where there's smoke...


lint no smoke

K was put on hold for the weekend, for a project, and then released. Not fun.


He and I drove around looking for flint and were unsuccessful.

smoke paper lint

We did find the magnifying glass.

wet leaves

And various materials were tried.

smoke and needles and paper

B is in Alaska so we can't ask him for help.

big smoke

I'm thinking it all has to do with transferring the EMBER (which we have made) to dry TINDER in very small amounts with cupped hands and lots of blowing.

bad tinder

We had good EMBER for many long minutes - but it never translated into fire.

And so, what did the boys do instead of being successful at making fire?


They built a 35mm lens adapter from pieces of white board, some screws and a lunch
box. It is far too complicated for me to explain but it kept them busy for hours and they are very pleased.

I'm seeing brother L today - who just happens to have the VERY SAME roof basket I had wanted to buy for my truck. It doesn't fit on his new car and he is going to LOAN it to me.

Now back to my regular fretting...


Anonymous said…
Perseverance (hope I spelled it right)...you WILL get fire after the smoke. I know.
Dani said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dani said…
So, those Cavemen were really smarter then we think.
Carol said…
I love it when you "borrow" things from family - now you need to put kayaks and skis up there!!
If your dining room table could write a book.....

As for the fretting...breathe in. On the exhale, say to yourself, in a calm voice, Cape Cod.
Anonymous said…
The things your family does in its spare time ... making fire, building lens adaptors ... What's next?!
Anonymous said…
from brother B

as I write this the bus is being loaded by students with a mountain of gear. We head for 'the field' within the hour.

it's about the ember.

and the tinder.

start very small, and build bigger

dried dead grass is great tinder, you can put the tinder on the ember. but dead leaves and pine needles dont. they just smoke

flint requires really good tinder.

I will send you flint when i get back. and maybe a video.

barbra said…
Now I am having all kinds of ideas about what it's a metaphor for. But I think my ideas tell me more about me than they do about you.
Anonymous said…
I am curious about the boys' 35mm lens adapter -- what does it do exactly?
Salty Miss Jill said…
Now this is a constructive weekend. :)
Mrs. G. said…
They do know about matches, right?
might I add...? said…
So impressed by the activities in your home.... I'd love to do some of these things, but I think I'm too easily distracted...
Anonymous said…
They have so many skills, these boys. Fascinating.

laura said…
A lens adapter! Your boys are truly amazing.
Loretta said…
I know my kids would love to get their passport to Tuvalu one day. They'd all be great friends. Great tinkerers, one and all!
Anonymous said…
Gee, and all I did was make a cheesecake! Eating way too much of it was my reward for heating up my kitchen for an hour, 45 minutes.

Did they try using the lens to focus the sun to start a fire?
I am fascinated by what you do to balance the masculine dominance in your household. You are such a wonderful supporter of all these activities - and I suspect - an instigator as well!!!
Anonymous said…
I'm beginning to think the trick is to get one fire going then NEVER let it go out. An eternal flame to save you the desperate effort of starting another fire!
I'm back. Been DAYS without internet access just staring at my computer willing it to work. GAH. Must read all now and catch up on the Blackbird household.
I'm just in awe--imagine if you had homeschooled. As it stands, the fire lessons and the complicated lens adapter thingy have trumped anything I've ever dreamed of teaching my boys.
Eleanor said…
I can smell that smoke. It's very familiar to me.
You all got further than I would have. Another one of many many reasons I'll not get on "Survivor."
Hen said…
"There's no smoke without fire"....another urban myth crushed?

Still waiting to try your car trick...and now we are going to have to try torching things too!!!
abrowncow said…
i was at Colonial Williamsburg this past weekend and spotted a basket of flint in one of the shops. i wanted to buy it but couldn't for the life of me remember why... now i remember!
Alice said…
I hope you grunted a la caveman while you made fire...

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