This morning I awoke at five to find Attila up and engaging the day. He is going in to work early, as it is very busy and he wants to get a start on things early. Before leaving for work Attila has started a fire in the wood stove downstairs to keep the place warm today, and he has assembled all the kindling I need to begin curing the masonry heater for the winter.

I have my first burn crackling merrily in the masonry hearth as I write. Curing the masonry heater is an annual ritual, necessary to slowly expel all moisture from the refractory cement core, to avoid steam during the force of a full fire burn. I will burn five or more small fires throughout the day today, and will continue to build incrementallly larger fires for the next five days. In five days a small amount of heat will begin to radiate from the heater and it will be ready for full service.

I am not working this week, a short break, so this is the perfect time to charge the heater.

From the car, Thanksgiving Weekend Trip, 2010
From the car, Thanksgiving Weekend Trip, 2010

Tending fires requires my attention at intervals, all day long. So, I have set the timer on the computer to remind me when I have to tend a fire, downstairs in the little wood stove or upstairs in the masonry heater. I putter in between my fire building tasks, and surf around on the computer. Old photos have my attention today, these are almost addictive. Many portray the era of my youth, giving me small glimpses into what other people were experiencing at the time.

A pleasant surprise for me this morning, Harriet and Caitrìona dropped by for a quick coffee, a piece of pie and a little chat. They were on their way to Harriet’s cottage, and also planned to check on Caitrìona’s property to make sure all is secure for the winter. They encountered traffic jams due to several accidents on the highway on their trip here, I do hope their drive back is less dramatic. They have invited Attila and I for dinner this evening, which is always a treat, both the meal and the company.

While Harriet and Caitrìona were here I received a call to come in to work tomorrow; another little bit earned to keep the wolves at bay. I’m very pleased, and can work the second day of curing the masonry heater around my work schedule.

I’ve been diligent with my fires today, so that today’s curing will be complete in time for us to leave for our dinner engagement and the house will remain warm and cozy for the night.

Worldly Distractions


10 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 10.0°C
Dewpoint: 5.0°C
Humidity: 71 %
Wind: SSE 13 km/h


“Holding onto anger is like grasping onto a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. You are the one who gets burned.”
Gautama Buddha