Three Whole Days Without Blogging: You Knew It Couldn’t Last For Long

I can’t go two whole weeks without writing something.

While eating my lunch, I was reviewing what I wrote in The Blog last January.  Imagine my horrified dismay when I read that what I wrote last year on Jan 4th is exactly what happened today on Jan 4th.  

People, I am re-living the entire year all over again.  With that startling revelation, it looks like I’ve finally found a plot for that sci-fi novel I’ve been wanting to write.

I also noted that after a scant four posts, by Jan 4th of last year you would have learned everything that you need to know to understand the remaining 362 posts of last year.

1.  I love my mother.

2.  I’m obsessed with photography.

3.  Darling Husband is obsessed with technology

3.  We’re too cheap to turn up the heat.

4.  I wear my Steelers hat when I’m cold, unless I’m having a good hair day because I’m slightly vain.

Er…moderately vain.

Oh, farkle!  I’m just plain vain.  But I try really hard not to be obnoxious about it.  Only you can tell me whether or not I’m succeeding.

It’s only 1:00 and already a bunch of things have happened today, but I promised the family that I wouldn’t blog for a while.  Instead, I’ll simply re-post last year’s January 4th post, since it’s an exact replica of this year’s January 4th (!).

After this one teensy little fall off the wagon, you won’t hear from me for two weeks, because I’m Taking a Break from Blogging.



(There should be a picture of the fireplace here, but that’ll take to long to find or recreate.)

This is the fireplace.   Why is it the picture of the day?  Because when I burn a fire in it, it consumes my entire day.  (Pun intended.)

Here’s why: Fireplaces do NOT work like in the movies.  In the movies someone  negligently tosses a barely lit match onto a log of wood as big around as a Redwood tree and BAM! up blazes a cozy fire.


In real life you need 10 reams of paper, 800 cut up cardboard boxes, sticks that you gather from your yard, (seriously!  You have to actually go outside and gather wood, like a pioneer! No, I am not kidding!) and little logs of wood that you have to get your husband to chop for you.  I tried to chop the wood.  Once.  It  must have been petrified wood, because the ax made no dent.

After you’ve gathered the paper, cardboard, sticks and petrified wood, you need to arrange it in a manner known only to ancient Egyptian architects or it won’t get enough air.  And if it doesn’t get enough air it won’t light.    You’d think: lit match + paper = blazing fire.  Yeah…you’d think that and you’d be wrong.  This whole Lighting Of The Fire routine can take me up to two hours.  On a good day.

Once the fire is going without sputtering out after burning up just the paper and cardboard but leaving the wood cold, it needs to be checked every 20 minutes.  (See the timer in the picture?)  In my experience, a fire can go from roaring inferno to cold, black ash in exactly 24.87 minutes.  Which is why I’ve learned to outsmart the fire by checking it every 20 minutes.

All day long.

If I catch a dying fire before those crucial last 4.87 minutes, I can thunk on its chest a few times and breathe life back into it, provided I also toss in an entire phone directory—each paper lovingly hand crumpled—as kindling.

Note: if you don’t crumple each individual paper, the paper won’t burn.  If I knew why, I’d tell you.

As much as we love the fire (because it saves us money on gas heat), it has been a source of mild tension in our household.  We have differing opinions of how much wood should be used to keep the house moderately warm for an entire day.  Darling Husband grossly underestimates the amount of wood needed and has delusions that 4 twigs will keep us toasty warm for a couple of months.  That’s because he’s the one who has to chop all the wood.  But I know that it takes the wood equivalent of 2 oak trees to keep the house above 60 degrees from breakfast until bedtime on a single day.

Every now and then in the evening he’ll look at the wood pile and  express alarm at how much the wood has dwindled since he left the house earlier in the day.  He’s mostly concerned with how much time chopping wood will take him from his beloved iPad.  I tend to take his alarm personally since I like heat and can see that my resident Wood Cutter is about to rebel, and tersely respond with, “You underestimate the power of the fire.”  This scenario plays out innumerable times each winter.

Sooo…the picture of the day is the fireplace, since I spent a lot of time with it today.  My choices were to tend to the fire, pay for the gas heat, or wear the Steelers hat all day again.   And I had a really good hair day today, so the hat was out.


A quick moment of sadness: out of habit I tagged this as “picture of the day.”  But that’s not true anymore.  I haven’t taken a picture with Alex in 4 days  (whimper).  Ipad pictures don’t count.


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