Saturday, November 21, 2015

Mama Taught Me To Share: Bonfire Edition

If you follow me ANYWHERE I'm positive that you have seen me mention a fire night or twenty along with a picture or thirty. I LOVE FIRES! We do them A LOT. We roast hot dogs, sausages, marshmallows, make mountain pies and s'mores... the works. And it's freaking yummy. We invite our friends and family, or we just have an "intimate" fire. As intimate as one can get with a 6 year old or teenager/s attending. But we love having fires and going to our friend's fires. 

Seriously. I'm a PA is in my blood. (Okay, not LITERALLY...but you know what I mean.)

We've been to crazy big fires, small fires, fires in a hole in the ground, fires in an above ground pit, even had fires in an old grill and a tiny old camping grill. A fire is a fire is a fire. Unless it's a house fire or... okay, so some fires are better than others. We like the intentional and safe fires. 

Anyway, this summer we accepted an invite to a fire at a friend's house and they unintentionally taught me something amazing. So, I'm going to share it with you. If you go to fires or have your own... Ya know what, you can use this tip or not. I thought it was cool and it helps when I'm working scenes out in my head.

We all get junk mail, right? What do you normally do with it? Tear the envelope in half and drop it in the garbage can. That's what I usually did. Sometimes I'd take notes on the envelope if it was blank. What do you do with the kid's worksheets from any school help/learning books? Once completed, they met the garbage can, too. (Maybe you'd save one or two sheets as mementos. I don't know.) What about those pieces of mail that you worry about just dropping in the trash because it has important information on it? Bill stubs you've already paid? Bank account summaries (if you haven't gone completely paperless)? Crappy, junky magazines? Old magazines the children have cut up?

You can use those for your fires. We start our fires with news paper or cardboard or whatever's available as we try to avoid using lighter fluid. Sure, they don't produce the best scent...but on a chilly night it boosts the heat. Also, it saves on your trash/recycling/paper shredder. 

You can make burn logs.

Now, I separate by paper texture. Not only because I'm weird, but because we've found what works best for our preferences. The adds and magazines and newspaper works best to help start the fire, and the paper logs are for when the fire is already going. You can do it however you want. :)

What you need: paper & rubber bands

Step One: Collect your magazines, junk mail, scrap paper, old bills, oops prints, etc. 
Step Two: Keep the rubber band handy.
Step Three: OPTIONAL Remove the staples. It won't burn and won't hurt, but I'm the one that digs through the ashes days after a fire to fish out the metal pieces...they don't vanish and I won't let the husband put the metal pieces in the garden or anything. So I fish the nails and what not out and chuck them in recycling bin or trash (depending on what it is...if I can tell)

So I just remove the pesky staples because they're harder to fish out of the fire pit. You can do what works for you.

Step Four: Roll them. Wrap the roll with a rubber band while you set up more papers to continue rolling.

Tip: Keep your roll tight. It burns longer the tighter it is and it won't fall apart when you move it if the roll is tight.

All you do is keep rolling. My rolls aren't done yet.

When you've got a decent log going, you can wrap it with twine or probably just paste the last sheet. Then, you put that sucker on the fire.

It will produce more ash than the wood does, but we have a decent sized pit and keep up with it so it hasn't been an issue.

**I do not advocate minors starting fires without adult supervision, using paper logs in a fire place or to heat your home, starting fires in unsafe locations, or starting fires during storms, rain, wind advisories, etc. **

Yeah, I just took all the fun out right? Too bad.

Stay safe ya'll! Don't burn important things you need to keep either!

Enjoy your warm fires! I can't wait for our next! One week away! YAY!

Also, thank you to my friend for accidentally showing me this trick....for as long as I've been doing fires I never even thought about it. This friend also makes paper bricks, but I don't have a press so I haven't tackled that technique. 

Do you have any tips or tricks to make life easier? Or warmer. Hah!

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