Friday, September 24, 2010

Ready, Aim, CHoP!

It's that time of year again, when a few chilly nights are the wild's warning of the soon to come winter. My source of heat is wood, in a Treemont wood stove that was already here at the Luck Cabin when I moved in. I lucked out cause it holds a coal overnight, and that means I won't have to start a new fire every morning, which may be one of the harder things about heating with wood.
but not the hardest.
The hardest for me would be splittin' those logs into firewood! Remember last year when I was just learning how to really do it right? Weighing in at about 100 pounds (that would be me) made splitting wood with an ax something of a zen practice more then force.
I set up the log in a stable place and take a good look at my aim. I don't have tons of extra energy to waste on missing my mark, I have to make my swings count.
I am using a "Go Devil" type ax (heavy sledge hammer-ish shape on the back end), which works WAY better then the standard tree chopping ax. I figure if i start splitting a few logs a day now, by the time the real cold comes I will be ahead of the game unlike last year which was a harsh HARSH winter that caught everyone off guard.
It may take me way more swings then I would like (check my swing style I learned last year here) and my wood may still be a lil' green (aka- not totally dry)... but it's way more efficient, good exercise, and saves alot of money to spilt the logs myself. A stack of logs a day keeps da' doctor away!
How do ya'll stay warm for the winter and what do you think is the most earth friendly way to heat your home?



Diane Costanza said...

We heat our home with a wood burning stove too, but I have never chopped wood for it myself (my hubby does it), though hauling it indoors as needed is a good workout

although I have a friend who does. She's a mad woman with an ax! LOL. I give you props for doing it your self.


Kittie Howard said...

I saw the axe and remembered last year's post...hard to believe a year has passed...but my hat's off to ya, Leslie, for chopping wood.

Joan said...

You are the bees knees! Look at you with that axe! I can hear my dad saying..let the axe do the work.Mum used to say..wood heats you twice.. once when you chop and then when you burn it.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Diane -
Lucky you! ha.
But carrying is hard work in itself. I am gonna have man hands and muscle arms. Oh wait... i already do! ;)

I know. I thought about it when i had the ax there and was getting ready to split, thinking it's been a whole year. Here comes the winter again!

Joan -
That is sweet!
Splitting logs really does warm you up, i remember last winter thinking the first time i really felt warm was not by the fire but when i was learning to split logs.
I try to let the ax do tha' work...
I shoulda took the class "zen of wood splitting" this summer!

Stephanie Rogers said...

Jason has been doing all the work here, I must admit :D This will be our first year solely relying on wood for heat and I have no idea how much wood to stock up. We only have about 2/3 of a cord chopped so far.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Stephanie!
Lucky you too!!
I am estimating about 7 full cords for the whole winter... meaning november through april. Each wood stove burns at a different rate and you will get a good estimate when october frosts come and you burn your first logs in your stove - which you'll want to do anyway before snow comes.
I learned the hard way last year that having all your wood split & ready at your cabin ahead of time is better- cause in the snow it can really get hard, and even harder to bring any wood in if there's not enough where you are (if your road tends to get snowed in).

As far as splitting logs myself, i am not really sure how many I will get done in the next month, but at least I will be a lil' ahead rather then chopping as a i go in the freezing cold (chopping as you go can be RREALLLY stressful, i don't recommend it.)
I can't wait to hear about your winter adventures at your cabin!!!!!... :)))

Babylove said...

Namaste, Newbie your blog & wish to God I wasn't living with 6 kids & DH in suburban outskirts of Tokyo. A friend of mine sent me a link to here, first thing I saw was that we share a birthday. I fantasize about living the way you do, alas visions of post Depression era squalor come to mind as opposed to what you have going on. When I get a moment to spare I'm sitting down & working my way through archives & will enjoy following along with the changes in season & your blog. Love Peace & Chicken grease.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Babylove....

keep the fantasies going. Make lists, draw pictures. I swear things come together as they should, even when it feels like it might not be moving along.
So glad you are reading along :)))
Peace , love and hair grease! xoxox