A 500-gallon propane tank has never looked so glorious. The fat boy arrived Wednesday and all of Mason's propane plumbing passed the leak test, conducted by a friendly fella named Marty, who was tickled by a pair of Northerners (his word) trying to go off the grid in the South, and proceeded to share his favorite grilled squirrel and rabbit recipes with us. (And yes, I'm serious!!) Of course the new propane blimp still is not hooked up to the massive new generator or to the appliances in the house. But come on, people, we're working as fast as we can. (Stay tuned for more on that generator -- she's an electrical beast to behold!!)
The same day, we picked up the propane WATER HEATER (!!!) for about $125 less than we expected it to cost. It's not plumbed yet, either, but just the sight of the 30-gallon tank warms the heart.
Then came Thursday, Wood Stove Inspection Day. The inspectors called Wednesday morning to let us know that we couldn't have a fire for 24 hours before the inspection/cleaning. That meant no fire to keep us warm on one of the coldest nights so far here. ... HELLO LA QUINTA!! It was supposed to be shower night, anyway, so we once again threw in the towel and checked in to the motel for a night.
So, the real step backward. The wood stove inspectors, who are also local firemen -- and the one who looked all of 22 years old had delivered a baby in someone's living room earlier that morning -- told us that, while our stove may make it through the season, our stovepipe is apparently a piece of crap. Go figure. And guess how much new piping will cost? About the $2,000 I was going to spend on a 20-year-old used car. Hrrrmph.
We'll replace the whole thing as soon as possible. Luckily 60-degree days are on the horizon. It continues to be a learning process here, but it sure beats working.