Finally, our wood stove is installed. You ever do something that really doesn’t take long, but it is so challenging it seemed like it took forever? I would land our wood stove in that category. The main thing that made it so challenging was my husband insisted on doing it himself (with me as the general helper and gopher), and it was done on our 12/12 pitch roof which is very steep. Since it was on the side of the house with the walk out basement, it was also two stories up. He also did it with rudimentary equipment, using a 75 foot rope tied to the beam of our front porch and thrown over the roof to tie around himself so he could work on the incline and use two hands. We were both quite stressed out when he was up there. Of course being the gopher sending things up in a bucket or climbing up on the ladder with items falling in your direction was a little scary as well. Honestly the short days this time of year did not help. Imagine not only the challenges I mentioned before, but doing it with a headlight on your head when you are still working after dark at the end of a work day. Once we got the right adapter, that part went in well. I think the harder part was putting in the extension bracket to hold up our tall chimney since it had to extend two feet above anything within a ten foot diameter. Another challenge was finding the roof rafters to nail in the pieces to that attach to the extension bracket for a solid hold. Then everything had to be caulked in anticipation of the rain that is supposed to be coming all this week. Anyway, we are looking forward to being able to watch the fire in the wood stove on a cool evening and enjoying relatively free heat. Thanks so much to our friend Don who let us borrow the roof scaffolding, as it made a great place to set tools, provided something to stand on, and provided an extra stop should my husband happen to fall. We also borrowed the ladder stabilizer from Don. What a great friend and neighbor!
I finished one more thing on our to do list that has been waiting for a few years to get finished. That was the last part of the rails for the stairs from our back deck. Yay!! Off the list. I didn’t realize that lifting the drill and impact over my head all afternoon would effect my shoulder so badly (Thanks so much honey for all you do for us!). To add insult to injury (literally), when I was putting in the last screw, a yellow jacket came and stung me on the same shoulder. I am still glad I accomplished it. Pushing myself to new challenges makes me feel really good about myself.
Part of my weekly routine is getting together stuff for my husband’s lunches and to go breakfasts. Every week, I make bread for sandwiches, a dessert, and usually some kind of muffins that I keep in the refrigerator ready for each day of the week. It is so nice to have this in routine fashion so I don’t have to make a decision every day. Often, I lay out all his usual lunch dishes, then proceed with filling each one, which makes it pretty easy to put it together in the mornings even before your coffee has activated. I made a cloth lunch bag just the right size to fit all of his lunch containers and have long enough handles so it could be hands free when draped over the arm. The upholstery fabric and french seams made it very durable, so it has lasted about 8 years so far. If you think about it and you take it to work every day from age 20 to 65 instead of going to Starbucks for coffee ($2.61 or more vs. $.20), McDonalds for breakfast ($6.39 vs. $.12), and out to lunch with co-workers ($10 vs. $1.00), you will save an average of $17.68 per day, $388.96 per month, $4,667.52 per year, and $210,038.40 over your lifetime of working, enough to pay cash for a fairly nice house.