Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

We've Got Winter Wood!

Or at least we are on our way!  Our good friend and neighbor Charlie is letting us borrow his wood splitter (he made it himself!) for a couple days, so we can cut some logs that are too knotty for Mountain Man to cut with his ax/maul/hatchet/sledge hammer, whichever combination gets the job done but can't get the job done because the wood won't cooperate.  So today and tomorrow you can call me Lise the Wood Splitter!

While we were preparing for the job, I came across these three pieces, which made me laugh out loud.  The artistic and humorous part of me will not allow them to be split.  These will be turned into something creative, though I don't know what yet. I thought you would appreciate seeing them! To me, the one on the left in the first picture below  looks like planter/vase potential or a nook & cranny to put stuff into, the one on the right a pair of legs with zipped pants, maybe a table?  The second photo piece of wood looks kind of like, well....never mind...I'll let you use your imagination!

Back to business, Charlie delivered the splitter last evening; the passenger is his grandson Liam (great name:) and very nice boy!  Liam is visiting with his sister and a cousin up here in the mountains for a while.  I think he liked his ride!

We got up early this morning, went to the garden to water, and then the wood splitting fun began.  Here is the wood we needed to split...the first two photos are birch & oak mostly, stacked near the basement, and the third is lots of hemlock...(Yes, we know it is not good to burn lots of hemlock (due to the sap) but we will burn bits of it at a time.)  The hemlock logs are the result of our having about 18 dead hemlocks around the cabin cut down 3 years ago.  I will share more about this on a future post, but all the hemlocks in Western NC were killed because of a Eastern Hemlock Blight...so sad; I can only imagine how thick the woods today would be if these trees were still alive and well...the trunks still stand tall with the branches far outreaching...amazing trees! 

We first had to move all the wood in the first two pictures up to where the splitter was (our car used to be parked there)...
...yes that is an outhouse in the background, no we don't use it (it is the pump house, ha ha).

Let the splitting begin!

It's amazing how this thing works! It has the power to split a huge log in no time...the 3 pictures above were taken in about 3 - 5 seconds! The wood makes a wonderful cracking sound as it splits, I really enjoyed hearing it each time:)

One does have to be careful though, the very first piece of wood we split was so hard is was snapped off the machine as it was split and as Mountain Man would describe it, "jumped right into my lap"...he was not a happy wood splitter for a few minutes, and though he did not double over, he did go check his merchandise!  From that point on he stood behind the splitters big tire while splitting the wood for a while...no need to worry thought, he's OK and fully recovered very shortly after the incident!

As we split the wood, we loaded it into the wheelbarrow (did you know that wheelbarrow is made of two words, wheel [obviously] and barrow which comes from the Old English word 'bearwe' that meant a devise to carry loads) and then moved it in to one of two wood racks, one upstairs near the back door of the cabin...
...and a huge one Mountain Man built downstairs along the basement wall...
...we were very pleased with our work, as each rack had some wood, but not like this.  We still have much to cut, but this was a great days work for winter preparation!

Tomorrow, we will split the hemlock.  We moved a bunch of logs from around the outhouse in preparation of the splitting to begin tomorrow morning, of course we discovered a couple rotten boards on the outhouse so that will need to be repaired first, and while Mountain Man does that I am going to rake the rotten leaves and hemlock remains to put into our compost pit (all part of living off the land).  After that I will begin splitting until he is ready to join me...I'll be sure to keep my privates away from jumping logs!

Come back tomorrow to hear all about Day 2!  Can't wait to see how much we can accomplish:)

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Michelle said...

I can't wait to see what you make of your saved logs! The third picture made me giggle!

Dad/Pepere said...

After reading yesterday's and today's blog, I am exhausted!

Lise said...

I know, me too Mitch! It is a giggly piece!

Dad, we still had one more day of wood splitting! Now that was exhausting:)