Tuesday, January 17
My house is full of wood smoke tonight as wind over 60 mph ravages our area. I am surprised we still have power and that I am able to post this evening. Most of New York State is under a high wind warning through the rest of tonight and into tomorrow, mixed with cold temps and snow.
It was rainy and chilly here today and the wind did not pick up until after the dinner hour but I had already placed the garbage and the recycling bins out for tomorrows pickup. After shining the flashlight around, it will be the little man and I who will be doing the "picking up" tomorrow morning in the daylight. I now have empty milk jugs and chicken soup cans entangled in the brush by the barn.
The chickens and kitty were fed and secured for the night and then it was time for the little man to be put to bed as well. The baby had slipped into sleep after her last bottle so it was just the little man and I curled up in bed, under a warm quilt.
The wind was strong and we listened to it gusting through the large pine trees on the property and whipping around the corners of the house. It whistled into the cracks of the old farmhouse windows and we listened as the second recycling bin bounced down the driveway and into the side of the barn. A few gusts were so strong that the bed shook. Not just the walls of the bedroom but the actual bed. It was enough to remind me of the last small earthquake we had here and for the little man to be frightened.
I knew the wood stove would need to be checked and he insisted on accompanying me downstairs, hugging my arm the whole way. I got him settled on the living room couch since I knew I would be working with the fire for a little while and there was no way he was going to let himself be left alone with the windy monsters outside the house.
The downdrafts were sending small clouds of wood smoke into the house through the ash pan door and my eyes were already burning. I made sure to close the door leading to the upstairs to spare the baby.
I had opened the top of the stove to check and see how much the wood had burned down and was greeted by a face full of smoke. Granted, I knew this was not a smart thing to do but I needed to see what was happening in there. There was still quite a bit of wood left so the only thing I could do was close the damper all the way and let it smoulder out. I opened up the front door of the house and the back kitchen window to get a cross breeze to air out the downstairs and I turned on both ceiling fans to keep things circulating. I did not want to set off the smoke detectors and wake up both kids - the little man now having fallen asleep on the couch.
The forecast calls for the high winds to last through tomorrow morning and the temperature is falling. There will be snow showers starting in the very early hours of the morning, and when mixed with the wind, should provide a very interesting day of weather. I am grateful that we still have power, especially since the rain today melted all the snow so I had quite an amount of water flowing into the basement. The pump took care of it all and it is still going now, late into the night. If we lose power, the basement will have at least a few inches of standing water by morning.
So for now I will leave the fans on and get some sleep. The baby will be awake around the 1am hour for her next feeding and I will be checking on the stove. When daylight breaks tomorrow, we will survey the damage.