Best wood to burn

As it starts to get colder (and I know it is already cold up in Wyoming, where I heard it was -4 already) – you may be ready to start using your wood burning stove.  Or if you have a fireplace, you may be ready to stoke that up.

You want to make sure you know what kind of wood you have or are getting – the harder woods burn longer and produce better heat and leave a nice bed of coals at the end of the burn. Good woods include: Sugar Maple, Beech, Oak, Hickory and Ash.

Stay clear of softer woods, especially the resinous woods like Fir, Eucalyptus, Pine,  and Alder because they produce lots of smoke and can coat your flues with creosote. Unseasoned wood can produce the same issue.

If you are gathering it up yourself – best to season it for a year to be sure it is dry enough; or if you are buying your wood,  look for USDA certified kiln dried wood with a low moisture content (also known as MC).





Almost September 2018

I have been ruminating for months trying to figure out a good niche for this blog and my interests. In watching the culture and the economy, I am struck by how many niche areas there are and that I cannot be all things to all people.

Here are some I am still focused on and have some passion for:

  1. Downsizing – as in decluttering and/or living in a smaller space;
  2. Making ends meet – living on minimum wage and/or side gigs or just limited funds;
  3. Living in a tiny home – build it yourself, or buy one already built or rent one;
  4. Sustainable living – less grid, no grid, raise your own or source it from local farmers;
  5. Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle – getting the most out of everything.

Of these, numbers 1, 2, and 5 are my favorite – partly because I was a Foster Parent for awhile and these are topics that can help any young person who is recently emancipated be more successful in their independent life.  As well as helping those of us already on the adventure we call “adulthood”.

And so in the rest of this year, I will be focusing in on those three areas and I hope to get this blog jumpstarted for a wonderful 2019 filled with regular posting and hopefully, an ebook or two. 🙂



Away away … a way

We took a vacation in November, my hubby and I. The first actual vacation that wasn’t spurred by someone graduating or getting married. I could have scheduled posts, but I have been wrestling with how to evolve Zen of Living Smaller into something that will actually make a difference.

Not posting showed me that not that many people have been reading or checking out the curated posts – which I have been doing for the last three years non-stop. So it is obviously time to make some changes.

I love responsible living, which means living smaller, and sustainably – making thoughtful choices about the things we consume, and hopefully making good choices for the future (ours, our kids, their kids – the world’s futures). So until I figure out how to make a difference with this blog…I will be on hiatus.

Hopefully it won’t take long…but inspiration is required, and I need to know that this isn’t just an exercise in “mental scrapbooking”.   🙂

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Good Kwanzaa, and the best for the holiday that you celebrate. 🙂 See you (hopefully) in 2018 – with a new zest for smaller living and a focused plan.