We survived the record-breaking winter storm and the associated -50C (-58F) wind chill. I took a few shots as the weather front arrived but, even in the early stages, it was too cold to try and do anything half-way decent. Here are a few notes from the experience.

This house went through a lot of firewood. I mean a lot. I also found all of the previously hidden sources of draft – at least on the north and north-west sides of the structure. 🙂

It’s nice in a cottage to have all these windows. Operating under the assumption that climate change means future record-breaking polar vortices I will be purchasing more survival blankets to cover them up for the next major weather events. There was a lot of cold air transmitted through double layers of glass.

As bad as the cold was, the interior of the house was at least comfortable – not tropical, but certainly civilized. The worst effects were felt (on my little family) by the wind. The animals stopped eating, I had to put Fish in his Thunder Coat, and I was ready to scream a few times that the wind “could just stop howling now Thank You!”. 36 hours of a freight train is more than enough.

When I first arrived I debated whether or not to get a Heat Pump rather than a wood-burning stove. I didn’t know anything about them and still really don’t know much. However, I read in a couple of places that you shouldn’t use them in very cold places like the northern US, so chose the stove instead. This turned out to be a wise decision.

Many of the pumps on the Island just stopped working (the main unit is installed outside of the house and at really low temperatures may just say screw it). There were also warnings leading up to the storm that people with heat pumps (which the Government really wants people to install) should be concerned about frozen pipes (huh?).

Well my pipes aren’t frozen but a lot of pipes on the Island were and many burst. There were (of course) power outages so it was inevitable. One friend has been helping his niece sort out her frozen water works and discovered that cowboy carpentry isn’t the only hobby practiced around here. Her pipes are a combination of garden hoses, old copper, and glue – Eric at the Hardware Store in Lubec is going to be very busy.

Experience is a great teacher. I will be applying the Japanese Management Philosophy of Kaizen to this household – continuous improvement. Well, that and an increasingly large inventory of survival blankets. 🙂


  1. glad you all survived. did i mention it was 78 degrees on Saturday for me? i was hiking Granite Mountain. 🙂 Friday and Sunday were also in the 70s and we went to 2 different art & wine festivals. 🙂 joking aside – i have had pipes freeze and burst and it is not a happy time. as for the niece – we spent the first several years in our house fixing all the things that the neighbor across the street had Rube Goldberg’d for the previous owners. Sometimes you simply need to grit your teeth and do it professionally, even if not by professionals. I can’t even image what the wind was like if Fish needed his Thunder coat. wow. I admit it – I’m delighted I missed this cold wave that swept through. do you have enough wood still after that storm??

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    1. I am happy for you – really! 🙂 Even as deaf as I am that wind was horrible. I went through almost all my wood but more is arriving tomorrow and I have enough to last until then. It’s almost like I knew what I was doing. grin


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