Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fantastic weekend!

We bought our log home in 2002. So far, I think every year has been a learning experience.
This weekend we learned about our chimney.
For the last couple of winters we have worked hard to heat the house as much as possible with wood.
Two years ago we bought a high efficiency free standing wood burner, a Lopi. We like it quite a bit.
As we heat more and more, Wife and I thought it was time to get the chimney checked out. When we bought the house we had it inspected along with the rest of the house. That was eight years ago and we are on our second wood stove.
So a husband of a co worker who used to work for a chimney cleaning and inspection service came over today. He used to work for the chimney service because when the great flood hit Cedar Rapids back in 2008, the shop was under 16 feet of water and the owner decided to not re-open. Of course, Brent's house had 10 feet of water in it, so he has had a lot on his mind.
Brent told me to clean out the ash box at the base of the chimney inside the house before he came over. So last night after a pretty busy day, I opened up the little doors and started shoveling out ash with a small garden trowel. Ash I expected. What I wasn't ready for was the birds. Seven bird skeletons along with feathers. Dried up, no smell, disgusting little skeletons. The skulls were creepy with the beaks and the eye openings.
So he stopped out today and gave me a list of things that need to be done. Just what i need, another list of things to do. He did, however, let us know that the chimney is in really good shape for not having been maintained for the last 27 years.
Now I am sitting on the porch in the shade watching Kat cover herself with sidewalk chalk.
Earlier she managed to find a bad tempered paint turtle. This is actually pretty surprising. How she managed to find an eight inch turtle, green, in foot tall grass, I will never know. When I picked the turtle up, she stretched her head out of the shell and hissed at me, then snapped her mouth shut.
In all of my years I have never seen a paint turtle behave that way. Kat agreed, we needed to put that turtle back in the pond. We did, and I hope she is happy.

1 comment:

SurprisedMom said...

I really feel for you regarding the dead birds and finding the skeletons. When I first moved into my house, I thought I was in the movie "The Birds." I kept finding them on the second floor and the basement. Some were alive, some were just about dead and some were actually dead. I called for The Mister a lot to get rid of them. Yes, it's true, I'm not a nature girl. The house hadn't been lived in for a couple of weeks while we packed up our apartment and the former owners left for their new house. I was getting weirded out.

The birds finally started leaving when they realized someone was living in the house, not all, but most. We finally solved our bird problem by getting a new roof, which included new roof vents that were bird proof. Expensive, yes. Worth it, oh boy!

Sidewalk chalk. All I can say is that brings back so many memories.

A bad tempered turtle? Oh my. I hope she's happy in the pond.