Friday, September 17, 2010


Our house is well insulated and we have a good furnace.

 So when the weather looks like this...

 …and this.  We can stay cozy and warm inside.  Although the heating bills are chilling.

But just in case crap happens, we have a back-up plan to survive arctic weather.  We have a little wood stove in the basement where we can cuddle up and enjoy a fire when the nights are long and the toes are icy.

But that means we need firewood.  Stashing wood for the winter is a messy, sweaty job.  The forest service issues inexpensive wood cutting permits; and years ago we would go to the mountains several weekends every summer and saw and haul and stack firewood and bring it home.  That fuel was expensive in so many ways.  Now there is a business not far from here which builds log homes.  They sell the scrap wood cut and blocked so all the guys need to do is bring it home.

 And split it.  Before Beavis came back to live with us, DH and I would rent a mechanical splitter for an afternoon.  It’s the nearest experience to working with explosives I’ve ever had.

 Now our son saves himself a trip to the weight room and does us all a favor by attacking the wood with a splitting maul.

 The remarkable thing is that he can accomplish so much so fast and never lose those pants that are getting too big for him with all the biking and working.

 "Good blocks of oak it was I split,
As large around as the chopping block;

And every piece I squarely hit
Fell splinterless as a cloven rock."
(Exerpt from Two Tramps in Mud Time by Robert Frost

 One more cord of wood and we’ll have our stockpile for the winter.

Then DH has to tune up that snow thrower over there on the left.


Anairam said...

That wall of wood is going to make for a good winter.
PS I really enjoyed your comment about the pearl in the jaws of a shark. Indeed! That is taken from our livingroom window and is the moon rising above our mean neighbour's new house!

Jill said...

That is very impressive - we have no concept of your winter climate here in southern England - we were a bit put out with our month or so of 3 inches of snow!!

Linda Sue said...

Two cords already chopped and seasoned- what a secure feeling!

Anonymous said...

All of this takes so much strength - a quality I am in awe of!

TALON said...

Wow - that wood pile is so neat and tidy. And your son did a fabulous job. That's great about the local scrap wood. It's nice to know you're all set for the snow...which I'm really hoping comes later for us this year than last (November it started and stuck around).

fifi said...

Yes, that woodpile is amazingly neat and organised. I was thinking as I read that you were about to say you'd had snow already!

Kilauea Poetry said...

Amazing! Talk about hard work! Somehow it crossed my mind (I bet that's dangerous) -your remark about the mechanical splitter.. looks very neat and what a big help your son is! The wood stove back up sounds so cozy for this cold weather Leenie! Seasons change fast (I'm sure picking up that scrap wood is a nice change though), but I bet the heating bills can get up there. Enjoyed the R.F. quote too-

Anonymous said...

Malcolm is very impressed with you log pile!! I have a small scar on my nose - the result of a chip flying off and hitting me in the face as I split a log (I also had a wonderful black eye!). Our stove is blazing away as I write this - it's not really cold enough - but we just love having it lit!!

jeanie said...

I too am extremely impressed by the woodpile - not much use for it here except to hide snakes in...

DayPhoto said...

We just got our wood ...hauled and stacked. It is our primary heat source so we need lots.

Your pile looks good!