Thursday, January 24, 2013

O For a Muse of Fire

I've spent most of today so far in fire-related activities.  Chopping wood, coaxing flames, piling on sticks, groaning about how my back and hands hurt... fireplaces are a lot of work, as some of you may know. 

This morning we woke up freezing cold and rather miserable (Virginia having finally realized that it's January, not October), so my mom and I decided to make a fire ourselves.  Usually it's my dad's job, but since he was at work it was up to us.  We had it nicely built up, but then we ran out of wood.  At first we sent out the little 'uns to gather sticks, but then they brought in a huge log....and I had a bright idea.  I would chop it.  My dad has a little hatchet which I've always wanted to try out, and now I got my chance.  (I'm certain there''s a bigger one somewhere in the garage, but I'm scared of the garage - too many spiders - so I didn't hunt too far.  So I grabbed my brother Joe and went out chopping. 

Chopping wood is glorious fun.  You get to whack an inanimate object with a sharp tool.  What's not to love?  I think I shall keep a supply of sticks to chop when I get angry from now on.  Really.  I think it would be quite beneficial.

So, to give this post a reason for existing, I shall explain some basics of stick-gathering and fire-making to you poor city slickers.  (You have no idea how hypocritical it is for me to say that.  I am by no means a country girl.) 

So, stick-gathering.  The sticks should be dry, but not rotted.  If they're rotten, they'll burn up like twigs, which is okay for a quick blaze, but isn't really worth it.  The lighter they are, the drier they are.  The drier they are, the better (and quicker) they'll burn.  Obviously the bigger they are, the longer they'll burn.  I don't know much about types of wood...I know some burn better than others, but I have no idea which.

Once you've got the sticks, you can make the fire. (By-the-by, unless you have a strong man, a saw, and big tree limbs, I recommend that you buy logs from a grocery store or something to supplement your sticks.)  If you have a huge fireplace or are making a bonfire, the best method is to lay your logs in a square shape with sticks and kindling (pinecones work well) in between.  If you've only got a regular fireplace, you can lay the logs in a triangle or x-shape.  I've been laying my sticks vertically against a log in the back and stuffing the middle with twigs, but it's not working terribly well.

So yeah, that's what I've learned about fires.  They're great fun, even though it's a ridiculous amount of work.

If you've got anything to add to my fire-making-knowledge, tell me in the comments.  And if I've got anything wrong, pleasepleaseplease tell me.  And if you made it to the end of my chattering...congratulations.

via google images

Monday, January 21, 2013

What's in a Name?

Sorry, this is not going to be a deep philosophical post on names.  At least, not entirely.

I've just oh-so-casually changed my blog's name.  Usually it takes me days to decide on a name for anything - names are just so very important, you see.  I find it hard it to believe that I would be the same person if I were named Elizabeth (a name my mom was considering for me), or Agatha or Renee or any other name at all.  I wouldn't be me.

My blog has a history of hasty decisions, though - when I chose Raindrops and Moonlight, I was just fooling around, not realizing that I was actually making a blog, so I just came up with a title out of the blue and stuck it in.  I thought I could play around with the settings and then there would be some option that let me choose whether I actually wanted this to be a thing or not.  But it just kind of...happened.  And lately it's been bugging me...I'm not so much of a moonlight-ish person anymore, if you follow me.  I mean, I'm still quite affectionate towards the moon and I think moonlight is lovely, but it doesn't really "fit" me anymore.  Also, certain individuals have said that the title was "Rainbows and Unicorns, or something really girly like that."  Well I am girly, but I didn't quite like that, and it made me think about the title more.  And I decided I'd outgrown it.

 Sunlight and Shadow, while similar to Raindrops and Moonlight, really, seems a bit more "me" now.  It was a title I thought of quite a while ago, and I rather like it because it indicates that I shan't always be depressed and sad (shadow), but I won't be all sunlight, because there's definitely such a thing as too much sun.  And I'm not entirely a sunshine-y person...I remember a time when I'd walk into a room and my dad would start making thunder noises at me and crack jokes about stormclouds.  So yeah, definitely not all sunshine here.  Anyway, shadows add depth to things.

So yeah.  Long complex explanation of a simple change.

I'm hoping that in some weird subconscious manner the change of title will inspire me to write more.  I really haven't been able to think of anything to talk about, I'm afraid.  Plus I've been quite busy with awful slow schoolwork and planning life stuff and....yeah.  (By the way, if you have ANY SUGGESTION AT ALL for a topic I could write about, I will hug you.  Virtually.)

Tell me what you think of the new title.  If you miss the old one, console yourself with the fact that it's still my URL, and that is not likely to ever change.
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