Wooden sled

wooden sled

the wooden sled

Today I spent some time doing one of my favorite chores — splitting wood. I am still enjoying the whole process of heating with wood. I feel like I am continually getting better at regulating the temperature, which I also like. Unfortunately we haven’t had the time to get really nicely seasoned wood. Some of the wood we have seems to be pretty dry and solid. We also have a fair amount on both sides on ideal though — some is a bit punky, while some is still a bit green. As you can see in the house picture below, the smoke is a bit on the thick side, indicating that the wood is a bit green (which means more creosote build-up, and me having to clean the chimney (I haven’t done that one yet)). Of course, like anyone else who has ever heated with wood, I worry whether I have cut enough to last the winter. Or rather, whether I have enough wood in the wood rack. I have actually cut a bunch of wood up by the pond which I have yet to haul down. The hauling is certainly the worst part in my opinion. Cutting, splitting, stacking, and burning is fun, but I do not enjoy the hauling part. This is probably because there is a pretty big hill to get up to the area where I have cut the wood. Fortunately the way there is uphill, meaning that the way back (with a wheelbarrow full of wood) is downhill. Going downhill with a full wheelbarrow is certainly better than going uphill, but it still takes quite a bit of effort to keep the wheelbarrow from going out of control.

winter house with smoke

Backside of the snowy house, with some smoke coming out of the chimney

A couple weeks ago, I bought a new fuel cap for the chainsaw, because the old one was getting pretty stripped (there is a notch in the middle of the cap for you to tighten it with a screwdriver). While I was at the tractor store, I decided to buy a spare chain as well, since we only had one. So, I was eager to try out the new chain, and cut up some more fallen trees. But of course, I did not manage to haul down all the wood I had cut. Today I woke up to a good 2-3 inches of snow on the ground. I contemplated taking the wheelbarrow up to get more wood, but I thought it would be too slippery. Instead I decided to try hauling some down on a sled. This ended up working out pretty well. I tried letting the sled go down by itself, which worked well until it got to the part where it needed to make a turn, and it crashed into some brush, and all the wood fell out. But the sled didn’t break! So I loaded it back up, pulled it to the next hill (right by the pond), and this time decided to sit on top of the wood. This worked out even better, as I could use my boots to steer and brake pretty well. I did get quite a bit of snow up my pants from the braking and steering though, so I decided that I had had my fun for the day, and that I should go back inside to enjoy the warmth that the fire was providing. I also took a few more pictures while I was outside. It was a really beautiful day.

snowy creek

The creek is still flowing well
wintery waterfall

A small waterfall near the bridge over the creek

First snowfall of the winter

snowy backyard

The backyard

Friday we woke up to a think blanket of snow. Just thought we would like to share some photos of our first snowy scene here together. Hopefully we will get some more snow soon, so we can try out our sleds down the hill by the pond.

snowy brick patio

Brick Patio in front
snowy cabin

The cabin
snowy woodrack

The front yard

Let there be light
Baby it’s cold outside

I just fixed the lamp in the kitchen. When I say fixed, I mean that a month ago, changing the bulb didn’t work to restore the light that should come on when a switch is flipped. This was not surprising because the fixture had a long, slow death, taking tens of minutes to come on in the morning at the end. We had an electrician out to fix the wire that I ran over with a lawn mower this summer (oops). He also looked at the light and said the ballast was probably dead. I got a new fixture last week and tonight I wired it up. The kitchen is much brighter now. And Rob seems impressed that light comes immediately on when he flips the switch.

Rob has been enjoying heating with wood. Unlike when I was growing up, the house now has an HVAC system, so if he decided it wasn’t so fun, we could flip a switch and be warm. But the heat from the furnace isn’t as good as wood heat somehow. It’s too dry and doesn’t smell as good and makes weird noises in the middle of the night. Rob gets up early Saturday morning to go collect and chop wood. He sometimes literally can’t wait to get out of the house. He claims it is in the name of exercise, but I’m pretty sure he enjoys it.

According to him, we keep the house in the mid-60’s. He monitors the temperature in each room several times a day. I seem to like it slightly colder than he does. The upstairs is warmer than the downstairs. The living room heats up quite a bit on sunny days (due to the parents eco-friendly design), but Indiana has plenty of cloudy days as well. That’s when it helps to have wood heat.