Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fire Fail

We think our logs might be damp or something.

After doing several hours worth of research online regarding the safety of using a wood burning fireplace around a bird(parakeet), I came up empty handed.

Some sites recommend it, others not at all and still yet others say yes, as long as you have a clean fireplace and burn only seasoned wood, etc. We had both fireplaces and chimneys cleaned and ready for functioning back in March. The guy was here for a while and I spent an assload of money on this service.

I then gave a different nice young man money to stack some wood pieces up by our house.

Now, all I want is a FIRE! A crackly, cozy fire. It is rather nipply here today, so I figured it would be a good day to try it all out.

It's amazing how quickly a mild-mannered stay at home mom type can tranform into a bloodthristy pyromaniac!

I took a picture of the set up we have:

We procured three logs from our pile and the Evil Twin put some newspaper under them. The logs were put on the grate and the newspapers were torched. That seemed to be going well, and then it just kind of petered out.

The bird is still alive. That's good news because Buddy would be heartbroken and I'd be stuck training a new bird.

If we ever have fire success, I'll get a picture of it and post it!

I'm off to research more wood burning fireplace and bird type questions.

Later, I may pass out from boredom.


  1. If it was me...I'd let the bird stay in the same room...sheesh...why do you think they carried those canaries with them down in those coal mines in the 1st place??? ;);)

  2. Do ya have those little stick-y kindly-like pieces of wood to throw in there with your newspapers?

    Me, being the professional firestarter and all.

  3. Being one that can't even strike a match right isn't going to be much help. But when we lived in the country, the best fire starters ever were collected in the woods-- pine cones! The dryer the better. If they are really sticky, just toss them (a few at a time) on an old cookie sheet you don't use for cookies anymore, put them in the oven at 200 for about 30 -45 min (depending on size). The little cones down the sides will open up and the gooey stuff (resin) will kind of solidify and harden and get all shiney. Toss them in a little basket by your fire and use them for starters.

    You can also let your kiddies paint them after doing this, then dab a bit of glue on the cone tips, sprinkle on some glitter and hang on the tree! Plus, your house will smell all piney!

    As for the bird, I've never had one, but I have heard that ink on the newspapers throws off something nasty in the fire fumes. Of course we used a lot of n/p to keep our fires going, so that might explain a lot about me, lol!

  4. Efen - I thought of those canaries in the coal mines too. LOL.

    Laura - we did have some pine pieces, but we plan on buying actual kindling - tried the random pine pieces and still nothing...

    Carolyn - I guess we'll try pine cones next. I mean, I didn't expect to need a master's degree to get a fire started! Sheesh! :-)

  5. I love a fire, my inner pyromaniac just gets all giddy when I go camping and the promise of campfire is in my mind. Hoping you have a safe and awesome fire soon.

  6. Get some kindling for that fire, lady!

  7. Do you watch Survivor? Maybe you could get some hints from them. Or maybe throw a duraflame on top to get the fire going. Yeah, I have no idea what I am talking about.

  8. time to let a scientist advise you...

    ok.. take some newspaper and spray some pam or whatever cooking oil you use on it before you twist it and light it up.

    OR... take 2 or 3 bbq charcoal briquettes and use THEM as a fire starter.

    they take less initial heat to ignite and last longer than a match or newspaper....

    basically with a fire you've got to start small and build it up....

  9. Here's a tip -- buy an electric insert. I only have an outdoor fireplace and we can barely keep it going. Um, yeah, I'm no help...

  10. We used to rely almost solely on wood heat...

    Start with newspapers, wadded up into balls. Put sticks, like you find in your yard, on top of the papers. Use kindling type wood on top of the sticks, then a little bigger pieces of wood on top of that, finally one good size piece of wood on top. You have to babysit this until it really catches, but once it does all you have to do is feed it pieces of wood from time to time and enjoy. Building a fire is like an art form that you get better at the more you do it. It also is best if your firewood was cut a year before you bought it, it shouldn't have a "new wood" smell.

  11. Our fireplace turns on with a remote control, and I love it. No fuss. But, I DO miss the real thing - it reminds me of my youth, and when I wondered if my dad would accidentally set the house on fire or not!

  12. I'd move the bird. Mom has an Amazonian parrot, and I'm always on to them about cleaning fumes, etc. Better safe than sorry. You don't want to give the parakeet black lung!

  13. *WHINE* But I want a cozy fire, too! *WHINE*

  14. Ron - when I was younger, my parents let us roast marshmallows in the fireplace... I'm looking forward to doing that with my kids!

    Bucky - kindling is on it's way.... :-)

    Chris - I thought the people on Survivor had a tough time, because they only had flint. I thought we'd have no trouble with actual matches and lighters! LOL.

    Lucas - thanks for the advice. I plan on trying all methods suggested!

    MsPulp - have you seen the prices on those inserts? Yikes. :-)

    MEL - I'm hoping we got the right kind of wood... the guys seemed knowledgeable enough.

    Gigi - I like the real kind too. It's worth the hassle, I suppose.

    Honeywine - I think we might put him around the corner

    Ginger - If we can ever figure it out, you're more than welcome to come by and share! (I keep loads of wine on hand!)

  15. Good grief, it isn't that hard. Go to the Walmart and get either a full sized wax log or some wax fire starting sticks. They work like a charm.

    Your fireplace looks similar to mine. It's mostly for looks, not heat. It's great until the fire goes out, then the cold air starts whooshing down the pipe but the damper is so hot you can't close it.

    The bird -- I would move the cage. It looks a little close to me. If the fireplace starts smoldering out of the chimney it might bother the bird. Plus, the swing in temp might cause a problem.

    Otherwise, have fun with it. There's something really nice about a dark room, roaring fire, nice tunes and adult beverages. After the kiddies are down for the night.

  16. I don't see a heat-a-lator in that fire place so it is pretty much a waste of time if you expect to save any money heating a home with it to save money.

    But when you have that fancy of a place why worry about money. But if money is getting tight I suggest that you stuff the fireplace with insulation and block it with a piece of plywood and turn the furnace back on.

    If you want to heat with wood you have a lot to learn. Not that wood most places is cheap and easy.

    On the other hand, maybe you are just screwing with us.

  17. HAHAHAHAHA "Later, I may pass out from boredom"

    Oh man.

    I'm dyin' here. Too funny.

  18. When I was in Yorkshire, I made a fire every day. I love a fire. I used firestarters that looked like a white foamy block and smelled like they were soaked with chemical. Probably not the ideal thing to use with a bird. My sister uses torn-up cardboard boxes for kindling.

  19. Just pass out from boredom! lol

  20. WANT!!!!

    I haven't used a fireplace in ages, but when I had one, I always built a little fire out of all the little pieces of bark, splinters of wood that broke off, and anything else in the bottom of the wood pile and then put seasoned logs on top of that. If I had company over, I would throw in a few apple tree branches for that wonderful aroma. :)

  21. Muze - yep, we just like it for the aesthetic of it.

    BBC - nope, not trying to save money or produce heat. We just enjoy a fire every so often. Plus, I plan on letting the kids roast marshmallows in there!

    Stew - my compulsive nature means excessive research into some of the most deadly boring topics.

    BB - I think I have a plan now. Feel free to come by and hang out with us.

    Sabrae - I'm not sure if it was the boredom or the wine or a combo last night. LOL.

    Rebecca - this is the first house we (being married)have had. Growing up, my family always had fireplaces/fires. Brings back nice memories... Especially now that both my parents are deceased.

  22. I'm always the last comment! I didn't touch the computer hardly at all this weekend!

    We have had a hard time in the past getting a fire going in our fireplace too! I have no advice.

    But your fire "ara" looks pretty!