Friday, October 26, 2012
This is for whomever it was that requested photos.
This is the beginnings of the pile next to the wood-eating furnace:
This is the big pile of logs - the ones with the tags or paint are sold to a lumber company - the ones with the Xs will be chunked up and split to burn:
Here you can see where the already cut bits are. See them in amongst the logs? I pull my Saturn Vue around to the logs, load the cut pieces into it and drive them around to the wood furnace. I've discovered this is much easier and more efficient than using a barrow.
Any chunks that weigh more than about forty pounds will be split. I can easily lift more weight than that if it's a suitcase or something, but logs are ... different. First, there's always the possibility of dropping the accursed thing on your foot, but mainly, since I usually wind up filling the furnace the moment I get up (and frequently in the middle of the night) I don't want to have to deadlift and toss a sixty pound log. It's not the lifting so much as the tossing.
I admit that it is a good workout (I lost another two pounds, thanks to wood) and you build all the muscles, including the little connecting ones when you do work as opposed to stationary exercise. I also begrudgingly admit that it feels good to be independent of other sources of fuel (although it does require electricity to push the hot air around in the house.) Just some days...particularly when it's especially cold and therefore the furnace has to be filled more often (physics - please don't ask me to explain)...when I'm outside at 2:00 a.m., watching for zombies ... I long for the time when I could just turn a little wheel on the wall and warm air would magically come pouring out.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
3 down, 67 to go.
No, not pounds. Face cords of wood. That's how many I will potentially need if we have a bad winter and since last winter was ridiculously warm, this year may well be equally ridiculously cold and snowy.
See, three years ago my late husband decided we shouldn't be dependent upon foreign oil, and bought an exterior wood burning furnace. We do have a good-sized woodlot, but in my grimmer moods, I suspect that he died purposely to avoid the task of getting wood together for the winter.
Anyway, having sunk $13,000 into the accursed thing, I'm determined to a) use it and b) use it for free. Wood around here goes for about $65/face cord delivered, and there is no way I'll spend $4500 on wood simply for the pleasure of filling the damned thing twice a day, even if I could afford to do so.
My neighbor, a professional logger, is cutting trees for me - both to sell to a ... log... place... and for me to burn in the furnace. Even though I took a chain saw course in the spring, I have no business felling trees in the forest (and neither do you, unless you, too, are a professional logger. Even they get killed on the job quite regularly.) So I buzz the furnace trees and branches up into manageable chunks and then split them if necessary. I have a lovely large, powerful splitter that is my Autumn Best Friend. Then I trundle the wood over to the furnace and stack it neatly. This is an incredibly loud, tedious, difficult job, but I'm doing it anyway.
I figure the break-even point is somewhere around three years, so after next year (I bought a lot of wood the first year) I may be willing to dig the damned thing up and sell it to some other off-the-grid fool. Maybe install a windmill. Or solar panels. Or something. Everyone has all these great suggestions, but every one of them is either labor-intensive or up-front expensive. All is know is that I'm not doing this every year for the rest of my life.
My FitBit proclaims that I get in my 10,000 steps per day doing this - along with whatever else I may be up to - and heaven knows it's muscle building (and occasionally back breaking.) I try to look at it as free and unscheduled strength training.
So that's my Wood Rant. It seems familiar - I may have posted the same general thing last autumn, and if so, I apologize. It just surprises me every year to be doing this. Sometimes I kinda miss my Louboutin heels and my Coach bags, long ago and far away. Other times, I couldn't be happier to be where I am, doing what I'm doing. The older I get (and nothing brings out the old like lugging wood), the more I'm willing to just shrug and release the Roads Not Taken. Still, I wonder what lay at the ends of some of them...
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
A long-time (since college, which, believe me, was a *long time ago*) friend and her husband are technophiles - both science-y types, they love - and use for professional purposes - all sorts of iThings. Friend was rushing to get to a town supervisor meeting (she's Involved with a capital I) and accidentally spilled a glass of water on her Mac, which contains her life both personal and professional. It was dead, poor thing, despite the potential life-saving measure of placing it face down in a large plate of uncooked rice, and she subsequently had to purchase a new one with all possible bells, whistles and expanded memory capacity to the tune of $2000.
She was telling me this tale of woe and at the end, I, being an occasionally awkward sort myself, asked if she'd filed a claim with her Homeowner's Insurance company. She had not, checked into it, and discovered that not only was the computer covered but she had a special rider with $0 deductible! Lovely!
Here's the good part: she bought her husband a new iPad (she already had a new one) and they gave me the old one! :D :D :D As nearly as I can tell, on the new one the resolution is a little better - which, to my eye, changes the color slightly but not the detail clarity - and the older version doesn't have a built in camera. Honestly, though, if I want to take a photo, I usually use either my phone or my camera - it wouldn't occur to me to hold up a large rectangle and point that at the subject.
So now husband has a brand new iPad, friend has her $2000 back, and I have a great new toy that I would never have bought for myself!
Gotta love a happy ending.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Unlike most of my blogs, I'm not ranting about anything or posting totally off-topic ramblings. This is actually Spark People oriented. Here goes:
I don't do well at recording things daily - I'm just not that kind of person. What I do manage to do most days is stop by every one of my teams' Huddle Wall and give a word of encouragement or just say hi. Frequently, even though I'm doing this mid-day, I'm often the only one, or one of half a dozen, to do this, and I think that's a shame.
For points junkies like me, you get a point for this (up to five), but mainly it's a quick way to check in on Spark buddies without getting into individual comments and blogs which, we all realize, can eat a whole day with no problem.
I admit I don't do a lot with my teams, (although I do have at least one team goal per team), largely because of time constraints, but I don't think stopping in each morning to say hello is too much to ask. You don't even have to be creative - just click one of the preset phrases or steal someone else's greeting. And if you're having a particularly rough time of things, there's an "I need support!" button that will send all your Friends to your blog or page to help prop you up.
For months and months, all I did was spin my wheels and talk a lot about losing weight, but now that I'm down over 35 lbs and halfway to my goal, I'm starting to realize what a valuable asset SP is and trying to make use of more of the options available. I really like the Huddle Wall and think that it is a valuable, and mostly overlooked, resource.
So, team members, stop by your Huddle Walls and say hi! It takes a second, and that can be an inspirational second for you or someone else.
Now, back to rambling and ranting....
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