Wednesday, December 08, 2010

maybe I should use the Hanukkah bush for kindling?

You guys. OH MY GOODNESS, you guys. Josh is going to kick. my. ass.

Yesterday, a friend called me to say she was ordering some firewood and it was far cheaper to just split it and pay one delivery fee, so did I want to go in on her firewood with her. Greenhouse dried, very reputable guy, popular in our town firewood, so I said, "um, sure!"

I love fires, but if I'm telling the honest to goodness truth, I only buy Duraflame-type logs. Or actually not even Duraflame, but some even more ridiculously expensive Whole Foods brand of coffee grounds compressed logs. Needless to say, these logs are so expensive, we don't burn a lot of fires.

Anyway, we have our new house which has two working fireplaces (which reminds me, I owe you some pictures) and I thought, now is the time to start buying real firewood. Our garage is also large enough to house the wood, so what the hell. We'll try it.

She said we would be splitting a cord of wood, and bless her heart, it turns out she similarly had no idea quite how much wood a cord of wood is but she assured me it wasn't much. Until 3:30pm today when she called and I answered and she said, "you're going to kill me." A cord of wood is a SHITLOAD of wood, it turns out. And half a cord of wood is really only marginally less than a shitload of wood, and we're back to the above- Josh is going to kick. my. ass. when he gets home and sees this insane amount of wood sitting in the middle of our garage. The pile literally comes up to my waist and takes up half the garage. Is this right? Is half a cord of wood really this much?

Anyway, the man who sold us the wood was lovely and kind and gave me several pointers on how to stack the wood and how to burn the wood and when I told him I'd planned to stack it on a tarp, he told me in exquisite detail why that was totally incorrect. And then we pulled out a wooden pallet from my basement and he cut it in half with his chainsaw (for free) so I'd have two firewood width pallets for the wood. I've spent 3 hours stacking it (so far) and we're still not even halfway done. I am in so much trouble. I actually considered going to my neighbors trying to get them to buy some wood from us, but it was too cold and I think I'm in denial.

I don't even know how to make a freaking fire with real firewood! I tried tonight, with the kids watching over my shoulder exclaiming over my every move, and it just puttered out pitifully. I even watched some instructional videos, and no luck. Anyone want to exchange firewood for fire-burning tips?


Kellie said...

You are SO brave. I don't do anything except the Duraflame thingys. My husband would crap if I bought a half cord. Good luck!

Swistle said...

AHA HA HA!! I love that she called with "You're going to kill me." Like, "Heads up."

We had real wood-burning woodstoves when I was a kid, but my dad was always the one to start the fires. I think the key was to not let the fires go OUT---like, let them simmer real low, even, but with hot embers or whatever so it's easier to get them started again.

divrchk said...

We totally need a picture of your garage now.

Chatty Cricket said...


Call me later and I'll tell you how to set it up- remember our giant ass fireplace on Front St? We had fires almost every night. Having all this fire wood will turn you into an absolute addict!!

Stacy said...

ok a standard quard of wood is 4 ft by 4 ft by 8 ft long. so you should have a pile 2 foot wide, 4 foot tall and 8 foot long when you are done stacking.

It will help alot with winter heating costs. No one will kill you.

Fire building. if you struggle with it. Buy the mini starter logs and cut them in quarters and put one in there and light it under the wood. :) its a cheat trick.

Missy said...

I use a woodstove to heat my house all winter ... my tip to get the fire started ~ Fatwood!! You'll get it started every time!

Anonymous said...

My inlaws live on the North Shore and my father in law makes amazing fires. He should come help you! :) I jest, of course...but good luck. Just think how much you can save on your heating bill!
Megan :)
Formerly Known as Not So Little Sister

KLee said...

Here's a helpful hit from a girl Scout -- place your logs in a teepee formation, and put either balled-up newspaper or pine cones (if you have any that are semi-dry) in the open place underneath. Then, go get a handful of lint from your dryer, stick it in there, and light that puppy and stand back. should catch well, and burn well. Then make s'mores. :)

Knit and Purl Mama said...

That is way too funny my friend. Thanks for the giggle. We have a working fireplace too - but just never used it with two toddlers in the house. This year, as our toddlers are older, and the baby can't even lift up his own head (let alone crawl).... we think we're going to light up some fires... if we get around to it. We didn't buy any firewood (still some leftover in the house when we bought this house in 2007 (firewood doesn't go bad does it? LOL) but I learned how much a cord was..

So... did he kick your ass?