Monday, August 16, 2010


I don't have any firewood cut.

That thought dawned on me yesterday when we finally got a break from the record-setting heat of last week, and enjoyed a gentle cool down with blessed rain. While traveling yesterday, I saw blackbirds flocking up, noticed the corn almost ready for harvest, heard locusts drone their evening chant, and saw young white-tail fawns in the pasture, which brought to mind upcoming dove and deer hunting seasons.

That's when it hit me -- it is almost fall, and I'm not ready. Not nearly ready.

It is hard to think about wood cutting in the heat of summer. It's hot work anyway, but who really even thinks about the coming winter when it is 105 outside? I know that last winter I told myself I would use summer time to go mark the best deadwood and get a supply cut up and put away for this winter. But somehow those plans never came about. Winter seemed like a long ways off.

We were blessed last year (our first year to heat with only wood heat) to have quite a bit of "pre-cut" wood in the back 40 -- some that had been cut by friend several years prior and left to lay -- all we have to do was pick it up and split it. But that supply is all gone.

Technically, with good planning, a person should be cutting two years in advance -- like I should be cutting now what we will use in the winter of 2012 -- to allow plenty of time for it to season and rest, even though I only cut deadwood. So I am not only months behind-- I am YEARS behind.

You probably think it odd that I talk about chainsawing wood - since I'm female, and have a grown son at home. But actually that is an 'understanding' we have around our place. I'm kind of the "bwah ha ha ha Tim Allen" type when it comes to power tools; while Steven detests power tools and likes to do as much as he can by old-fashioned hand tools (and he absolutely hates the noise of power tools). That is why I cut, and he splits. I still think I get the better end of the deal - especially because he still does all the gathering and stacking and loading and feeding the logs toward my saw -- all I have to do it stand in one place and cut. (he wears ears plugs when I do this). We have it going as a really good system, actually. Understand, he could use the chainsaw if necessary (and has). This is just the way we choose to do things.

I think this week I'd better make a priority of getting the saw out of the shed, taking it apart for maintenance and cleaning, a little tune-up, fresh fuel, sharpened chain, and get busy.

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