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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

As Cold Weather Approaches

“The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley.”

Robbie Burns was my father's favorite poet - being a Scot, that makes perfect sense. Burns' poetry often featured the working class, their trials, their tribulations, and at times their triumphs. You can find some of his poetry online, I'm sure, and certainly in your local library. He is worth a reader's time, and maybe dime.  Here's a link to a translated (Scot to English) version of that famous oft-quoted one:   The best laid schemes...   Truth be told, I prefer the original Scots version, as did my dad.

I'd planned on having a new furnace in the shop for this winter ... the old wall mounted heater has worked for probably forty years or so, and is not as efficient as it might once have been, and surely not as efficient as a new model might be. Last fall, when the temperature control stopped working and we couldn't turn it 'down low for the night' reading, it became too expensive to operate. Rick and I decided we would close down for the coldest months (January and February) and take a long awaited vacation together ... But the best laid schemes... I miss him so much.

 This fall, without Rick's steady guidance and on impulse, when seeing a second hand like-new Franklin Stove style heater on a Facebook yardsale page, I negotiated it to a price I could afford, and bought it. Two youngsters, sons of an author-friend of mine, came with me and we brought it home to the back of the barn. From there, I hoped I would have a plumber move her into the space where the current heater is, and have the current heater removed and put out to pasture. I envisioned a cozy little spot by the front door of the shop, with the stove emanating heat, perhaps a little braided rug, and a few rocking chairs with quilt books and magazines nearby...

Here she is, waiting to be made useful...but ...

But alas, it turns out that replacing a heater is far more involved than just disconnecting one and reconnecting another. The new model is 'vent-free' and that brings some concerns and restrictions. I have a vent, as the old heater was vented to the outdoors, but the new one is said 'not to need a vent.' But I've since learned from a salesman of vented natural gas Franklin-Style-Stoves (which sell for considerably more than what I paid for my find) that people sometimes find the vent-free is not always odor-free, and that dust particles in the air might attract and hold those gas molecules (not that a quilt shop would generate any dust, right? Oh, yes, not right.)

And those who would install such appliances have their own concerns ... none want to install a second hand, gently used appliance, as it is not under manufacturer's warranty, and should something go wrong, badly wrong, the installer might be held liable, and who wants that to happen?

So, the cute little Franklin-Stove-Style gently used natural gas vent-free heater might just become a curious display table with no other purpose ... or it, too, may be put out to pasture before its intended time. Meanwhile, I'll keep searching out the right way to either repair or replace the heat source for the shop, so that I can keep us warm as we fondly select and use beautiful fabrics...

For now, fall and early winter hours are as posted: Thursday and Friday, 11-5, and Saturday 12-5.  Quilt lessons are taking place in the house rather than in the shop, for comfort as much as for space. New fabric arrivals are slowing down for the season now, but our sales policy remains the same: Twenty Percent off all fabric on bolts ... Fifty Percent off all charity project fabrics.

I'll keep you posted on what happens to the heating dilemma... Thanks for reading!

More photos ahead ... there is so much fabric yet to be featured!

Please feel free, if you're reading this in an email, to share this with your neighbors, friends and family. I look forward to meeting them!