Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I love our fireplace

We have furnace trouble. Some sort of computer board is dead and a new one is ordered. It has been doing weird things and of course we forgot to call the repairman until this latest cold spell. It would come on and then blow cold air and not turn off. YIKES! When you are already cold, having cold air blowing on you is not fun.
But about a year ago, Sailor decided to put an insert into our fireplace. I wanted a gas log. I wanted to sit on the couch, snuggled up in a blanket, with a good book and some hot chocolate and pick up my remote and punch a button and FOOMPF a beautiful fire would spring to life in my gas log fireplace. That was always my dream. Sailor reasoned that if we didn't have any way of heating the house, for some reason, it would be good not to be dependent on the utilities, but to be able to light a real fire.
I was not a happy camper when we put in this wood-burning fireplace. Not only did I not get my gas log fireplace, we had to pay a hefty price for this insert. He purchased one of the best, most efficient inserts, a J√łtul . It is so efficient, you cannot tell that we are burning anything when you go outside and look at our chimney. Because this insert burns the smoke that would normally go up. It makes an eerie flame at the top of the box when it is burning the smoke.

Wood-burning fireplaces have their disadvantages. They are a LOT of work. They are messy, they require going out to the back and gathering kindling and logs. They require cleaning the ashes. My rug and hearth get messy with ashes, and wood chips. A wood-burning fireplace was NOT what I had in mind when we began talking about an insert.
But as we wait for the part for our furnace, I have come to appreciate this wood-burning fireplace. It is warm. I really don't mind getting the wood that Sailor has worked so hard to cut and chop. Cleaning up the dust and wood chips has become part of the routine.
We are using our Chinese elm tree we cut down several years ago. A locust tree in our back yard is acting like it is dying and we can cut it down. We cut down a branch from the poplar tree this year and we bundled all the sticks into kindling then Sailor cut it up into logs and we carted them back behind the shed. The church trimmed the elms that surround the girls baseball fields next door. We asked the custodian if we could have the logs and they said yes. So we basically have free heat. It is a very practical thing to do and I am grateful for Sailor's insight.

Speaking of cold, we covered the tomatoes just before the frost and I am glad we did. The rest of the garden, all the squash, pumpkins etc got frozen, but the covered tomatoes are still under quilts, just snug until this cold spell passes. We have been grateful recipients of an abundantly producing garden. We have harvested several bushels of tomatoes, along with many carrots, peppers, ears of corn, zucchini squash, spaghetti squash, cucumbers, huckleberries and tomatillos. It is supposed to warm back up this week so the quilts will come off, but once the frost hits, we have to be cautious and watch for any future frosts.

I feel blessed and grateful for what we have produced from our tiny corner of the earth. Life is good.
I have such a sweet husband who is my friend and hero. I have such a sweet family, 6 kids, 6 in law kids and 12 grand kids. How much luckier can I be? I feel blessed.
thanks, Sailor for such a sweet life.


Sailor said...

It is a sweet life, and your are the core and center of my life, Dear Friend. Also, thanks for being a good sport about the fireplace.... another reason why you are the best.

RisibleGirl said...

Wow- look at your garden! We have a gas fireplace which does a great job of heating the whole house if needed. I'm afraid that if we had wood, we'd never use it because someone would have to get get the wood and clean the ashes.

I'm just thankful that we have a gas generator that automatically switches the electricity to the generator when the power goes out. Otherwise, we'd be doomed in a crisis. :)

yardsnacker said...

Love wood stoves, esp the brand Sailor got. Pellet stoves are a good backup too, because you can burn just about anything. Glad you are keeping warm. Wish you could get some tamarack, from Eastern Washington. It's a deciduous pine tree, it's needles turn yellow in the Fall and return in the Spring. The wood burns super hot so you can get by with using less. Hope u are well.

HiHoRosie said...

My parents once had a fireplace insert and boy did that thing work great! Lori's set up with her gas one is great.

Your abundance looks fabulous! Those tomatoes are gorgeous! I'm jealous. :)

Stell said...

thanks for visiting my blog :-), we do rely on a fire, but not as efficient as yours, we use the 60 year old open fire place that is built into our house, and yes they are sooty and ashy and create mess as well as wonderful warmth with sound effects. I love that crackle of fire burining. I've just noticed the tutorials - so I'm off to look... take care
na stella


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