Thursday, July 7, 2011

...or is my driveway just happy to see me?

Yesterday was a day of preparation. 150 gallons of oil were dumped into the tank, and two cords of split and read-to-stack firewood was dumped at the end of my driveway. I don't care what anyone else tells you: two cords of wood is a mighty pile. The chickens climbed up to the top of Mount Sawdust and looked proud. Gibson slinked around it looking for the garter snakes who slithered right under it soon as it was dumped. I am beginning to really appreciate the snakes around here. There are so many it is shocking. There's the little garter snakes that hang around the garden and sun themselves on the rocks. There's the big milk snake, Trevor, who keeps the barn fairly rodent free. And there's a black snake I saw the tail-end of in the barn as well, scaring every rat within 200 yards of my chicken feed bins. I like my snake crew. They make me feel like I have my own rodent security force.

Shortly after the folks from McRae's Tree Service headed out and the snakes were happy in their new lair, CAF reader Gordy and his kind wife backed into the driveway with a load of Locust rounds. Holy Crow, it was a whole other cord, waiting to be split! We chatted for a while, and I thanked him with some preserves and a book and was happy to meet him. Seeing a stranger unload a cord of seasoned hardwood because he found you on the internet is quite the sight. Such a primal gift, from a couple who discovered me in such a modern way: online. I like it.

So as of last night I have a good chunk of winter under my belt. Heat is no small thing around here, something to covet. I still have to find a way to get that woodstove in the living room up and running, but I will figure something out. By fall there will be two warm fires in this little white farmhouse, and smoke will puff out of chimneys as the Days of Grace come back. Before you know it, it will be here. And I can look towards that date with a slightly less-anxious smile.

Here's to seasoned wood, kind strangers, and future chimneys.


Blogger KCBEG said...

I live in "suburbia",,in Texas. Winters are mild here compared to where you are, yet I find myself wishing I had a cord of wood in my driveway! You have such a way with words, that even when you are at your wits end,,,I envy and admire you.

July 7, 2011 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 7, 2011 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

i thought the black snake was eating mice in the coop on a farm i used to work at until went to collect eggs and found this in a nesting box

July 7, 2011 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

We just had 6 cords delivered, yahoo! We burn 2 Vermont Castings Encores. Now we have plenty of time to stack it and don't have to even think about it until the cool weather sets in. For right now, I am enjoying the heat wave we are having and happy to know my vegetable garden is growing and will nourish us when the winter comes and we fire up those woodstoves.

Meredith, I would have had a heart attack if I walked into the chicken coup and found that guy! Thanks for sharing your picture.

July 7, 2011 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Jenna, save that locust for the really cold weather, it burns really hot. When we burn it we end up opening the windows.

July 7, 2011 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger redbird said...

Looking good!

I’m glad you just have snakes under that pile…one fall I discovered a skunk had taken up residence between mine and the shed wall—very interesting time.

July 7, 2011 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Mrs. N said...

I'll bet that makes breathing a bit easier! I and my neighbors are calling it the year of abundance around here this year, but I swear that I can feel that chill coming already with the change in the light. Glad you'll be ready!

July 7, 2011 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Joie said...

Isn't it exciting to see a big ole pile of wood! We (ok, my husband)have been working through a stack. You can hardly tell he's touched it, but we've got 3 full cords split and stacked. As much as I love summer, I also love curling up with a book, two cats, and a dog in front of the woodstove. Congrats on your foresight! I say, bring it on, winter.

July 7, 2011 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Whosyergurl said...

Hi Jenna...I don't know if I have ever commented...I've read you for some time now and use your chicken book as my chicken bible.

We have a head start on our winter firewood as well. Reassuring sight!


July 7, 2011 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

I have a cord of cut and split stove wood. Does it get any better, once cold weather hits, than to have a fire in the stove, dogs on the rug and a cat in the lap and all the livestock hunkered down for the night? It makes the short days of winter much more pleasant.

July 7, 2011 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

It's always nice when you have next season's fuel at the ready and already paid for. There is a lovely predictibility of seasonal chores.

July 7, 2011 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger Conviently Crazy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 7, 2011 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger TheUrbanRabbit said...

Hey Jenna. I saw this online and thought of you. He plays the guitar but I couldn't help but think of how good it would sound on the banjo. Future challenge, maybe?

July 7, 2011 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Congrats on getting a head start on winter this year! I remember the excitement of seeing a load of wood covering my driveway, just can't beat the feeling of security it brings. I hope you get the new stove up and running by fall. I can't wait to see pics of it roaring away, and, of all the goodies that will be rolling out of it!

July 7, 2011 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger shepherdkelly said...

I'm now afraid that my big pile of sticks in the backyards has snakes in it! Meredith that picture almost gives me a heart attack! I'm terrified of snakes! how do you handle that?

July 7, 2011 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

Well, I also have a yucky snake story. We trap the rats in our chicken coop in a small squirrel trap. Last week, my husband reached in the coop, lifted the cage out and thought he had caught a mighty heavy rat. Turned out -- was a big, old copperhead snake.
In my chicken coop.

July 7, 2011 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

hey Jenna - little tip for the oil that I never would have thought of. Our friend is a gas installer and removes oil tanks from peoples homes. Usually the oil just goes to the oil dump. However, our friend just showed up the other day with 150Litre of free oil for us. Lesson? Befriend an HVAC guy or gal and see if you can get the oil for cheap!

July 7, 2011 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger sheila said...

Seasoned firewood tucked away from the elements is as good as money in the bank. Perhaps more valuable the way the economy is headed. You will be able to relax this winter and enjoy the storms.

July 8, 2011 at 12:18 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

Okay, that does it. I'm taking care of the chimney sweep and firewood orders this weekend.

That Locust is gold- a fine gift from a new friend!

July 8, 2011 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

Make sure that HVAC person is a GOOD friend. I would imagine there is a lot of water and bottom-of-the-tank gunk that needs to be separated out. Sometimes free doesn't end being free after all.

July 8, 2011 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger jules said...

We dragged home some wood (a LOT of wood) from the side of the road, split and stacked it, and now joke that we're ready for a Minnesota winter. It's funny because we live in LA. Lower Alabama.

But we love us a cozy fire in the winter.

July 8, 2011 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

I didn't realize it was from a fellow CAF reader. Wow, that makes my heart happy. And locust, no less. A fine gift indeed.

July 8, 2011 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

Gotta love those CAF neighbors!

July 8, 2011 at 9:06 PM  

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