Let There Be Fire


Yesterday, 52 got a friend from work and Boomer to help finish putting together the pipe for the woodstove. Boomer was especially instrumental in the completion of the project.
There were a couple of ladders involved.
And straps and pulleys and…. I DON’T KNOW. I didn’t do any of this stuff. Tell me when it’s time for the simmering potpourri!
There was a cute little stack of firewood waiting.
And then (FINALLY!) this old woodstove strolled inside and said, “Hello, home.”
And I said, “HELLO, LOVER, get over here, where have you been all my life?!”

I’ve never had a woodstove before. I’ve had fireplaces, but not a woodstove. I love fireplaces, but there is something different and interesting and functional about a woodstove. I love how you can open and close the door to the fire. I love how there is a surface on top to place pots and kettles. I love how I’ve never had one before because I love to experience new things.

I love that it uses something freely given to me by the thick woods around me. I love how it will keep the house so warm this winter. I don’t like to be cold. I know what cold is.

One year (be sure you click on that link in the paragraph above) when we were living at the old farmhouse, it was zero degrees. Okay, did you read that right? I said, ZERO. In an old farmhouse with no insulation. And cracks. I used to wear my coat and gloves. INSIDE. And then the propane stove broke. My cousin’s son, Madison, came over one day when it was zero and the propane stove was broken (and the pipes were frozen) and I was at the end of my icy rope and, having stood in the frozen little farmhouse for about one minute, he said, “It’s not that cold in here.”

The amazing end of that story is that he’s still alive.

Let’s just say I have an appreciation for heat.
And YEAH BABY, heat is IN THE HOUSE!!!!


  1. C says:

    Well, I’m for heat, too. Been there and done the no-heat-in-the-winter-thing, and I’m not interested in going there again, either. Love your stove.

  2. Kathy says:

    I had a wood burning stove for many years. I still have my mom’s Jotul (made in Norway or Sweden I think). So heavy it takes 2 big men to move it. Wonderful heat. Can’t use it anymore because of allergies, but would never get rid of it.Cats would lay underneath on the brick hearth and just conk out. Mom used to roast peanuts in a pan on top of the stove.A friend of mine just got a used one and didn’t like the black high heat paint, so she went to the automotive store and got a high heat engine paint in kinda of a barn red color.Be sure and take a pic of Kitten and Little all snuggled up near the stove for all of us.

  3. KateS says:

    BRRRRRRR – sitting here all snuggled in my robe holding my coffee and drooling over your wood stove! :heart: Hope its just the right amount of chilly today to enjoy it properly!

  4. ChrisUK says:

    Nothing beats a nice log fire.One can just sit and get lost in the flames.Try that with a radiator! Not to mention the smell of some aromatic woods like apple.

  5. Tracey In Paradise Pa. says:

    the best thing about winter is a warm toasty fire!! love building a fire for warmth!! one of my simple pleasures!! :woof:

  6. Leah says:

    Hope you enjoy your new stove! My Nana had an old coal stove for a time in her D.R. I can remember her drying out bread and clery tops ontop of it for dressing.

  7. wammy says:

    :snoopy: Just thing s’mores any time you want them. You lucky dog! Enjoy!

  8. Laura says:

    I am so glad and excited that you are blessed with that stove. Our bedroom in our house is always freezing cold, but not quite zero in the winter. You deserve to be toasty warm this winter, for sure!!!! Be blessed and snuggly warm.

  9. JOJO says:

    :woof: :woof:
    You are ready for winter, a full pantry, full freezers and a wonderful fire stove. Now maybe you can relax a bit by a cozy fire with a pot of potpourri simmering away, have a nice cup of tea and reflect about all you have done this past year.
    Thank goodness for 52.

  10. CindyP says:

    AAAAAHHHHHHH, HEAT!! You will be coming up with all sorts of things to be using that for, and not just heat!! Multitasking, that’s what it is! :sun:

  11. shirley says:

    I grew up with wood and coal stoves, and this was in the 50’s and 60’s.Chopping wood and splitting kindling was a part of my daily life.I remember standing next to the red hot heating stove and warming my front till I almost sizzled, then turning around and warming my backside till it almost sizzled.Life was hard.
    There was always a big kettle of water on the heating stove and cookstove for washing up in the washpan.Sunday nights were bath nights. We’d carry buckets and buckets of water from the well and heat the water in a washtub on the big kitchen stove. When it was warm enough, we took our baths, cleanest ones first. There were 9 of us kids.We all piled in the same bed together , some at the head of the bed, some at the foot, under a big old quilt.
    I couldn’t wait to leave home and have modern things.The outhouse in winter was another story.
    I’m 63 years old now, and haven’t lived like that for 56 years.I don’t miss it.
    Having said all that (and this post is long, I know)I would love to have a wood stove in my home now, along with my central heat and air.

  12. Christine says:

    I want a wood stove soooooooooo stinkin’ bad. I’m completely green with envy.

  13. ShadowWoods says:

    Congrats on your new wood stove! You’ll find it to be both a blessing and sometimes a chore. Where we live, our only heat is by wood stove. Here’s some more in-depth info about our wood heat and wood stoves https://lifeatshadowwoods.blogspot.com/2009/05/may-fire.html.

  14. Sandra says:

    That heat will be so addictive this winter after coming in from feeding the animals. The heat is very dry so always keep a pan of water on top of the stove to add some moisture back into the air and neve burn green wood. Oak and hickory are especially good but avoid pine.

  15. Chic says:

    Congratulations Suzanne!! There’s just nothing like a wood burning stove to make a person feel all fuzzy and warm inside and out. And best of all FREE HEAT!!!! :hungry2: (pitchfork!)

  16. Joycee says:

    I have hugged many a stove in my childhood, nothing as warm as a wood fire! Looks like first frost is this weekend for us here in Arkansas. Come by GrannyMountain to see Mean Rooster’s Obit!
    joy c.

  17. NorthCountryGirl says:

    Nice wood stove! I’m happy for you. I had a wood stove and I know how warm and comfy they can make a home. Not to mention heating water and even cooking on top of it. Enjoy!

  18. Jo says:

    You’ll have to get a nice rocking chair to sit nearby….looks wonderful.

    Where I live it can get to -15 to -20 zero.

  19. Darlene says:

    There’s nothing better than sitting next to a wood burning fire!
    Our fireplace saved us many times during electrical outages in the winter.

  20. IowaCowgirl says:

    heap on more wood the wind is chill;
    but let it whistle as it will,
    we’ll keep our Christmas merry still

  21. Kathryn says:

    :snoopy: :snoopy: :snoopy: For the woodstove! :snoopy: :snoopy: :snoopy:

    Nothing better in the world. We had one in our first house. I’d set a pot of beans on it, and they’d cook all day. Oh, the house smelled good.

    Please thank that pup for helping so nicely. He’s a good feller!

  22. becki says:

    We live on the Texas Gulf coast…hot in the summer, but great in the winter. We are such woosies (sp?) that at 50 degrees we think its the dead of winter.

    Are you going to get any of that Ida stuff?

    And when can we vote for you again?

  23. mary says:

    :butterfly: We had a woodstove at the old farmhouse where I lived, but not as big. It’s nice to keep a kettle of water on it as a humidifier, and you can put spices in it to make it smell awesome all the time!! That looks like a nice toasty fire! Stay warm!! :snuggle:

  24. Brenda says:

    Now you can sit by the wood stove with a nice warm cozy fire, have your potpourri simmering, a nice hot cup of coffee and it will be time to reflect and start a quilt. Well, its sounds nice anyway.
    I love your new stove!

  25. TXLady says:

    There is no heating method available that wraps you in warmth the way a wood stove does. I would absolutely love to have one. My neighbors heat with a huge wood stove and to walk into their home in the winter is like having summer wrapped around you…It’s wonderful, Congrats on the heat.


  26. Cousin Sheryl says:

    Madison is a pain in the _ _ _ _ ! (I can say that because I am his mother!) This summer during the air conditioner season, I found that he had turned the thermostat down to 66 degrees! :devil: It was so cold in here, I thought I would have summer frostbite – – that would have been real funny to explain.
    That boy is blessed with very high metabolism – – he produces heat like a blast furnace so he is almost never cold! I wish we were all so lucky. :yes:
    A woodstove is really an essential around here in the winter. When the power goes off, most heating systems rely on electricity to operate their thermostats and blowers. So, no power equals no heat.
    During the Great Blizzard of 1994, we were out of power for 7 days here on the hard road end of Suzanne’s and my location. I kept a big pot on my wood stove and melted show in it for washing. I sat a bucket of snow beside the stove to melt so that it could be the cold water to mix with the hot from the stove pot. We had 24 inches of snow on our back deck. We took a shovel and made a hole in the snow to insert a cooler. In this cooler, we placed our milk, butter, cheese and eggs from the household refrigerator. This kept the perishables well. Our freezers were in unheated outbuildings so we didn’t loose any frozen stuff! :shimmy: Over at Georgia’s house, she has a wood stove PLUS an old-fashioned, wood-burning cook stove that they installed in a glassed-in porch-room for decoration as well as functionality. During that blizzard, Georgia cooked us all meals on that old cook-stove and that was some of the best food I ever ate! :hungry2:
    Also, no power means no water with an electric well pump. I have learned to fill up the bathtubs with water before a storm system moves in. This water can be dipped out for flushing the toilet. Also, we usually keep several clean, used milk jugs to draw up some drinking water. The last couple of years, I have bought 8 – 10 gallons of “store-bought” water to have on hand in case of power outages.
    Suzanne, with your preparations and your stockpile of aluminum foil, I think you are ready for winter! :sun:
    The old farmhouse was a great teacher for many things including winter survival. You have mastered all the survival lessons! Your Grandmother Opal and Great-Aunt Ruby would be so proud of you!

    I can’t wait to watch Madison have a home of his own and manage his own heat/air conditioning along with his POWER BILL. I am going to laugh when he tells me that he has had to adjust his thermostats to keep his power bill down. :shimmy:

    Have a great day!

    PS – I hear that we are supposed to have a harsh and stormy winter. Your wood stove is installed just in time for the oncoming weather!

  27. Carmen Smith says:

    Oh I LOVE your stove!!! I don’t have room for one, so I had to settle for a “fake” electric stove with the flame action, but it’s no where near the REAL THING! Hope you enjoy and stay toasty warm this winter!!!!

  28. Box Call says:

    Ah wood, an alternate energy source if ever there was one. I love wood stoves, I hate chiropractic bills though and cutting wood always leads to me needing another crack here or a snap there. But free heat….yeah it’s worth it. You do realize that you have raised your carbon footprint on the planet? Next thing you know Al Gore will be jetting off to Tahiti for another global warming conference to complain about all the wood stoves in Appalachia. They never worry about their carbon footprint, only ours.

  29. Abiga/Karen says:

    Oh with winter coming we look forward to cold cold cold in the house. Propane heat or any gas heat just does not keep a house as warm as a woodfire does plus propane is so expensive here in central Il and electric too. We didn’t know that when we moved here, uh oh…. My son in law is not very handy either so we can’t install a stove yet. Oh well, blessings to you and glad you are warm now!!

  30. ruth_dt says:

    Hey Suzanne, I don’t click any of your text links any more, because you don’t let me open them in a new tab. Just so you know…

  31. Anita says:

    We heated our old farmhouse with a woodstove, and I do miss it in our new house. Sort of. There’s a lot to be said for – pressing a button on the thermostat vs – splitting the wood, stacking the wood, carrying the wood, starting the fire in the cold, cold morning, cleaning up the dirt from the wood, dealing with the chimney fire (only once!), cleaning the stove out, dumping the ashes….etc. Ah, sweet memories. But there is nothing like sitting next to a warm woodstove when it’s really cold outside.

  32. Alicia says:

    We had a stove IDENTICAL to this when I was little. It kept the house warm and toasty, but I HATED the smell of it, when we would open the door to put the wood in. So be greased lightning-like when you are stoking it up.

    I’m so glad you posted this. You brought back a lot of GOOD memories from my childhood. When our electric would go out, everyone would come to our house because we were the only ones that didn’t have an ELECTRIC heater or stove.

    Word to the wise, clean that glass OFTEN. It’ll need it! 🙂

  33. Kay says:

    We live on the coast and get a really damp cold here. My brother-in-law has a wood stove and it puts off the most awesome heat. There are times that I only feel really warm when I’m at his house. You are going to enjoy it so much!

  34. Julie Harward says:


  35. lizzie says:

    while i love woodstoves…. love, love, loveeeeeeee them – i also love my job as an insurance agent lol – so make sure you let your agent know you now have a woodstove!!!! 🙂

  36. lizzie says:

    another yumm thing to put on woodstoves is candles in thick jars, no wick needed, let ’em sit on there and melt away and smell away incase you like some of the candle scents that you cant find in potpourri form

  37. Wendy says:

    You may want to check with a local specialist (a woodstove store, or chimney sweep); it’s always been my understanding that you should burn directly on the firebrick floor of the woodstove and not on a grate as it appears in your pictures. Grates are typically intended for regular fireplace use. A stovetop thermometer is a good idea too; it helps make sure you’re burning at an optimum temperature. Enjoy what is sure to be a cozy winter this year!

  38. rileysmom says:

    Oh, what a nice photo of your cozy fire in your new wood stove! We woke to nice big snowflakes and I feel warmer just looking at your fire. We have a wood burning fire place……yeah, it’s work to cut, split, stack and a bit dusty in the house, but you can’t beat a real wood fire!

  39. Kim W says:

    SO COOL!!! My DH & I were going to have 1 put in this past summer…when…he got laid off in April. :hissyfit: I hope we don’t SERIOUSLY regret not doing it earlier this winter. We’ve actually been in this 170+ yr old house for 12 yrs, but oil is getting so much more expensive.

    Enjoy that lovely fire & the simmering pot of pot pourri!

    Blessings from Ohio…

  40. Barbee' says:

    Of course Boomer wanted to be with the men, he’s a boy dog.

  41. Karen H says:

    I love your stove. We have ours going at the moment. I just recently back right up to it for a few minutes. Ahhh the heat! Plus, it’s great to stand in front of after getting out of the tub. It’s a warmth that soaks right down to the bones. Enjoy!

  42. Holly says:

    I’ve heated with wood for 30 years and dread the day when we feel to old to go cut and haul our own. I cannot believe how much money we’ve saved over the years by doing that.
    Looks like the new stove has a blower. Be sure to use it – they are great for the keeping the whole house warmer.

  43. Runningtrails says:

    I absolutely LOVE my wood stove and you will too! Here is some info I can pass on that will make it easier for you to use, hopefully.

    It is very drying, so, as said above, keep a container of water on it. A tea kettle is a great wood stove water container as you can just pour simmering water for tea anytime. I have a tall, old fashioned cut flower holder half full of water on one side of mine. I am looking for a black iron kettle to put on the other side but non-electric kettles are hard to find! I don’t understand that! Don’t people use them when camping?

    I make soap on my wood stove and I simmered some apple cores and peelings for the chickens on it today too, in just a stainless bowl. It will simmer water if a big fire is going but its not constant. I can feel when it cools off in the house and the fire needs attention.

    It is more work but its good outdoor exercise. We are planning on making wood our only source of heat this winter and are in the process of buying wood. We will supplement it with out own wood too. You will need a place to stack the wood that is out of the weather where it can stay mostly dry. We are filling our front porch with it. We figure it will take at least four bush cords to get us through the winter up here, with no other source of heat. We do have an oil furnace, but don’t plan to use it this year.

    Make sure any wood you use has been cut and left outside, off the ground, to dry for at least 6 mos before burning it. This will help prevent a build up of creosote. You don’t want a creosote fire! Using only hard wood will help too.

    Very dry softwoods will burn well, but be gone fast and not last long enough to do much and have too much pitch, but small, dry branches make good kindling.

    Enough dry kindling is the secret to getting a fire started. Let me tell you, I have had mornings where it took me a full 45 mins just to get a fire started! That’s frustrating! Don’t be skimpy on the kindling, it makes a big difference. Collect all the branches you can now, before the snow falls and keep them in a dry place. You will also want to start saving your non-glossy newspaper and plain brown cardboard to start fires.

    We stocked up on bbq fire starter this fall. A little, well placed squirt of that stuff will go a long way towards getting the big logs to catch. Its not that readily available in the middle of winter. Now is the time to buy it and it will probably be on sale, as now is the end of the camping/bbq season. BBQ fire starter is made for that purpose, but you still have to be very careful with it. Don’t use gasoline or karosine or something else more dangerous and save it for those really hard to start fires when you don’t have 30 mins to mess with it.

    I keep a small electric heater in the bathroom that I can turn on when I go in there. I don’t like to freeze while taking a shower or getting dressed, etc. and no heat from the wood stove gets in the bathroom while the door is closed.

    You might want to enlarge the fire proof flooring around that area to keep flying embers from burning tiny brown spots in your floor. What you have there is not big enough when you are stirring the fire and a log falls or rolls and burning orange embers fly out of the stove when you have the door open. An acrylic, flame proof mat or rug will work too, but will soon be covered with ash. Real fires are dirty. You will be sweeping up little bits falling off the logs and ashes all the time. It just goes with the territory.

    I LOVE my wood stove. It is worth all of the above inconveniences!!

  44. Estella says:

    I have had a woodstove all of my life. There is nothing better than wood heat to back up to on a chilly morning.

  45. Michele says:

    I think you are going to have a very successful winter this year. What could go wrong, you have covered food, clothing and shelter along with little fun furry creatures to keep you company. Too bad we have to take animals outside when its cold, such a hassle. I live in the city but when my fireplace is lit, I pretend I am in :shroom: a country cabin. Your stove is wonderful, I can smell the potpourri already too!

  46. Helen says:

    Oh, I’m so happy for you :snoopy: ! I love heating with wood, and I love my wood stove, too.

  47. cgReno says:

    I am a city gal that heat with a wood stove. I LOVE my wood stove and look forward to the first fire of every year. Unfortunately I have to purchase wood by the cord which this year was a whoopin $420 for madrone. It still beats paying the Electric bill! An endless supply given freely is my idea of heaven1

  48. Runningtrails says:

    One more tip: A few big blasts of air from a full pair of lungs goes a long way to getting a far going – better yet, a bellows if one can be found.

  49. Lola-Dawn says:

    ONLY zero degrees? That’s right balmy! Practically shirt-sleeve weather up here where temps preceded by the word MINUS are the norm 8 out of 10 months! I’m giving you a hard time, sorry … but temps WAY below zero ARE normal up here. I love wood heat too. My wise old Dad used to say “you can back your fanny up to a wood stove and actually git warm”. Somehow trying that same feat over an electric forced air heat vent has the opposite result. I miss my wood stove. :no:

  50. CindyH. says:

    Love the smell of wood burning ….you know winter is around the corner when you are outside admiring the colorful leaves on the trees, and you can smell wood burning. Just makes me feel safe and secure and happy.
    My mother gave husband and I a wood stove. It’s called an “Earth Stove”. It doesn’t have a glass door, which is fine with me….no scrubbing it. We had the wood stove sitting in the corner of our dining room for 10 years before we finally hooked it up. Triple wall pipe is NOT cheap. And we have a two story BARN of a house!
    Back in I think 2001, we had the worst snow/sleet/ice storm. I live in town, but the fact that you have NO electricity ANYwhere, is hard on EVERYone. And there sat my woodstove….in the corner…not hooked up. Thank goodness we had a gas stove! I had the oven on and during the day I had the burners going. Husband was driving thru the stuff to a nearby town for his job. But daughter and I were pretty much “in the dark” at night. Do you know how hard it is to read a book with candle light? The flame flickers and jumps…which also makes your words and sentences jump. I swear I had read one sentence at least a dozen times before I went on and read more of a book! We do have a big house 2500 sq feet. And our cookstove still kept us warm, although we did layer our clothing too. Our pipes never froze, which is a miracle. But we heard trees crashing all over the neighborhood…sounding like bombs going off. Lots of houses didn’t fair so well… trees falling on houses, electric lines down…live wires jumping around emitting sparks…We didn’t open our deep freeze unless we absolutely had to. The less you open the door, the longer the frozen things stay cold. We did move the food from the fridge to a couple of coolers and sat them outside. I had never had such a good time though… even though going thru internet withdrawals. We played alot of board and card games, read ALOT of books, and knitted….well my daugher and I knitted.
    NOW we have our earth stove hooked up. We’ve had it goin for the past 7 or 8 years. LOVE IT! It is definitely a dry heat. We have an old coffee can full of water sitting on top. And yes… if we have another ice/snow storm, we are prepared big time now. The stove really puts out the heat, even though it has no blower. And since it sits on ceramic tile floor…the critters don’t have to get super close to the stove to get warm….the heat sorta radiates and warms the cold tiles. I don’t like the dust, or the dirty windows….but I just turn my head away from that. By the way, we were stuck at our house during that storm for over a week! And for a few weeks after that, we still had people without electricity or running water. Schools and churches were opening their doors for people who had no heat, no water, and in some cases…no roof! It sounded like a war zone outside. And after the storm stopped, all a person could hear was chainsaws and limbs falling on the ground, and city vehicles with the back up beepers beeping away. It really was an adventure. And if we have another winter like that… we are prepared. Freezer and cupboards full of canned jars of home grown veggies and bags of froze veggies….and the warmest wood stove with lots and lots of firewood. Nothing like roughing it to make you thankful for what you do have. And if something happened like that storm again… we have plenty of room for any neighbors that needed a warm place to stay in.

  51. thunja says:

    way back in the early 80’s I lived in Pocatalico right on the river in a little farm house that had a wood burning stove. It really kept the place toasty. I do not miss splitting wood though.

  52. Flatlander says:

    I cannot and will not live without a woodstove.
    We put a real antique one in our first house, so cozy and homey.
    In our current house we bought a antique looking, but high efficiency stove, we love that one even more.
    Homey, cozy and good on firewood.
    I think this kind of heat is the best heat there is…

  53. Runningtrails says:

    If we had to split all our own wood, we would probably pick up a second hand gasoline splitter, as hubby works all day. While I will move and stack wood, I don’t think I could split a lot of it. Even buying wood is a lot cheaper than other forms of heat.

    Our power goes out quite a bit in the winter but just for an evening or so. We have a chair ledge behind the sofa which we fill with candles to read. Works great, but you need a lot of them to get good light to read or work by. A mirror behind them helps a lot too. It uses up a lot of candles so I buy them all summer long at garage sales just to be prepared.

  54. monica says:

    You can dry your clothes on a rack close to the fire, instead of running the dryer all winter. If the clothes get too stiff, you can add them in with a load of wet clothes and they will soften right up.

    I can’t imagine a winter now without wood heat!

  55. maryann says:

    I miss our woodburning stove, we got rid of it in 94 right after we sold the property where we got our firewood from. At $360 a cord it isn’t that cost effective to run. One thing we used to use as fire starters was to take paper egg cartons, fill them with dryer lint (highly flammable) then carefully pour paraffin wax on them. I suppose you could create your TP holder that you use for seeds but with paper tape on the top and bottom securing it.

  56. Cranberry says:

    Nothing better than a crackling real wood fireplace. ours is converted to gas, and it’s too expensive to use! Dad roasts chestnuts on his wood stove, and keeps coffee hot, all kinds of things! and the rec room is always nice and toasty, my kind of room!

  57. Kathleen H from Indiana says:

    Woohoo…… :woof: HOT TIME IN THE OLD HOUSE TONIGHT!!!
    Best way to keep warm is a wood stove. You are ready for winter. Hope you’ve been stacking up the firewood. Just think, it’s snowing outside, bread baking in the oven, roaring fire, good book, glass of wine. Ahhhh.. all the hard work has paid off. :snowman:

  58. Amber says:

    That looks so cozy and inviting! I have a little electric heater that looks like a mini woodstove…not quite the same but it keeps our bedroom warm.

  59. Amanda says:

    I have a wood stove and love it in the winter. There is no better way to cook a pot of pinto beans than right on top of the wood stove. Oh and some baked potatoes baked in the coals. Have someone that buys store bought pie crusts save the pans for you they are great to use for cooking in the wood stove.

  60. Alexandra says:

    Wish I had one. I would simmer orange peel, apple peel and whatever else I found all day long on it if I had one. Envy you!!

  61. IowaDeb says:

    You will love love that stove! I have a cast iron kettle on mine that I bought online at NorthlineExpress.com

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