There is a piece of our chimney pipe that needs replacing. The chimney works just fine but it's crooked and chimneys should be straight, both for technical and aesthetic reasons. In order to do that, we need to let the fire in the wood stove go out completely. However, it's cold in Olympia at the moment and the wood stove is our only source of heat, burning twenty four hours a day. But yesterday morning when we got up, the stove had gone out and we decided to seize the moment.
Now unless we really know what we're doing, Ryan and I should not do manual labor together, it hardly ever goes well. And with our stress levels the way they are, now is an even worse time. But the Dutch IRS had finally seen the light and deposited my 2006 tax return in my account and we were feeling optimistic. So we grabbed the replacement piece, climbed the ladder and started pulling on the chimney pipe.
It did not go well. What started out as a chill Saturday morning ended as a chilly Saturday morning with temperatures and temperaments just above freezing. There was yelling involved (both of us), throwing of wood (by me), thrashing of uncooperative chimney pieces (Ryan), tears (me again), talk of dolphins (Ryan - long story).
Unfortunately, replacement pieces cannot be bought at stores but have to be purchased online. There is shipping time involved. It will take up to a week to fix the chimney. And all that time we cannot use the stove. Our living room is quickly becoming a frozen tundra.
So, after blowing off some steam at the gym and defrosting in their hot tub, we bought a bottle of champagne, packed a bag, and moved into Shelly's house. She's still in Hawaii. Her cat Bubba was excited about having company until he realized we brought our cat Sandman. Bubba has been glaring and growling at him all night but Sandman is pretending not to notice and looks all innocent while he walks around the house as if it's his. He is very comfortable here. I am sure that will change as soon as he realizes he cannot go outside but has to use the litter box...