Woodstove woes weaken winter well-being

Two weeks ago, our new-to-us wood cook stove broke.

How does that even happen? It’s not like a regular kitchen range: It doesn’t have an igniter, or even any on/off knobs. It’s a big cast-iron tank with a firebox on one side, an oven on the other, and a giant griddle for a top. But the old firebrick inside the firebox had been repeatedly patched by the previous owner, and one day it just broke in half.

Mark and I like to live on the edge — just this morning I used half-and-half that was two days past its sell-by date — but if there’s one thing we agree on, it’s that we’re both opposed to burning down the house. We decided one of the best ways to avoid that would be to stop building fires in the wood stove until we could get replacement parts.



Read More

Grammar crusader fights on

I’ve always had a thing for grammar.

In kindergarten, I corrected Tracy Reynolds for splitting an infinitive during Show-and-Tell. I knew the difference between “disinterested” and “uninterested” before I was allowed to cross the street by myself. While other teenagers tacked up posters of Simon & Garfunkel or Hall & Oates on their bedroom walls, I put up a poster of Strunk & White.

Read More