So, there we were. October was here and we were ready for our first winter! Well, we thought we were... How can you really get ready for the unexpected? We tried to anticipate all our needs. Wood cook stove - Check! Wood for the fire - Check! Water from the well - Check! Stock up on a few items in case we get snowed in - Check! Games to play in case we get bored - Check! I mean how cold could it get on the prairies?
We were in for a bit of a shock. That first winter it started to get cold earlier than normal and it just stayed. The temperature dropped to about -30 in late November and stayed there until about February. It would fluctuate of course but -30 was common and would stay for weeks on end. The biggest problem we ran into was our as yet unfinished house. Out of necessity we had not been able to finish everything but as I said earlier had left for a few months to earn some much needed cash. You can't quite live on love and happiness unfortunately. The house was insulated and were starting to drywall but it was by no means finished. Our plan was to finish the inside over the winter and it was a good plan. But we hadn't quite taken in to account the weather that year.
For the first while everything was fine. but is wasn't long until we realized we were not staying as warm as we should be. -30 is cold! We were still doing a lot of building so the door was always being opened and the cold air blew in and froze me out. The wood cook stove just couldn't keep up. Ahh! If only we had the knowledge of our ancestors! It seems so much has been lost over the years and now, if we want to live this type of lifestyle we must relearn everything. What to do?
It turned out to be quit an easy fix. The entry way just need to be closed off from the rest of the house. It was already sort of a separate room and really only required a door. Our plan, when building, had been to close it in and therefore keep the bugs out of the house in the summer time. I had already dubbed it the "room of death" as no mosquito was to be allowed into the house proper but killed in there. Well, not really killed but as they are small brained creatures I had observed as a young woman that if you had an entry room or screened porch attached to the house it was rare for a mosquito to get in.
We purchased a nice wood and glass door and the problem was solved! No more cold draft! Genius! Well.... OK, maybe not genius but at least it worked.