Back when Zan was just a year old, Wonder Woman and I bought borrowed way, way, WAY too much money from a bank that let us move into this house, and one of the many things that excited us about our the bank’s new house was the fireplace. We’d never had a fireplace before, and the thought of throwing down on a bearskin rug in front of the glow of a cozy little fire was … well, the furthest thing from our minds, what with a 1-year-old child and another on the way … plus, throwing down atop an animal carcass doesn’t really appeal to me … and, hey, has anyone seen my point around here? I was sure I was about to make one.


So here we are, five years later, and never once have we burned a log or a piece of paper or even a wooden match in our fireplace. In fact, up until yesterday, the glass doors were completely taped shut.

But all that has changed.

Yesterday, we had a chimney sweep come to the house, and did you know that we live in 18th century London? Because that’s when and where I thought chimney sweeps were needed. Also, I figured chimney sweeps had names like “Seamus” and “Finnegan” and “Paddy O’Chimney Sweep” … but we got Jeff.

Prior to Seamus’ Jeff’s arrival, I had investigated online the many things that can happen to one’s chimney when one neglects it for, say, five full years … which is why I fully expected Finnegan Jeff to tell us we needed to knock down the entire house and start from scratch.

So imagine my surprise when Paddy O’Chimney Sweep Jeff did some inspecting and some cleaning and some vacuuming, and then said we could get busy with the blazing.

I see a Yule Log in our immediate future. That, and a frantic 911 call to the fire department.

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  1. Posted December 2, 2009 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Do you have the Fireplace Tool Set? Tongs or a poker and something to sweep up ashes the next day? Great Christmas Gift Idea there.
    .-= TheExpatresse´s last blog ..Food Is Love =-.

  2. Posted December 2, 2009 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    –>I WISH we had a real log burning fireplace. Instead we have stupid gas logs (they have a low IQ) that is essentially the same as burning dollar bills which probably puts out more heat and costs less.
    .-= WebSavyMom´s last blog ..Wordless Wedneday – My Mother-in-Law =-.

  3. Posted December 2, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    We also need a chimney sweep. I didn’t even knew they existed. I thought they were something made up in a song. WTF?
    .-= Jessica @ How Sweet It Is´s last blog .. =-.

  4. Posted December 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Oh how I wish we had a fireplace. I am jealous!! Enjoy your yuletide logs!

  5. Posted December 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    We had a chimney sweep once a year when we had a coal stove when I was growing up. Yes, I know, COAL = BOOOOOOO from the environmentalists – but we didn’t know!

    In the same fireplace we now have a wood pellet stove. Although it lacks the romanticism of the your kind of fireplace, it burns much longer and stronger than logs; something environmentalists might approve!
    .-= Red Sun´s last blog ..White Bean and Corn Chowder =-.

  6. Posted December 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Would love to have a fireplace like that in our house. And don’t forget to keep a small piece of the burnt Yule log to start the fire under next year’s…
    .-= Dudge OH´s last blog ..NaNoWriMo: A Debriefing =-.

  7. Posted December 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Make sure you open the flue…
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..Heart garland =-.

  8. Posted December 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Ohhhh, let me just tell you the havoc a woodburning fireplace can cause in your life. Ours traumatized us so badly that we bricked it right over and tried to forget it exsisted. Once a year during the very first snow of the season, I sigh and say “wouldn’t it be lovely to warm our frostbitten feet near the fire?” and then I remember what has gone before and order us insulated boots from LL Bean.

  9. Posted December 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Oh how lucky you are! One of our favorite things is being able to have smores whenever the kids want – just remember not to use any chemical ‘helps’ to get that fire going! lol

  10. Posted December 2, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Good luck with the fireplace. I had some cousins who used theirs religiously, and now every time I smell that fire smell, it brings me right back to their homes. My goal is to have a fireplace someday, and use it like a pyro. A good pyro.
    .-= Joe´s last blog ..Thanksgiving Weekend =-.

  11. Posted December 2, 2009 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    We’ve had fireplaces, wood burners and are now in corn burner land. Of course, the corn is too wet to burn in the midwest this year. Oh well, I do love hot water heat and fuel oil has gone down this year.
    .-= Lisa S.´s last blog ..Gravy for Everybody =-.

  12. Posted December 3, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    We have a wood-burning fireplace. It’s the whole reason we bought this house. Floor to ceiling brick, exposed beams. Ahhhhh…
    .-= The Domestic Goddess´s last blog ..‘Tis the Season =-.

  13. Posted December 3, 2009 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Our house in Tennesse had a fireplace, but I never believed the house wouldn’t burn down if we used it. We had a stack of wood outside that we never used. Eventually, it was so full of blck widow spiders that nobody would go near it.
    .-= CBellabell´s last blog ..File This Under Despicable Thoughts =-.

  14. Posted December 4, 2009 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    We have a fireplace…A HUGE, AMAZING fireplace that cannot go unnoticed! Too bad we don’t really see temperatures that warrant a fire! SAD! So SAD!
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..A Dash of Christmas in My Cup =-.

  15. Posted December 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Did you know you have to CLEAN the fireplace after you use it? I was downright gobsmacked by this discovery, made soon after the one and only fire we’ve ever set in our fireplace. So gobsmacked, in fact, that I have yet to do it. It really seems like the ashes should take care of themselves. I think I’ll go research that: self-vanishing ashes.
    .-= Kate at And Then I Was a Mom´s last blog ..See? I am TELLING you something. =-.

  16. reen
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I lurve my fireplace! We burn a fire whenever the temps fall below Hades levels, which is not often here. I really need to have the chimney swept before I burn the place down…but have you ever tried to hunt down a chimney sweep in Texas??

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