So some of you have been wondering how my wilderness skills are holding out during my back to basics experiment. If Ma and Pa Kettle could do it, my motto this week had become “So Can I!” As you may know, I have attempted to try out my “worst case” scenario motif, to a certain degree of late. It was inspired by my friends and their current ice storm dilemma. (That darn global warming. At it again!)



All I can say is, boy am I glad there was a guy at the propane tank when I pulled in to fill up my little blue container before I headed home to pour it into my portable heater. (Those of you who know about these things already see where this is going.) Anyway, I had decided to dig out my kerosene heater and was ready for action.  So you can imagine my surprise when the attendant at the KOA put his hands in his pocket and just shook his head. “Ma’am.” He said calmly. “Propane won’t fit in that kerosene container.” Gulp. I was so into my new challenge I had completely forgotten that “blue” meant kerosene! Since my friends from the north (that had taken refuge in my home) were on the hunt for propane, in my mind I said, “And me too!” And off I went with my little blue container. 


Thank the Lord for propane men and people who speak “Container. (By the way, the red ones are for gasoline. I have no idea what propane is. Maybe it’s Green? But I digress…)


With a flushed face and a heart full of gratitude I scampered off to find a gas station that sold my much needed kerosene. Ironically, it was the Asian 20 something behind the counter, whose owner/father explained to me how to get the heater back into working condition.  I had placed it in my storage area and had completely forgotten how to even make it work. A few English translations by the son and wild arm swingings from the father later I got the message.  Clean it out first.


At home, I googled the model number and did some research just to be sure.  Why was I surprised they didn’t even make this little gem anymore? Hmmm. Just my luck.  The guy up near the Catskills convinced me in his review that I would blow my house up within the first 5 minutes of my attempts, while Mr. Maine assured me that I was the smartest girl alive below the Mason Dixon line.


So, funnel in hand, I poured the greasy fluid into the well and waited for the magic to begin. Within minutes the kitchen warmed up and there was a happy, fiery glow. My dog of course decided to head out to the back 40. (Never can be too safe when ole Steph is up to a new project is his M.O.). Having done a bit more research, I’d learned from Wise in Wisconsin that if you put a whistling tea kettle on top of the heater, you’d always have hot water ready to brew. Who knew!


It was then I wondered how we, the people, ever decided modern technology was the only way to go.  Now all I need is a pot bellied stove and a cold frame out back and I should be able to weather out the winter just fine. Anybody out there got any extra mason jars?


Toasty in Nashville.