Over three years ago, I scored the better part of a deck’s worth of dense curupay boards. I did only one small project, then a picnic table which, despite complete sanding and refinishing with marine varnish after a couple years, quickly weathered again into a mottled mess. I lost interest in working with this curupay again, and have from time to time cut up some of the smaller lengths for firewood. Today I got a load of “real” firewood delivered, which prompted me to clean…Continue Reading “The great curupay cleanup”

Temperature is in the mid-50s F (12-13° C) and it just felt right to crank up the wood stove. I had the door properly resealed a couple months ago. When I last got the door redone a couple years ago, the job was sloppy, and the stove hasn’t been really tight for a long time. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of heat coming from it – and of course forgot to dust the top before lighting. Eh, what’s a little temporary burning odor?…Continue Reading “First fire this year”

Electricity tends to be expensive in Uruguay, and most people where we live use gas, called “supergas,” for cooking. It’s not a good choice for heating, since it adds humidity, which, combined with temperature, is a fine recipe for unhealthy mold growth. For that reason, we chose to ignore the gas plumbing in the incomplete house we bought, and instead deal with the regular replenishment of garafas (carafes? um, thanks Google Translate). Which replenishment has been an issue of late, because whoever delivers or refills or…Continue Reading “*grrrrrrr*afas”

We inherited a piece of curupay lumber when we moved here. A meter long, perhaps 2″x3″, it weighs much more than any unsuspecting person would imagine. Curupay is used for beams, and though it has about the highest heat output of any wood here, its price is such that you’d be crazy to burn it. Unless, of course, you happen to have had incompetent local aluminum door installers destroy your floor and the frame of the wooden door they removed. The pieces have sat, undisturbed,…Continue Reading “Crazy gringo burns curupay as firewood”