The porch gets plenty of sun, if only I had the masonry floor and walls to contain the heat. Water jugs work too, but they're a bit unsightly, more for a green house than a house. There's plenty of unsightlyness going on in my house right now. Don't have the water jugs anyway.

I think I'll stack coffee bags full of leaves around the kitchen. The kitchen has no heat but what the sun provides, and no foundation to keep the frost out. If the temp didn't fluctuate so much I'd make it the root cellar.

A lot to do. But, having been unoccupied for two years, the house is in a respectable state. I'm happy to have it. Just not sure where I'm going to find the resources to build it up again.

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