When we moved into our home it was not until fall that we got a chimney sweep to come and look at our fireplace and chimney. I was afraid to use it because it has never been cleaned in at least 4 or more years and I did not want a fire up our chimney to lose our home. Well it was worse than we thought and the insert had a hole blown into the top of it from the heat of the fire. The insert was just sitting in there without any lining or steel pipe up the chimney. So I was right to be worried. He did not even charge us for the visit and he had to come a way but he said there was nothing he could do that would make a difference with the fireplace insert we had.
We had to make a decision. Really there was only one decision because we have no central heat and the house does not have the ability to do so. We shopped and researched for the best insert with a decent price and had to find one where the installation would not break us either. We finally went back to the chimney sweep that had been honest with us and bought an insert but of course there was a shipping backlog and now there is a wait to have it correctly installed. We trust this guy and know that when the weather cooperates so he can get on the roof or the ladder to the chimney and when we move up on his waiting list of the five he has to install, that we will have warm wood heat to fill our home.
In the meantime it is January so space heaters and layered clothing are the name of the game. We do have a nice wall propane heater in the kitchen that we bought new this year, replacing a very old one. We will survive, but you know what I love about snow. It is sitting in the house drinking hot chocolate and seeing and feeling the fireplace crackle. It will come, just not in time for these winter months. But look on the bright side. Next year we will have an amazing warm, SAFE, fireplace.
For now we have our love to keep us warm.
I will share my hot chocolate recipe.
You have to have weaned yourself off sweet milk chocolate to enjoy it.
Pour enough whole milk into a sauce pan. I pour enough for us each to have one mug. We use our raw milk from Missie)
Using unsweetened powder of Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa or Trader’s Joes has a brand also. Add 1 tablespoon for each mug into the milk
Add 1 tablespoon coconut sugar for each mug into the milk.
Whisk until well blended as you are heating it up to the temperature you want.
Pour into a mug and sip. No marshmallow please. (They are not real food.)
My friend Connie taught me to enjoy hot herbal tea. My favorite is Lemon Ginger or Peppermint. Putting something warm into your body allows the entire body to warm up and feel warm all the way through.