I have been lauded and derided because I read directions, but, as they say, "When all else fails...." Despite a clean chimney, empty ash box, fresh (seasoned) wood, the stove was still being cranky. I'd fiddled with all the vents and could get a good blaze started, only to have it die down to a smolder in nothing flat. Stove was beginning to take on a personality with attitude; one that needed adjustment. Getting out the manual and reading it cover to cover, I discovered that I hadn't gone deep enough into the bowels to find the catalytic combuster (say that three times fast). The day was sunny (newsworthy in that we hit sixty degrees for the first time in a month), and the pitiful fire of the night before was completely out, so I could safely remove the entire top of Stove to find and clean the combuster, which was, indeed, clogged. Who knew? Even though the day was warm, the temperature plummets at sundown, and last night I was really glad I'd read the directions. Sometimes I wish there were a manual for life.
Tree Guy and sons are coming on Monday to split wood cut from the barn oak. My supply had been dwindling fast and I was getting a little worried about making it through the rest of the winter. We are edging toward spring, though, having gained a half-hour of daylight before sundown. These few sunny days lull one into thinking we're past the worst, but I know better. Stove and I need to come to an understanding; lose the attitude.