A productive day

After boy's regular Saturday activities, he and Laur headed to the City to take my laptop in for warranty repairs (I am now using The Boy's tiny laptop!).  Whilst they were on the road, I took the opportunity to get some dangerous things done around the property.  I pulled a bit more wood off the slopes, dragged six very large logs to the top of the logging road and made two trips with the loader.
After I'd finished with the tractor, I set about cutting the loader-sized logs with the chainsaw. Incidentally, now that I've figured out how to sharpen my saw properly (thanks YouTube!), it works so much better.  The file and guide from Stihl are super crappy. Don't buy one, just get a regular bastard file from Canadian Tire for six bucks and you'll be ahead of the game.
After dragging a bunch of wood closer to home, I began working on the woodshed - finished the roof sheathing (it's now ready for paper and shingles), finished the pallet "walls" (which will allow air to circulate and dry the stacked wood). After the shed was dried in, I cut, split and stacked the little bit of hardwood and began working on the enormous log I'd dragged into the backyard and cut the other day.  I think I split four sections of that log, and there are another eight or so to go. Altogether I estimate a half cord was cut, split and stacked this afternoon.  If it wasn't dark already, I'd take a few photos.

Even though putting up the wood is hard work, I know my body appreciates the use!  While I work, I think about my body, the land, the trees growing and how this wood will heat the house for my family next winter. How satisfying it is to work with my hands and know that all of us will benefit directly from the work I did today!  It's so simple, yet so profound.  I can't wait to fill the woodshed,  start the garden and begin the process of preserving summer's bounty.

I'm not sure there will be Sunday Drivers tomorrow, as there is still a lot of work to be done around the house.  Aside from all the logs still on the hills and the logs we've already dragged into piles, there are still a dozen logs at the top of the logging road which need to be cut and split.  I think the woodshed has enough room for almost three cords, but Laura raised an interesting point - where the heck are we going to put all this wood?  It has to be brought in, cut, split and sheltered before it rots!  There is so much out there that I think we'll sacrifice the birch (sadly much of it has already started to decompose), but what about all the other wood?  We're going to have to figure something out, because it will not take very long for me to fill the woodshed and I am loathe to waste all the felled and limbed wood out there - particularly all the maple, beech and ash.

Incidentally, we've been using a lot of beech lately and it's awesome! There are a lot of BTUs in those trees. It's been getting warmer at night, so I generally lay in a wee fire before we go to bed and another small one when we get up, just to take the chill off.  When the sun shines, the house heats up very quickly; even though outside temps may be hovering around zero, it can be almost 30 degrees inside.  We will often open an upper window or two, just to release some of the heat.  The house maintains a comfortable temperature throughout the day and into the evening hours.  With a small fire at night, it might be 16 degrees in the living room in the morning.  It's definitely cooler in the bedrooms and this suits us fine. I will generally check the forecast first thing in the morning. If I know it's going to be a cloudy day, I'll start another small fire just to take the morning chill off.

Even on a cloudy day, the indoor temp hovers around 18-20 degrees simply from the light coming in the front windows.  It's a good thing Laur has started to install the blinds as I'm sure the summer is going to be a good test.  Sometimes I envy the older Nova Scotia farm houses, with their steep peaks and ancient maple-lined driveways, but I know that our house is air tight, energy efficient, holds heat well and will (hopefully) save us money in the long-term. 

Also, this week Marty the carpenter and his crew erected two walls in the basement for us. This will be our new pantry.  We will be finishing the pantry in OSB (inexpensive and durable enough to withstand any bonking from errant jars, cans or stored appliances) and I'll be constructing the shelving.  I am excited to get all of our "extra" food put properly away!  The idea of filling the pantry with our own produce, beverages and canned goods is an exciting prospect!

And so I head off to bed now, pleasantly knackered from my productive day.

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