Thursday’s Thoughts ~ The Buck Stove

2-13-2014 9;32;17 AM Brandy 1982

our daughter, Brandy, in front of the Buck Stove cir. 1982

Our state (Georgia) is in the midst of a winter storm.  Some folks are stuck in their homes, many without power. Waking up in a warm house, when the temperatures are freezing outside makes me extremely thankful!   However, in times like these, I can’t help but remember our old ‘Buck Stove’…

In 1978, six years after purchasing our mobile home, Ed built a large addition onto it.  By then, we’d outgrown our living space, but couldn’t really afford to build a house. We more than doubled our living space, which was nice, because we were expecting our first child.  The problem was, our mobile home heating system wasn’t large enough to heat the extra living space.  We were forced to find an additional heating source.

Ed’s parents gave us an old propane heater, and we picked up a second propane heater from somewhere else.  The first winter we heated with those heaters, we almost went broke buying propane, plus we didn’t stay very warm either!  It quickly became obvious, we needed to find a different heating source.

Before the next winter, Ed bought a wood-burning heater, known as the ‘Buck Stove’.  Buck Stoves were a fairly new concept, back then.  It proved to be one of the best purchases we ever made, as it saved us a ton of money in heating costs!  Ed’s daddy had lots of pine trees growing on his land, and back then, people were always giving wood away, if we’d go cut it up.

One down-side of heating with the Buck Stove (in addition to dealing with dust and ashes), was trying to keep the fire going around the clock!  Most of the time, the fire would have gone out by early morning.  We usually woke up to a somewhat cool house each morning.  Ed’s job was to get the fire re-started when he got up, so the house would be warm for the rest of us when we got up.

Another down-side of heating with the Buck Stove was trying to regulate the heat output.  The stove was equipped with a thermostat and a fan, which had three different speeds.  The hotter the fire got, the harder the fan would blow.  Ed was sometimes notorious for building fires so hot, sometimes we’d have to open the windows and doors!

Ed got his ability to build ‘hot fires’ honest.  One time, when Ed and I had been out-of-town, my father-in-law went to our house to build a fire in the Buck Stove, so we wouldn’t have to come home to a cold house.  He built a fire so hot, it actually made the stove-pipe glow red!  It burned every bit of the paint off of the pipe, too.  Honestly, it’s a wonder our house didn’t catch on fire!

The up-sides of having a Buck Stove were the low cost of heating, and being able to sit and enjoy the fire.  The stove came with glass inserts on its doors, but the doors were removable, as well. Sometimes we’d remove the doors and roast hot dogs or marshmallows in the fire!  The children loved doing that.

Our Buck Stove saved us, once, during ‘The Storm of the Century”.  We were without power for quite a while, and boy, was it cold!  We put a sheet up over the open doorway to the dining room, and huddled inside of the living room, beside the Buck Stove.  The wind was blowing so hard outside, that the sheet covering the dining room door was actually blowing!  The Buck Stove fan couldn’t blow out any heat, since there was no power, but we were warmed from the heat of the fire.  I was able to warm our lunch on the top of the Buck Stove, too.

Eventually, Ed and I were able to add a central heat and air unit to our old house.  By then, we’d had our Buck Stove for twenty years!  I was tired of the ashes and dust, and wanted to use that corner of our living room for other things. Reluctantly, Ed eventually agreed to sell the heater, but says he hasn’t been truly warm since!  To tell you the truth, on days like today, I wouldn’t mind having the old Buck Stove back either.

Stay warm!

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Published in: on February 13, 2014 at 11:07 am  Comments (5)  
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A Weather Report From Our ‘Neck Of The Woods’…

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I’m happy to report that we made it through our coldest night of the season!  Our thermometer reads 20 degrees, this morning, and is continuing to hold firm on that temperature.  I’m not sure we reached the predicted low of 17 degrees, but it’s very cold outside–even though the sun is shinning!

I saw, on Facebook, that some of our neighbors were without power, for a time, last evening.  Thank goodness, we didn’t have a problem with that!  We had a plan in place, just in case, though.

Our son called, very early this morning, to ask if he could come down and take a shower.  Apparently, the water at his house was almost frozen.  In our neck of the woods, we have to put some type of heat lamp beside our pumps to keep them from freezing during extreme temperature drops.  Ed spent part of the weekend scrambling around, trying to find enough heat lamps to meet our needs.  Apparently, heat lamps were in short supply, due to the weather forecast!

Our garden is frozen, this morning, as well as everything else in the yard!  As you can see from the above photo, my barrel fountain has turned into a barrel of ice!  Even the goldfish pond, in the yard, has slivers of ice on top of it, this morning!  The green house had frost on the sides of it, so I’m not sure how well the plants inside are doing.  Time will tell.

For the first time, ever, the door to the chicken coop was frozen shut!  The water supply for ‘the girls’ was also frozen solid.  I brought them a new water supply from inside, but I wonder how long it will be before it freezes, too.  When I cleaned out the chicken house, I noticed their ‘poop’ was frozen, as well! Other than being a bit on the chilly side, ‘the girls’ seem to be doing fine.

All of our other outside animals seemed to have found warm places to spend the night, and all were ready for breakfast, this morning.  The heat lamp, in the dogs’ sleeping quarters, seemed to be a popular spot, last night–for cats, as well as dogs!  It’s a good thing they all get along well!

Today isn’t supposed to rise above freezing, and tonight is supposed to dip back down to around 17 degrees, once again.  By the weekend, our temperatures should be back into the 70’s… and that’s the weather report from our neck of the woods!  Stay warm!

Published in: on January 7, 2014 at 11:02 am  Comments (7)  
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Man, It’s Cold Outside!!!

Granddaughter, Madison, dressed for cold weather

This week’s cold weather snap brings many winter memories flooding back to my mind!  As I sit here at my trusty  computer, listening to the hum of the central heating unit keeping  me toasty warm–I am remembering times past when things were not so warm and toasty.

My earliest memories of winter cold were at my grandma’s house when I was in elementary school–way back in the early 1960’s. My grandparents lived in an old house, and heated with a fireplace.  If you aren’t familiar with old fireplaces, they suck out about as much heat up the chimney as they propel out into the house.  The only way to get warm with a fireplace is to stand in front of  it!  At night, when everyone is asleep, the fire goes out and the house gets COLD!  Since the house got COLD at night, grandma piled MANY quilts on the beds– so many that it was nearly impossible to turn over!!! 

My next memories are of the old rental houses that my parents lived in while I was growing up.  We used two small gas space heaters to heat with.  You had to turn on the gas, then light a match and the heater went “poof” as it lit.  I hated those things!  Space heaters gave off more heat than fireplaces, but they also gave off fumes.  My parents would turn the heaters down low at night while we were asleep, which also meant that the house got cold.  My most unfond memories are of having to wake up and get dressed for school in a cold house!

Those old rental houses were drafty, too.  When the weather got extremely cold, we would put plastic or blankets over the windows to help keep the cold air out.  Not a very pretty sight!  Rental houses had no carpeting on the floor–in those days you were lucky to get a 9×12 area rug!  I wore a lot of sweatshirts, sweaters, and fuzzy bedroom slippers.

I grew up, got married, and soon we began heating with a Buckstove, which is fan-forced, thermostatically controlled,  wood-burning heater.  My husband could get it so hot in the house that we’d have to open windows and doors!  The trick to using a Buckstove was to regulate the temperature of the house, sometimes it was hard to do.  Trying to sustain a fire all night was nearly impossible.  Yuk!  I was back to getting up in a cold house again!  We only had one 9×12 area rug, too.

Eventually, we invested in two window units that had air conditioners and heat pumps in them.  We used those units for several years, then had a regular central unit installed–about ten years ago.  Oh, and we installed carpeting in the bedrooms and the living room!  I was in heaven-on-earth at last–and it only took me 45 years to get there!!!

My husband built a new house for us just over two years ago.  We had the “latest and greatest” kind of central heating and air unit installed.  Now I am really in heaven-on-earth!  It automatically turns itself up and down once we set the control panel.  We can sleep cool at night, but no more cold house in the morning!  Who would’ve dreamed of such a thing fifty years ago?  Who cares if it’s cold outside–not me!  Do you have a cold weather memory?

Now for the Friday Valentine Giveaway…Yes, I know it’s still early for Valentine’s Day, but next weekend the month of January will be half over already!  I wanted to have plenty of time to do at least 2 Valentine Themed Giveaways.  Here’s a picture of what I am giving away this weekend.

Win this prize for yourself or a loved one

To have a chance to win a gift bag containing a Valentine dish towel, Valentine cookie cutters, a note pad, and a magnetic picture frame all you have to do is choose up to 3 numbers between 1 and 100.  If two  people choose the winning number, the FIRST one choosing it wins.  If more than 5 people participate I will let Random.org choose a winning number on Monday morning.  Whoever comes closest to the number chosen–without going over wins!  If less than 5  people participate, I will let the contest run for another week.  Happy choosing, and good luck!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Click here to see the entire Giveaway Blog Hop List….

Published in: on January 8, 2010 at 12:17 am  Comments (13)  
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