Week 26: The Heat is ON


The inevitable happened this week and yes, I know it has been long overdue.  At long last the wood stove has been installed with a small amount of stone and finish work yet to be completed on the back wall.  Even the hearth pad turned out okay after the addition of trim both on the pad itself and the surrounding baseboard.  

The stove installation was a bit tricky and took the greater part of a day.  Supports in the attic had to be revised and ample sealing work completed to keep out the elements.  The results are safe, clean and more than adequate to provide us with plenty of heat through the brutal North Dakota winters.

The largest hurdle we still face is finishing the quartz ledge stone back wall.  My goal was to encorporate built-in shelving made from the electric pole wood we found here on the property.  However beautiful the pieces, they just won’t work due to the process used eons ago to guard the wood from pests.  The finished product looks beautiful but even with sealer added to the wood, there is a very strong gasoline odor.  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to recognize this would be unsafe inside a home – especially near a heat source.

Until we figure out another option for our hearth shelving we are at a stand still.  I like old unique pieces given a more modern functionality.  If I had an old barn beam I’d be set.  It looks like we may have to go buy a piece of wood (I shutter at the thought) in order to get the dimensions and look I envisioned.

Until then, life will go on and in the next week or so we will prep the stove for it’s first burn.  From what I hear, it’s a stinky job but we may as well do it while the weather is decent enough to open the windows.  

In other news on the farm, the chickens are starting to lay quite regularly.  On average we now have about 5-6 chicken eggs per day with the ducks slowing to about 1 egg per day.  We’ve gotten a few monster eggs along the way and in some instances, the very thought seemed painful even to someone my size.  Our largest chicken egg (brown/tan eggs) far exceeded the size of the duck eggs (white/grey egg) ..frightening right?!

As you can see, life is still moving forward on our little slice of heaven.  The weather has brought with it a crisp crunch to the early morning frost covered grass.  Morning chores and outside tasks no longer call me to linger because the warmth of the house is much more inviting.   

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