Country living isn't all beer and skittles. As in "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden," "...along with the sunshine, ya gotta have a little rain sometime." After the beautiful sunny day, we got rain in buckets yesterday. The wind was gusting, according to the weather reports, at 50-plus mph. I was dragging my feet. Conditions were right for a power outage so I put a load of socks in the washer and hoped for the best. Knowing I'd come back from the barn soaked and cold, it seemed prudent to light the wood stove first. That's called procrastination with a purpose. Yes, well.... I cleaned the ashes out, brought in logs, and set fire. Oh good grief! Whether it was the strong winds or creosote buildup in the chimney, I couldn't get a good draw. Instead of a blaze, the stove belched out clouds of smoke. Trying to keep the smoke alarm from going off and sending the house critters into a panic, I started shutting vents and opening doors; multiple doors, hoping to get a cross draft. At least in that I was successful and wind whistled through the room. Stove continued to send out big burps, so I had to leave the house open and reluctantly head out for chores.
Wind so strong it threatened to take my feet out from under and rain hitting like shotgun pellets. Chickens huddled together at the back of their coop. Goats complaining bitterly and loudly, both at my late arrival and at the weather. Rainy-day schedule in effect. Poor girls; I can't leave them in the barn because they'd have no access to water. Mud. Mud everywhere. No letup in sight.
As I'd thought, it was warmer outside than in the house, but Stove had stopped smoking. Helper Dude said he had no experience cleaning chimneys, so no local help. The weekend and the Kids were too far away to ask them for assistance. It took a couple of calls, but finally contacted a pro chimney sweep who may be able to come this week. "I'll get back to you." As of yet, he hasn't. Sigh.
Ever hopeful, and with time to properly tend a fire, I lit Stove again, adjusting this vent and that until a good blaze got going and the chimney had sufficient draw, so we were comfortable for the time being. Late in the afternoon, the wind died down and the rain stopped. Yes, Scarlett, tomorrow is another day.
That's livin' the life in the country.