Fairbanks has been cold lately. Once the ol’ temperature gauge drops below -20 it’s just cold, but there’s not a huge difference (surprisingly) between -25 and -40; it’s just cold. Once the temperature drops below -50 there’s another shift in daily life as things such as cars stop working and propane lines start freezing. It’s been in between -20 and -40 for about five days now and Maple and myself have been holing up inside for the most part, watching movies, making our Solstice presents for people and doing some more of the (endless) home maintenance projects.
Maple and myself live in the hills, high enough to catch the sweet relief (most of the time) of the inversion; this means that while it’s -40 in town, it’s only -10 at our house. The inversion has failed for the past few days though and this lovely Monday morning it was -26 at our house.
On Saturday we chopped half a cord of wood which only took about an hour. The best time (surprisingly) to chop wood is about -20; the water inside the wood freezes, so the wood essentially explodes apart when it’s hit with the axe. It makes one feel like a superhero, smashing through these huge pieces of wood.
Our drain has held up amazingly well. This last summer we dug an 18 foot deep hole, loaded in a 55 gallon drum that we filled with large rocks and secured a pipe inside it. Under that much soil the ground insulates itself and stays warmer than outside temps, so the water has (so far) not frozen inside the pipe, even though it was -30 at our house this morning. It should be noted that Maple and I live in the hills, atop lots of rocky schist and do not have to deal with permafrost; otherwise the Year-Round Drain would not be a possibility. (Later this week I will post a Year-Round Drain Photo Tour post, if nothing else than to post photos of sunshine…)
Saturday evening my friend Molly threw me a sleep-over in preparation of my soon-to-be-courthouse-nuptials. Much wine was consumed, much delicious homemade food was consumed, and in the morning Mol cooked us all a huge hangover breakfast of bacon, eggs, oranges and coffee. I meant to take photos all night long, but got distracted by the wine and Jane Austen movie marathon, so the only photos that exist are of the initial set-up.
Lastly, with the inclusion of fancy-schmancy-cold-only-low-water-pressure-new-fandangled-system, Maple and myself had spent the last week tripping over the four or so water jugs that had been displaced by the new water system. Last night Maple built a shelf (out of entirely scrapped wood – Hey TS!) and now not only do the guns have somewhere to go, but the water jugs have their own little hobbit hole, much to my great pleasure.
Cheers and love,
Maple and Me