Heating with Wood

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The woodpile is now stored and ready for winter.  Growing up with a wood stove, to me there is no better warmth.  I love the heat of the stove, the glow in a dim lit room of the flames dancing all around, and the smell.  I can relax just thinking about it!

Sadly, the cost of wood has now reached the point that the money spent is about the same as using gas to heat your house.  With the cost of gas prices (think chainsaws, 4 wheelers to tow the cut wood, tractors to haul down the trees and a truck to deliver) the days of saving money heating with wood are disappearing.

We live on 30 acres of land full of trees and dead wood.  Our schedules with work and life do not allow for all the homesteading dreams I have in my head and lumbering our own wood just does not fit into the schedule for a full winters heat.  We do enough for our bonfires and fires outdoors in the burn barrel at our ice skating rink and that takes a good amount of time.  So we have to purchase our wood.  I am not sure this will be an option much longer for us with the high price of split wood in our area now.

We burn 13-16 cord of wood from October through March.  Some months our gas bills are less than $50 because we do not use the furnace as much as possible.  I am hoping next year prices will remain the same but I’m not banking on it.

My kids have never known a winter without a woodburner heating the house.  They run to it in the morning and warm their clothes by it before putting them on for school.  They stack wood on the porch so we can “kick it up” when they want it warmer.  They spend the time in the house in the winter in shorts and t-shirts and God forbid they have to put on a pair of socks!!

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I am already picturing the stove all stocked up, the smell outside of the wood, and the glowing games of Yahtzee on a snowy night!

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Melville Reuben Bissell

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Melville Reuben Bissell was born today, September 25, 1843.  Melville Bissell created the first carpet sweeper.

Following a financial breakdown which caused the Depression (Panic of 1873), Melville realized inventing something would offer financial security and set to work on creating the carpet sweeper.  He patented his product in 1876.

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In 1884, a fire destroyed his plant.  But he rebuilt and actually expanded his business.  Sadly in 1889 Melville died from pneumonia.

The Bissell name and business was carried on by his wife Anna.  Anna Bissell became the first woman to hold the position of Chief Executive Officer in America.

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Historic 19th century village

post office  Read about the Brooks Grove Post Office

THIS PLACE IS AWESOME!!!  IT’S AN ACTUAL WORKING/LIVING VILLAGE!!

In June my daughters class took a field trip to the Genesee Country Village and Museum.

I have to get this out now….I should live in this village!!!  This is the way/time/era I should have been born in for sure!!

This little village is an actual working village.  Volunteers live there or close by year round and the village works as far as growing food (all sorts of food) animals, actual 19th century kitchens being cooked in every day, the only 19th century brewery still brewing beer from their homegrown hops and barley, etc.  Women dressed in clothing from a long ago time are spinning wool, sewing, cleaning, gathering eggs and making stone ground bread from wheat grown in the village.  The food is picked up a few times a day and sent to a local military base.  They also have a restaurant that serves the food grown, butchered, and prepared here.  You can enjoy that with a homemade mug of beer.

These buildings had been carefully moved here to restore and protect them.  Most of these are the original structures!!  I attached some links and you may have to scroll down to find the history but it’s worth the minute to scroll!

I was so in awe, I barely took any pictures.  But you can read about each building and see the pictures of them here

 

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punishment lol Read about the School House

The first building we entered was the school.  My daughter is tall and could barely fit in the seats.  There was an old school teacher who held a “class” for a few minutes.  The building was so neat with a wood burner right in the middle for warmth and the boys were asked to bring in a piece of wood.  He chose my daughter to give an example of how children who were unruly were disciplined.  They had to stand in the front of the class and put their nose on a dot on the chalkboard for long periods of time.

the girls

Next up we visited the Drug Store.  This is all the girls in her class.

old store

We visited the mercantile store.  My heart was racing in this building.  I would gladly have this whole wall in my kitchen!!

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Next up was John MacKay’s home.  You could feel the history in this house and the housekeeper was so helpful in touring the girls around and sharing the story of this wonderful family from long ago.

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A quick stop at St. Feehans Roman Catholic Church.  Not as colorful as churches today but I liked the simplicity of the church.

cool  The Hamilton House built in 1870.

I had to force myself to leave this house.  This could/should be my home.  This house was built after the house we currently live in.  The main part of our house was built in 1838.  But I really liked, ok LOVED, everything in this house.  This building is so grand, elegant, country, and historic.  I could feel the history of this house all around me.  It was fascinating to find out this was an Italian inspired house.  Being Sicilian, maybe that is why I loved it.

This Village is an hour away from where we live.  We were only there for a few hours but I am taking the kids back in a few weeks as you need an entire day to tour this village and talk to all the volunteers (and some paid) staff.

If you are ever coming to this area,  Niagara Falls, Toronto, Syracuse, Rochester or New York City, this is a must see attraction!!

Being Green 2

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These sandwich wraps are a great investment and a great way to get rid of all those pesky sandwich bags!!  I have used the first set I purchased for 2 years.  My son recently “lost” his, as in probably threw it in the garbage at school in a rush to get outside to play after lunch, so I had to purchase a new set.

I have seen these all over in supermarkets and department stores.  However, I believe these are the best around.  They are a little pricier from here but when you factor in my first set is over 2 years old, these are a worthwhile purchase.

I bought them from:   One Step Ahead.

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When they get dirty they can easily be wiped off and once a week I soak them in hot soapy water and scrub the outside with a sponge as needed.  When done, I hang them to dry.

I have used them for sandwiches, buttered bread, and rolls and never had a problem with them drying out.  The food is always fresh!!

Dream Oven

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My daughter called me into the computer room last night and said “Mom….I found your dream oven”.  This was the picture she showed me.

Boy does that child know me.  I would redo my kitchen just to accommodate this beauty!!  I truly think I was born in the wrong era!!