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If you asked my husband, he
would tell you that I have a
“thing” for kindling and he would
shake his head and wander off.

Practical yes, eccentric,
way yes…but in a harmless
kind of way.

I do have a “thing” for kindling.
I like to be prepared in the boy
scout kind of way.  I like to know
that when I wake up in the morning
and our house is 47F inside (yes inside),
that I have plenty of kindling right
there at hand to get my beloved
Queen Atlantic going strong and
ready to heat the house, boil coffee,
cook soup, steam water for humidity
and just be a pleasure to look at in
her glorious antiquity.

Without kindling, that would not happen.

The fact that as of September 6th, Labor
Day in the US of A I have collected
the equivalent of seven 32 gal trash cans
full of kindling and am storing it dry in a
big cardboard box in my basement is
not eccentric really, just highly practical,
thrifty, wise, and well thought out.

I am, however, not done yet.  I would
like a second big box full and then I
would rest, for a minute.

Kindling is a gift from the tree spirits
who shed their old branches as
nourishment for the earth.  If I collected
all the kindling on our property, I would
have a pile bigger than our 24×30 garage,
so I guess my two big boxes are not going
to hurt the composting process of the rest.

There is something deeply satisfying about
the snap you hear when that bone dry branch
breaks and the physical work of gathering,
hauling, breaking and storing.  I feel a deep
connection to the earth, to the simple way
of being that comes from heating with wood,
cooking with wood, and mostly depending
on myself and my husband to make our
life, not have it delivered in a truck. I like
gardening, buying local, supporting farms,
having my own fresh eggs and caring for
the animals who gift us those precious protein
wonders. Just as I like being surrounded
by woods and fields, stones and wildness.

I cannot imagine a life without it all,
even though I curse when I haul warm
water from the house in 5 gallon buckets
for the ducks in the winter, or we get
a Nor’easter and it dumps a foot of snow
and I have to shovel all round the house.
It is a life in keeping with the rhythms of
the earth.

I do have a “thing” for kindling just as I
have an even bigger “thing” for re-using
paper and materials in new ways.

It all lights my fires, and that is a good “thing”.


  1. Jill Eudaly says:

    i gave my sister and her husband huge ( as in I could hardly lug one myself) bundles of kindling for Christmas one year. My brother in law "glowed" and for the weeks that it lasted was thrilled. they thought it was a perfect gift. might have to do it again this year.

  2. La Dolce Vita says:

    oh I am sooo with you! it was 41 here this am and I think in my next place, coming sooon I might add… I will have to think about maybe getting a place that has a great stove like this… had one when i was in my twenties and a recycling hippie, but have moved on to gas and fake fireplaces…oh well, loved your post and your tidy bags of crisp kindling story! just need to come visit you for a cuppa!!!

  3. Earth Mother … you are at it again! YeeHaw!!!!!!!

  4. It all makes sence to me although at our house the husband is the master of kindeling and anything else that will burn and heat our living room, usually until I gasp for air.
    I love the tilework and moasic! Yours??

  5. Hi dear,
    that sounds wonderfull, that you supports yourself with heat,eggs,and I guess , vegetables,and many other things,-a lovely,hardworking kind of life, that so many has forgotten, a life to be close to nature, and all that God created.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. NuminosityBeads says:

    I remember my first fall in Alaska when I lived on the edge of town in an old homestead shack and got my first lesson in splitting kindling. I was so proud (and then warm) It's really fun to split wood once it's below -20 and then it almost explodes into splinters with a quick blow! It is a satisfying feeling to have a nice stash on hand along with some curls of birch bark for tinder.
    xoxo Kim

  7. Kim Mailhot says:

    Kindling…like that word. It even has "kind" in it. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Enjoy your collecting, Good Earth Citizen Corrine !
    Big Love !


    What a really gorgeous post and a lovely stove thingy, it looks amazing. I think I would pull an armchair up right in front of that no matter the weather ;o)

    Thanks for popping by, always love hearing from you x

  9. since you use your wood stove for heat and cooking and it is essential to be warm- I understand your collecting of so much kindling.. but I do not have that need or necessity but I understand you do.

  10. That is the mother of all stoves! I love an open fire & 2 of our 3 lads have a mean way with chopping wood (great for relieving teenage frustration, I tell them, & their abs are amazing!) We're always gleaning, lots of cypress being gotten rid of in the village, recently – the pile of beautiful free logs is growing.

    Love your Jin the B piece! i do't like faces, nor does my Mom, my youngest hates clowns, wierd! What heavenly pieces from Linda – did I miss your birthday?!!

  11. Marilyn Rock says:

    What a beautiful post! I like the thought of "kindling" and, yes, trees do provide us with so much and this is one of their uses and ways of helping us. Mother Earth – nothing like it! Love your stove! May your kindling and beautiful stove provide you with all the warmth you'll need this winter. I'm wondering what the winter will be for us after all of this heat we've had. I guess the apple crop is abundant this fall! ๐Ÿ™‚ xxoo

  12. What an amazing stove.
    Thanks for letting me know the size of your art work, shall look forward to seeing the next piece.

  13. what a fantastic pot bellied stove and I love the mosaic behind it. I have a thing for collecting bark, leaves and twigs when I am out with my sons in the woods…just love all the inspirational texture

  14. Wow – that stove is a piece of art in itself!!!
    Kindling – it 'lights your fire' – I like that ๐Ÿ™‚

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