Sunday, January 30, 2011

The weather has really turned off bitter.
The ambient temperature is only 11 degrees. But the wind! The wind is blowing at about 20 mph, which drops the temperature down into the negative digits. Right now the wind chill is -7 and the snow is blowing and drifting. I'm happy that my family is all inside and accounted for. (The kids came home from their prospective activities after church.) And I've done what I can for the chickens and rabbits; extra high carb foods and warm, thick bedding. I would love to bring them all in the house on days like this but the sudden warmth would probably put them into shock. Plus, they don't seemed bothered by the cold in the least. The chickens are happily moving around the coop floor picking at seeds and alfalfa pellets dropped by the rabbits. And the rabbits are eating and drinking without complaint.

Which brings me to a topic of frustration for me.
See this? This is the fire place we have in our house; our brand-new-to-us (kind of) house that we rented for two years before we bought it 2 months ago.

(It looks kind of bare because I just took down all of the Christmas decorations and you know how bare everything looks after the Christmas decorations are just taken down.)

If you notice, the fire is not lit. The hearth is cold.
This is frustrating to me because we live in Montana. North West Montana, no less, where the winters can be really brutal. We even have acres and acres of self sustaining fuel in the form of trees a stones throw from my front porch. But this is a fake fire place. It's pretty and it will light, but since it's just a gas fire place, the logs don't burn and therefore there is no true warmth.
If you look closely, you can see that the logs are ceramic. Why would anyone have a fake fire place in this part of the country when a real wood burner is so practical?

Replacing this pretty fire place with a wood burner is on the list of things to do yet. We've already upgraded the boiler and we need to replace the roof before the whole thing blows off (it was "high nailed"), hopefully sometime early this summer.

Along with enlarging the garden, increasing our home grown meat supply (meat chickens, a couple more turkeys and maybe a pig) our family is slowly moving toward being a little more self sustaining. We have lots of great plans: a perimeter fence, an orchard, a dairy animal (goat or cow) and a barn. Yea!
So much to do. We've got some great plans for this family farm.
I can't wait.


  1. You will not regret someday installing a wood stove. The nicest thing about wood heat is that it is not connected to electricity and allows one to keep warm and cook regardless of power outages. Can't wait to hear more about your future gardening, orchard, and animal husbandry endeavours.

  2. I am REALY excited about our life! We have so much to learn but I feel up to it. The kids are old enough to be a help but young enough to be able to absorb these skills so they can benefit from the learning curve, too.

    It's all good!

  3. That's a beautiful fireplace, but beauty isn't all in the eye! I think it comes from some real "crackling heat" burning wood and I'd like to do the same thing with my fireplace before another winter sets in...Can you believe I changed the Wood to Gas, Duh! and now want to revert ugh! how dumb can humans get.

  4. It is nice looking. But it's all fake: fake rocks, fake logs, fake fire. Bleeck!

    Bring on the wood!
    Bring on the mess!
    Bring on the work!
    Bring on the real warmth!