Today started as a feel good today but didn’t end up as one šŸ™ I am bummed.

Andreea is still away doing helping the new parents into their new parenthood. She should be back tomorrow. I am very happy she is there … but facing the hardships here on my own not fun.

I managed to get a few hours sleep in the late morning hours. I awoke to a clear sky and frosted world. This time buckets of water outside were frozen solid. Though it was a very inviting day for woodworking … I decided to continue with the rocket stove because I really want to sleep in a warm room.

But … shortly after getting started I realized that there was no running water. The outside faucet was frozen solid and the inside faucet could move but a drizzle came out at first … then nothing. Oh boy … I knew I would have to add that to my list.

I started work with the rocket and it went great … I installed the insulation tube and then the insulation (ashes) then went on to build the “brick Ā barrel” with the refractory cement I got yesterday. I was glad for the cement as the brick structure went higher it needed the stronger binding. I finished the brick work, placed the top metal plate and impro-cobbed it in place. That’s when friction started.

I couldn’t get the flexible Ā stainless steel chimney pipe to fit either onto the stove exit pipe or into the chimney hole in the wall. I tinkered around with it, got frustrated but eventually got it to hold onto the stove exit pipe … the other end I let lay in the floor facing the exit of the house. Then I lit the stove … and what a mess of smoke. I was so disappointed. There was a good draft but apparently not good enough … smoke backed into the room and flames shot up the sticks in the feed chamber. Total failure (though the model worked really well!). I set that aside and will see what to do about it … maybe tomorrow, maybe not.

I did however light the wood burning water and it works … we have hot water. I did it to help the pipes defrost a bit … but doing the dishes with warm water was a delight. I though to wash up a bit but I’m too tired and don’t feel like it (there’s no shower yet … so it’s still somewhat of a production).

After ditching the Ā rocket I went to insulate the main water supply pipe. I did a quickie on it … OK but not great … I’m curious to see what will happen tomorrow. I then stuck around the water supply pipe ditch and shoveled dirt back into it (we left it open thinking to take advantage of it being there to put in electric grounding rods). It was both difficult and meditative.

I then did the closing day ritual … collected the ducks and chickens into the barn, fed the dogs, locked everything up … and too tired and lazy to cook decent food so I’ve pulled out a backup frozen pasta … cooking now (in the smoking and wood guzzling old stove I so want to replace with another rocket … arghhh) … will grate cheese on it … and hope for a restful night and fresh new day tomorrow.