After a little bit of a warm spell, we got some rain and the weather has now cleared off, cool and crisp. It won't be long before fire in the wood stove will feel nice. Before that can happen though, there has to be some cleaning and preparation. First it was the wood stove itself---every bit of ash moved out, doors and outside scrubbed. For now this scented candle is the only 'fire' needed. (and there are my stubby bare feet reflected in the door--you can tell it was still warm!)I've been gathering up kindling for the last several weeks, before we got the rain. I cleaned out my kindling bucket, and it's filled with nice dry bits of wood to help get the fire started. The kindling in the white container is what I've gathered after the rain and needs to dry out.
Filling the wood box that sets in the hall took top priority, before the rains moved in . This box holds almost two weeks worth of fuel. See the kitty in the 'cage' behind the wood? That is Tibby, but she isn't really shut in a cage. This will be her winter house, and she can come and go out this end. I'll put plastic around the open sides and stuff it full of wool and blankets and her heated disc on really cold nights.
Here is the woodpile (what's left of it) after I got it all re stacked and covered. I've gotten a bigger tarp to put over it though, since this one is really too small to keep the wood dry on all ends. I have another, smaller wood pile over to the side as well, and quite a bit more that needs to be hauled up to the house.
And lastly here is the chimney---there were some Virginia Creeper vines that had escaped my notice and climbed the sides, so those were all torn down, plus cleaned out the trap at the bottom.
I'm getting closer all the time to being 'ready', at least physically for winter! The temps are nice and warm again, but it can change fast this time of year.