Sunday, February 7, 2010


*This image is from, taken by Carlos Porto

What B and I dislike the most about our house (besides the white carpet that covers every floor in the house) is the heating system. Every room has baseboard heat (very expensive to run) and we have a wood burner in our basement. In our effort to not have a $1000 electric bill, we only run the baseboard heat in the essential places...our bedroom and bathroom, the family room, and B's little room where he gets dressed in the morning for work. Beyond that, we try to keep the house warm by running the wood burner. The problem is, our wood burner is not easy to get going. We unfortunately have to cold start it most mornings, and if it doesn't get quite warm enough with the kindling before logs are put in, it never gets hot, or smoke escapes and we end up with a smokey house and the smoke detector going off.

As B works during the day, starting the fire is often left up to me. I had a good system going for a while, but we ran out of our old wood and the new wood we got just has NOT wanted to catch. I will try and try, by putting in kindling to get it to catch, and most days it will, but it takes a lot of patience on my part. B, on the other hand, when starting the fire, does not have patience. This year he decided he had had enough with waiting for everything to catch and get hot, so he started using kerosene on the logs to get them to catch quickly. I was not a fan of this from the start. 1) I do not like the smell of the gives me a headache and it just smells awful. 2) I could not help thinking that it was rather dangerous to be putting a flammable substance in the wood burner. I don't know how many times I told B that I didn't want him to use the kerosene, but, typical man, he didn't listen.

On Saturday, I didn't start the fire before B got home because our kindling had gotten wet and I had to let it dry out in the house. After he got home and did chores, he went downstairs with the kid who helps us around the farm to start the fire. After a few minutes, I hear a loud WHOOF and I can't help but think that the downstairs has blown up. I don't immediately go downstairs, for fear of what I will find, but when I hear them talking, I run down. I see B sitting on the ground, his hands to his face, and the boy laughing at him...I also see a lot of smoke...and smell the awful smell of burned hair. Turns out, B put a little too much kerosene in the wood burner, and in the process of trying to get the fire started, the fumes caught and out came a huge fireball, right at his face! It singed his eybrows, eyelashes and hair, and stung his face quite a bit, but he was otherwise unharmed. Luckily. And nothing else was damaged in the process either.

Had I not been so glad that no one was hurt, I would have loved to have said, "I told you so..."

Bet he hasn't learned his lesson though!
And would you believe that yesterday, after I got a nice, HOT fire going, as we went to leave to celebrate my MIL's birthday, I shut up the wood burner, and the duct system (that leads to the chimney) fell apart? I don't know my own strength apparently! :) B had to put it back together so the whole house didn't fill with smoke. We are currently not going to use the wood burner for a few days...enough is enough. I really think we need to figure out a different way to heat our house...but unfortunately the way our house is laid out, a heating system will be hard to install. We'll figure it out one of these days...
The swan did come back, shortly after I wrote my last post, stayed for a few days, and then left again of its own accord. Maybe one day it will come back again. But at least it didn't leave because I scared it off...
I am officially 35 weeks pregnant...and finding it hard to believe. Can I just say that I have noticed myself becoming unbelievably moody? B and I had been talking about how I hadn't really had any mood swings that we hear so many people talk about during pregnancy, but in the last week, yikes. Here is my 35 week belly shot!


Crystal said...

OMG, you look great! I'm way too danged fat already...and only 30 weeks! lol. Congrats!

CheapbyChoice said...

Great story! I make kindling out of old candle wax, dryer lint, and paper egg cartons. Fill the egg carton with lint, pour melted wax over. When ready to start a fire, just break off a piece or two. Smells better than kerosine and safer. Good luck and stay warm.

Kat @ said...

Just loved this post... coming from SITS. Random, but are you going to Bloggy Boot Camp in Baltimore?

The Blonde Duck said...

You're such a cute pregnant lady!!!

Mary said...

How cute you are! And you look so healthy. Great story.

Jennifer Juniper said...

We have a fireplace and buy those waxy logs at Lowe's and break off small pieces of it and wrap it in newspaper to start our fires. Maybe this is better (facial hair saving) solution? Thank goodness everyone is okay and btw, you make a beautiful prego mommy!

Eva Gallant said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. We have had a Project Graduation at most high schools in Maine now for 25 years or more. It's become quite the tradition. Local businesses donate money, food, and or prizes. Usually there's one really big prize like a motorcycle or a really good used car. The kids have a ball, and for one night at least, they learn they can have a good time without getting high.

Libby said...

Hey SITS-tah!
As a girl scout, we always had to learn how to light fires without Kerosene (one of the legs up we had on the boy scouts.) We used to make fire starters out of lint packed into egg cartons, and then filled with wax. They're great cuz you just cut them up when they're dry and light it and throw it in.
Hope it helps! :-D

Kmama said...

Stopping by from SITS.

Congrats on your pregnancy!! You're almost there.

Cute story.

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Sarah Nicole said...

You look amazing. We have baseboard heating and it does not work very well.

Stopping by from SITS.

missy said...

Stopping by from SITS.
WOW.....maybe after this your husband will take a little advice from you!!!!! :)
We have also used the wax log things from the store....and in a pinch (you may have to google it) i have heard people say the use the lint out of your dryer and i don't know what else and make your own starter logs???? i have never tried it.
have a great weekend.

Melissa B. said...

Interesting...and look at you! Headed into the homestretch, huh? SITS sent me by, and I'm glad they did!

Reflecting on a Job Well-Done

Sandy said...

OMG I hope he learned his lesson. That is such a dangerous thing to do. He got a warning this time.

You look so cute! Won't be long now.

Petite Little Bee said...

cute story! Thanks so much for sharing. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day! Hugs, Lia

Anonymous said...

Jenny said...

yay for 35 weeks! You're in the home stretch!
Stopping by from SITS!

Denise said...

Stoppiing by from SITS to say Hi!

Babes about Town said...

You look fab mama at 35 weeks! The home stretch is the hardest (and somehow the longest!) but you're almost there now.

As a city chick, I'm enjoying this glimpse into country life. Found you via SITS - pleased to make your acquaintance :-)

Kerri said...

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest.

My first was born on March 12th 2006.

So..congrats to you on your 1st. You're almost there!!

Stay warm.

Ramya Prasad said...

Owww that is really cute !!!!

Congrats on the pregnancy !!! Oh BTW I am stopping by from SITS =)

The Blonde Duck said...

Hope you're doing well!

Aleta said...

You stumped me at "basement". We don't have basements in New Orleans. You'd hit the water level if you tried to make one.

I'm with you about kerosene. I don't like the smell either. Whew, glad he wasn't harmed! OMG... lesson learned?

Awww, I love the belly picture! Too precious!

apaprikao said...

Stopping by from SITS! I think you look good! Congratulations!

The Green Family said...

Stopping by from SITS, Happy Sunday Ü

BTW - Seems like just yesterday I was at week 35, and now I'm watching my 7 month old play in his high chair...good times Ü

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

Wow! Your story makes this former FL girl happy that my heating system works by just pushing a button. :) Stopping by from SITS.

Acting Balanced Mom said...

stopping by from SITS - I have to say I don't miss having to fire up the wood burner when it was cold and we still lived up north... I have to agree with pp about making fire starters though - wax, wood shavings and muffin tins - although I have used dryer lint too! Here is a good step by step

Life with Kaishon said...

You look SO beautiful! I am excited for you. Congratulations! I don't know how I missed this wonderful news! YAY!

gaelikaa said...

When the heating systems is wrong, everything's wrong! Right?

Best wishes for your delivery.

Dropped in from SITS. Have a great day.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

Please tell me you will not use that wood heater until it gets professionally inspected and B is never going to use kerosene again!

We didn't have any place for a heating system either in this little old farmhouse. The previous owner installed a propane fireplace and believe it or not, it kept the whole house warm. But I didn't like where they put it. It was under the stairs and looked ridiculous there--a "fireplace" under the stairs? Plus, I like real woodstoves. So we had one of them installed, plus a heat pump outside. I get my woodstove professionally cleaned and inspected every year. I collect dried branches for kindling and we try to cut our wood the previous season so it's nice and dry.

But I have to say, I've had baseboard in many houses before and I think baseboard is great. Just doesn't look nice. I would bet it's your house, and not the SOURCE of the heat.

The best heat I ever had was an oil boiler and radiators. Nice and warm and not dry. Loved that heating system.

Now be careful!

And cute belly!

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