Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Heatin' Up

Our house was built in 1976 and was built with a fireplace, a standard ol' fireplace. Later on the previous owners put in an insert, the insert you see below. I'm sure it was a good fireplace. You know, back when disco was in and John Travolta had it goin' ON. However, its days are long gone, just like gone are the days of carrying a handled comb in your back pocket so you can redo your "feathers" throughout the day as needed.

We recently went on a mission to find a pellet stove. Paul's an ancient 46 years old and therefore has declared himself too old to cut wood anymore. We have a two strapping pre-teens who are probably two years away from helping their dear ol' dad out in that department and really, I like hauling wood, but nooooooo he says, he's too old. Whatever.


We went to Flames in Joplin, picked out a stove that is like 40 bazillion BTUs and guaranteed to heat the Astrodome or something. Okay, so it's only 45,500 BTU and will heat 2200 sq ft, but stop being so picky about my wild exaggerations, you. I think the guy was a little freaked out by my humor in the store since I use it frequently and I'm thinking he doesn't. Don't get me wrong, he's a nice guy and seems to know his stoves, but well, not everyone is as entertained by me as I am.

We went home, measured, called the guy back and he was then worried the space we had was too big rather than the usual problem he has when customers don't have a big enough space. *sigh* He said he'd just come out and check it out in person. Sense of humor or not, the dude was totally racking up points in the customer service department. Indeed we must have a giganto fireplace because he had to custom-build a base for the thing to sit on, again racking up CS points for me. AND he showed up on the day he said he would, unlike our leprechaun Amish friends who seem to think "3 weeks" is a relative term and not literal like we worldly sinners take it. ANYway...

He showed up right on time and got straight to work taping off the fireplace so he could get on the roof and begin to chip away at about 33 years of creosote and soot that had accumulated in our chimney. The same chimney he said was in very poor shape, so poor that he said if we had built a fire in the fireplace this winter and didn't have a flue fire it would be a serious miracle. (And he told us this after we'd already bought the stove, so it's not like he was just saying that to scare us into buying.) Yikes.

Below is the "runway" Abby thought he'd set up just for her to model on. I told her to hang and rattle. She instead just went back to the Batcave and read a book. Chicken. We'll call it stage fright.

One might see the next picture and think, "Wow, Diva, focus next time!" but one would be thinking incorrectly there because that is not a product of poor focusing, but instead of a product of the aforementioned 33 years' worth of creosote and soot. Yes. Floating. In the air. Of my house. Where my asthmatic child lives. FUN.

And here's the new stove on the handy dandy lift. Fortunately the dust didn't take long to settle. All over my furniture, carpet and US, thus allowing the next pictures to be clear again.

And here's our brand spankin' new pellet stove! The bricks in the center above it are still soot-stained and Paul's got some muriatic acid to clean it, but remember he's soooo geriatric he's either forgotten or his bursitis and gout have him down and he can't. Either way, hopefully he'll get around to that soon.
Paul had to run up to a neighbor's house to borrow some pellets because we haven't bought ours yet and the stove guy didn't bring any, but they poured 'er full and cranked her up and yeah, that was one of the days it was 104 outside, so just imagine how fun that was.

So now that part of Extreme Home Makeover: Redneck Edition is over and we're waiting on the Amish to put in our new windows. By the end of July we'll be ready for winter. Bring on the snow, Oklahoma! Please? Really? Just cooperate this winter and give us some, okay? We'll all appreciate it. Okay, maybe my mom and I will be the only ones, but don't let that stop you - we'll appreciate you enough for everyone. Promise.

4 comments:

Brodrick Family said...

I keep singing "Winter wonderland" thinking that the weather might get the hint *hint, hint*

Nadine Hightower said...

The dude at flames was not intune with my humor either and we walked out. Never to return. So I guess that is why he went the extra mile with you guys....He can't stay in business if he doesn't get the women.

DeadpanAnn said...

Cool. Your house looks a lot like ours on the inside-- I guess fireplace inserts and brick on the inside of the house was a cool thing in the 70's. Our house has both. I wish the fireplace was just a plain old fireplace, and have recently wondered what it would look like if we just took the insert out. We don't use it. Hello-- this is South Mississippi. Winter lasts about 3 weeks, it rarely gets down to freezing, and our central heat is more than adequate. The fireplace would be just for looks, but it'd look better than the 1970's insert thingy.

I have no idea what a pellet stove is, but congrats. It looks good!

Miss Wisabus said...

I love it and I want one.