Monday, October 19, 2009


i finally mustered the courage to cut that leaning tower of pisa the electric company left in my front yard. no matter how many times i cut a tree with a larger diameter than the length of my chainsaw blade it always freaks me out a little. my saw didn't really meet the radius length either since it was more of an oval than a circle i barely managed.

i cut the stump about chest height. any lower and i wouldn't have been sure to get it down. as it was, when it started to go i stepped away from it for safety and it leaned to fill my notch and stopped right there--hung. a couple of rakes from my spinning chain across the newly revealed notch and it fell.

tristan had been helping me all morning. he is learning to stack wood. he stacked that whole smaller row. sure it is only the first layer but most of that wood came from across the yard. he can move a wheelbarrow flush with wood. mostly he loaded the wheelbarrow completely full with wood and i'd come and wheel it over to his pile and dump it there, where he'd stack it from. it is surprising how much that frees me to get other dangerous stuff done.

these stacks are ten feet by five feet tall. this wood sitting right here is likely enough to get us through next winter. oh, but that isn't the half of it. we'll have several more stacks like these before this tree is completely worked up.

i chased tristan off while felling the big log. when i was done i discovered him collecting acorns.

he was getting them for the pigs. they get so excited over acorns. he took it upon himself to provide them with some excitement. such a good-natured boy.

the acorns were falling heavily this day. you could hear them pelt the steel roof of the chicken coop every few minutes.

tabitha was out getting groceries from the yard.

these turnips ended up as part of the most glorious turkey-pot-pie. it had sweet potatoes, acorn squash, chard, onions, carrots and garlic. nearly all the ingredients were from our little farm, sans the turkey. it was so good that i ate a second huge helping and almost exploded.

we have to burn-carbon today. that is what we call it every time we drive anywhere. i must attend a seminar on our heath care. the state health care is changing affiliations and i need to understand the new stuff completely to make informed choices for my family. the whole family will go to springfield with me. we'll run all those errands that get queued up and likely end up in a fabric store or two. we love our new van. it has been such a blessing in disguise. don't get me wrong being in debt really sucks. none-the-less we love our van and are happy as things are.


Renee said...

We have been collecting black walnuts...I am concerned that it will be a bad winter.. last years walnuts were few and far between this year we have never seen so many:)

I knew you would love your van..Gods ways are always best and you and your family are now safe to drive and not to worry about a break down...but I agree debt is bad!



Wendy said...

We've been collecting acorns, too. We're planning to process them for acorn flour. So far, it's been a fun process ;). We have a bucketful for ourselves, and an equally-sized bucket for the chickens. I'm thinking it's too bad we don't have pigs :).

As for wood - we have about seven cords and are hoping it will be enough. We started last winter with ten and had a lot left over. Guess we'll see. We're trying not to have a fire when it's above 50° outside.

karl said...

renee, there was a bumper crop of walnuts around here last year. so-much-so that it drove walnut prices down for this year too.

wendy, you'd like pigs, albeit they stink. they have to be far enough from the house, ours are as close as we'd ever want them. the waste that they happily consume is gratifying in itself. then there is all the benefits, bacon, chop, tenderloin, roasts, sausage and lard glorious-lard.

jenny said...

I can relate on having only one car that the whole family cannot fit in. My van was out of commission for a month and I was confined to home with the kids. Part of me didn't mind, and the other part couldn't wait to get out of the house! The van is finally fixed and I will no longer take it for granted. How nice it is to take the whole family out again! I'm glad that you and the family are loving the van, and yes, debt sucks.

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

Wow! That is A LOT of wood! Woo Hoo! :)

Beau said...

That's a beautiful wood pile! I know what you mean about working a tree bigger than the chain saw blade. Nice work and must feel good, sort of like putting up vegetables!

Patrick and Emily said...

Nice update! Thank you! Miss you guys!

Pablo said...

You're putting the firewood directly on the ground? How much of it do you lose to rot that way?

karl said...

pablo, i stack all wood on old steel roofing material. it just looks like it is directly on the ground. my first year i lost quite a bit of wood before i adopted this method.

Sara said...

Karl, I always drape an old piece of plastic sheeting (old shower curtain, etc) over the stack of wood I'm using to keep it dry. Especially helpful when the wet logs turn to ice logs!

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