The beginning of January we had the fireplace in the living room replaced. The old one was cracked. We knew this when we bought the house. We were informed that it is generally considered a bad idea to burn things inside a house in a container which has holes. We took this to heart and survived the first year on our propane heater. That was not terribly effective for the living room and kitchen, which (shockingly) are the rooms adjacent to the big ol' wood burning stove.
So we got this new wood burning stove with a new chimney insert installed. No more holes in the back of the stove or in the chimney pipe leading to insulation, which is apparently considered flammable - oh the things one learns when one owns a house.
Here we are mid installation and post installation. The craftsmen at Vonderhaar did a great job matching the old stone work.
Here is Cyrano enjoying the fire while doing his woolly caterpillar routine. This is a popular hobby for both cats. What we enjoy is sinking our hands into their warmed fur after they have been laying there for about 20 minutes. Very toasty!
One of the side benefits of this beast is that we finally have somewhere to put all that spare wood that was lying about the yard. (Remember this beast from the Fall of 2008? Michael finally got to use his chainsaw a 15 months later.)