Country Living Series

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It must be fall

Our nights have been getting chillier, which means chilly mornings in the house. Frustratingly it's been too dry to safely light a fire in the woodstove -- couldn't take the chance a random spark might set something on fire -- but we decided to clean things out for when the weather cooperated.

So out came the stovepipe brushes.

Don removed the lower pipe from its sleeve...

...and we shone a light up the pipe. Definitely time to clean.

The technique we use is to punch a small hole in the bottom of a plastic bag with the rod end of the cleaning brush. Then I wrap the top of the bag around the stovepipe and hold it there while Don scrubs the pipe with the brush. This way all the ash falls into the bag instead of poofing into the living room.

As he shoves the brush upward and ever upward through to the top of the pipe, he screws on lengthener rods one by one. At last the brush bangs into the cap at the top of the pipe, thirty feet up. Then he reverses the procedure and scrubs his way down the pipe.

It's dirty work, despite the plastic bag.

A follow-up check shows the pipe is much cleaner.

A few days later, we had a foggy morning and decided it was okay to light the first fire of the season. Don brought in kindling from the shop...

...and the next morning I lit a fire.

It felt good to heat the house again.

Even after all these years of heating with wood, there's something magical about fires. They're comforting, soothing, cozy. They warm both body and soul.


  1. Did you not get your other stove installed?

    1. Not yet. It's one of our first fall projects once our busy season is over.

      - Patrice

  2. I had to give in and build a fire on Sunday evening. It was below 60 in the house, so I relented and officially entered the cool weather mode.

    It's hard to see summer leave us, but it surely is nice to have the companionship of a fire. It's so comforting. And if you can cook with it, so much the better.

    A. McSp

  3. I wish I could feel the same about the stove -- and the whine of the fan without which our particular stove is mostly useless -- in March as I do in September. Fortunately we haven't had to light ours yet. And today, as a Thank You for some technological help on my part, a friend brought us a load of firewood. Yay!

  4. Cannot beat a wood fire to heat the house and the body!! That is one thing I do miss about moving into town, no wood stove in this house. Cindy

  5. Good to see you started by cleaning your chimney. If you have ever had a chimney fire, you will always remember this step. Scary!

  6. My husband gets on the roof to brush, has me hold the hose to the shop vac inside pushed up the stove and it's still messy! But not as bad as any other way we've tried!

  7. Using a plastic bag is an awesome idea. Thank you.

    There is nothing like heating with a wood stove. So cozy. It is THE PLACE where folks gather. Even the cat and dog hang out there. We like the fact that the other rooms get cool. City folks can keep their boring and wasteful central heating systems.
    Montana Guy

  8. (Cringe!) ?Yeah, I MUST knuckle down and clean my stovepipe! We've been burning a morning fire for a month now, but today we've upped the pace with our first snowfall.

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

  9. Always jealous when you post your first fire of the season post.

    By the way, where is your Enola Gay link? I usually come to visit you and then use your link to vsiist her. I dont know how to find her otherwise!

    Lady from Texas

  10. October 2nd, we started our first fire for the season here in northern Indiana. Down to 43 this evening...