My hubby, bless his heart, made it his quest to procure firewood for our family to use this winter. He wanted to find a good deal but doesn't have time, tools or know-how to go get some himself. Finally he located a man selling cut wood at a reasonable price who would also deliver it.
We realize, of course, that a fireplace will not be the primary heat source for our house this winter. It is more of a luxury, a comfort item. It's also nice to rely upon in the event of a power outage.
This morning with the tang of fall in the crisp air, I went out to the new woodpile and grabbed an armful. The wood is nice and dry so it burns great. My children always treat the building of a fire as something of an event, exclaiming over and over and giving me advice on not burning myself. They have learned the rules about staying back away from it, so I'm not concerned about them although I still watch.
Little Mister's breathing is my only worry and I am not totally sure that woodsmoke is what caused his asthma attack. For the first few times I plan to keep a VERY close eye on him. The doctor gave us an inhaler to use in case of a future attack, though he hates the toddler mask and fights it tooth and nail. If it appears that he gets wheezy when I build fires I may have to rethink my love of a nice comforting wood fire.
Speaking of wheezy, I'd call my milk experiment a bust. I didn't see any change in breathing ability and I got tired of the taste of soy milk. I don't think I'll bother trying it on Mister since he doesn't usually exhibit symptoms anyway so it would be impossible to tell a difference.
Back to the fire, I have to say I am delighted with our woodpile. If I would have been in charge I would have stacked the wood in obsessively neat rows, but the fact that I did not have to mess with it at all makes me rethink the neat factor and simply enjoy it. It looks like a big happy mountain out behind our garage and hey, it's keeping the weeds down out there!