Wednesday, December 1, 2010

City Slickers at the Chicken Dance Ranch - Lesson #4

The lessons kept piling up during freeze week 2010 at the CDR.

Lessons #4, 5 & 6: Storm doors are invaluable; You need more than just a block heater for your diesel truck; Storm; Giving thanks for Woodstoves, Friends and Family

The two steel entrance doors on the gable ends of the house were giving us trouble. They may not have been installed correctly and as a result, we had a gap near the bottom weather stripping of each that kept leaking water during heavy rains as well as cold air from the Arctic blast. We tried our best to adjust the hang of the doors but couldn't get the problem totally solved. Since we were going to be installing new laminate flooring, we didn't want water to get into the house and ruin the flooring. Also, we needed to address the cold air penetration. 

We decided that installing storm doors would help. In the middle of the deep freeze, a friend from Twisp came over and helped us install them on two of our three exterior doors. It was amazing the difference they made. So much so that we decided door number three also needed one. The next day, we bought it and got it installed. Wow! Wish we would have done it sooner. I'm sure our friend wishes the same since he braved the brutal weather to install them.

New Storm Doors
The ad slogan “Are you gellin’?” took on a new meaning for us. We left the truck plugged in at all times, figuring that was all we needed to do. Wrong! We went out one morning for a trip into town. The temp was three degrees. The engine started but quickly died. We could not keep the truck running. Finally, we were able to idle the truck in low gear to the top of the hill near where we live. It easily took ten minutes to travel one measly mile. A neighbor drove by and we asked if he knew what might be the problem. We suspected something related to fuel and he quickly confirmed it. Yes, we needed a fuel additive to keep the diesel fuel from gelling or thickening up in the freezing temperatures.

The drive, AKA coast, down the long hill allowed the truck engine and fuel to warm up enough to make it to the auto supply store where Karl purchased the last bottle of fuel additive. Problem solved!

Ice Crystals on Storm Door Window
One funny thing did happen during this lesson. When we started down the hill, the windshield and windows were starting to frost up. Karl turned on the defroster and it felt like it was snowing inside the truck. Little ice crystals were blowing out of the vents! At least it made us laugh after dealing with stress of trying to get the truck running.

Ahhh...Winter Warmth!
Although it was unbelievably cold for us, we still enjoyed our time in the Okanogan. I liked looking out of the windows at the falling snow while the flames in the woodstove flickered and kept us warm. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, sharing it with a camping friend from Twisp. We did miss having family here but were able to reach across the miles via telephone. It gets harder and harder to return to our life on the coast with each day we spend here.


Gaelyn said...

Dang, 3F is Way too cold. But you sure are learning alot. I'll bet it is hard to go back over the mountains. It's just so peaceful and beautiful in the Okanogan.

karen adsero said...

I miss all the good stuff

Small City Scenes said...

Well Sally 'they' say life is all about learning and you seem to be doing that in a big way. But once you learned there will be no more mistakes---hahahahaha!!!
My daughter lives in Ritzville and now they ave huge amounts of snow---Are you coast home yet or are you stuck in the snow? Will we get to read about CDR lesson #7-8-9?
Memories just remember that. MB

EG Wow said...

Hmmm. What an adventure, SallY1 I do hope the next few lessons are easier!