Edición dominical

‘Tis the season to light a fire

NORTHERN MEXICO is under snow today. Thank the Goddess that has not happened here in the nation’s middle. It’s never snowed since I’ve lived here, but a couple of years ago snow was visible atop the distant mountains.

It has been unseasonably cold for the first half of December, so I fired up the fireplace today. Some winters I never fire it up, mostly because it’s work and also because it does virtually nothing to heat the living room due to its large size and high ceiling, wood beams and all.

So it’s mostly a fun thing. Looks nice, and you can heat your fanny.

The music you hear is from a tape I bought at Starbucks in Atlanta many years ago. Fa-la-la! Boughs of holly. And Kalamazoo!

16 thoughts on “‘Tis the season to light a fire

  1. Nice fireplace Felipe. Too bad it won’t heat your whole house. Time to cuddle up under a few blankets. We’ve lived over 20 years with wood heat in Canada and I’m done with it ! Now we just turn the thermostat up for half an hour and our apartment is warm. The cabin is reserved for late spring to early fall.

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  2. Yes, the fireplace looks enchanting when it’s cold outside. We were so excited this weekend when it snowed 2″ in San Antonio. And it had been 84* on Monday!

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    1. Carole: I’ve spent almost my entire life without being in snow. There were a few days in Nashville in 1963 and a couple of months in Rantoul, Illinois, in the Air Force, also in 1963, but aside from that, nada.

      Don’t care for it. Nasty stuff. Only looks pretty very briefly.

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  3. When we lived in your neck of the woods, I bought a propane/electric heater at Home Depot. Only used it for about half an hour in the morning. I got a chimenera (?) but all it did was fill the house with smoke.

    Since returning here from Mexico, I’ve done my best to avoid the white stuff. No use for it.

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    1. Kris: We have three portable gas heaters. You can see one of them to the right of the fireplace in the video. They work pretty well. It’s the closet thing we have to real heat here. Also bought them at Home Depot. (Chimenea is the word you were looking for.)

      If your fireplace here just tossed out smoke, it was not built right … or some other problem. But you already know that.

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  4. When we built our house we put in a double-purpose fireplace with a damper that we could use with wood or with gas. When we use wood, the gas goes to a lighter underneath the wood that you shut off when the fire is going.

    Also, something I saw in a magazine or somewhere, we lined the fireplace with a metal box that flares toward the room. That box directs more of the heat forward, particularly when the metal gets really hot. It really works and heats up the room. Also if you have a ceiling fan, see if it has a reverse switch, so you can get it to blow UP and send down along the walls the hot air that would otherwise accumulate in the ceiling. That also works.

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    1. Señor Lanier: We hired no architect when we built our house, and neither of us had any experience in home-building. I was especially in the dark due to the very different ways of doing things here. We winged it with the help of an excellent albañil honcho who turned 70 during the construction. Not surprisingly, the place is old-school for the most part. Knowing what I now know, I would do things very differently in some aspects. But it’s done, and it’s where we live. There is no double-purpose fireplace. There is no metal box that flares outward. And there are no ceiling fans anywhere except in the bedroom. Anyway, this business about reversing the fan to send heat downward is something I have never believed for a nanosecond. Sounds good in theory, however, and maybe it actually works in your house. But to me, it’s pure myth.

      The house works fine as it is with the exceptions of cold mornings downstairs in January and February and evenings upstairs in April and May. It gets quite stuffy. One makes do. Nobody said life was perfect.

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  5. Yep, it is cold. You are lucky since we had to fire up the fireplaces a month or so ago, especially when the sun goes down. It becomes chilly. Maybe I should just wear a sweater or jacket more often.

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    1. Tancho: I fired up the fireplace just for fun. It does squat to heat our living room. The fireplace upstairs does a little better due to the much lower ceiling, and the room is a bit smaller. Mostly, we rely on portable gas heaters and those jackets and sweaters. Gonna be a nasty winter, it seems, and we’re not even in winter yet.

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    1. YaYa Girl: Yes, I know you had snow. The snow extended as far south as northern Mexico. I’ve expected to see it on the higher mountaintops I can spot through the window over my computer screen here. It’s happened twice before in other years. But, so far, nada. It did freeze last night and the night before. Gotta be “global warming,” but wait … uh … it’s cold!

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      1. I remember a long ago trip by car to Guadalajara with friends. On the way back, we hit cold weather near Zacatecas. We followed the snow all the way to Louisiana. That was in the late 80s I think. I am getting more liberal each passing way. Yes, global warming is happening, snow or no snow.

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        1. YaYa Girl: As you discovered, Zacatecas can really get cold. It is the highest major city in Mexico after Toluca. And you are not getting more liberal, dear heart, you are leaning more left-wing. Classical Liberalism is not left at all, but the word has been hijacked by the left because it sounds nice and sweet. Same for their misuse of “progressive.”

          To quote the great Dennis Prager: The usurpation of the word “liberal” by the left has been a catastrophe.

          Leftism, socialism, communism, Bernie-ism, whatever you wish to call it, (free stuff, guaranteed this and that) is a great notion. If only human nature didn’t make it impossible.

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  6. LUV the look of the fireplace! Brings out the Boy Scout in me! Time to do some “cowboy” cooking of a nice steak, and a peach or berry cobbler in a Dutch oven! It may not heat the room, but I’m sure it would make a great indoor BBQ! Keep warm and well, mi amigo!

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    1. Dan: Long time, no hear.

      We wanted the fireplace to be larger and more rustic, but the guy had his own ideas which he carried out while we were not paying sufficient attention. Oh, well. It looks good anyway.

      You keep warm too. Looks like it’s going to be a bear of a winter. Yuck.

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