I have a confession to make. I have never had a fireplace before.
Okay, I take that back. When I was growing up we had this big, black monstrosity that sat in the middle of the living room that was called a pot bellied stove....or at least thats what I remember calling it. I have no recollection if it actually burned wood or coal...all I know is that it did burn something and you had to know what to do and when to do it or else it really didnt work that well. Oh, and I seem to remember that the best place to be was right there next to it....all cozied up with a pillow, blanket, and a good book.
As an adult, the only thing close to a fireplace that I have had was a in a rental that we were just recently living in while we had our current house built. It was a little gas fireplace. So, all you had to do was flip a switch and then there was a burst of flames that magically appeared. Ohhhhh....Ahhhhhh....and they stayed there, all pretty and flickering. You never had to open the fireplace door or add any wood. You never had to get rid of any ashes. Cmon, tho....really...thats not a real fireplace. You cant get in there to make smores if you wanted to, you cant hear the popping and snapping of the wood, and you for sure dont get that great fireplace smell....the one that makes you think of snowy days and hot cocoa.
So, when we built this house we had them put in a "real" fireplace. The kind that you have to use wood in. The kind that you have to tend to every once in a while. The kind that can be a little finicky and doesnt always start up right away.
That part I mentioned about not having a fireplace? Well that also means that I had never had the opportunity to light one either....or keep one going or clean one out....nope....none of that. Good thing S knew what he was doing. Or this coulda spelled trubble.
Knowing all that, it shouldnt come as a surprise that we also did not have any of the appropriate tools or equipment necessary to maintain a fireplace. This is what we had.
Yep, thats it. This was our multi-purpose fireplace friend. It removed ashes, stoked the fire, helped to rotate logs....you name it....this little thing did it.
And even tho I really like the little guy, it seemed logical that the next step in fireplace 101 would be to go out and get a fireplace set.....right? That makes sense, doesnt it?
Im making progress....Im learning! And did I mention that it has been kinda cold here....little stretches of cold....perfect time to use the fireplace. So, we get it going...were enjoying it, its very pretty....okay....so the fire burns down....the next day comes around...hey! Lets start another fire.
S brings in a bucket to remove the ashes. Do you notice anything about the bucket? I mean, I do. I look at it, look at S....look at it...look at S. I sorta cock my head to the side and look at it some more. Hmm. In his defense, its not like we have anything else to put the ashes in. Nothing. So, this will have to do. Load the ashes up.....go set the bucket outside on the back step. Get the fire going again....go about our day. Its fantastic. This fireplace stuff aint half bad. Lots of people said we would hate a wood burning one. Not me, I said. I will love it.
A couple days later, I go out to retrieve the bucket. I have been taught how to make fire now. I know what Im doing. And even if I forget something, well, I can always reach back to the really dark and cobweb filled corner of my memory and pull out my Girl Scout lessons. I earned badges, you know.
I step out on the back steps and reach down to get the bucket.....lift it up and, what the hell? I have the bucket, yet ash is blowing all over, in my face, in my hair....im spitting ash outta my mouth and I look down to see the bucket.
Then I look at the step.
Thats part of my bucket on the step. That cant be good. In fact, I know thats not good. Because I am now officially covered in ash and I have a bucket that has a huge hole in the bottom. And I also have a step that now has bucket melted to it. NO, not good at all. This for sure will not do. It just will not.
Back to the store I go! Excuse me, nice Mr. Home Improvement man....could you please show me where the metal pails are? Thank you so very much. I went home with this.
And now it has this in it.
And, Im pretty sure I dont have to worry about this one melting to my step. If it does, well, then I for sure have much bigger problems!
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