Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chimneys and Topiaries

I decided to build a fire yesterday. 8 out of 10 people I told this to immediately said "uh-oh", "oh-no", "what happened", or "be careful". why? Because they know me, and they know my luck. God bless my neighbors. They are amazing wonderful people who will probably throw a huge party when I move. They lived in my house 20 years ago. Mr. Otis let me have some firewood. I helped him bring it over. He said he would get my fire started. The ONLY job I had was to open the flue. I pulled it down, and Mr. Otis built my fire. He left and went back next door, and I went into the back to put up some clothes. About 5 minutes later the entire house was FULL of smoke! The dang flue WAS NOT open! Goodness! I flung open the doors and windows while smoke billowed out of them. People drove past my house just looking. Which kinda ticked me off....what if my house was on fire? Is the black smoke boiling out of the windows and doors not enough for you to at least roll down your window and say "Hey is everything ok?" Then I could tell you "yes, everything is ok.....I just didn't open the flue all the way. Thanks for asking." The fire goes out because the flue isn't open and it isn't getting any air to it. Which was a good thing. I aired it out for a few minutes, grabbed a flashlight and stuck my head up the chimney. I call the Dirt Queen and she tells me that her flue pushes up to open. Does mine push up or pull down? I pulled it down...so maybe its broke. I decide to call Mr. Otis. 'Hello" Mrs. Sandra answers the phone. "Mrs. Sandra, do you remember if you pull the flue down or push it up to open it." I asked She turns away from the phone and starts yelling , "OTIS! OTIS! Get over there right now....hurry up." She comes back onto the phone " Do I need to call the Fire Department? Is everything ok..." I can hear the panic in her voice. " Yes, I just need to know if you pull it down?" I told her. "You mean the flue wasn't open?" She says. About this time Mr. Otis runs into my house and says "I knew I shouldn't left you alone with a fire burning." He was kidding......I think. I told him that he should have known something was wrong when he got over to his house and didn't see any smoke coming out of my chimney! We pulled HARD on the flue, and I heard it open. I stuck my head up in there to see the daylight. We lit my fire ....again......and then I had a fire.....and smoke that drew up the chimney just like it should. My nice white mantle turned black. Ugh! I used 6 rags wiping it down. The decorative details are so hard to clean! I scrubbed them and scrubbed them....but they are still sooty.
I enjoyed my fire all night. I now know when the flue is open! I light pull isn't enough....you have to PULL hard!
Moving on to topiaries...
I wanted to make my sister-in-law (SIL) a topiary for Christmas. I used her colors of bronze and gold, and incorporated the woodsy feel into it. I used some of the decorative balls and feathers from their rehearsal dinner as well. I made it a while back, but I couldn't show ya'll because someone might see it! I can finally show you now!
Here she is posing with her new topiary! I think she really like it.
I actually added more balls after I took this pictures. I added mossy green balls, and seed balls to it. It filled it in alot more.
These topiaries are so easy to make! I am going to make some more next year. Here are the two I made this year. Can you tell which one is mine! LOL!


Tootsie said...

Oh chicky...your topaiary is awesome! your sil is a lucky girl!
I am glad you had those nice people that love you so much to be so helpful...talking to you on the phone yesterday...the story is kinda cute the way you told me! lol
as for the soot on your detail...just think of it as a memory made...and that you "accented" those pretty details? okay..I know...pretty sad...but I tried!
hope you have a great day!
got that box ready to send...just a couple more to prep to go and I will look like a full blown mail girl walking around with all these boxes! lol

Nezzy said...

If ya have a fireplace, sooner or later...smoke happens. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I light mine when it gets cold in the fall it doesn't go out until it's too warm in springtime.

Your house and topiaries are absolutely beautiful.

God bless ya'll!!!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

What a pretty topiary DP. Great job. I am guessing yours is the colorful one.LOL.
I bet your heart was pounding girl when the smoke came out into the room.
It is hard to believe no one stopped or came to see if the house was on fire. Gee Whiz, my grill is just behind the house and I have had people stop twice to see if my house was on fire because the smoke travels along the roof and eaves. I always tell them thanks for checking but " I am just burning supper'. LOL!

Darla said...

OMG!!! I do worry about you DP! The topiaries are so pretty, might have to borrow this idea..

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I'm afraid to try to start a fire for the very reason you had a problem, the flue! Glad everything was okay. I bet your neighbors love having you there because you take such good care of your home and garden.
Your topiaries turned out great!

Susie said...

Girl, sorry but I had to laugh at your fireplace story. Glad you got it working good now.

Joanne said...

Love the fire they make a room so welcoming

Carolyn gail said...

LOL! That'll learn ya :-)

Of course she like it ; those are beautiful topiaries.

Happy New Year, Dirt Princess.

Dirt Princess said...

Tootsie I can't wait to see what you have in store for me!

Nezzy I will definitely be building another fire this weekend! Thanks!

Hocking Hills I was surprised as well! You just never know about people! It did scare me...lesson learned!

Catherine I give them a hard time! I pick with them all of the time and tell them they will be glad when I move, but they say this will miss me!

Susie that is why I share my dilemnas with ya'll....someone has to laugh with me!

Joanne I love the ambience of a fire.

Carolyn Gail I am glad you like them!

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