October 16, 2008

Build a Fire to Renew and Grow

It's a bit chilly outside. I'm hoping we have a cooler winter than we had last year. Given the cool air this morning, I'm thinking we may. I cannot wait to build a fire in the fireplace.

Last year we did not use the fireplace once. I missed it. When we bought this house I could not wait to build a fire for the first time. We have since used up all the wood from the wood pile so it's time to re-stock.

Behind our home is the community park. It's surrounded by trees. There is a slope down to the pond. It's a beautiful walk down some trails to get there.

A few months ago a large old red oak fell to its demise and took down a few cedars in the fall. My husband and I want to clear and chop that tree, and the unfortunate bystanders, to restock our wood pile. I miss the old oak. At this time the leaves would be turning into a glorious spectacle of color, which is rare around here.

Is it wrong to take the wood for our personal use? The property is community owned, but part of the tree fell on our lot. No one ever visits the slope beyond our home. No one keeps the area up. It just grows. I think clearing the debris would make room for new trees to grow, allowing the earth to renew itself.

We've been going back and forth about this situation. I think we're just going to do it. If we had already done the deed, I would build a fire today...

I have some news. I posted about wanting to become a Giant Squid: Squidoo Talk Time. I finally made it! You can see my Giant badge on My Squidoo Cheat-Sheet.

Building my Squidoo presence has taken up a lot of my time. I only have so much computer time during the day with the kids, house, and otherwise. I have to prioritize in order to keep up with my goals. Thank goodness the Squidoo Giant goal has come to fruition. That fire is built, I just have to keep stoking it now.

Back to my original topic...I wonder if my husband would be up for working on the old oak this weekend? Another question popping in my head is if the oak has sat long enough to be useful cooking wood? He probably knows the answer but I'm going to look into it myself.

It would be nice if it is because we have a brisket in the freezer screaming to be smoked--yet another reason to build a fire.

I love to sit out and watch the smoke rise from our pit. On a still day the smoke rising from the fire seemingly doesn't move. It just vanishes and renews itself.

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  1. Even if you chop the whole thing up this weekend, it may not be good for a fire for two years.

    It's best to split your sections in quarters and let it sit for a couple years. Otherwise you'll have a lot of hissing and incomplete burns. Oak especially takes a long time to dry out since it is so dense.

    My "wood guy" is always promising well-seasoned oak, but it is usually only a couple months old when he delivers. I've learned to just schedule a delivery and then stack it where it can dry for a couple years.

  2. I have the opposite problem, Muse of overuse. I live in a neighborhood which borders on public lands with trails, a lovely walk. Only people don't stay on the trails and are busily and happily destroying the delicate desert area--and the beauty--and letting their dogs kill the whistle pigs which are already facing extinction.

    What is it about humans that we have to go to extremes?

  3. Hey J.L!

    Yep, I found that out yesterday...So much for smoking the brisket.

    We are going to start working on the tree though. We looked it over again and there are a few new seedlings trying to poke through.

    Hubby's going to borrow an axe splitter from a friend.

    Take care!

  4. Hi Conda!

    That is horrible! I'm pretty sure no one visits our little trails because our home is right there. This is actually good for us. We feel like the land is ours even though it's a part of the community.

    I'm sorry about the whistle pigs...Actually, I've never heard of them. I'm going to look them up so I can see what you're talking about. I really hate it when animals get hurt.

    Take care!

  5. Wow, they're woodchucks! I never knew there were so many names for the same animal. Woodchucks are also groundhogs. I would have never known that. Thanks Conda! I love to learn new things. We don't have those around here--at least not that I've seen.

    Have a great weekend!

  6. Hi! If I was the tree, I would be thankful that someone from the local community used me for whatever purpose they had in mind. That way they'd remember me.

    Take Care,

  7. Muse:

    I would give anything for a backyard like the one you have. Even though you don't own it, just look at all that beautiful space that nobody ever uses. What a great place.

    As to the tree, well if it's already down, I guess it would be alright to clean up the mess.

    Happy trails.

  8. Perhaps, when you're searching for wood, you'll be doing the community a servce by removing clutter that would otherwise raise the fire hazard.


  9. Hello Peter!

    That is a very nice thought! We will put the tree to good use.

  10. Hey Swu!

    Well, the pond gets used sometimes for fishing. The treed area is just not.

    We started working on the chore. It's going to take a lot longer than what we thought...Want to Help?

  11. Hello sun singer!

    We're right in the midst of a drought. So true to get rid of the debris.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  12. Hi! Just dropping by to wish you luck for next Tuesday. I hope your choice comes in a winner. As for our grandchild, unfortunately things went astray. Both are doing well and they are trying again.

    Take Care,


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