Golly y’all, it’s 32 according to the weather widget… Now it may not be by the time you read this, but right now at (checking clock)…7:05am, it’s 32F. That’s 0C. That’s cold. The heater is blowing (Thank you, Terry for your magically marvelous way of diagnosing any sort of mechanical issue and being able to fix it without the aid of some guy named Larry who moons the populac when he squats) gently. The dogs are suffering greatly from being shoved ut the door and forced to apply their delicate pedigreed butts to the ice-cold (literally, this time!), frost damaged centipede grass in the back yard. Even now they glare at me from under their blanket.
When I woke #4 up 45 minutes ago, he was burrowed under his pile of bedding, a tuft of white-blonde hair showing from one side, a bare toe from the other. Unlike my father, who was fond of waking up by throwing back the covers and turning on the light (I broke him of that when I was 13, by sleeping naked), I pulled back just the top of the blanket, and rubbed his head until he snorted and mumbled a “good morning”. Oh no, the house is not COLD cold, but we all sleep better under a pile of blankets so during the night it’s kept at 65.
I’m kinda loving the chilly weather. Yesterday on the way home from church I was pondering whether to hire a chimney sweep to clean our fireplace, or bu one of those brushes and let Terry do it. He was less than wildly enthusiastic about the prospect of doing it himself, but the brushes are about $40 and hiring a sweep is about $200. Also the damper needs fixing, but he’s pretty sure he could do that himself. However, a good sweep could do it as well. We have chimney swifts every spring and summer, and the chimney hasn’t been cleaned since we moved here (and probably not the entire 8 years the house stood empty before) so it’s a safe bet that the swift nests are legion. He threw out the idea of ventless gas logs installed, and I reckon that would be ok, but it’s not really the same, and I like the constant risk of the wood popping and throwing out an ember to set the floor a-blaze. But then one doesn’t have ashes to clean up after a gas log fire so maybe there is something to it.
We’ve had fires in the outside pit a couple of times now. (ok, lest you have in your head an image of one of these big stone built in pit things, I wish to disabuse you of that idea. It’s a metal table/bowl we bought from Lowe’s for like $50 last Spring when it went on sale. It’s about the size of a small round coffee table, but big enough for a nice fire and suits our purposes). I love a fire. However, we have about run out of wood. #4 gathers up a big tub of pinecones, we cut the fallen oak limbs into 18 inch pieces, and that’s our firewood. however, we are burning it faster than the tree is shedding them. Saturday night I showed #4 how to lay a fire, he needs to know it to earn his Tenderfoot rank in Scouts, and Terry aquired hot dogs (Hebrew National! Yum! Consider this a Product Endorsement), and we had a weiner roast then marshmallow torches. And it was cold so the fire felt mahvelous, dahling!
Terry accuses me of being a pyromaniac. I’m not, I just love the toasty warm feeling of a live flame. I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from being able to light a big ol’ blaze with one match and no petrochemicals. (I can even do it without a match, if the sun is shining). I love passing all this knowledge down to my kids…tho being Young Males, they prefer the sudden eruption of a blaze involving diesel fuel, kerosene, or (sigh) gasoline. But they’re young yet, and haven’t learned to appreciate the delicate artistry of coaxing a flame. The patient appreciation of the method will come with time. I hope. Dad still loves to start a blaze with diesel.
So anyway, today is COLD. I predict sweaters will be involved. Oh! And I just remembered this silly DVD Terry got last year- it’s a fire in a fireplace on a continual loop and it even has sound effects so I can put it on the TV and pretend there’s a fire in the living room!