It rained most of the night. A soft quiet rain. Hiker and I slept in until 8am. Did not go for a morning walk because we were waiting for the chimney sweep guy to come and check out my fireplace. Ben and I stopped using it about 2 years before he died and I didn't use it after he died, but now I've decided I wanted to start using it again and I wanted to make sure it was in good working condition. The two guys who came were really nice. They were probably in their mid-30s and the owner, Paul, has had the business for 16 years. Since Ben and I had never had the chimney cleaned, I had them do it. They told me that 1/8” of soot in the chimney can start a chimney fire. They suggested I have it checked every 3 years to see if it needs to be cleaned. The told me that some states have laws that you have to have your chimneys cleaned every 3 years. Anyway, they answered all of my questions and it only took them about 15 minutes to clean the chimney. A huge pile of soot came out of it, so I'm glad I had them clean it. Now I have to decide what I want to burn in the fireplace. Ben and I always used Duraflame logs, but these guys told me that they actually do not burn cleanly as they claim because they are held together with chemicals and waxes and that hard oak and hard ash are the best. I also asked about those creosote cleaning logs that Ben and I used to burn. They said they help a little bit, but that they are really not worth the money. They checked that my chimney was not leaning or loose and that my chimney cap and spark arrestor were in good condition and that there were no cracks in my firebox. I was really happy with these guys. They also gave me a 10% senior discount. I will definitely use them again. Took Hiker for an afternoon walk because I think she was getting cabin fever. I had closed her off in the bedroom while they guys were here.