A Morning Date With the Wood Burner

Hello darlings! I just looked at the time and it’s incredible how quickly the hours just fly ahead when I’m consumed in a task. When I got up this morning our house was so cold because we were lazy this weekend and didn’t keep an eye on the wood burner. Last night Jay went to check it and confirmed the fire had gone out some time ago, and flipped the switch to heat up our water with electricity instead. We are lucky we aren’t in the dead of winter with twenty below zero. While it’s still on the plus side, although only a few degrees, it seems the water stays warm for longer, even after the fire has gone out.

Using electricity is something I find so wasteful when we have our own wood to burn, but I am also grateful we have that option — as much as it’s not meant as backup for our laziness. However it’s very useful on those harshest and most painfully cold days since burning wood simply isn’t enough. Of course, I am completely okay with putting on an extra layer of clothes, but not having the luxury of warm water on those days isn’t so nice. That said, we haven’t had a winter like that for a long, long time now.

ash-chamber-overflowing
The ash waste goes into this container, and a big screw is attached to the handle, with which we grind the waste through a pipe in the wall and into a big barrel on the other side.

As soon as the darkness lifted, I got dressed in my work clothes and went outside to deal with the fire. I really don’t like going out there when it’s till dark, at least not up on the loft. There are so many deep corners up there and the slightest wind whistles eerily through the old wood. I’m a grown woman but still afraid of the dark and so easily spooked it’s ridiculous. Some nights I have to wrap the bed cover around my legs — I have this strange fear of something touching my feet. I’ve read and heard that I’m not alone in that, though. Do any of you have fears like that?

The first thing I do when I get out there is fill up the container with wood chips. If the fire has gone out, I have to turn the feed offΒ before or it will push wood into the burner, which fills up and gets clogged without a fire. It is only now that I am getting the hang of all the things involved in this. The amount of times Jay has had to answer the same questions!

checking-the-wood-burner-chamber

cleaning-the-wood-burner-chamber

I think the fire went out before we ran out of wood because the burner chamber was full of wood chips and big charred/melted lumps. I have no idea what happened, but I spent the longest time cleaning before I could even get started on building the fire. I had to reach in there with my hands and dig it all out.

a-pot-full-of-ash

The actual fire is in the end part of the pipe which feeds wood, and not inside the burner chamber. Took me some time before I understood this. Air also blows through this pipe, so before the fire is alive and steady, I have to disable the screw, otherwise it will just push whatever little glowing embers have ignited out into the burner chamber. And then I have to start all over.

the-wood-feed-lever

the-bolt-screw-nut-thingy

I gave up trying to find the appropriate names for these parts. In the first image are the two levers — one connected to the screw and one to the engine that drives it around. That bolt (or whatever it’s called) in the second image has a ball bearing inside it (I think). It keeps the two levers connected, and before the fire burns, it has to be removed so that the engine (or compressor?) only blows air through the feed pipe. Jay was in charge of this at first, but now that I can do it, I have to be the one to tighten this bolt, otherwise I can’t get it back off. He tightens it way too much. For my strength, at least, haha.

lighting-the-kindling

burning-milk-carton

We collect all burnable things from the household rubbish and use it for kindling. These milk cartons are perfect since I just open it up and fill it with paper and carton and whatever else, then light it up. After that I put it into the end of the feed pipe, where there has to be wood chips. Then I just wait until the wood a little further in is burning. This looks really cool. Like hundreds of tiny, tiny fireflies soaring out from the pipe and into the wood burner chamber. I tried to get a photo of it, but I wasn’t willing to risk the health of my camera. πŸ˜‰ I did manage to catch a few flying dots of fire, though!

flying-burning-dots

So that was my morning. I think I spent almost two hours out there, and another couple of hours, almost, getting this written because I do not possess the skill of multitasking. The editing took no time at all. I barely did anything with them, and I think it’s thanks to my yummy (it is a good word!) new lens! ❀

me-and-my-beloved-coffee
Here I am, writing you lovely people and waiting for hot water so I can wash all the soot off, haha!

Now I will wish you all a wonderful week. I hope it brings many good things your way. I also want to thank you for all the lovely words you leave me, they really make me so happy and I love reading them. I will sit down and answer your comments a little later today. I’ll see you soon!

Posted by

I'm Lotta. I live on a farm in southwestern Finland among oats, wheat, and swaying pines. With photography and words I show the journey toward building my life-long dream of telling inspirational and unforgettable stories through images. I am so glad you are here to share this experience. <3

9 thoughts on “A Morning Date With the Wood Burner

  1. Hi Lotta
    hope your well, very interesting about the furness, I wonder is this all that heats your home ? or do you have a log burner in your house as well. I agree with Pamela and Fernando, love the last picture so natural and beautiful.
    hope you have a great week.
    (Hi Pamela , hi Fernando hope your both well also, did you have some “yummy” πŸ˜‰ chocolate with your coffee Pamela ? πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No chocolate yet, but I did have some peppermint tea …which on a cold grey (rainy) winter day, is equally yummy. πŸ™‚ (and goes quite nicely as a coffee chaser)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh Pamela, I really am so sorry , I have to disagree with you 😦 Tea 😦 such a girls drink πŸ˜‰ ( he he Just teasing )

        Like

      2. Oh Pamela , I really am so sorry, I have to disagree with you … 😦 Tea 😦 .., such a girls drink πŸ˜‰ (just teasing you really πŸ™‚ he he )

        Like

    2. We have a few heaters that run on electricity for when it gets really cold since the wood burner definitely isn’t enough for harsh winters. But other than that, this is all we have. And we do have to bundle up extra in winter, even inside the house. I would love one day to install a fireplace. We have an old wood stove in the kitchen, which can be used, but Jay doesn’t remember if the chimey has been cleaned in later years or not, so we’d have to get someone to look at that before trying, or we might end up with smoke inside the house. The sauna in the bottom floor does provide some warmth, though, which is lovely this time of the year.
      And thank you so much for your compliment! ❀️ Have a great week, too! 😊

      Like

  2. I really like that last photo of you. It seems to be your real face. I feel I have just stopped over for coffee unannounced, and you are looking up, exactly as yourself. And comfortable in your skin, knowing you are looking at a friend.

    I don’t know if you were specifically thinking of us, your readers, in this photo… or if you were just greeting yourself as you are. But this ease you have here is very beautiful. Very true.
    Thanks for letting us stop by. The coffee was delicious. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is very much my every day face. And that’s so kind! Thank you, Pamela! I’m especially happy to hear about the feeling you got from the photo. I did think about everyone reading, which helps me forget about the camera. I really do feel like I am becoming friends with you so that means so much to hear, and also because I was so uncomfortable in front of the camera earlier this year. Yay! 😊 I’ll have to make sure there’s some chocolate on the table next time you stop by! πŸ˜‰ Many hugs my dear. ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. hello lotta, I see that it is an art to light the fire, for the heating of the house, I imagine the cold that must do there.

    wow !!!, so you’ve also felt that feeling that you take your feet in the night ?, ha ha ha ha … did not behave very well when you were a girl, so I see, ha ha ha ha .. I do not know how it will be where you live, but here when someone is going to die, enter into a joke and seriously, they tell you, when I die I’ll throw you feet when you are sleeping, ha ha ha .. it seems to be true. there are several who tell me that when a friend or family member has died they have come to warn … (confirmed)

    wow !!, that image of you with hollin on your face, gives you a sexy touch of a good worker … ha ha ha …
    Have a beautiful week, a hug from a distance, Fernando.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is an art to it! And I still learn new things about it, just when I think I have learned it all, haha. And yes, I wasn’t always on my best behaviour when I was little – I very often went head-to-head with my dad, and every time the rest of the family escaped to some other part of the house. πŸ™ˆ I certainly hope that’s not the reason I am afraid of a monster hiding under my bed! πŸ˜‰ haha It’s very interesting to hear though about different believes and cultures and how we have so many differing views. I find it so fascinating to hear about. 😊 That sounds very terrible though, that it would mean someone close has died. It gave me the shivers!

      Haha, and thank you for your compliment. ☺️ Have a wonderful day! Many hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s