Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

More Vacation...Tackling the Firewood Stack

Well, I finally got the firewood stack under control! I have a very nice place to stack the firewood---its concrete flooring and has a concrete wall behind it. I buy a year in advance so the wood has a chance to season out. I have a wonderful wood supplier who is honest, reliable and cuts the wood to whatever specifications you need--plus he builds a mean stack--the ends are all 'just so' and look very neat. Because I buy a year in advance and usually have some left over from the current year I have to keep two stacks going--which means I have to clean up the last years wood pile and move whatever is left over to the wood pile I'm going to use this year, so there will be a clean place to have the new load brought in. I normally use three cords per year and this is my only heating system. Because of the very mild winters the last couple of years I haven't went through three cords, more like two and half. Moving the old wood to the current wood pile is a BIG DEAL. Not because its a hard job, but because, as usual I didn't get to it in the spring, so its been sitting there all summer---accumulating ants and slugs and...spiders. Its pretty awful. ( I don't deal with spiders well at all.......) These are not little bitty spiders either--most are about the size of a nickel with some quarters thrown in there as well, and there are thousands and thousands of them. So I carry two sticks at a time--one in each hand, held way out from my person. A few of the spiders crawled over my shoes and there were some wild yelps and dancing going on. It didn't take too long, maybe an hour or two. I also filled the woodbox which sits in the breezeway during the winter. This is very handy, as it keeps the wood dry and is right out the back door. My Dad built this many years ago and its simply a huge plywood box mounted on caster wheels. Then I cleaned up the kindling pile and filled up a large plastic tub with the kindling and set it in the breezeway as well. While I was doing this Ariel and Boone were working very, very hard as well...... It was exhausting just watching them.... Ariel (the blue merle collie) was working pretty hard on how to steal back her beef knuckle bone from Boone though. Boone found it and was thrilled beyond belief--he had quite a wild game of it for awhile. Ariel was standing on the sidelines with disapproval written all over her. She is a bit intimadated by Boone, although he has never been aggressive towards her. He is so powerful though that he has ran into her once before and made her yelp. Anyway, she waited very patiently til he was snoozing then crept over and took the knuckle bone and made off with it. Not that she ever chews it, but it is hers, ya know. Unfortunately she must have slightly miscalculated ( I think she planned to take it just past where the end of Boone's leash went and lay it there so he would see it but not be able to get it), and Boone was able to reach it from his leash and happily came toting it back some time later.......Sometimes it is hard getting any real work done, for watching the animal entertainment!

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