Mar 24, 2014

Monday Musings - Pellet Stove Fuel

The snow still lingers in our woodland oasis.  
How I want it to melt away and allow spring to begin to show its evidence of arriving. 

 This morning I heard a bird that I am unfamiliar with singing with the rise of the sun.  I tried to peep out the ever lightening front yard to glimpse which bird it would be that would sing such an early herald to a cold day, but she remained hidden to me, even as song sprang forth from her heart.

We have again spotted bluebirds, weeks ago, but still this blanket of white clings to our yard.  Patches of brown grass are peeping out, giving us a renewed hope that spring may indeed arrive soon.  However, I did hear that Tuesday night may bring more s.n.o.w. to our New England home.  

A new problem is arising at an increase rate, our pellets for our pellet stove are nearly out.  There are no more to be had in our state, and our source (my dear David) has run his warehouse supply to its end.  We are dropping the running temperature down to one, to make the best using of the decreasing supply.  The other problem lies that I seem to have an addiction to plopping down in front of said pellet stove ('Hey~she makes me think I am laying in the Bahamas!')

If only my accidental run in with caffeine had happened sooner.  A few nights ago I lay awake, mind running to and fro, as my tired body tried to find the sleepy land of dreams.  As I lay there finding new ways to save the world, it dawned on me that we could burn other things in our ancient stove that we came upon through the favor of God this winter. Pellet stove thoughts and other non-typical fuels for her belly raced through my mind.

 It occurred to me that the rabbit pellets (food) looked like the wood pellets we were using.  Which sent me on a google search.  I found a frugal soul with the same pellet stove as us, who since 1990 has been burning hazelnut shells in his stove.  He said other things could be used as well. (which got me to thinking about pistachio shells, peanut shells, dried: pomegranate peels, grapefruit peels, orange peels...)

 And the fact that we had a hazelnut tree right behind our barn! And to think I had been leaving them for the squirrels to run away with all these years we have lived here.

On our ride home from church I asked my ever-so-smart and frugal children to think of other things we might be overlooking to help us feed the belly of our hungry girl (ancient pellet stove).  We will continue to brainstorm.  The wise old man from the Internet said that we might have to clean her more often with the addition to non-wood pellet things.  Cleaning is not a problem, as we are basically homebodies and love our girl enough to give her the attention she requires (like demand feeding of a wee precious baby).

We will keep you posted.  It occurred to me as well, that praying might help stretch our wood pellets further.  Hey, it worked for the oil in the menorahs!  Not sure if we can make it to cool summer evenings, but with all of this new knowledge (and perhaps the help of family and friends saving pistachio shells or such for us...wanna help?), we will have a stash for next season to stretch and cut our heating bill.

The sweet man, who I may never meet in this life time (that helped me to think my 'save the earth' sleepless night wasn't sheer madness), said that he heats his home with our Whitfield stove, for a mere $100 dollars with his "nutty" ways. Bless his warm heart and home!

Okay, off to warm my cold toes by the beloved pellet stove (which by the way is Whitfield Pellet Stove- Advantage is the model.)  Pictures of her will have to come in another posting, as the morning has arrived.  The children are up and running into another Monday.  I need to keep pace with them, as you can imagine what might happen if I don't.

Have a toasty day friends. 
  Leave me a love note, it encourages me to keep up these posts!


Lisa said...

Goodness Kimmie, I'd think that nut shells would be rather expensive. But whatever's around, I guess! You can't cut up little pieces of sticks?

I can't believe you have so much snow left! Tonight we're only supposed to get an inch or less - and the end of it, I hope.

Rob said...

Well there is one thing for sure Kimmie, even if the rest of you gets cold through lack of fuel for your stove I know you will always have a warm heart. Good luck with the fuel hunt, our stove burns logs or coal and I've never had dealings with stoves that burn wood pellets so I don't really know what to suggest although what Lisa suggests sounds good to me.

Kimmie said...

Oh Lisa, the nut shells are free. We have a hickory nut tree right behind our barn. Not enough for heating the house, but enough empty shells to stretch our pellets. My husband (and father in love- are pistachio addicts, just saying ;}

Of course we can use the heat, but honestly I love the stove and the "Bahama breeze" it kicks up as you park yourself in front of it. (close as I am getting to the Bahamas for now ;-)

Rob, you are a dear one. Thank you for the kind words, they sure warm my heart. Hope you and Vicki enjoyed your Mum's birthday celebration.
thanking God for both of you...I consider you true friends!

love to you both!


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