Gads, I'm beat this morning. I spent the better portion of yesterday afternoon doing something I rarely ever do. And it was hard.
See, there was this woodpile, down near the bottom of the driveway left over from a (monstrous) tree that B felled last fall. It was all chainsawed up and stacked neatly, just waiting for me to load it up and bring it up to the house. I'd been planning to get it up here since, oh, about May...I just, ya know...umm...waited. And yesterday I finally stopped waiting and just did it. But once I got the first load (it was loaded into a cart we pull behind our lawn tractor, since our full size tractor is on the fritz...and I probably wouldn't use the full size tractor when I'm here alone anyway...that thing intimidates me.) up to the house, I wasn't sure where to put it. We have our rack of firewood, all split and stacked and ready for burning. But we don't have a stack of waiting-to-be-split wood.
So, I split it.
Holy crap, people. I split wood for at least two hours (two hours all combined, not including the many breaks. All told, the entire process took about three hours or so. I do not skimp on breaks!). And some of t hose pieces were HUGE!! Like over a foot in diameter huge. And, since I'm not normally the woodchopper, I just slaved away at it with the ax, occasionally having to take a mallet and beat the hell out of the ax to get it to go in further. I think I swung the mallet more than I swung the ax, honestly. Needless to say, when B got home, he was surprised. And him, being the normal wood chopper, had a wealth of tips. Apparently, we have this thing, he called it a grenade, that's shaped kind of like a skinny pyramid that makes splitting HUGE pieces of wood really easy. You just set it point down, in the middle of the log and whack it with the mallet a few times. And voila!! Splitsville. I WISH I'd known about it earlier. (He also told me that the wood was oak and that's why it was so freakin' hard. I thought I was just weak and had no idea how to chop wood. Redeemed!!) And I also learned that I should wear my steel toed boots when I chop wood. B didn't tell me that, I figured it out all on my own.
So, yeah. September 1st, 90 degrees. Chopping wood. But, it's better to have it ready when you need it and not have to slog about in the snow and ice to split more. Our split wood rack, near the house, is almost full again and the unsplit wood stack way down past the garden is gigantor. So we should be set for this winter (hell...probably for like the next five winters. That stack is ridiculously huge. I'll post pics of it soon). The first frost date for this part of TN, at this elevation is usually around October 7th, so we'll be needing it sooner than we thought.
What are you guys doing to get ready for winter? Now that canning season is almost over, what is everyone putting by to get ready?