Monday, September 20, 2010

Burn, baby, Burn!

I successfully built a fire in the wood stove this morning! It may sound like nothing much, but this is kind of a big deal for me.

I grew up in 1980's suburbia, in a "development". Baseboard heaters and pink-panther insulation kept us warm enough. Fires in the fireplace were heat-inefficient, and therefore were built only when the power went out, and once in a blue moon on a snowy evening. So while I appreciated a good fire in the hearth, I never really thought of them as needful, much less something that might require skill to make happen. Learning how to build a proper fire was simply not on my radar.

Then I married Bill, who doesn't build cozy fires, but face-melting infernos that will send you outside in a blizzard to escape their "warmth". If I wanted to wake up each morning, a raisin on wringing-wet sheets, I'd have Bill build the fire. Surprisingly, I'm actually not a fan of that, so I undertook to learn the craft myself. With much coaching from the hubby, but perhaps slightly more restraint in the shoving-in-as-much-wood-as-will-fit-in-this-thing arena, I struggled to get things going. My goal was to come down somewhere in between the strictly decorative presto-log fire of my youth and Bill's dehydrating blaze. And I feel like I may finally have the hang of it.

This morning's fire has been going for 4 hours now and the furnace hasn't clicked on once. Woot-woot!

Let's hope that I can keep this mojo going, because the bill from having the oil tank filled last week (270 gallons!) nearly gave me a stroke. So it's either the wood stove and lumpy homemade knits keeping us warm this winter or mama's going to need to sell a kidney to pay the oil man.