Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Don't Play With Matches!

I secretly LOVE fire - I love everything about it, the smell, the look, the warmth. When people leave a campfire and say "yuck, I smell like smoke" I think yum - how can I bottle that smell? Is there a Yankee Candle that smells like campfire??

 Rabbit Trail Alert : Friends and I wanted to start a company called "Stankee Candle" where we would produced candles with smells like Wet Dog, Gym Locker and Backed Up Septic Tank. Anyway...

 In the "old house" as my kids call the town house we lived in before we moved to our current and final house - no Ryan - you aren't kicking us out!! - we didn't have a fireplace - heck we had 1 bathroom, did I really think I would find a hidden fireplace. So when we bought this house I was thrilled that there was a big stone fireplace! And the funny thing about this fireplace is that the previous owners never used it!! It was sparkling clean. They had built this house and  lived here 25 years - why did they never strike a match. Well it didn't take us long - we moved in Sept. and the first cold day we built a fire!

My husband grew up in farm country - behind his house was a vineyard and he loved to play out there. One day while he was playing he thought it would be fun to start small fires and put them out. Each time the fire got bigger and bigger until he could no longer stamp it out - so he ran in his house and hid. Soon enough the fire department was called by a neighbor and they arrived with their equipment and extinguished the flames -
 yes, my kids come by  " IT " honestly!

Now, you would think with this history that starting a fire would be a piece of cake  - it isn't! If the wood isn't dry, you don't have kindling, etc. you don't get fire! My plan was to crumble up newspaper and light it, but all that gives you is a quick burst of flames and a lot of ash. So what to do - I started making fire starters - first I gathered pine cones and dipped them in candle wax - at the time I was making my own candles to sell. Then we discovered that just plain pine cones worked too. But pine cones can be sticky and messy - especially in the house. So now, I save my egg crates and take old jar candles that I have in my candle warmer that no longer smell good. I pour the wax into the egg crates (put newspaper underneath - it can be messy) and let harden.

Hurray - I made Fire Starters!

I break them apart and put a few in the fire between the logs and they REALLY work! And there is no waxy mess left behind - it all burns up.

The kids use them out in the fire pit Colin built out back - We had a clay fire pit that sat on a nice wrought iron stand that we could move around our yard. Then one weekend Cam and his brother decided to cut down a dead tree and burn the brush - next thing I know we have "Burning Ring of Fire" in our backyard. When it finally burned out - 3 days later - the fire pit had a nice crack in it. So Colin dug a hole, took the broken pieces, arranged them to create a in ground fire pit! He went on to build another one at his friends house with bricks. I can't tell you how much use this one area of our yard - get a fire pit, you have an instant party - just supply the marshmallows! And yes, our kids do take after their Dad - we looked out one night and they had piled on so much wood that the flames were shooting 20 feet in the air. But having your kids and their friends over for some low cost entertainment - really makes cents!

1 comment:

  1. after being at camp with middle schoolers this weekend...yes kids love fire!!!!


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