Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wood Heat Part 3

The truck is full. That plastic garbage can is full of "kindling". That's the little pieces of wood chips and bark that I use to start a fresh fire. I hope to not have to start very many fires fresh. When we leave the house, or lay down for a good nights sleep, we shut the "nut". I don't really know what it's called, but it cuts down on the amount of oxygen the fire gets, so it will not burn so HOT. If it burns slow, then there may be coals left when you come back to the fire. If not... then you start fresh. Needing lots of newspaper, and kindling. If there are red hot coals left in the bottom of the furnace, you can just lay more wood on top of them and they will start to burn. I love red hot coals! Less work.

Here is the empty stackers. 2x4's in black plastic forms. It will hold 1 weeks worth of wood. We have a set outside the door as well. The one outside we try not to touch unless it NEEDED. Some weeks are more icy or wet then others. Then we can't get vehicles down by the pole barn for a fresh load of wood. But if it's dry... we go get another load and restack the inside pile. See the pretty new window in the wall? It's new because the old one got cracked last year by a stray piece of wood. Now we don't try to stack it so high by the window.

Once the supply is stocked up -- we start stoking. Stoking the fire! One of my favorite jobs.

You can see the stacker in the background -- it's full.

I should have taken a photo of my new gloves. They are long welding gloves. This summer my arms got tan and my burn scars really showed up. Nice... So this winter Dan put hinges on that metal plate on the front... so it can swing in when you put wood in, and the gloves will protect my arms even more. Last winter I put a piece of wood in -- it got stopped suddenly by another piece of wood already in the stove. So the forward motion stopped and my arm went UP... into the hot metal. My first reaction? I looked at the burn, it looked like my skin had melted, and I thought, "Wow -- that's going to hurt." I shut the stove up and headed upstairs. Finally on the stairs it did... it really started hurting. Did I learn my lesson? No... I've got 3 burn marks on my right arm. Only 1 was really bad.

My friend Robin asked, "Why don't you wear long sleeves?" Well -- I wasn't sure at first. But I know now. Short sleeves are my thermometer. When my arms gets cold in the middle of the night... it wakes me up and I know it's time to stoke the fire. Wouldn't want to have to start a fresh fire. Speaking of which... I'd better go check the furnace.


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