No Soup for You!


That’s a Seinfeld joke. (No soup for you! Who watches Seinfeld?)
In this case, it’s no furnace for me. The furnace part came in today, and the electrician braved my road to come out here with it. Only to find…… That another part is not working. Which might or might not be in tomorrow.

And so I keep loading wood into the wood stove. It’s going to be 5 degrees tonight. This house has single-paned windows and little to no insulation, as things go with little old houses. I will survive. Morgan is not here. I sent her away days ago. I sleep with the couch pulled in front of the wood stove, waking up every few hours to re-load it because it’s too small to hold enough wood to make it through the night. It’s cold upstairs. It’s cold downstairs, actually.

This too shall pass….


  1. Leah says:

    Oh that’s cold! I feel for ya! :hungry: but NO SO UP FOR YOU!!!!!!!! lol

  2. Joell says:

    Several years back when we had a blizzard, we lost power, (for 8 days) it was Christmas week, and extremely cold, and we had an electric range. We found a generator and a very dear friend came from abour 60 miles away to hook up the generator so we could use our furnace, It was so cold, way below zero and we had no heat except the fireplace, I felt do badly that I could make no coffee to give the guys that were working out in the cold. I thought about it for a few minutes and took a pot of water and held it over the fire until it began to boil, I took a coffee filter, filled it with coffee and closed it with a twist tie and put it in the boiling water and made coffee for the guys, it was the best tasting coffee I ever tasted. Since that week we have made changes so hopfully we dont ever go through that sort of thing again.
    I hope you get your furnace up and running soon and that this winter will turn to spring soon, it can’t we soon enough.
    After all you have been through, I think the soup man would give you soup!

  3. Agnes from Land o Lakes says:

    Stay strong! (Like I know you are!)
    We had negative 32 this morning; it’s supposed to warm up to 28 on Friday. Spring is on her way!!!

  4. Roooth says:

    You should check with your county of state to see if they have help to replace old single paned windows. Maybe even the gas or electric companies? I have a 100 year old house and they offered to do for almost free.

  5. GA_in_GA says:

    I loved The Soup Nazi! Classic Seinfeld.

    Stay warm, . . . I have an idea!!! Bring all of the animals into the house! It will stay plenty warm!

  6. Chester says:

    ACk! Please keep an eye on that stove! I have had scare this past weekend when my flue stuck closed and caused carbon monoxide levels indoors to soar. I am so thankful that I put in that carbon monoxide detector now!

    I have had to survive living around the stove like that in the past; I wasn’t a fan of the lifestyle! If you haven’t already, you may consider turning off the water and draining the plumbing – or maybe just opening the faucets a little to keep them from freezing up.

    On the upside, think of how much sweeter spring is going to feel after this winter!!

  7. shirley T says:

    Do you have heat in the workshop? could you not stay there?

  8. Susan4 says:

    Hang in there!! Warmer weather is supposed to be coming later in the week.

  9. yvonnem says:

    Suzanne, I really hate to say this, but that furnace has been a bad thing every since you moved there. I remember your Cousin Mark fixing it the first time. I know you mentioned in a previous post that it wasn’t that old, but yet one part after another have to be replaced. Maybe the electrician is just making a bunch of $$$ from you. Sorry to say that, but I am skeptical about people any more…never use to be that way. Live and learn I guess. I hope you get it fixed so that it lasts. Believe me, I know a new one is very expensive, but all the nickles and dimes add up. Take care and keep warm. Spring really is just around the corner (I HOPE!) :sun: :clover: :purpleflower: :heart:

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      The electrician is a nice guy. He’s trying really hard. He’s a master electrician, working on his own. He’s worked for me before. He understands the heat situation I’m in. He doesn’t charge that much, not as much as I think he should.

  10. brookdale says:

    Suzanne, you can put clear plastic storm windows on the inside of your drafty windows and it will help a lot. You can get them at WalMart or Lowes or other places. They are just big sheets of plastic and go on with double sided tape and you blow them with a hair dryer to shrink them so they fit nice and tight. My sis does her big old windows every winter. It really makes a big difference.
    I also read the other day that taping bubble wrap on the windows inside will also help, but then you wouldn’t be able to see out.
    Even hanging up blankets over the windows on cold nights will work. And putting a rolled up towel at the bottom of the doors and on window sills helps keep drafts out too.
    Here in Maine we have to think of things like that every winter. It becomes second nature after a while. But you folks in the mid-Atlantic states are really having it rough this year! You certainly have our sympathy and understanding.
    Lastly, wear a hat to bed, you’d be surprised how much warmer you’ll feel with it on. A knit ski hat or fleece beanie or whatever you can find. (Even a Santa hat!)
    That’s my advice for the day. Thinking warm thoughts for you!

  11. Dana says:

    You might want to investigate a wood pellet stove. They are easy, and safe and you would be opening windows in the size of your house with the smallest stove. We have a corn furnace. It’s amazing but work. Heats a 3500 sq foot house. You don’t need a million dollar chinney. With pellet stove. Do the google. 🙂 I’m sorry to hear you are so cold….:( and yes the winow plastic helps too. Hugs

  12. Diane says:

    I”m with you with no furnace. Ours stoped working yesterday. We are waiting for a guy to come and look at it today. 🙁 Its cold! Brrr. I’m looking forward to warmer weather myself. Hope you get heat soon. Keep warm!

  13. Glenda says:

    Suzanne, I hope you get the furnace fixed very soon and that this blasted weather moderates! You have had more than your share of troubles lately.

    Maybe some remodels on the house should be put at the top of the list before next winter. I thought we were in good shape but our house isn’t meant to endure zero and below days and nights nor are we!

  14. trudyh says:

    Another vote for replacing that furnace. Forget how young it is, how many times has it broken and left you without heat? I would get at least a different model or brand, maybe even a different type.

  15. sherlou says:

    Not sure if this really works but sounds plausible – heating a room with terra cotta pots and votive candles.
    Stay warm!

  16. fowlers says: golly that just sucks monkey butt…God love ya…I also live in a little house just about the same as yours…quite similar actually in style..we heat our house with wood…our oil furnace has kicked in once this year. I feel for ya though…what a winter…kinda late in the year…but next winter will be here soon enough.. and if you can’t replace the windows…the plastic sheeting works great! can’t say enough good things about it..I can’t imagine having to deal with all you have going on..block off those rooms you’re not using..might help just to heat the area for now you’re staying in…when we were little my mom used to put the oven on 500 and let that heat the rooms we all hunkered down in, it was not all that warm…but we did not freeze…Good luck and warm wishes coming your way….

  17. proud mountaineer says:

    You have free gas. Install a vent free stove or two with thermostats on them. Problem solved from now on, even when the electric goes out. Put Ross’ four wheeler to work to help carry the buckets of water. Mark over at the Walden Effect blog has some examples of how he uses his 4 wheeler to do this.

  18. whaledancer says:

    Do you suppose you might have been a dishonest furnace repairman in a past life? 😉 Maybe for now you could teach Gwennie to sleep under the blanket with you; she ought to be good for 20 degrees or so.

    I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time this winter. It’s just been one darned thing after another.

  19. hoosiergal says:

    I agree with proud mountaineer. We heat with natural gas and also have a non vented natural gas wall heater for power failures. It does not need electric to run and adequately heats our 2500 sq foot house. Used it for 4 days last winter when the furnace went out. An excellent purchase for us. hoosiergal

  20. Leck Kill Farm says:

    At least at this rate, you should basically have a new furnace but the time winter is over.

    It might not be just the age of the furnace, it could be improper installation, it could be sized wrong or external problems. We have a 5 year furnace in one house that keeps crapping out on us every winter. Turns out, moisture was getting in the exhaust vent and rusting/rotting out the parts. (your description of the bracket breaking and then the fan falling apart sounds familiar) The moisture problem is fixed but it sort of wrecked up the furnace.

    The other 30 yo furnace runs like a champ but our heating guys said be prepared, when it goes it is going to be too expensive to fix.

    Free gas sounds like a dream! Some gas fireplace inserts will run without electricity and put out a good amount of heat. We are looking at one for our living room.

  21. Anita says:


    Sounds like a two or three dog night to me! Did you know that the band name Three Dog Night comes from the number of dogs you need to keep warm at night? :woof: I personally pile on at least two cats when it gets down in the single digits! :yes:

  22. trudyh says:

    Can you folks with “vent free” natural gas stoves post a link or model number ? Thanks.

  23. proud mountaineer says:

    Trudyh, My stove came from ‘World Marketing of America’ (, model GSD3033.

  24. hollygee says:

    Insulated shades! Not hard to make and really, really conserve the heat while still giving you diffused light.

  25. hollygee says:

    I learned to make insulated shades from garbage bags and quilt batting, but the Warm Windows people have a batting that includes a Mylar layer that is superior.

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