Sunday, November 4, 2012

Housewarming and House-warming

Last night Al and I hosted a Housewarming Party to celebrate having our home with our friends and neighbors.  Last weekend we hosted a party for our Czech and Slovak friends.  Why we chose to do a party two weekends in a row, I'm not sure, but we had a great turn-out for both occasions and had a blast with those who came.  Having a house not only allows us to share our space with others but it allows us to do something we love:  having parties and showing people a good time.  We have such great friends and neighbors!

Gulas made in our backyard over a fire pit last weekend!  Yum yum!

In front of our "Prague Wall" - a tribute to happy memories!

This past week the temperatures have remained primarily in the 50's during the day, dropping to the mid-30's in the evening.  Naturally, the house has been cold as we don't run the heat so much.  After a few nights of freezing our tails off, we rolled out the electric radiator heater for the downstairs we decided to give our fireplace a go.  There was a fireplace in the house we lived in until I was four.  I have memories of wrapping up in a towel after a bath and sitting in front of the fire, the heat radiating on my back until it got too hot.  I'm not so fussed about sitting in front of the fire anymore, but it is so fun to finally have a fireplace again!  

We began our fire-lighting adventures with whatever we had available.  Some wood logs, a few sticks from out in the yard, and a magazine.  Let me just say magazines are horrible for lighting a fire.  Beautiful, but just silly.  They burn in different colors but don't hold a flame.  Also, we learned that we can't put too much wood on the rack to begin with - not enough air-flow.  After a failed attempt, we decided to wait until we were better prepared.  

Fire-lighting adventure #1 = failure.  Fire-lighting adventure #2 started with one of those wax, sawdust, and resin log thingys.  We put the log on the rack, lit the bag and voila! - we had a fire.  Not hot and lasted for 2 hours.  Fire #3 combined wood and  a small chunk of the fake log thingy, which we used to get the wood going.  It worked really well and the fire was not only hot, but beautiful.  I think we've got it now.  All we need to do now is get a truck-load of firewood in so we can stop getting it from Lowe's.

Fire-lighting adventure #2

The beauty of a fire, the warmth it provides and the smells that come from the smoldering wood all contribute to a cozy home.  Having a house full of people we enjoy makes it even cozier!