Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I love wood. It's so earthy. We have a wonderful heater at home, but there's just something about burning wood to heat your home. Don't get me wrong, I love that I can set the program on the heater to heat the house just before we wake up. But..... wood is so earthy.

This pic was taken last year right before we went to the pumpkin patch. I love the rock wall behind the stove. It's so earthy.

As you can see, we have a humongous wood burning stove that cranks out the heat. Well, at least it does for Joe. For me, it does ok. What can I say, he's a master at this outdoors stuff. He's so earthy.

But, with a wood burning stove, you need.... wait for it.... wood! There are two ways to do this. You can buy wood from someone on the street (literally). It's convenient. They already have it chopped, split, and they deliver it. It can get pretty spendy, though. Plus, it's not very exciting. And I'm all about the excitement. I'm pretty sure that's my middle name.

The other way to get wood, is to collect it yourself. WAY more exciting! I just love the sound of the trees hitting the ground. Sometimes the ground shakes. I love the smell of fresh cut wood. I love that my boys explore and learn. I love the exercise (it's quite a workout). I love the satisfaction of a wood pile, knowing I gathered it. But I have learned to not even bother with the wood pile. Joe is fanatic about his wood piles at home. He will restack and rearrange our wood about once a month, maybe more. He has all the wood separated by type. He has the oldest wood up front. I am just grateful that Joe has the energy this year to do it. Last year, the Kidney Disease wiped him out and we only got 1/2 a cord ourselves (and we burn at least 3 cord/year).

This year, the firewood cutting area is off Porter Mountain Road. I had never driven past Porter Mountain on that road. Have you ever been back in there? It's so pretty.

Wide open spaces. Juniper. Oak. Pine. Lots of cattle grazing. Pronghorn Sheep. Natural springs. It's my kind of country.

After doing this a couple of years, we have our "jobs" all worked out. Joe picks the general spot for the day. He explores the area, looking the trees we will get that day. While he's out exploring, I set up base camp. Feed the kids. Establish boundaries. Take a few nature shots.

I also cut kindling. I'm not gonna lie to you and tell you that I cut down the big trees. I don't. I still have a fear of all things sharp. Flashbacks to pumpkin carving in 1992. Not pretty. My pinky still doesn't bend. But I digress. I can however, use the chainsaw for kindling. Overkill, but exciting!

The boys then throw the kindling in the back of the truck. The truck is so big, they have to get a running start. Too cute!

Pepper's job is to protect. We were dogsitting him this weekend, so he came along.

When Joe came back from exploring the area, Pepper didn't recognize him at first. Oooooh, attack dog! He's so cute. He will always be family.

Joe then takes the chainsaw and goes back to the trees he has marked out for the day. My job is now to bring the truck to him and the wood. Exciting.

You can see from this pic that the trees are pretty tight in here. Sure, we came in on a road, but I use the word "road" loosely here. I'm sure at one point it was a dirt trail, but with all the pine needles, you can't see the road anymore. Many times we said, "where's the road?" And with pine needles, you can't see your own tracks coming in.

Joe found the best trees uphill from base camp. This meant I had to back up the truck, uphill, on the "road", and blaze a trail to Joe. In some spots, there was barely enough clearance for the truck to make it coming downhill, going forward. Imagine going in reverse uphill. This from a woman who needs to make an 11-point turn to get this truck into a parking spot at Wal-Mart. But in the forest, it's like I'm in my element. I'm so earthy.

Once I got turned around, I had to blaze a new trail toward the sound of the chainsaw. When Joe goes exploring, he pays no attention to where the "road" is. In fact, the best wood is off the "road". I get to maneuver around the trees and stumps and drive hard core! Sooooo exciting!

By the time I get the truck to him, he is usually done cutting all the rounds. I then help him throw them into the truck. When all is said and done, we pack up and move out to another spot. On the way out, Joe drives. This time, he couldn't find the way out, that I had blazed in. On his route, we found more "dinosaur" bones.

I say "dinosaur" because that's what the boys thought it was. They had found dinosaur bones last week also, while Joe was cutting wood, and I was at work. They kept telling Joe they had found "dinosaur" bones.

Now, I am sitting at home, thinking I might start a fire, with our own wood, that we collected ourselves. It's so earthy.

where Glory meets my suffering