Lighting the Fire

View the beautiful fire that I made (with help) after several attempts and advice from all over the world! My niece, Kirsty, is here from London for a Thanksgiving visit and has considerable experience lighting fires. So, after she settled in and we caught up on family, friends, and other things, I mentioned that a fire would be nice but I was having a bit of trouble getting one to stay lit for any period of time. We went on a lovely walk and she foraged for kindling (really she picked up a lot of little sticks on the stairs leading to the street) and returned home to try the new technique. The kindling lit beautifully of course, but we had limited success with the logs, now having determined that they may have been a bit damp, could be unseasoned, and/or were cold. Very frustrating, but we did eliminate some variables and determined that the grate was too large and thus the coals were falling through to the floor of the fireplace and not creating enough heat to keep the fire going! Aha! This makes perfect sense.

So, off to Lowe’s once more (I seem to make weekly trips to get ready for winter) for a new grate. While at Lowe’s, we had a very helpful person add to the discussion of why I was having so much trouble making a fire. Yes, he agreed, the grate was essential and he helped us choose from the four sizes and two styles. Satisfied we put the grate in our cart and started to leave. Gloves are a must, he opined, so I put a pair of calfskin gloves in the cart as well. “Are they fireproof,” I asked? With a self-satisfied grin, he responded, “Did you ever see a burning cow?” Then, he suggested fat lighter (which Adrian always swore by) and kindling. As the cart’s contents grew my confidence grew as well. With the addition of Blizzard Wizard Ice Melt for good measure, we left for home.

With great excitement, Kirsty watched while I made the fire you see here! Beautiful, lovely to sit by and have a glass of wine on a cold winter’s evening. It’s been too warm for a fire since — I have single-handedly prevented winter from coming!!