Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fire(less) Place

On a frigid night nothing seems more enticing than sitting next to the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa, falling asleep to the crackling as it dies down. We've got the fireplace, but the fire? Not so much. A previous owner broke down the chimney in attic - lighting a fire would make our house smokier than a Louisiana bar. Not only does it lack a chimney, but it's also an original coal burning fireplace. While this could have some advantages (longer burning time & more cost effective) it's also a hazard when burned because it releases carbon monoxide.

So instead of risking our health we'll just have to get creative with the space. Maybe some homemade logs, a plethora of candles or even some books to fill the space?

{fireplace inspiration}

Images: 1, 2 , 3

What's in your fireplace?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Knock, Knock

We're staying warm, for now.

After a servicing our 45-year old water heater seems to be running better than ever.  It's back to a steaming (literally) hot shower that wakes me every morning for work.

But then one night we were in the kitchen cooking dinner, and there was a knock. We looked at the door - nobody. Another knock. Still, nobody. Then a light bulb flashed on over Travis' head and he remembered what the repairman had said: when the water heater starts to go it will start knocking. It was knocking all right. So its back to researching water heaters while we cross our fingers this antique can last us into a warmer, post-tax-return season.

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's Mighty Cold...

... showering without hot water. In January.

We were warned when we bought 765 that the water heater was old. And by old I mean the don't-touch-it-wrong-because-it-might-just-crumble kind of old. As in, all that cypress on the walls that is pretty ancient, it was built around the water heater and we can't get it out. Of course this kind of stuff never seems to happen when you want it to. Not in mid-July when it is 110 degrees outside and the last thing you want is anything hot touching you. NOPE. It happens on a 24 degree morning in January.

So now Travis and I are researching water heaters while we buy time continually relighting the pilot light. The conundrum: we like to be green & energy efficient BUT we like to be cheap too. Those two usually don't go together. Let's see what our options are:

You have your good old fashioned storage tank water heater. Water goes in, gas or electricity heats it up, then the stored hot water comes out. A gas one is generally more expensive than an electric one, but overall gas is usually a cheaper utility than electric. Then you've got to decide size: 30 gal, 40 gal or 50 gallon. For us we could surely get by with a 30 gallon, but what about when (dare I say) we want to sell the house? Starting around $400 this one wouldn't break the bank.

Then there is the tankless/on demand water heater. As it's name says there is no tank. Instead water is heated quickly through gas or electric coil, reducing the need to constantly be keeping water in a tank warmer (i.e. easier on your utility bill) But these puppies aren't cheap. They average around $1,000 though you can often end up with some kind of tax credit for purchasing one. These often have limitation with installation too, so our old pipes might not match up too well with modern marvel.

Decisions, decisions. Any water heater advice out there send it our way! And be thinking good thoughts - the repairman comes tomorrow. Let's all cross our fingers this research is for nothing and it's just a quick fix.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Oranges, Picked!

Goodbye 2010 - You've been good to me, with a house, a fiance and a new take on doing what makes you happy.

Nearly 9 months ago we moved into 765 and planted our orange tree at the engagement party. We've watched little green oranges pop up, then fall off, and crossed our fingers as three continued to grow (remember?). In the end two survived and we finally go to pick them. Travis and I rang in the new year with some Blue Moon and oranges. They were delicious! We continued the rest of our New Years Eve evening with a progressive party between Spanish Town and Beauregard Town, and a trolly shuttling us boozers across downtown. Can't beat that for a local NYE. Cheers to a new year and hopefully a few more oranges!

{love oranges}

Hello 2011!