Garden Diary - December 2008

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Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Cozy Cats

We heat in part with wood, cutting mostly standing dead or recently fallen trees on our own property.
We use about 3 cords ( each cord is a stack 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet.) Burning wood is a lot of work.
The saying is wood heats you three times: first when you cut and split it, next when you stack it, and
at last when you burn it. We bought our Vermont Casting Vigilant stove directly from the factory back in 1981
and moved it as part of our chattel goods when we moved from Connecticut to New Jersey in September 1995.
It then took a year to have a hearth and twin-wall chimney installed, and put it into use every winter since then.

We even rearrange the furniture, summer and winter. At this time of year the sofa and love seat
make a V in front of the stove. In case you're wondering - the little metal tray of orange stuff
under the stove is just that, orange peel. It dries out, and the oils in the rind make it useful kindling.
And crickets on the hearth are said to be lucky. That's what the little metal sculptures are doing there.

The cats really appreciate the winter arrangement. See Fog, curled around and comfy, with
just one eye open to see what I'm up to. Mist snuggles up on the sofa and its afghan,. Both are willing
to share. If you sit down there will be a cat in your lap, and on a wintry afternoon both of you can enjoy
the third warmth of the wood (not that the cats help cut, split, or stack. They're management.)

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