About Me

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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of one. I have many hobbies and interests but gardening and rug hooking are my main interest at the moment. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and have been married for 51years.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I've been after my husband to clean the chimney it seems for ages because I'm afraid of chimney fires. We've been  burning a lot of wood as it's been cold and some of the wood he's been burning is a bit wet and the temperature has been fluctuating with warm and freezing and it all adds moisture in the chimney and accumulate creosote which is very flammable.

Last year I hired a couple of chimney sweeps and all they did was push a brush up the chimney from the little clean-out door that is accessible from inside the garage and they charged me $75.00 plus tax and I was wondering about the top part of the chimney. I'm sure that they didn't even reached all the way to the top.

This week I went to our local hardware store, good ole Canadian Tire and purchased a folding ladder that I've been wanting to buy for a long time . It was on special at half price. This ladder reaches 17 feet high. 
So today, my hubby  decided that since it wasn't too cold he would not light a fire  and he would clean the chimney with my help.  

He attached  a weight on a wire chimney brush and  folded the long rope in two and attached it to the brush and lowered it down the chimney while I pulled on the other end to which also was attached a weight.

I was in the garage pulling on the cord while the soot was flying everywhere and he was pulling from the top to loosen the creosote accumulation and there was a lot. A good thing I was wearing a tuque on my head to keep my hair clean but my face got dirty.

Here is Grandma Black Soot.
This is a self portrait holding my camera at the end of my arm. The soot accentuated my every wrinkles but look at that satisfied smile.  My throat was black with soot, it's not all shadow.  It really makes me look my age.

 So my ladder has more than half paid for itself already. A great investment and now I can sleep feeling more secure especially on windy days. And I'll make sure that we don't wait so long between chimney clean up.

Keep warm and safe and thanks for leaving comments.  JB


  1. LOL! I like the fashionable new eyeshadow!
    Oh, isn't it a job keeping the woodstove safe? Zip takes the stovepipes apart once a week and brushes them out and gets as much out of the bottom of the chimney as possible.
    Our fire company used to bring their ladders and do it from the top for a donation. I don't know why they quit. Maybe the younger guys just aren't interested.
    Yes, you should be able to sleep in peace without having to worry about a chimney fire.
    Sweet dreams!

  2. You are a get it done woman. We had a guy come last year and he was great he did a good job on the chimney. We are pretty good about burning dry wood and it is a center chimney which helps. We do use some oil I almost died when they delivered 89.9 gallons today if we don't pay in 10 days it is 301.00 if we do pay in 10 days 283.09 how do people pay for straight oil heat???? you can bet we will pay in 10 days but glad we have the wood stove. most of the wood this year came off our property. It is 9f right now so that would be
    -23c am I right? because 32f is 0c oh well glad you can rest easier with a clean chimney. Is it almost baby time?

  3. Thanks Pat, I'll sleep good tonight. Don't you think that I should change my profile photo? lol...

    Cathy, I wish that I had a center chimney instead of outside chimneys. We have a double one on the other side of the house, and the one leading to the basement has been damaged by a chimney fire ages ago and the liner is all falling apart. It's never been fixed and never been used since then.

    According to my convertor it says that 9 F. is = to 12.778C. JB

  4. Oh Julia!
    What a beautiful smile under all that soot! You are a super woman and now can add chimney sweep to that long list of things you do well!
    There is something to be said for being able to sleep at night without worrying about a chimney fire! We've been burning wood for many years and have never had one yet! I do remember as a child when we had one in the old farmhouse where I grew up. Sounded like a freight train was going up the chimney! Quite scary!
    I hope you had a nice warm bath or shower and a nice cup of tea to warm you after that face to face with the chimney soot!
    Cathy G

  5. Oh Julia, lol! We haven't used our fireplace in the three years we have lived in our home because we haven't been able to get it cleaned. Any chance you are heading to Ohio soon? :) Hope you have a relaxing weekend after all that work.

  6. Julia, What a great picture! You look like you can do anything. We have a woodburning stove and my husband got one of those chimney things to clean it. Jack will get up on our roof and clean our chimney himself. He always closes the door to our woodburning stove before he starts pushing the chimney thing. Your better safe then sorry! Cheri

  7. What a job, is there anything you can't do? Well, like you said now you can sleep more peaceful knowing they chimney is clean and you saved money in the process. Way to go.

  8. Julia, you crack me up! "I am women hear me roar!" Your picture tells the whole story~especially the part about you being right!!!! Job well done....
    ♥ Eileen

  9. Oh, make me laugh...what a great post!!!...and what a LOT of work!!! It just makes me cold and tired to think about all that! You are certainly a person who leaves no stone unturned and I so admire that!! It's peace of mind knowing that it is cleaned. My friend "Yaya" over at Whispering Pines blog had a chimney fire some years back and that is not fun!
    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the self portrait (I think wrinkles are sweet)...a great picture!!!!

  10. Julia,
    I love the photo of you. Behind that soot is a Just Do It woman! There is a lot to admire there Julia. You are setting a wonderful example for your grandchildren.

  11. I got a good chuckle out of your photo.I could just imagine the scene unfolding.You should put a photo of our brother Clovis,next to yours .You look like twins lol.Great job done.Sweet dreams.Keep me informed about the impending birth.Safe travel.Lots of love,Hugs and kisses from your sister.

  12. I am so impressed that you cleaned that and got covered in soot. :) Wow your trip is coming up isn't it? A baby soon too. You have lots of things to get done before you leave, don't you? I always think of these things to do before I leave. I love your picture.

  13. Wow, what a job!! and what an accomplishment, it must feel good to have done it with your husband! I love the picture :).....

  14. Julia ~
    What a woman! Good for you. Love the picture. Now you can sleep peacefully each night.
    Hugs :)

  15. Thanks everyone for your kind comments. I really did looked awful for the whole world to see but you turned it into some thing beautiful. Hugs, JB

  16. Hi Julia, I'm with you - I have both of my chimney's cleaned every fall. It is a must for those of us that use the wood stove on a regular basis. I love your picture. The soot just shows us how beautiful you are. Enjoy the wood stove's wonderful heat.

  17. you look like a coal miner, my husband , of soon to be 35 years and I do the same thing , we always try to tackle things ourself, we used to have a wood burning fireplace in Pa. but we just used it occasionly. here in the Carolinas w have a gas one. not as nice but it hardly ever gets where we need to use it .I do sometimes to take te chill off then it gets so hot. its been very cold here can't wait for spring.

  18. Hehe. What a good smile, even with dirt on your face. I always keep our chimney clean, but I hire professionals to do it. I'm so proud of you! That's a lot of work, and I can't believe you did it! :D Way to go!

  19. You, cleaning the chimney, is really impressive! A task like that is not easy, but I can say that it's kinda fun getting yourself filthy with some soot. Haha! Anyway, I think it's quite dangerous since cleaning the chimney requires exceptional skills. And aside from that, the soot particles can be harmful with your health! I wish you should leave it to the professional cleaners.

    -Phil @

  20. It is very tough task to clean chimney. I always hire a professional for this. find here tips to hire a professional.