far too much writing, far too many photos

The weather here this last week or so has been hilarious. Beginning one morning seven, eight days back when the thermometer outside the dining room window greeted me with a reading of -10F/-23C. Cold enough that I felt chilly no matter what, with layers of clothes pulled on, with the stove cranking out fairly intense heat. All of which motivated me to finally get serious about finishing the insulation in the attic. (In this case, attic means crawlspace, a nightmarishly accurate word. There is no getting upright in that space, even directly beneath the roof’s peak. There is no standing, there is no kneeling. There is only lurching clumsily about, planting feet where they can find purchase, working real damn hard to keep them there so they don’t smash through ceiling drywall into living space. Whoever builds crawlspaces where proper attics should be oughtta be forced to live in them, so that they spend their days hunched over and miserable, like the denizens of the 13th floor in ‘Being John Malkovich,’ only worse.)

An upside of this work: it provides the opportunity to rant and swear like a rabid, drunken sailor — an hour-long primal, essentially. (I can’t do more than an hour at a shot — it is simply more fun than my system can bear.) Which has its twisted charm if one is looking for that kind of release. And I will confess that I get into it when I’m up there suffering in the name of making the house warmer.

A second upside of the work: the gratifying difference in household heat retention. In a normal, user-friendly weather zone, the house’s insulation would have been totally bitchen, in no need of improvement. Here in the frozen wastes of northern Vermont, where Jack Frost nips your nose, bites your bum, and then attempts to violate you every time you work up the courage to step out the door, there is no ‘complete.’ More insulation is always a most excellent idea. As anyone who has waded through entries of this journal from last year’s warm season knows, I put in a lot of time up in the crawlspace clearing out trash and debris left by previous residents, replacing old, sad, skimpy insulation with new, happy, thick, efficient insulation, doubling and tripling the overhead R rating, depending on which part of overhead we’re talking about. The difference was gorgeously apparently during the transitional seasons. But on winter mornings when the mercury slides down to the thermometer’s nether regions and wildlife is wondering why in hell it didn’t head south when it had a fighting chance, the cold seeps through walls, crawlspace and windows, intent on breaking one’s spirit.

So. Me in the crawlspace, swearing. Good clean fun. Have used up two packs of insulation that were hanging about waiting to be ripped open and emptied out. Will have to buy one more pack, haul my sad, suffering keister up through the teeny ceiling port (aperture size: 29″ x 11″, clearly designed to maximize discomfort for anyone weighing over 65 pounds) into the crawlspace one more time, and finish the work.

It is worth it.


An afternoon in mid-December, Vermont:

EspaƱa, te echo de menos

5 Responses to “fun”

  1. Wil

    Did you also have the significant swing in temps we had further East of you? We went from -2 to 46 one day. Five or six days later, had an overnight high of 58 and a previous day’s low of just 6.

  2. rws

    yep, the mercury got very goofy, with the same kind of extremes.

  3. mad

    I have mood swings that don’t swing that much!

  4. icancarryallthebagsandthebabiestoo

    This is the first time I’ve visited this blog. You’re in Vermont?

    I’ve wanted to take a trip to Vermont. We’re in Philadelphia and I’d like to rent a cabin in Vermont for a long weekend. Any location suggestions?


  5. rws

    thanks for stopping by my page, anna. am responding to your question via email.

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