Friday, January 18, 2008

The culprit

1/18/08 Friday
It was sixteen degrees out this morning and the weatherman put the wind chill at five degrees. We were comfortable tucked under the covers and down blanket Cherie got a steal on before Christmas. A seventy plus dollar blanket for seventeen works good for us. So everything was nice and cozy till I had to sit on the toilet. OK!!!! I’m AWAKE now. Outside of the bedroom, where we have the space heater, it wasn’t bad all things considered. This old house is well insulated. It was forty five degrees in the office area with no heat back there at all. I was surprised the puppies slept on the couch in the living room. If there was a wind it would be different with these old leaky windows. Anyway, I don’t think we will have to worry about the pipes freezing.

So the official investigation on the cause of this fire is complete in my incomplete way. “Here is the culprit” the detective proclaimed. At least I think it is. This is the original “thimble”. I learned that’s what they are called as I looked at stove stuff in the stores. Ace Hardware, where I bought the stove pipe last winter, doesn’t carry them. Home Depot has absolutely nothing for woodstoves. Only Lowe’s so far has these types of items. I’ll get to that in a bit.

You can see in this picture that the thimble is rusted out. Odds are it was this way when I installed the woodstove last winter but I decided it wouldn’t hurt as there was still a large air space there. Besides, when you are poor you do the best you can with what you’ve got. I just went back in this journal to read about this. We got the stove on 1/27/07. It took me quite a while to get it all installed but there is no mention of me noticing the thimble was rusted out. I know it was rusty but it may have rusted through over the last year from the combination of heat and rain seeping in during this unusually wet year. Regardless I put in all new stove pipe. There is a note I made that said I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Nothing new about that. Much of what I do I must figure out as I go and making mistakes is a regular event. Going back and reading this journal is always an experience as I see what I can’t remember. Brings things back, mostly sadness about how things went at the first church of Stanton. I just don’t understand how they can be so blind, I don’t understand any of it but am sad and was hurt.

I suppose you could call us the "Hole in the Wall Gang"

Amy made a comment yesterday about seeing some things that were probably done wrong. No surprise there. When I went to Lowe’s they didn’t have any thimbles by themselves but did have a lot of insulated pipe and a kit with everything you need from the stove to the top. There is a piece that goes on the bottom of the outside pipe with a removable part so you can run a chimney brush up to clean out the creosote buildup. The kit costs $218.00. That’s a chunk for us but I want to do this right. Don’t need any fires. This is our home and future. The place we will build a life we can be happy with.

It will get up to forty eight degrees today. Nice and warm compared to yesterday. Jay let me borrow his reciprocating saw so I will be able to cut out lots of the burned wood. Eric called yesterday to check on us. The Marshal’s called and offered to let us stay at their place. (I think it was them. They talked to Cherie) I’m not real clear on it all because of the memory thing. As much as I hate to I might take Eric up on the offer to help financially. There has been so much generosity shown us by the Sunday school class. It’s just…I don’t know, I would rather stand on my own two feet I guess and don’t like being a bum. That’s a pride thing but pride is something I’ve been swallowing ever since I woke up from the coma.
It's patched up for now

That reminds me. I was going to write the “Poop Scoop Essay” and as usual didn’t get to it. Cherie has gone to Janie’s to clean and I will head up there to poop scoop when it warms up. I’ll do some more shopping around for wood stove stuff while there. Just put $84.00 in the gas tank yesterday. That makes $160.00 for the month so far. Someone asked me “Why so much?” a while back. It’s twenty miles to Midland from here, which means it twenty miles back. So going to town is a forty mile trip plus the miles we put on in town. At sixteen miles to the gallon and roughly three bucks for a gallon of gas it costs at least eight bucks per trip. It adds up so I try to do as much as possible when I go up there to get as much out of that trip as I can.


Bleu said...

These guys in Odessa might have the part you are looking for

Energy Depot
217 East University Boulevard
Odessa, TX 79762-7675
(432) 332-8800

They sell wood stoves and fireplaces

Nate~ said...

if you cant find a thimble get me the depth of your wall and pipe size and I will UPS you one