The flue is nearly impossible to open. Though you couldn't tell that from the amount of wasps that somehow manage to find their way into the house. Even though the top is capped off with just a small, covered stove pipe sticking out, when it rains, we get a leaky fireplace. All of this has led us to wall off the opening with a piece of plywood. Not ideal, not pretty.
This isn't the biggest problem.
The hearth is about 9 inches tall. Made from the same dark red brick that makes up the rest of the fireplace. With the most squared off, pointy corners. For the past year, I've bypassed untold heart attacks because I'm always certain that Ro is going to fall head first into one of the corners and lose an eye or suffer brain damage.
Friday night, it all happened in slow motion. She was running across the living room floor and she tripped. I just knew we were about to head to the emergency room. Somehow she managed to just graze her forehead across the edge. But that was all it took for us to decide we were done talking about putting a cushion on the hearth.
Time for our monthly trip to Lowe's! (and Hobby Lobby!) A 2x4, a sheet of plywood, screws, 2 yards of fabric, and some foam padding later...
I've never covered something with fabric like this. I could definitely use some practice. I feel so much better now knowing that there is two inches of padding between her head and that dangerous corner.
I'm still entertaining the idea of painting those bricks white. I guess that's a project for next month!