Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Reading - Lucky Dog

I am so stiff I can barely move. I got about 1/3rd, maybe a bit less, of the trees cut up, split and hauled back home today but it about did me in. The hardest part was man handling the log splitter around over the rough washed out area and steep embankment down where the trees were laying. The three I cut and split today were all Red Oaks and just barely dried out enough to burn. Even cut to stove length rather than furnace length they were far too heavy to carry up that bank and no way to get a vehicle down to them.

The only thing to do was chuck each split piece to the top of the bank and then load it in the truck.

I'm afraid I over loaded the truck bed and made it sink so low the trailer chains were dragging the ground. Then I over loaded the trailer and the tongue weight was doing the same thing. I then had to remove a layer off the trailer and leave it for the next trip. With lighter wood I can load the trailer above the side rails but not this dense Oak.

I took quite a few pictures of the drive down there but apparently I have not mastered the click and drive skill like SF because they looked like crap. I also completely forgot to take any pictures after I started working which is par for the course with me.

At one point I got into a nest of little Ringnecked snakes and thought about getting the camera but they were not too pleased about my interruption and didn't stay around very long. One did come out of a rotted section of wood I was carrying to the splitter though. He looked up at me and made a few foul remarks and then dived off my arm and made a run for it.

I hope they manage to find a new home before it get any colder.

On the way in this morning I didn't run into any carriages but on the way out this evening I did. The little single lane highway I was on had no shoulder and as I was coming up on one of the carriages heading towards me I began to slow way down. With the weight I was pulling I could only get up to about 55 mph anyway without weaving too much for my taste. Just then some big red Pitbull ran out after the carriage right in front of me. I was literally standing on the brake and knew there was no way I was going to miss him and no where to go to get around him. Luckily at the last minute after I had lost sight of him and was preparing for the thump, I guess he got a little extra speed and just managed to get away. My dad, who was following me in his truck, said the dog barely made it and had to use a spine twist to get his butt out of the way.

By the time I got back to the Small-Hold I had stiffened up so much I could feel every muscle. Gonna be sore tomorrow I imagine.

However the magic Massey Tractor Girls must have been busy while I was gone because the front Alfalfa field was cut.

Guess this means I need to get the Ford out with the rake tomorrow and get the truck and trailer unloaded as well for hauling square bales in before it rains again.

Two more trips and I got a call from another down that way who said she had five trunks in her yard she wanted removed. It takes me about $25.00 or so in gas to get all the way down there and back but when you consider cured Oak is running about $65.00 to $75.00 a truckload around here, it is still worth it.

Just part of the joys of heating with wood. Let me tell ya though not having to pay those 1 grand a year (and sometimes more) propane deliveries is well worth the effort.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!


  1. That sounds like really good wood and won't take long to dry. I don't have anything close to it. People sell wood for over a hundred here and it may or may not be good stuff. Many people think a pickup load is a cord and the old trick of piling the wood on the spare tire still is seen now and then. I have done my share of wood chucking as some places I can't even get a wheelbarrow into. Wood and hay are priorities now. It is good that the tractor girls finally got busy, maybe the Ford girls will do some raking for you.

    1. Sf - Only a couple of the trunk sections near the bottom still had a bit of moisture in them. I don't know how Oak compares to other hardwoods but a section about 24" across and maybe 18" long with a bit of moisture in it is just too much for me to lift and carry over loose rock up a steep bank. I can lift it but the footing is just too precarious for hand transport which is why I used the splitter. I also cut and split it well to the small side to make chucking it up the bank easier. Now that I am beyond the really hard ones I will start moving towards larger pieces.

      You can see my spare tire sticking up there lol.

      Even Oak firewood around here is fairly cheap. I see many trailers made from old pickup beds full with signs reading "For Sale" and a price of anywhere from $55.00 to $75.00. Usually it is $65.00. It isn't unreasonably priced but once the first cold nights really hit it is gone and getting them to go cut more is usually impossible after that. About five years ago I banged up my knee bad at work and my dad got ill and was in the hospital for over a month and I had to buy my firewood for about two months and let me tell you it was hard to find then at any price.

  2. Take a hot shower tomorrow to help lo sen up or a hot bath. Seems everyone is getting ready for winter.

    1. Rob - Your a good Doctor :) I will take that prescription here shortly. The wife said she had dibs on the shower. I swear she has no empathy for my plight some times :)

  3. I lucked out this year getting a bunch of elm cut and split deliviered for the price of a gas grill and a lot of work by my Dad using his hydraulic splitter. I'm still learning but I think I can heat via my wood stove for the winter with about 3-4 cords of wood. I got at least 2 cords of the "box wood/mill ends" and about 5 cords of an elm and apple wood mix. Chimney sweep comes on Tuesday next week for an inspection and cleaning and I need to pick up a few of those creosote cleaning logs but overall I am looking good for this heating season and have a good start for next year. With a little luck and the PTBs not crashing the economy I will have the stove paid off this year or in the next 12 months at worse.

    Pioneer you have got to try my pain relief salve. For about $15.00 for essential oils and some carrier oil like coconut or even a liquid oil like olive or rice bran, though you have to up the beeswax from 1 oz. per 16 oz.of semi solid oil to 1.5 oz. of beeswax for a liquid oil. You have to try out the salve for a couple of days. My mixture seems to work great on muscle soreness and cramps.

    1. HMmmm. I got the beeswax covered that's for sure and I want to try my hand at lip balm this Winter so where do I get the recipe?

      Elm is good wood in my opinion. So is Apple but you already know that. Elm will burn down to ash better than most all other hardwoods and cures really fast. The one downside is it burns fast too and doesn't have as high a BTU output. Mixing Elm with Apple and your ends would be ideal I think. Some will burn fast while the others put out more BTU and less chunks to deal with.

      Some people really hate all the Elm ash but I personally love wood ash of all types for the compost and garden so more is better in my opinion.


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