"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
What's That Smell?
Mrs. H claims she can't see that great, sometimes I swear she can't hear, but one thing I have learned is that you can always trust her sense of smell. So...whenever her smell sense is activated it behooves me to stand up and take notice. She has caught the scent of bears in the woods (more than once), epazote at a 100 yards, and has an uncanny ability to perceive danger. Like the time we were camped out at a small mountain lake in a thunderstorm and she smelled smoke just before lightning struck a tree on the other side of the lake and caught it on fire. Fortunately, for us, rain doused the fire before the forest could go up in flames.
The other night, while preparing dinner, Mrs. H asked me if I noticed an unusual smell in the house. I did not - at first anyway. We chose to ignore it for awhile but then decided something was amiss and started to investigate. It didn't take long to figure out we were having our first chimney fire. Our home is heated solely with wood and pellets so careful attention is placed on the potential for fire by keeping both chimneys cleaned and free of creosote and always having fresh batteries in the smoke detector.
It turned out that the odor was coming from the chimney which is fitted with a wood stove insert. I immediately shut the draft. The bricks above the stove were really hot and apparently the creosote inside was having a slow burn, it may have been a roaring fire if we had not been home to shut it down. That night I stayed up until about 2:00 AM waiting for the bricks to cool off and make sure that the buildup in the chimney had burned out.
Normally, I clean the chimney for the wood stove every fall just before we start using it but apparently It needs to be done more than once a year and going forward I will clean it at the end of every January as well. Each spring we cut about 10 cords of wood, mostly dead fir and tamarack, but this year we ended up with an abundance of white pine instead...perhaps the culprit of the excess buildup.
The following day I cleaned out the chimney and the noticed "puffy" creosote, which is a definite sign that we had a fire.
If you are using a wood stove please check out these links as it is around this time of year that enough buildup has accumulated in the chimney to start a fire.
Weary of the world and its illogical ways my wife and I have chosen a path towards self-reliance in all aspects of our lives. Our main focus is on growing and gathering our own food. We hope to use this blog as an avenue to share with and learn from others with similar interests.
The Good Life (click↓)
"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." M. Gandhi
"Deep inside everyone of us is a call to the wild. Much of the impatience, discontent or violence around us is due to a lack of opportunity to reconnect with where we came from. For sanity and generosity of spirit, we should be able to witness nature at its unceasing, rejuvenating work." - Abdul Kareem
On Permaculture, Edible Landscaping and Garden Plants
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - Justice William O. Douglas
First They Came For My Seed..▼
"Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine" - Thoreau
Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling, for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted. Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.
I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories where the machines were made that would drive ever forward toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley; I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city. I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.
Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments of those who had died in pursuit of the objective and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective as if nobody ever had pursued it before.
The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective. The once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free to sell themselves to the highest bidder and to enter the best paying prisonsin pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies, which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects, which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress, to the completed sale, to the signature on the contract, which was to clear the way to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go homewould ever get there now, for every remembered place had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.
Every place had been displaced, every love unloved, every vow unsworn, every word unmeant to make way for the passage of the crowd of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless with their many eyes opened toward the objective which they did not yet perceive in the far distance, having never known where they were going, having never known where they came from.