My husband woke up at the crack of dawn this morning to go duck hunting with his Dad. While I love that he is spending time with his padre, that left me responsible for having our house a reasonable temperature for our 11 month old to run around in. And though I may not be a morning person, I can build one hell of a fire.
Growing up, our main source of heat was a pot belly stove. When we would get off of the school bus in the afternoon, I was often in charge of building the fire as my parents and older brother were not home from work yet.
But wait, let’s rewind for a second so that you have more info and know why I can’t just go adjust the thermostat…. (Spoiler Alert: It’s because we don’t have one).
Like I explained in an earlier post, D and I got married in our early, early twenties. The last two years of my undergrad were spent working full time and taking night classes. D really wanted to be an engineer and while I was a marketing major, I knew his course load would be insane compared to mine, so I never minded supporting us.
We were extremely lucky to be able to live rent free in a cabin his parents’ family owned while I finished up my degree. However, when the cabin began to become unsafe for us (its literally over 100 years old and the walls were shifting) we moved back to my family’s farm. We currently live in a house that was built by my Great Uncle. It was a kit house, meaning it was purchased in a kit, much like a model car or airplane. This particular house was built in the 1920’s and it is from a Sears, Roebuck & Co catalog.
Our dream has always been to build a house of our own out here on the Hensley farm. We have plans, furniture, and even paint colors picked out. I have been out of school for two years, but D just finished up in May (Lee was born in January). He managed to land himself a cushy state job with amazing benefits. But saving up that 10% to put down upfront has been quite the challenge. With a child, things come up more than I could have ever imagined. And man, oh man, those bills just seem to keep on rolling in!
So, anyway, its 6:30 on a Sunday morning and I’m building a fire because our only other heat source in the living room is this lovely little heater. My little guy is helping me carry in fire wood. Well, he’s swinging a stick around in the air and dying out laughing like it is the funniest thing he’s ever seen in his life.
If you are a Momma stuck building a fire alone, let me tell you how I do it: At our house, we keep a stack of old newspapers and magazines. I begin by tearing off pages and twisting them until they are tight little bundles. I like to make enough to line the bottom of the grate in the fireplace. For our fireplace, that’s about 15 little twisted bundles. I put small kindling, either small round sticks or just little limbs that have fallen off of the trees in our yard, or just bark that has fallen off of the wood in the woodpile, on top of the paper. Then I grab the box of matches and light and drop three or four matches on top. It also helps to have an inch or two of old ash underneath the grate to catch and hold the hot embers. Once you have a significant amount of embers on your ash or on your grate, your set. Just keep adding logs every 30 minutes or so. Just eyeball it depending on how hot your fire is and how fast is is going through the logs. She’ll keep you and your family warm all day as long as you don’t neglect her!