Friday, September 05, 2008


Tonight, for the first time, we lit a fire in the new wood stove in the new house. This is a huge moment. Somehow, a house isn't a home without a hearth, especially around here where we'll be heating for half the year. It was a thrill to see the smoke rising out of the chimney.

The Hermit has been wheeling and dealing on Craigslist, and managed to trade a huge pile of foam board insulation that we didn't need, for three cords of oak wood, which we do need. Combined with the four cords of mixed hardwoods we bought locally, and the approximate two cords we have on hand after we started heating with propane last year, we should be all set to heat through the winter.

There is something so genuine about heating with wood. I appreciated the ease of the propane heater last winter, but there is nothing like radiant wood heat. Our new house is designed around the wood stove as central heating source, which I suspect will serve us nicely in the future. I can even cook on it if I have to.

In other news, I saw two things that made me gasp in awe on my way to work this morning. One was a buck white tailed deer; I saw the sunlight glisten through the velvet on his antlers. He had to be at least eight or ten points, as if I had to reduce his rack to a score. Anyway, he was magnificent in the morning sunlight, and the biggest buck I've ever seen. The other was an eagle, swooping down to try to get some roadkill on the Kettle River bridge. It flew about twenty feet above my car. Awesome.


LauraHinNJ said...

I think you're lucky to be treated to such awe-inspiring sights!

I love the smell of a woodstove, too. My MIL partly heats her house with one, to save on oil costs. All that splitting is hard work, tho. Glad to hear you're well-prepared for the coming cold.

cindy said...

Deb, just heard on a radio program this morning that the Old Farmer's Almanac is predicting a very cold winter. Can I come visit during the month of January? I can't begin to imagine what our natural gas heating bills will be this winter. I'm stocking up on groceries and toilet paper and such so we'll have a little more money during the winter months for the heating bill. Wish me luck. I so envy you.

Jayne said...

Congratulations Deb! Your first fire in the new house! Now it's officially "home." :c)

barefoot gardener said...

I have been meaning to ask you, and the beautiful sights you have seen brought it to mind....

Have you noticed more cranes in the area? I don't remember seeing them much before, and now it seems like I can't go anywhere without looking into a field and seeing a couple hanging out.....I don't know enough about birds to tell you what kind (though I am sure I could look it up on the net, handy thing that it is), but am curious about it.

RuthieJ said...

Mmmm, Deb, I bet that wood smoke smelled pretty good too! Isn't it nice to have all that ready for winter?
Congratulations on your big buck and eagle sightings. I never get tired of seeing either myself.

Floridacracker said...

Very nice. Nice to follow your dream and see it come to be via your blog.

MojoMan said...

You're so lucky! I'd love to design and build a house around a wood stove. What kind of backup do you have? Are you moving that fancy propane heater to the new house?

Lynne said...

I'll bet having your first fire was like christening a boat! It was nippy up there this weekend wasn't it? Cool to see the buck and eagle. I eyed every field up there and didn't see any cranes. :(

Deb said...

LauraH- With this new stove, all the wood we buy will pretty much be ready to burn. Before we had to cut some of it down to size.

Cindy- Good luck with your heating bill. The stove heated the place well, and I hope it can do the same in January!

Jayne- Last night I just sat in front of the fire. Did nothing but just sit (well okay, I had a glass of wine with me!) It felt like home.

Barefoot- I never saw sandhill cranes until I was well into my twenties, and it does seem like they have exploded in population. We have some that nest in the swamp somewhere behind our house.

Did you hear about the whooping cranes that have been seen at Dalbo WMA? I'd love to see whoopers, but I just haven't had the time to drive down there.

RuthieJ- That wood smoke smelled great. I never get tired of seeing wildlife either.

FC- Thanks. I now feel like we've moved in, despite the unfinished wiring, plumbing, etc.

Mojoman- We haven't decided about the backup. We do want to keep the cabin somewhat heated, since it is The Hermit's office, so the heater will probably stay there, but if we do go away for a while it will probably be electric heaters. But then again, who wants to go away for long? :)