Building a fire

My resume does not include fire building as a high priority or emphasized line item. It is a good thing and bad thing, to know it takes some effort to create fire in a fireplace or wood burning stove.

If I didn’t want something to burn, it would catch in a second. Intentionally creating fire is an art to behold when needed. I have learned the equipment list and supplies are as important as the task.

Keep all junk newspaper items received from the United States Postal Service. If you have a newspaper subscription, keep them handy. You are going to use them. This is integral to getting an inferno blaring. Unless you are handy with a hatchet, chain saw, DeWalt saw, or are willing to walk your legs through the woods to pick up kindling that won’t infiltrate your chimney with scum – talk nice to your cousin-in-law who is kind enough to share his kindling with you.Those long handled butane lighters are important for spark so as not to burn your hands, arms, sleeves, eye lashes and hair. Those incidental necessities will catch fire immediately. It is a good idea to have a working fire extinguisher nearby. Knowing where it is and being able to see it could be a life saving measure.

A rack to stack tons of wood on will keep it off the ground outside. You still need easy access when it is snowing, pouring down rain or the outside temps are freezing. The backyard neighbors have seen it all when I engage in obtaining a new wood supply for inside by going outside in my leopard slippers, exotic night wear, knee length red and blue striped sweater, rust color ski jacket and wrapped in the blanket with the coffee latte’ motif on it. Try carrying a fourth of an oak tree while the wind is whipping your butt and the chill factor is filling your orifices.

Different size logs will determine the internal temperature of the inside the house environment! One skinny log, half a ton of kindling and the Sunday Houston Chronicle will maintain a temperature of approximately 62 degrees for a short period of time. That is, if the fire catches on. A split medium log, a skinny log and a weekday newspaper will get the ponderosa up to 70 degrees. A bunch of piping hot coals, left over from the initial fire starting attempts, a split medium log and 2 fat logs may get the temp up to a toasty 80 degrees. If you intend to keep warm throughout the night, as my friend Frances refers to it, a huge “night” log is necessary. Depending on the size of your stove or fireplace, you still may be getting your cold tired ass out of bed around 4:00 am to throw more logs on the fire. Important Note: make sure the log fits into the wood burning stove BEFORE shoving it into the fire storm. You certainly don’t want a burning log hanging outside of the stove door!Building a fire 01-2014 a

Designate tons of time to this activity unless you have a house boy named Sven to assist in taking care of your every comfort. Building a fire will lead to contentment and a coziness few electric heating units are able to replicate. Practice and patience will accomplish the task.

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