Testing, Testing

Days at home are a gift…but I haven’t always felt that way. Used to be a week spent snowbound at home had me chafing at the four walls closing in around me! Take today for instance…we were all set to attend our homeschool co-op for some quilting fun (assembling table runners) and my two spelling […]

Days at home are a gift…but I haven’t always felt that way. Used to be a week spent snowbound at home had me chafing at the four walls closing in around me! Take today for instance…we were all set to attend our homeschool co-op for some quilting fun (assembling table runners) and my two spelling rule classes, but the icy roads and blowing snow put a definite damper on our plans.

To heap ashes on top of ashes, literally, our corn stove has once again bit the February dust. My biggest test in this area (of corn stove malfunctioning in the brrr! of winter) is I know my dh is in for hours of tinkering…replacing stretched belts, dismantling augers to get to a bad bearing, etc.

So we woke up to a cold house, today of all days.

  • Remind myself: “Think it not strange!” (1 Peter 4:12)
  • Dress everyone warm, check.
  • Plug the two space heaters in, check.
  • Bundle up, go outside, check the corn stove. Yup, fire’s out. Worthless thing! (by now I’ve learned that it’s never as simple as just rebuilding the fire!)
  • Time for another reminder: “Rejoice in everything!” (Philippians 4:4)
  • Pray for hubby’s day to go well at work and for his reaction when he returns home on a fire meeting night to instead focus his entire evening on the corn stove (is it complaining to add that this is the 4th time in four weeks that we’ve had to ramp up and deal with no heat in below freezing temps?). 
  • Pray that it’s an easy fix. (and cheap, please God!)
  • Start a bag of 16 bean soup mix cooking with ham shanks and onion, and get a pan of cornbread ready to stick in the oven for supper tonight.
  • Call my friends and ask them to pray!
  • Hot chocolate all around. :O)

After lunch, when the house temps dipped into the 50’s, I decided I’d better get a fire going. Thankfully we’ve kept a small stash of dry firewood on the back porch for such occasions, so I trekked outside, let our goats out to forage what they could and gathered some kindling. With the fire roaring–we have a wood stove insert in our fireplace equipped with a fan to propel the heat–the living room temp steadily rose to 73 degrees F. Cozy~!

Challenges are good for the soul, amen? Now, my dh might not agree…he’s got the stove torn into, found the problem and is headed to town for parts with oldest dd.

1 Peter 4:12-13a, “Beloved, think it not strange, concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice!”

15 replies on “Testing, Testing”

I pray it all gets worked out soon for your family! AWESOME and timely scriptures!!!!! I think it’s wonderful that you are keeping a great attitude and continuing to be a blessing to your family even during the trials–not always easy, that’s for sure!

BTW–what on earth is a corn stove???

Thanks, Amy! It’s one of our favorite soups…I just love that it’s a soup-in-a-bag. Easy!

Thank you both for your prayers! Dh is just now cleaning up at 10:37 PM. Washing/drying his soot-covered coat and coveralls before tomorrow morning is going to be a challenge!

Georgiana, I wrote in detail about our outdoor corn furnace here:
It’s our main source of heat, since we didn’t buy propane this year for our forced air furnace. Thanks for asking! In case you don’t have time to check out the link, it’s fuel is corn. Corn burns very hot, 1 bushel lasts almost 24 hours, and there is very little ash build-up. We love it when it’s working! Thankfully the company we bought it from is installing a free-of-charge “update” kit once winter weather is over. Guess we’re not the only customers still working the bugs out!

Glad it all worked out with the corn stove! We have one too, only inside, and use the furnace for backup. It definitely is more work intensive, but to not pay for propane? Priceless! Thank goodness your dh is handy!

If he wasn’t handy, we’d be SO in debt on all the repair to this thing! Last night, a separate incident happened from this one I blogged about…the motor FELL off the bracket (a very poor weld, my dh tells me) so he welded it back…can you imagine if we’d had to hire a welder to come out and fix it after hours in the freezing temps?

It’s not working even today…I’m just praising God that the temps are going to be in the 50’s next week…

Am really interested in hearing how the corn boiler has worked out, as I was contemplating installing one. Thank-you for being so transparent with your life. I feel like a sister already!

Hi Kathy!
What a coincidence that you happened to comment on this today…as I type there is a Woodmaster (corn stove) repair guy outside installing an “update” kit that is supposed to fix all the problems my husband and I had with ours last year. Here’s hoping!!! 😉

We definitely had to get the “bugs” out of our outdoor furnace, but hopefully with these fixes, it will go back to being a great way to heat our home. The only problem is the price of corn keeps going up…it’s at $3.60 a bushel now, quite a bit more than the $1.30 or so we paid per bushel when we first bought our stove. So if finances aren’t an issue, go for it. It’s great for the environment, and really keeps the house cozy. Plus, I like having all the mess outdoors. And as far as working with Woodmaster, they’re a great company. Always easy to get a hold of and this update kit was completely free (under warranty) and will make maintenance a lot easier for us in the future.

If I can answer anything more specific, just let me know. If I don’t know, my husband will.

And thanks for the compliment, re-reading this older post of mine put a smile on my face. Hopefully this coming winter will see a lot less testing in the corn stove arena of our life!


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