Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Jump Start on Spring Chores

One afternoon recently hubby and I sat down and made a list of projects we want to get done this spring/summer/fall season. Up here in the frozen tundra we have to take advantage of a limited part of the year when we can comfortably work outside on certain projects. Stretching the limits about as far as we dare, we decided we have from the last of March (this year anyway because of lack of snow) to the first part of November. And, yes, that is stretching it a bit, but we've gotta remain optimistic.

Our list is huge. H.U.G.E. There is no way two people could possibly accomplish everything on the list in the time frame allotted. So we prioritized. Well, sort of. We marked what absolutely has to be done first, and when that's done, we'll decide what comes next.

So what are we staring on? Getting both wood sheds topped off with cut and split wood so that the wood has a full summer's season to dry and thereby provide us with the most possible BTUs for our time and money spent.

Yesterday hubby started on the wood while I was involved otherwise. (Resting on the couch in preparation for all the physical labor to come) Today we both got in several hours of wood working. (I am sore. I am achy. I am tired. I am thinking of running away from home.)

Last fall we chose to take down some poplar trees after our second big windstorm that wreaked all kinds of havoc. These trees were too close to the house and/or garage so they had to go.

Here hubby is cutting up some branches from these trees stacked in the wood cutting cradle. Brown tarp is spread on the ground for easy retrieval of sawdust to use in the chicken house or garden.

The first three wheelbarrows of wood ready to be stacked in the smaller of our two wood sheds. Poplar is technically a soft wood and doesn't give off as much heat as hard woods so we'll fill the front of this shed with this wood and use it in the moderate fall months before burning the maple which will be behind it.

We went into last winter with this kindling area chock full right up to the tippy-top. You can see we still have a good supply left. I'll have to get it topped off again before fall.

Matter of fact, here I am splitting some kindling while hubby was putting equipment and the wood splitter away. (And snapping a picture or two.) Notice my cool head gear? It's kinda hard to see in the picture, but I had spotted dear husband's dark blue baseball cap that he had earlier taken off and dropped in a spot where I knew he'd forget it. I picked it up to take inside but then plopped it on my head (over my own sexy [not] work bandana) when I needed my hands free for the kindling.

More wood working fun on the schedule for tomorrow. Hope my back has unkinked by then. And my knees feel better. And my shoulders aren't so stiff. And . . .


Erin said...

Your woodshed is one of my favorite things to look at! It is so organized, and full, and looking at it gives me a sense of peace and warmth, and it's not even mine, LOL! Hubby, too... one time he asked if I could pull up that pic of yours from last year of the woodshed. I found it, and he just says, "wow, that's awesome", and walks away. I think being from Oregon he really loves chopping wood and all things woodworking, he is itching to move and get started on our own wood supply! Looks like you got alot accomplished!

Mama Pea said...

Hey, Erin - Your comment put an ear to ear grin on my face this morning. Bless your little homesteading heart! We feel exactly the same way you and your hubby do. A full wood shed of good wood says SECURITY as much as a full pantry does. Like gardening, putting up wood is hard physical work (but SO good for our physical bodies!) while being so rewarding. As we're filling the wood shed, Roy is fond of saying, "Better than money in the bank!"

beth said...

wow! what a lot of work! YOur wood is so well organized! amazing!

Claire said...

You guys are so amazing. Looks exhausting to me. One small but maybe important comment I have is: is that treated wood you are chopping for kindling? I hope not, as treated wood gives off arsenic when it is burned, fyi. I learned this from an environmental medicine MD when I was in school and it has always stuck with me.

RuthieJ said...

Lots of work! Good thing the days are gettng longer so you can get more done!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Beth - Thanks for the compliment. We sure do get lots of satisfaction out of seeing the wood piling up in the sheds.

Hey, Claire - No,no,no,noooo! No treated wood allowed on our homestead! Those are end pieces of fir that have been hanging around for too long for I-don't-know-what purpose. Some of them even had old signs of carpenter ants that once were in them so we decided to use them for kindling.

Hi, Ruthie - Ha-ha! I just wish it would start getting light earlier in the mornings now. Still too hard to get up when it's dark out!

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