We woke up this past Monday morning to a rather frigid 33 degrees below zero with all the cats in a holding pattern around us on the bed. Two of them were frozen solid and had to be set on the wood stove to be thawed, it was that cold. It’s amazing how an old but cozy house can keep away the cold outside at say, 15 degrees below zero but turn into a freeze box when the temperature outside hits somewhere below –20. With 1 quilt and two comforters on the bed plus 3 out of 4 cats adding their body heat to the mix, we managed to survive the night.
I can easily see now the value of those old bed warmers full of nice hot coals that they used to run beneath the sheets prior to coming to bed. For us in these modern, bed warmer-less times, it was liking sliding our shivering bodies between two sheets of ice, that is if ice was extremely thin and foldable, and I did toy with the idea of running our largest cat back and forth under the sheets instead but he got away. And it wasn’t like cuddling up together was a wise idea either since the space under the sheets that wasn’t involved with the cuddle stayed ice cold so we had to grit our teeth and stay put until out respective sides of the bed warmed up to a temperature that was a bit more tolerable. Only then was any form of cuddling possible.
One thing the cold snap did allow us to do was easily locate any windows, doors, ceilings and floors that were leaking any air from the outside. I mean it wasn’t too hard to follow the rivers of icy cold air that were flowing across the floors of various rooms in search of the air intake our wood stove. And while it’s good to have some sort source of fresh air coming into the house during these northern type winters when your main source of heat is a wood, having your own personal version of the polar express freezing your ankles while doing the dishes in the kitchen or attempting to watch a movie in the living room is a bit much. Fortunately, the main source of air leaks were whittled down to one double pane window and a half of another plus a few openings under the baseboards of the outside walls of our not-so-level floors. That plus the hatch to the main attic crawl space was slightly ajar but nothing so bad that a couple of plastic bags and several staples didn’t take care of.
Considering the age of the house it’s actually not too bad but I’ll have to mark these areas now before the ice build up melts away otherwise, I’ll never find them again when Spring time rolls around. Thankfully, it has warmed up quite a lot since that frigid Monday morning and with the threat of yet another Nor’easter headed this way for Wednesday, it’s bound to stay that way. Still, there’s February to go through yet so I figure it’s just a bit too soon to be putting that second comforter away for the season.
Stay warm, folks.