Dear fireplace, is lying on the skin of a dead bear carcass really considered “sexy”?

No matter what you decide to lay on, it’s getting closer and closer to that time of year where it’s time to stoke the fireplace. What a great way to warm up with a loved one while the flames liberate its radiant heat. Don’t have someone to lie with at the moment? Try curling up with a good book—especially one that grabs more than just your attention.

Choosing your wood. I’m still talking fireplaces—just in case I lost you. To make those piping hot embers last, choose a hard wood. The best choices—if you live in an area where they are indigenous, are ironwood, hickory, beech, oak, sugar maple, and rock elm. For best results, avoid wood that’s been newly chopped or sopping wet. The wood I will be burning this winter was chopped, stacked, and tucked in beneath a large tarp last year by yours truly. I used leftover brick to pile it on so it would be up and off the ground. It’s had plenty of time for the Texas sun to dry it out to perfection. Oh yeah!

Back to that titillating book you’re reading by the fireplace… please, oh please, dear reader, don’t forget to follow-up online with a rave review of the book that helped get you all hot and bothered in the first place. It not only helps the authors, but gives them more of an incentive to want to continue to please you!

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