Monday, October 02, 2006
Frost on the Pumpkins
Well OK, we don't have any pumpkins this year. But we do have frost. Yesterday a huge black cloud moved in from the West. I was watching it, the wind rising, which is a sure sign of a storm and I decided to cut the weeks kindling supply under cover of the veranda. In the nick of time. First came a hailstorm which turned the ground white, then it snowed - which didn't stick. And then out came the sun, for a brilliant but cold,well 4C day.
I am in the process of getting in the winters wood. Fortunatly I have lots of wood on the property and my brother's log home business creates lot's of first class, debarked, pine.All of it Bug Killed Great for using in the house - no fuss no muss.
But it has to be split. I overdid it yesterday, my zeal increased by Mother's display, and by the end of the day my arms felt like rubber. I have a number of different tools for splitting, axes, splitting axes, and a sledgehammer and splitting wedge. the wedge is the one that gets used the most to split the big 16" logs into quarters. Anything smaller than about 12" can just go right in the furnace, but I need smaller stuff for the fireplace upstairs and to get the furnace going. The other great tool I have for working with logs is a pickeroon. It's like an axe but just has a pick on one end. Great for lifting and moving log ends.
I learned a neat trick about starting fires - from the internet. I was starting fires the traditional way, balled up paper, kindling, larger stuff, and then the bigger pieces. Well it works way better if you reverse the process, put the big logs in first, then the 3 and 4 inch stuff, then the 1 and 2 inch stuff, then the newspaper and then kindling - and set the paper on fire. Way more efficient. What happens is that the burning kindling maked coals which sets the bigger stuff off. No having to keep tending the fire to put the bigger stuff on top of the traditional kindling teepee.
I also had trouble getting the glass clean in the upstairs airtight fireplace. Looked all over the place. Windex doesn't cut it. All kinds of places willing to sell me special, high priced chemicals to do it. Then I found the easiest way is to just dampen some newspaper, dip it in the fireplace ashes and scour the glass with that. Works like a charm. I was thinking of marketing it. Uncle Arts, down home, fireplace glass cleaner, on special for $9.99 a litre. But that just wouldn't be right, would it?
Woke up this morning to a full hard frost. It went down to -7C last night. Guess I had better clean out the Garden, at least the spuds and beets.
I think the turnips and carrots are still OK for now. My neighbor says to leave the brussel sprouts in untill after the snow flies. She has had some at Christmas, fresh out of the snow pack.
But first I need to go to my brothers and get some more wood. If it's a mild winter, and the pundits say it is, I will need about six or seven cords of wood. A cord is a pile 4' X 4' X 8' - so that's a fair bit of wood. Probably take me the rest of the week. Next year I think I will save up for a hydraulic wood splitter. But it's probably not as much excercise.