Fireplace update

The service guy came today and replaced the logs … while it’s much better there’s still an odor. He told us that we should give the new logs time to burn (about 5 hours) and then shut it off and turn it back on in the morning. If the odor is still there, we’ll have him replace the sidewalls which he says can also cause the odor. I’m still afraid that we’ll pay for the new logs and the other work and still end up having to convert it to a vented fireplace but Keith wanted to give this a try first – I wanted to go ahead and convert it right away to a vented fireplace so this is going to be one of those times where one of us is “right” and one is “wrong”.

On a side note, am I the only one with a sky high grocery bill?! Between not going out to eat AND Keith not traveling and being home full time, keeping him fed is pricy! You’d think it would be cheaper without going out but not when he’s home all the time. I’ll have to plan for extra money in the food budget when he eventually retires!!


  1. Hubster is working-from-home so I’m cooking more. But with very little restaurant food (we do take-out 1/week), our spending is down considerably!

  2. Making new recipes so yes probably spending more on food but I think we are eating better than usual. More salads and things that take time to prepare “real food” instead of processed “boxed” mix type foods or frozen dinners. Isolation isn’t all bad. Even made cinnamon rolls on the weekend!

  3. Ventless fireplace? I would be surprised if changing out the logs solves the smell. If it does, I want to know all of the particulars! Regarding the grocery bill… ours is thru the roof! Of course, all of the extraneous spending is next to nothing. I think it all balances out.

  4. I am finding that the grocery stores aren’t having good sales and the prices either are higher than usual or I am only used to buying things on sale. At any rate, our grocery bills are much higher. Hope this all settles down soon. Nancy

  5. Yes, our grocery bill is much higher. I’m cooking constantly now and we eat it too. Tomorrow is leftovers though so I get a break. I’m finding that I’m using my air fryer much more now.

  6. Fireplace – no right or wrong, it just is.

    Grocery bills have increased because of the virus. It will be worse with food harder to find as time goes on. We are paying a shopping service because of age and health. the whole economy is in trouble.

  7. Don’t you love it when you can’t come to an agreement. It almost makes you want them to be wrong so you can be right. At least that is how it is for me. Your way does sound more reasonable to me but men seem to see things differently. Since my husband is home for dinner all the time I have not noticed that I am spending more. Actually ours is better since I have to plan meals better so there are not as many trips to the store. I like going to the store so I usually go often but I can’t do that right now. I am baking way too much though and eating way too much of it. I need to change something that’s for sure or I won’t be able to get out the door when they do let us out.

  8. I am interested in your fireplace puzzle. Mine is fueled with propane and that is what I thought caused the smell. I usually open a window a bit to circulate air as I don’t think the smell can be healthy. I never thought of the things you are trying. Please keep us posted.

    Groceries pricey–yes and I am the only one here to feed.

  9. Glad to know I am not the only one who is seeing their receipt higher than normal. Having 2-4 grands here during the week has made more food purchases of items not already in freezer. And who knew that toilet paper could be so expensive when you do find it?!! (Not hoarding, picking up a package for 4 households to split).

  10. We looked at putting in a ventless gas logs one time, the salesman told us, that if you use any kind of room sprays, or burn candles that the perfume from those stay in the air and the ventless logs will cause an odor. Yes my grocery bill is enormous, for just two people.

  11. Hi Mary! I have to agree with you on the venting – it will be fun to see how it ends up and who is right. And, heck yes on the grocery bill! Not only does it seem way more expensive but it seems we are going more often because we can’t get what we need. I have to start a list today for next week – you have to save a spot now or you can’t get pickup. Of course I ran out of green beans the day I picked up groceries, but you can’t change your order after a certain point. And heaven forbid I just pop in and pick up some vegetables. It makes me not want to retire, I’ll admit that! ~smile~ Roseanne

  12. I feel like I’m on a constant scavenger hunt for what we need. I don’t know if it’s because of the frequency of always having to find what we need but I have noticed a huge increase in the grocery bill.

  13. This is the first time I have ever commented on a blog, but here goes. We had a ventless fireplace for a lot of years. Change yours to a vent NOW! Those fumes have to go somewhere and that is in your house. The smell will always be there. The oily residue will slowly settle on your windows and walls and will have to be scrubbed off.

  14. I am spending a fortune on groceries and we haven’t changed our habits particularly. We aren’t ‘eat out’ people but I think I am buying more treats (cashews, ice cream) and not shopping the sales but grabbing anything that might work for a meal when I see it. When we returned from our winter in Arizona, my cupboards were minimal with food, but that is normal as well for me. I was surprised at how empty the grocery store shelves were, so I think I am still thinking ‘grab it while you can’ mentality. And, I agree with another comment, I am not really shopping the sales like I normally would do and not so sure the sales are as prevalent. I did laugh at the drugstore yesterday. Lysol wipes were on sale and the shelves were empty. I asked an employee if they just put the sale stickers on the shelves regardless of whether there was stock or not and he said yes… they haven’t had any disinfecting wipes for weeks… which makes me think that they have the sales figured out months in advance? The one thing that amazes me is the lack of eggs… limit one dozen per customer… people must be cooking more breakfasts? My grocery bill was massive for the last month. I do a double take every time I shop as to how much I spent. (And NO magazines in my shopping).

  15. The price for groceries have gone up. I notice it right before all this about the virus. Not sure what to say about the fireplace, but I think you might be right. Has the fire place been there as long as the house has? Not sure how long a gas fireplace last. It must be the same as everything else. Things have to be replaced after a while, but that’s costly. I hope for the best for you!! Linnie

  16. Truthfully, I’d rather opt for a fireplace I can flip the switch and have heat than have to deal with the logs and the fire. We had a propane one for years, loved it. When we built the new house, he couldn’t decide where he wanted to put the new one, so we don’t have one. When it’s really cold, I worry about the lights going out and no furnace. So either I will put in another heater, or buy a generator. Probably about the same cost. And maybe my grocery bill is higher, but I’m on the who cares boat, I can’t take it with me. Hug Finn.

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