Last night I asked my son to get the stove pipe off the wood stove. I knew it needed to be cleaned out because the stove wasn’t drafting properly. I told him that if he would take it off, I would clean it out and replace it today. The last time it had been put back in place he jammed it in there pretty tightly and I couldn’t get it out to save me. It only took him a moment though and it was out and ready for me. And yes, it did need to be cleaned out.
So today right after lunch I took the first section of the stove pipe outside and using a sturdy stick banged on the side of it knocking all the creosote loose. There were two problems. First, Bella wanted my stick and second, the end piece that fits into the top of the wood stove came off. When I had the pipe cleared I carried it back inside and brought the second out and prepared to do the same, only Bella had made off with my stick. A quick search and recovery and I was back in business. Once I had that pipe cleaned out I brought it back inside. Then the fun began.
The cap piece did not want to go back onto the pipe. Try as I might, struggle as I did, it refused to go back into place. I tried for approximately thirty minutes before becoming fed up with it and walked away. I stayed away until I calmed down and then went back. What I wish was that I knew what happened to the flashlight on a headband someone sent. It would have been a LOT easier than trying to hold a flashlight on my shoulder, but I did. I kept trying different manners and methods of getting that piece back on the pipe. I even carried it to a different part of the house and used a table there that was lower and easier to work on. I tried making sure everything was rounded, even going so far as to find pliers and straighten out a bent place. I used screwdrivers as pry bars. I even used a pair of scissors as an implement for prying. Finally, I got it together. I swear the thing just got annoyed and gave in but either way.
I then had to put the section of pipe coming up from the stove and the pipe that runs across into the wall and therefore the chimney together. Just one of those, here we go again, moments. The two did not want to fit together properly. All of my tools and makeshift tools were still handy.
It took some banging, some shoving, a lot of moving around and around and around that stove, but finally it began to go together. I then took a screwdriver with a large handle and carefully banged..um.. tapped them together.HA!! I now have a nice, warm, fire burning and the furnace hasn’t came on since.
We had a –getting there– moment today as well. I’ve been feeding some feral cats for weeks now. They are so afraid that if they so much as heard us walking across the floor they would run hide. But I’ve been feeding them every day, partly to keep them safe and partly to keep the birds I am also feeding safe.
Over the course of the past few days they have been getting braver. One, which has an almost completely white face, would come just out of hiding and watch me. If I moved wrong though it would run. One of the others has gotten brave enough that if it is hungry, will stand just outside the back storm door and meow its displeasure that the bowls are empty. Then once I came out, run.
Today though, we had a breakthrough. The one who loves to let me know the bowls are empty was on the top step yowling when I got a can of food and carried it out. Of course it ran, but this time I was ready. I not only had food for them, I had my coffee. I emptied the can into the bowls and I sat down on the top step.The cats were displeased to say the least. But I sat there talking to them.
Slowly they moved closer, then would scare themselves and run, then move closer. I felt as if we were playing a weird game of Hokey Pokey. Finally, the one with the almost solid white face went for the food. Slowly it eased up onto the steps until it reached the food. Giving me one more glance it began to eat. The other, the one I thought braver because of some of its actions, was a bit slower in the approach. Finally it too came up onto the steps to eat.
I have no idea where the third cat is currently. Knowing my luck its under the house with a litter of kittens.
Still, all in all, it was a good day. I did not allow that piping to beat me. I kept trying until I figured out what to do and managed to get it done. Maybe to some, that isn’t a big deal. But for me, every step forward, is a giant step. Every moment of progress made, is incredible and accomplishments to be happy about. With each accomplishment, I am proving to myself that I am more than capable.Now the next thing I try may not work out so well. I don’t dare get all cocky and arrogant. I am merely happy and yeah, proud of myself that I can walk by the stove and that pipe and remember the determination that allowed me as I shoved it that final bit into place, think with a smile, ‘You’ll not beat me.”