Dateline: 5 November 2013

Futureman at 1.5 years old

Water puddles are like magnets to little boys. And we believe in letting little boys be little boys around here. Futureman's boots are full of water, but he couldn't be happier with himself. 

Winter snows will soon be here. I have lots  of things I'd like to write about, but I'm busy with all kinds of projects. So I'm just going to post a few pictures, with comments…

Firewood 2013

A wood stove is the only source of heat for our house. Last year, after our acquisition of some woodland property, I cut our firewood. But this year, the clothespin project took a lot of time and I decided to buy firewood. I got ten face cords from my neighbor. He's a bachelor dairy farmer and I've bought wood from him for at least a couple decades (except for last year). He brings it over in an old manure spreader, two cords at a time, and I help him unload it. Cost: $40 a cord. So it will cost me $400 to heat my house through the winter, and we will be toasty, as long as we keep adding logs to the wood stove. 

Last time I bought firewood from my neighbor it was $45 a cord. He told me he lowered the price because he's not selling as much wood as he used to. He sold 30 cords less last year than the year before, and he expected to sell even less this year. I was surprised to hear that. He told me that a lot of people are switching to coal stoves.

I suppose coal is more convenient. But coal comes from far away, and wood is all around us. I'm staying with wood.

Firewood helpers 2013

The wood I bought is split but we always split it a bit more before stacking it in my makeshift wood shed. The wood shed is on the redneck side of our house, which is the side with tarpaper and bare, weathered plywood. 

My three sons took it upon themselves to help split and stack the wood for me, as you can see in the picture above. They say that firewood warms a body many times (cutting, splitting, and stacking), but the sight of my three sons working together warmed my heart. 

When they were younger, I split the wood with a splitting maul. When they got older, they helped split wood the same way. Sometimes we would rent a wood splitter for a weekend. Then, two years ago, I bought a woodsplitter. It's a great tool.

While my youngest and oldest boys were splitting wood, my middle son was stacking. They didn't get the whole pile split and stacked that Saturday, but they made a lot of progress. I got some more help on the project over the next week and the wood is now all under cover. It can snow now.

My middle son bow-shot a deer and made sausage out of it. We used to cut up deer all together as a family at the kitchen table. Now the boys (with help from their girlfriends) take care of that themselves. 

I took the above picture yesterday as I was walking through our woods to the field beyond. I was on a mission to dig dandelion roots for making dandelion root tea. I'll be posting a blog about that soon. It was a beautiful sunny day.

A view of my creek

Site of the future driveway?

I've written before of how I would like to put a culvert pipe in the creek and make a driveway trough the woodland, to my field. It would give me access to build a retirement home for Marlene and I. The picture above shows where the creek narrows down and there is a shale outcropping. That's where I would like to make the driveway. But it would require a lot of trucked-in fill and I haven't figured out if the powers-that-be will allow it to be done without a lot of engineering requirements. It would be a big expense. So, for now, it's just a dream. But it is a persistent dream.

The day of my "dandelion root hike" was so nice I decided to take Leyland and 12A (my tractor & wagon) down into the woods and cut up a couple of trees that had fallen over the creek during the summer. 

(click on pictures to see enlarged views)


Mrs. T said...

The sight of all of that wood is a beautiful thing! My son has done all of our splitting and stacking for us. It's a great blessing to have the younger generation to help us in our old age ;-). I have followed your blog for years and watched your boys (James and Robert, especially) grow into capable manhood. And now you can impart your Christian agrarian wisdom to little "Futureman". How utterly satisfying that must be! I really enjoying this post. Thanks for sharing your search for dandelion roots with us.

Herrick Kimball said...

Hello Mrs. T,

Thank you for the comment. Yes, there is a lot of satisfaction here. But there is also some disappointment too, which I don't blog about. I think that's just the way life goes.

Futureman is a great blessing. I am thankful that he is close by, and that I am home now, and that I can be an influence in his life. I am profoundly aware of how much of a positive influence a grandparent can be in the life of grandchildren. I feel like I may have "dropped the ball" to some degree with my children, but I am determined not make the same mistake with my grandchildren.

You are right about a store of firewood being a beautiful thing. I saw your recent post showing your wood shed and thought the same.

Here's wishing you a warm winter up there!

Anonymous said...

Grandchildren are such a delight. And boy or girl, they all love a good puddle. Your litleman is so cute.

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading "deliberate agrarian." What a great book. I'm 28 and haven't married yet to settle down and raise a family. But I just wanted to say that what a good example you set for a way of life god intended for us. Take care and god bless.

Anonymous said...

Might I suggest a bridge rather than a culvert? One way I have done it in the past is to use an old flatbed semi trailer. You remove the axles once it has been pulled into place. If you want it to be wider fasten some heavy rough cut lumber perpendicular to the trailer so it hangs over a couple of feet on each side.