Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jarvis House Chimney Gets a Cleaning

The Jarvis House is getting ready for winter.  The chimney and wood burning stove need to be cleaned and readied.
Fortunately for us, Kevin Kepler is up to the challenge of climbing to the lower roof and cleaning out the chimney with our set of chimney brushes.
When you live in a house like this you need ladders,
and brushes.
And other ladders, and brushes that have extension poles at screw together as you clean the chimney.
You might need a Phillips head screwdriver to open the chimney cap.
As the brush goes down the chimney and is twisted to loosen the creosote from the flue, additional poles are added.
When the brush is finished down below, it is removed, unscrewing sections of the brush poles as it is pulled up from the chimney.
The cap is secured to the top of the stack.
The brush and the extension sections are gathered.
Now it is time to go inside the house and clean out the chimney from that direction, and the wood burning stove.
 This is a Great Northern stove unit that is inserted, following local codes, into the flue which was added to the rebuilt chimney in 1973.  The metal shield is leaning on the side of the stove.  It adds additional fire protection.
Kevin vacuums up the soot from the hearth
that  has fallen in from the outside cleaning.
 He cleans the rear opening of the stove where the stove pipe will be replaced.
The shop vac comes in handy and spares the Electrolux.
This is a piece of creosote that collected on a ledge in the chimney.  It is quite light and porous and can burn if not removed in a timely way.
There is a metal edge that he cleans with the hose nozzle.
He finds another piece.
Generally speaking, a wood burning stove heats up the fire to a higher degree than a fireplace, and burns off most of the matter in that way.  But it is a serious procedure and cleaning out the chimney should be done after each cord of wood is burned.  
Soot in the shop vac.
We vacuum up that hearth so that we can replace the stove and the stove pipe.
Kevin screws back
the metal shield.
After cleaning out the pipe, Kevin carefully begins to replace the pipe.
Inside the pipe section is the damper with the handle on the outside.  This regulates the air intake.
He attaches the elbow of the stove pipe.
He slides the stove back into position,
and adjusts the stove.
He tweaks the position a bit to make sure the stove is level.
The stove pipe is attached to the stove.
Checking it some more,
and again.  We take this stove cleaning very seriously.
Back in its spot, the wood burning stove is ready to be put to use on a chilly evening.  The Jarvis House has a natural gas/steam heating system.  The wood burning stove is a back up, just in case something goes wrong with the furnace. 

I had to add this picture of Dick Van Dyke as the chimney sweep in the film Mary Poppins.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fancy Nancy at the Book Revue Huntington

What do you do when one of your best girlfriends asks you to meet her at an book signing event in town?  Well you  dress up because it's Fancy Nancy Night!
This is the wonderfully artful sign that invites everyone into the famous
Book Review bookstore in Huntington village.
Book signing events are advertised in advance with huge posters in their front windows.
Tonight Robin Preiss Glasser, illustrator of the famous series, Fancy Nancy books came to the delight of many little girls and their fancy moms.
My friend, Nancy Hauca, an elementary school teacher in East Northport, NY, has created many lessons over the years featuring the books of Jane O'Connor.
Robin Preiss Glasser, came in her fancy costume of peacock blue spangles with a tiara and Rhinestone earrings.  
I met Nancy outfitted in the required pink feathered boa.  The attic of the Jarvis House turned up a real mink set of heads & tails like your auntie had, Rhinestone dangle earrings and collar, and a glittery organdy blouse.
In this picture with our friend Elizabeth Short, my fuchsia elbow length gloves sported two Rhinestone bracelets!
Many, many children enjoyed the time spent with Ms. Glasser, as she read from the newest book in the series.
They were dressed in their fancy clothes too.
Little girls sweetly followed along with the text as the illustrator read.
Children and parents retired to the balcony after the reading, for book signings.
Nancy had her copy and awaited her turn with Ms. Glasser.
The illustrator wrote a special inscription for Mrs. Hauca and her students.
She posed with a store employee, also decked out for the evening.
So I guess that you get out the glamorous clothing and meet your friend down town when she asks.  Girls just want to have fun!