Saturday, March 3, 2012

Winter Chores

While it looks like spring it could still get cold. In fact there is a fire in the stove right now as it is going to be around 40 degrees tonight. We have heated our house with a wood burning stove since Lyn and I were married almost 32 years ago. Same stove too, it's a Fisher, and has really done it's job. When we built this house we designed it around the stove, putting it as close to the dead center as we could. While it is stingy with wood, you still need wood to put in it. It's a winter chore that I have never minded as Lyn and I make a good team getting the wood to the house. We have always been lucky to have a place to cut wood, making for a very cheap heating bill every winter.

 The cold months are the perfect time to cut and haul wood. You know, the old heat you twice thing, but you don't sweat your butt off either. How ever you need to plan to be ahead of the game on your wood and I like to be about two cords ahead. That's a whole winter's supply for us and it's good to have in case one of us is injured and can't get the wood in. So now we are essentially cutting next year's supply as well as a little for this year. Lyn swore she was up to it after her back surgery last year. She looks to be nearly 100% to me.

She does most of the picking up and putting into the trailer and I do the cutting.

Looking at that pile, I think she thinks it's time for a break. No matter, I just keep on cutting. I'll pick up when I run out of gas. I always take two saws, each full of gas and oil, and cut until they are empty. Cuts almost exactly one cord of wood. I just don't abide by refilling a hot saw, they won't last if you do that much and that oldest saw is 25 years old and still cutting like a new one.

I found this guy under some of the logs in the brush pile we were cutting in. It was cool and he could hardly move. I dug a little hole under a big log and put him in it and covered him with leaves. I think he will make it OK.

When we got home I went out in the garden and cut some lettuce and kohlrabi. I've never grown kohlrabi before and now I know why. It's not all that good. Sliced thin, it went into the salad. Winter means cutting wood and growing cole crops. I better go put a log on the fire now.



katina said...

My grandparents' cabin also had two fireplaces (though it also did have central heat, but it rarely heated the whole house well, so we always used the fireplaces instead), and I remember taking some friends up there one year. The boys decided they were going to be manly men and chop down trees with axes. I'm surprised no one got injured, honestly. That and my grandpa made them help from start to end. They didn't like that so much, but as my grandpa said, what use was it to him if they didn't finish what they started?

Tabor said...

We heat our house, but mostly at night with all the wood. We have so much from the recent storms. I like Kohlrabi...good in a stir fry as it absorbs the flavors and keeps its crunch.

Meredith said...

I imagine there is no shortage of wood after last year's drought. I love the lizard -- I wish I could have seen it!

Bob said...

Katina, old men are like that. I think I'm starting to be like that. I can't find any that can stay with me all day.

Meredith, that was just an old rusty fence lizard. When I used to work for the phone company, very close to where you live now, we would find those Texas Alligator lizards. They are a lot bigger and more aggressive than the rusty lizards and much prettier as well.

TexasDeb said...

Great looking lizard - I'm glad you helped move him to a safer spot.

I can't imagine I'd be quite so cavalier about turning the heat up inside our house if I had to be cutting the wood to create that heat all along. Honestly I get sidetracked just trying to use the fireplace occasionally.

I suppose the same would apply if I had to haul water from a deep well. There are (summer) days when I gripe just getting water from the rain barrels (though after last year's drought I'll never complain as long as there IS water in the rain barrels!)

Maybe it is not so surprising that folks in earlier days were naturally better conservators of resources - they often had to work so much harder for anything they needed. Lesson noted.

ConsciousGardener said...

I chop kohlrabi super thin and drop it into soup at the's delicious lightly shocked!