Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Really Good (Wood) Day

Yesterday Roy and I hooked up our high-sided trailer, loaded the truck with wood cutting tools and headed out to our daughter and son-in-law's place to work for the day with them gathering some wood for their woodshed.

A large area had recently been logged less than five minutes drive from their home where the loggers left their usual pile of "tops" (the tops of trees which are too small to take for saw logs). They told W and T they were welcome to take any of these for firewood. So this is the area where we set up to cut wood.

The guys first cut the wood in appropriate sized pieces and then threw them out into a pile close to where W and I could back up their pick-up. The guys would take a break from chain sawing to help us load the pick-up. W and I would then drive to their place and unload the wood into a pile right outside of their woodshed where T will do any more necessary cutting or splitting and stack the wood inside the shed.

Of course, their two dogs and our one were part of the work crew, mostly getting in the way and making a general nuisance of themselves. Sometimes W and I took them with us in the truck on our many trips back and forth, and sometimes they stayed to "help" the guys.

The day was gorgeous. Beautiful fall scenery everywhere you looked. Perhaps a smidge warm for that kind of physical labor, but not too bad. But what was bad was (hear music from "Jaws" here) . . . the Gnat-Hatch. Wouldn't ya know it. 'Twas an odd happening that none of us could figure out, especially for this time of year. There were millions of the little, super-irritating things all over the place. The only saving grace was that they weren't of the biting variety. But they did persist in flying into our eyes, mouths and up our noses. Gak, gag, ugh, yuck, eeeuw! I even had a couple sneak down into my bazoom area. W swore she had one . . . well, I shall refrain from describing where she thought she had one.

Here are T (son-in-law) and W (daughter) at the cutting site. T seemed to be especially attractive to the gnats. They went after him with a vengeance.

What was going on here? Perhaps a moment of marital strife?

T in action with the chain saw.

Roy bends down to pick up wood he's just cut.

Roy tosses wood out to pile.

T, me and Roy loading pick-up.

This is Tucker, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, one of my granddogs. You can't tell so much from this picture, but he is built like a brick sh . . . well, never mind. I call him a German sausage stuffed with concrete. He weighs as much as Maisy, his sister, who is a Golden Retriever. Corgis are know as being couch potatoes who get fat from avoiding exercise. Tucker is like the Energizer Bunny and is SOLID muscle from the tips of his perky ears to the tips of his toes at the end of his tree-trunk 6" long legs.

I never managed yesterday to get a picture of our dog, Zoey. She's a huntin' dawg, ya know, and she, as usual, went crazy in new territory exploring all the great smells. When we went back to the house for dinner, she wouldn't come inside. (Okay, she's a little afraid of Annie Blue, W and T's tiny cat.) She stretched out on the gravel driveway in the setting sun and looked for all the world like road kill. Exhausting day. Great day, but exhausting day.

Uh-oh, this does NOT look good.

W finally resorted to a head net because she was swallowing so many gnats.

Maisy in truck with us taking a load to woodshed. She's pouting. She's saying, "I didn't want to ride back home to the woodshed. I wanted to stay with the guys to help. It's more interesting out there."

This is a sign W and T put up on the drive into their place. You may not be able to read it, but it says, "Go Away." This is their tongue-in-cheek way of wishing for a simple, uncomplicated life which is rather oxymoron-ish as they are both charismatic, fun-to-be-with people who have a multitude of interests and busy social life.

W took this shot of the colorful leaves lining their driveway.

Here I am standing in the bed of the pick-up unloading a load onto the wood pile outside the woodshed.

And the pile grows higher, and higher, . . . and higher!

Here are Roy and T unloading the very last load from the high-sided trailer. When W saw this picture, she said, "Which one is the dumb one?"

Ah-ha! T is definitely wising up; notice his log is hollow.

Okay, we're inside, our hands are washed, and the gals are making pizzas for dinner.

Okay, they're inside, their hands are washed, and the guys are . . . relaxing. That's fine as they definitely had the more taxing jobs of the day.

Even though W's birthday was 2-1/2 months ago, she had never received her Coconut Creme birthday cake. (Don't ask; things have just been too crazy this summer.) I managed to get the cake baked and took it out with us yesterday so after our truly yummy pizzas, we had birthday cake.

I was taking pictures, and the guys were anxiously waiting with forks in hand so she had to light her own candles.

I like a gal who can really get into singing "Happy Birthday" to herself.

She's a happy girl. She finally got her birthday cake, and she has a big pile of firewood outside her woodshed.

What a great day we all had. Putting up wood may be hard work (and we won't mention The Gnat-Hatch again) but with four people all working together, laughing (and moaning and groaning about body aches and pains) and enjoying themselves, it made for a really good day.

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