This weekend was productive, in the minutia of everyday life kind of way. Returned some stuff at IKEA, bought some BILLY bookshelves and a kitchen cart. Lugged it all in, assembled everything, took down the Christmas decorations and the tree. Organized two closets, unpacked eight boxes of books, and gathered things to donate.
But now, onto the only thing I can think about today: dang, it’s cold out! This photo is from last week, but there’s at least another 6″ more of snow out there now.
We aren’t new to living in an old house. Brandon grew up in a Victorian nearby, and our first home was built in 1910, making this one is just 19 years older, from 1891. The first year though, living through a complete weather cycle, is always going to be one of learning what your home’s particular quirks are. This first winter in our Victorian is quickly showing us which windows need attention, where we might want to increase insulation, and reminding us to leave the basement faucet trickling when the temperature drops absurdly and abnormally low.
We’re also learning what we can do to even out the temperature between floors. Our other house had zoned forced-air heating (one furnace for the basement and first floor, and another upstairs), but the Victorian has hot water radiators. If the temperature outside is 20°F or warmer, the heat is fairly even throughout the house. Below that and the first floor will be cool while the second and third floors are toasty. With a temperature outside right now of -14°F, that first floor is downright cold (the thermostat puts it at 57° and dropping) and even the second floor is a little chilly. I think that what will work, moving forward, is to manually adjust the radiators on the third floor to turn them down/off when it’s really cold out. We’re staying relatively warm on the second floor, hunkering in and hoping the unusually frigid air moves out of the midwest by tomorrow, as predicted.
I love being the caretaker of this crazy old house, but there’s a learning curve.