Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Heating With Wood

When we planned out our new house we knew we wanted a wood stove in our basement to supplement our natural gas furnace. Husband and I both grew up with it and we enjoy the cozy warmth wood heat provides. The one drawback, in my mind, is the mess hauling wood in and the ash and dust that inevitably gets around the house. Cutting, hauling and chopping wood might also seem a drawback for some, but we enjoy the physical outdoor activity and want to include our kids in the task. 

Our basement wasn't ready for the stove last year, so this is our first year burning wood. I'm finding that, besides the cozy heat and beautiful fire to watch, hauling in wood has added a nice rhythm to our day's chores. The kids play outside or ride their bikes in the garage while I carry from the woodpile in the trees to the stack in the garage. We keep about 5 days worth of wood in the garage and 2 days worth in the basement. While I do try to replenish both piles every second day, I have enough that I don't have to haul incase of the kids being sick, it being unpleasantly cold or windy, or just being too busy with other things. 

We are very happy with the quality of the stove we purchased. It burns well and is a beautiful feature in our basement. There were many power outages where we used to live and we always discussed feeling more comfortable with an alternative source of heat. Do you enjoy a wood fire? Have you got an alternative source of heat incase of emergency?

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Bat Tunnnel

Last year around this time we finally got stairs built into our basement. There is a space below those stairs with a light, an outlet, and a door. Even before it had walls, my kids called it the tunnel. I promised them that we would paint them a play area in the tunnel as soon as we could. Well, we finally have that project almost completed. 


After. 4 year old said "awesome mommy but I'd like it better if Lightning was in the lead!"

With the help of a few different Pinterest images, I also did a Batman-inspired city skyline. It's hard to photograph, as you can imagine. 

I wanted this space to be a fun cozy spot to play and contain the overflow of toys in the basement. Now that I'm finding time to complete some indoor projects, our house is feeling more comfortable and personal. 

When we painted the basement, 4 year old (I'm going to start calling him "J". What happens when he's 5 or when the 2 year old becomes 4? It will all be so confusing. "J" is 4. "O" is 2.) anyways, "J" busily painted his tunnel under the stairs. He used markers. He used acrylics. There are gobs of satin paint and primer in one all over the floor. He was quite concerned that I would paint over his work. So we compromised. The boys kept a wall to paint and decorate over the years. 

I plan to do stars on the remaining wals with glow in the dark paint. Perhaps the solar system, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. For now, though, it's done. I was at least 8 hours painting in the tunnel. I sure hope they don't outgrow Lightning McQueen or lose interest in Batman any time soon.