Sunday, January 27, 2013


Today has been an eventful day. I woke up several times overnight feeling cold, which was strange, but I was never fully enough awake to consider why I was cold. Finally when I got up at 6:30 AM I realized that it was much colder than normal. Normally when I get up the temperature is between 60 and 63 degrees, depending on whether I left the door open or not. This morning it was 47, which explains why I was cold.

My first guess was maybe the electricity was out. Even though we have a propane furnace it requires electricity and will not work without it. I quickly ruled that out, so next theorized that maybe we had run out of propane. I knew that was unlikely, however, because I had just checked the level last week. I tested the kitchen stove, which also uses propane, and it worked fine. At this point I decided the problem was nothing I could solve quickly, so I retreated to my room where I had an electric space heater running.

The space heater does a wonderful job of keeping a small room warm, so, other than first thing this morning, it has been comfortable in here all day. Once the outside temperature had warmed, which helped the inside temperature a bit, although not a lot, I decided to look at the furnace more closely. After looking through the manual, and browsing some online forums I developed a couple of theories of what might be wrong. I wouldn't even know where to start with figuring it out for sure, though, and would especially not know how to solve the problem if I did identify it. Tomorrow we'll call someone to come look at it. This is certainly one of those areas where we are not self-sufficient. In principle I agree that we need to be more self-reliant when it comes to repairs. In practice however, especially when dealing with something like lack of heat in the winter, we'd rather call in someone who knows what they are doing rather than waste time and money trying to figure it out ourselves.

I spent most of today in my room, and was very productive. Likewise, Andrea spent most of the day being productive in her room. Its amazing how much we can get done when we aren't spending time in front of the tv. Technically I could have been watching tv, since I have one in my room, but I wanted to work on projects instead, and am glad that I did.

I finished the online Beekeeping Training Program that I began yesterday. All that remains is to read the book that goes with it. I also spent some time working on the blog. Ever so often I'd get tired of sitting and would want to move around, so I used those times as an opportunity to put some things away that have been laying around for some time, and then I also took several photos of items that I need to list for sale on ebay.

Around 2:00 PM I happened to check the outside temperature and saw that it had warmed up nicely. I decided to go out and enjoy the warm temperature, even though it was overcast and very muddy. I uncovered the tractor and started it and let it run for several minutes, since it has been sitting for quite a while and the temperatures had been so cold. I decided to fold down the ROPS so it would be easier to cover with the tarp. What I expected to take a few minutes ended up taking the best part of an  hour.

My first problem was that I didn't really know what I was doing. Each side had two bolts, so I removed both. That turned out to be a mistake. One of them did serve the intended purpose of allowing the ROPS to fold, but the other was the one holding it in place. Instead of simply folding them, I ended up removing them completely. This in itself wouldn't have been a bit deal, if not for the difficulty I had with removing the bolts. Its likely they had never been removed since the initial assembly, and so they required some extra work. It took several shots of WD-40, a 12" adjustable wrench and pair of vice grips to get the bolts out, and again to get them put back into place. The good news is that the ROPS are currently folded down, which did make the tarp easier to apply, and the next time I do this task I'll know what I'm doing.

Between being cold most of the night and Luke barking, I didn't sleep much last night. I'm hoping tonight will be more restful. I plan to leave the space heater turned on low tonight so the temperature doesn't drop too low. It isn't suppose to be nearly as cold as last night anyway; the forecast calls for a low of 37 compared to 18 degrees last night. Hopefully someone can come out tomorrow and fix the problem. We're suppose to have a couple of days of warmer weather, though, so that gives us some time.

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