Monday, October 31, 2005

I'm From a Logging Town

I am learning to split wood. Despite all my crowing about my pickaxe/mattock skills, I really stink at splitting wood. Mostly, I hack up my “chopping block.” I surround the term with quotation marks because I don’t think a rotten tree round really qualifies as a chopping block, but that is how I use it. I’m already on my second “block,” having chopped the first one to pieces. I just add the "chopping block" bits to my hacked up logs and carry it all in to the fireplace.

In an effort to cut our heating bill this year (last year was $200/mo.) our thermostat is permanently set at 62 degrees. This is usually a comfortable temperature for me, because I am rarely still. Mike, though, is freezing his arse off as he sits and studies for school/plays on the internet. Although using the fireplace for heating purposes is incredibly inefficient, the wood is free, so what have we to lose? (In fact, we have an overabundance of wood thanks to our dead tree and routine pruning.) Mike’s usual seat is close enough to the fireplace to feel some of the warmth.

Some find it surprising that I am splitting the wood, and not Mike, but the truth is, I enjoy it. I don’t even give Mike a chance to help. I run out to the wood pile every evening and swing the axe around like a madwoman. If my mom witnessed my reckless behavior, she’d definitely have a heart attack. I have to admit to having very little control over the axe at times. My legs are bruised from flying wood and the kitties know to steer clear. Every once in awhile though, I manage to (1) hit the log and (2) split it cleanly. When the two halves fly to either side, I feel like a true woodswoman.

While I am ostensibly outside cutting wood to keep my husband warm, I have found a second benefit to my axe flailing. The exercise warms me up to the point where I find our 62 degree house sauna-like. Mike objects, though, when I want to open windows to cool down.


Blogger Kristin said...

Yep, we're keeping our house at 62 also. Maybe in 2006 we'll get our living room chimney inspected, so we can light a fire in there.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

We're trying to keep ours at 60, although I've already crept it up to 61...


1:36 PM  
Blogger Takoma Gardener said...

A hearty "you go, girl" to you.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Tami said...

Your experiences with splitting logs sound very similar to my own. Ihave the remains of a 40 foot Italian Cypress chuncked up into logs from last year the I need to split :). We had to have it taken down because it was planted to close to the house. So I will be thinking of a kindred spirit while I am slinging around the maul.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still living in that town and heating our whole ENTIRE house with a woodstove. You would think I would know how to chop wood. but no. I can build a darn good fire though!!!

9:19 AM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

I miss having a fireplace. My last house had one and I had a fire every weekend from Sept to May. And it did help keep down the heating bills. I also did most of the cutting of firewood. Great exercise. I miss that too.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Wong Online PoKér Hu said...

The snow is coming and my firewood are still fresh. I might purchase some to warm the house. My chimney has been cleaned and the ashes have been dispatched.

7:09 PM  

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