Saturday, September 7, 2013

Working Hard at Making Sawdust

It's about time, you say?  You be right about that, because the wood we're cutting, splitting and stacking in our wood sheds is wood that will keep us warm this winter.

In a normal year (are there any of those anymore?), we would have our sheds full of wood in early spring, all stacked, out of the elements and ready to dry all summer long.  But because we got most of our last winter's snow in April of this year (now, that threw a lot of plans of all kinds out the window!), we didn't get our wood cutting done in the usual time frame.

Then when nice weather finally arrived, we put our priorities on a few other tasks like gardening and repairing roofs.  Plenty of time to get the wood done, right?

Well, as you all know, time has a way of flying by faster than we could ever imagine, and here we are in September still working on getting the wood sheds filled.


However, the picture isn't as bleak as it may seem so don't go worrying about us freezing our whazoos this winter.  The logs we're working up have been in our back yard for three years now, so it's not like they are green cut.  Logs in 8' lengths, as these are, do not dry nearly as well as when they are cut and split and stacked under cover.  But as we're working through the pile, we've been pleased to see that there's been some seasoning of the wood that's taken place, and very few logs are punky (rotten) which can happen with old wood that's been left sitting out in the elements.


Plus, we have a big bunch of wood that has been under cover for 2-3 years that we can start the heating season with.  


It was at the very back of the smaller wood shed and had to be moved out to these racks before we could start putting the most recently worked up wood in the shed.


This rack holds great, big, hunky chunks of wood that we use for overnight fires on the coldest winter nights.  Papa Pea puts one of these stout logs on a bed of glowing coals before we go to bed, and it holds a fire all night long.  This wood is also left over from last year.


This is our smaller wood shed.  It's about 1/3 full right now.  We started filling it because Chicken Mama had some of her things (from her move in January) stored in our large wood shed.  But the large shed gets more sunlight and breeze which makes the wood dry faster so once it was emptied, we switched and started putting cut and split wood in there.


This is the big wood shed.  One and a half more rows and it will be halfway filled.


In spare moments, usually when Papa Pea is cutting the 8' long logs with a chainsaw, I've been working on getting the kindling bin filled.  There's not much harder (or more frustrating) than trying to start a fire without dry kindling.  Won't be too much longer and the crib will be full to the very tippy-top.

We've been trying to get out to work on the wood first thing every morning before it gets too hot.  This morning was a no-go though because our temp didn't cool off over night and a big batch of heavy humidity moved in.

When hubby came in from early morning chores, he said, "There's a word to describe it out there.  SUL-try!"

Then when Chicken Mama dropped off Tucker this morning, she said, "Well, now I know what autumn in Louisiana must feel like."

It didn't take us long to figure out there were several things we could do this morning rather than work on wood!

14 comments:

Sunnybrook Farm said...

It is a wonderful sight to see it all stacked up and ready for winter. It even smells good.

tpals said...

I have firewood envy. :) We have to buy ours.

Mama Pea said...

Sunnybrook Farm - Yes, it does smell good! And to our minds, it's better than money in the bank, or maybe I should say in our pocket.

Mama Pea said...

tpals - It's a really good feeling knowing we can keep ourselves and homestead warm and comfortable without having to purchase oil or gas or coal or . . . whatever.

Sandy said...

I love a homestead where the wood is all cut and ready for the stove or furnace. There are a lot of people who don't cut enough would to last through the year. Just chopping one cord of wood doesn't cut it (excuse my pun).

Tombstone Livestock said...

Dang that is a lot of wood

Stephanie said...

Boy, I can just smell and feel a good fire going from that wood this winter when you are buried in snow. You guys must be exhausted by now, but so glad you have this option. Can't wait till I do.

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - We're admittedly (and shamefully) behind this year, but we like to have two years worth all ready and under cover. Heaven forbid, but what if one of us should break an arm or leg and be out of commission for months?

Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - Yup. But remember we live in a climate where it us COLD half of the year. (I know you have trouble relating to that, don't cha?)

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - Sure, at the end of a day of wood working (or even a few hours!) we feel a little tired, but we're far from exhausted. Isn't it funny that doing even hard physical work doesn't bother a person if they enjoy the process? (Let's see . . . how can I turn paying bills and cleaning the toilet into an enjoyable process????)

Little Homestead In Boise said...

I used to love splitting wood when we had a fireplace. Now if I could just convince hubby to get a woodstove :)

Mama Pea said...

Little Homestead - Heating with wood (having a woodstove) certainly isn't "easier" than buying other heating fuel, but having the ability to heat with wood offers a certain amount of security in knowing we can always haul wood in from our woods (on a sled if we have to) and we'll have the ability to keep warm. But I know it's not for everyone. You have to be very careful and on top of things like installing a safe stove and chimney. And then keeping that chimney clean and free from build-up. Like so much involved with the "simple life," it ain't always so simple!

Leigh said...

I have woodshed envy!!! Beautiful set-up and comforting photos.

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, Leigh! Yes, it is indeed such a good, good feeling seeing the winter's wood piling up.