Friday, November 7, 2014

Preparing for Winter - The Woodpile


I'm trying to prepare myself for the dreaded. incredibly-long and dark winter ahead. It definitely is a cozy time of year because we have wood to burn (because we don't have money to burn). It's the time of year when, if any time, I will get some knitting done, more reading done, some sewing done (hopefully), and a good time to plan a late March vacation. Planning is half the fun, but I don't dare voice that to Mr. C. or he'll tell me something like, 'Well, then, just plan a vacation twice and look how much money we'll save.'  No, he hasn't actually said that - yet, but I can hear those words in my head for I know him so well by now. After this many years, we hardly have to converse, for we tend to know what the other is thinking. Even that gets us laughing sometimes. Scary, isn't it. But comfortable.

Anyway, here's an explanation for the collage above:

Top Row:
  • Painting an X on dead trees while we could still tell which trees were dead and which were not.
  • Cutting down a few huge oaks. They were each over 60' tall.
  • What we don't want to happen: Cut trees get hung up on other trees and later have to be dragged down with a tractor and chain. Frustrating.

Middle Row:
  • Middle son helping Mr. C. cut wood
  • Taking a break from cutting
  • Tools: The two favorite chainsaws

Bottom Row:
  • Last year's wood pile - and what we're going for this year with probably even more wood if the predictions for a harsh winter are accurate
  • Last December - burning wood in the Quadrafire living room stove
  • Burning wood in the 1913 Home Comfort kitchen cookstove


 Auxiliary heat - for when it's minus 30 degrees F. or below
Yes, we remove the items from the top before building a fire in it. :-)

We don't have too many of those -30, -40 degree days, but it's nice to be able to feel cozy in the house on such bitterly cold days. They're usually sometime between mid December and mid February.

A minus 19 degree F. December morning 

It's Coming...


Are you ready for winter?

Do you hibernate, escape, or embrace?

P.S. Carla doesn't need to answer that. She's probably already praying for snow. ;-)


***

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Although I usually forget to do it, there is a chance that this post will be linked to one or more of these great linky parties:  Amaze Me Monday and Inspiration Monday and Mosaic Monday and The Barn Collective and    Treasure Box Tuesday and Vintage Bliss Tuesday and KatheWithAnE and Rubbish Tuesday and Our World Tuesday and Tuesdays at our Home and Tuesday with a Twist and  Knick of Time Tuesday (vintage)  and   Tweak it Tuesday and Vintage Inspiration Wednesday and Ivy and Elephants Wednesday and Adorned From Above  and Artsy Corner Thursday and  All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and Good Fences on Thursdays and  Time Travel Thursday and Freedom Fridays and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Saturday's Critters

57 comments:

Buttons said...

I LOVE your auxiliary stove.We are heading to the bush this weekend to cut down trees. We have half a drive shed full but after last years winter we do not want to leave it to chance that it will be enough. Nothing like wood heat especially if your power goes out:) Lots of help for you. Great shots. B

Mike @ A Bit About Britain said...

That's a lovely post, with great photos. I like the control centre in the kitchen. Winter in the UK, as you probably know, is about as predictable as a supermarket trolley. It rarely gets below -10 C, though it can do. Coldest, normally, in the Highlands and the north; we live in the north and a couple of times in recent years it's been colder in the south. Very wet in most places. Especially in the west; but sometimes in the east too. Snow in Scotland, Wales and the higher bits of England most years. Snow showers in the south grind the entire country to a halt and normally result in a state of National Emergency.

Trace4J said...

Love your awesome stove.
We too have been busy preparing for winter. We will be traveling to buy more wood to put up tomorrow.
We try to heat mostly with wood.
Propane is so expensive.
Warm Woolie HUGS

DeniseinVA said...

Super post! Great photos! It is so comforting to even look at your wood stove on a chilly morning. I could help but notice your world map on the wall. Love it!

Margaret Adamson said...

Well I just heard from my sister who tells me that snow is forcast for December and January here in Northern Ireland. Love your fire and I am sure it is cosy when lite.

Arlene Grimm said...

Judy my parents heated their house with wood when my father was able to cut and stack it! Even in North Georgia it can get pretty cold in the winter. We used to laugh because every time we would visit them in the winter, we would all fall asleep in the family room where the stove was as we got so warm! Here in North Alabama, we have our coldest weather in January it seems. However last weekend was BITTER here! Hope that is not a foretaste of what we have to look forward to this winter. Most of the time we will have really cold days then it warms up some to make it bearable. I hope you can get away for a break during the winter!!

Sandra said...

I will skip the answer to your last question since you already know what it is. and with Bob and I we find we answer the question the other is about to ask because we know what we will say... years together does that and i like it. love that wood burner quad whatever you called it.. question is can you cook on those burners or are they for looks...

Jacquelineand.... said...

I love a wood stove... or fireplace... but prefer a wood stove. Over the years the Great Scot has become enamoured of them as well, although he does miss the coal fires he grew up with. Your photos brought back memories of helping my parents and grandparents with cutting the wood for winter

Terri D said...

LOL - I'm ready for winter! We can turn off the AC and open the windows and doors! (rubbing it in a little!) March is a lovely time to visit Florida, by the way. Just sayin'.

Kathleen George said...

I live where the snowbirds fly to. But the summers make up for the mild winters. Although El Nino suppose to be in place this winter, so might get a rainy winter. Kathleen in Az

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love that stove. It's definitely getting to be that time of year for sure! Have a great weekend :)

NanaDiana said...

Great collage of photos, Judy I hunker down in the winter and don't like being out in the cold. It is miserable to me to be and/or feel cold all the time. I do like a fire going and hot coffee at hand and that give me the "excuse" to do that.

Love that you have a great stove there! xo Diana

Debbie said...

Good morning! Oh my...such differences. Having spent pretty much my whole in So. California I have NO idea what it would really be like to deal with such cold weather. 30, 40 degrees below?!! I am STILL waiting for Fall out here. It's suppose to be in the upper 80's again today...sigh. Some snow and a cozy fire sounds soo good. Maybe we will get a cold winter (some 40 and 50 degree days) but I doubt it. LOVE that stove too btw. Enjoy your week-end!

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

I love this post! I've always had a dream of living in "Little House of the Prairie" and your post brought me back to that. Now the truth is, you know how much I don't like the cold winter and snow, so I would probably only last a couple of days before I started complaining! Have a great weekend, Judy.

Beth said...

Hi Judy, We had an Earth Stove - looks like your Quadrafire - at our other home. It was in the basement of a smallish ranch home, and it could heat the whole house unless it got down below zero. We had to buy wood so not sure how much $ we saved doing that but it was such a nice warm heat. Love your 1913 stove too - do you ever actually cook on it? I used to put a big pot of chili on my Earth Stove!

TexWisGirl said...

i've definitely gotten used to the mild winters in texas and don't miss much about wisconsin during that season. ;)

i have a free-standing wood-burning fireplace, here. and this year i've got plenty of firewood in the shed, too. last year i ran through a ton of it. this big open gazebo of a house with tile floors gets plenty chilly and the wood fire helps make things cozier.

Diane said...

Definitely like winter less the older I get!!

Linda Kay said...

Judy, I have to admit I moved south to avoid those cold winter nights. We don't need much heat at all, and we have sunshine almost every day. I do love your old wood burner stove, and glad to know you will take off all the decorations before you light the fire!

Cattails said...

I love your photos today. I cannot imagine temps that cold! I think the coldest ice storm temp I remember is -8 degrees. We have a kerosene heater for dire emergencies but so far, have not had to use it.

Nancy said...

Looks like you can make it through the worst that Winter will dole out and be very comfy. My house is all electric so there's not much I can do but keep the propane tank on the BBQ grill full for outside cooking, stock up on food and water and warm clothes and blankets. I do not look forward to the -30 or -40 F days but they are manageable if one uses common sense.

Ginny said...

Your last picture is beautiful!! And what a great collage of the whole process! I hate winter, no light, no flowers, and no warmth. But I am captured by the big map on your wall, I love it!! What room is this, the kitchen? Is it wallpaper, or a huge map? I have a globe and map theme on one end of my living room.

happywonderer said...

Looks like you have prepared quite well for winter. We just have to make sure we have batteries and candles and flashlights if the power goes out. Some winters we get some snow and some we do not. Western Washington is more mild than Eastern Washington. We don't have anything wood burning in the house anymore. We have a gas fireplace insert and a gas pot belly little unit for heat. Winter isn't my favorite but I enjoy parts of it... :)

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Wish I could say we will be as cozy. But living in an old 1920's bungalow with no insulation isn't the warmest. Surprisingly because we are tucked between so many houses we don't feel the wind as must as in our old house (on a corner). Insulation is of course on the to-do list, but it didn't happen this year. I love wearing sweaters, so I always look forward to getting out the woolies! We just wear several layers and set the thermostat at 65. Lol! I keep telling myself I need to toughen up and not start wearing all my layers yet! (As tempting as that is)

Michelle said...

We have a good start on our wood pile. We have one large wood stove in our old farmhouse. Nothing like wood heat to warm up a body.

Jaybird said...

We heated our home with a 36" box heater for YEARS!!!! There is nothing as cozy and nice as wood heat!
The house we live in now has a big fireplace with fans. We use it a lot, but it is augmented by gas heat. We are a lot older now and lazier :^) Of course we don't get the bone chilling cold that you do, but the fireplace is always nice to curl up by. Our Princess kitty REALLY likes an evening fire....she sits on the hearth and naps until she hears someone mention snack :^)
Thank you for a GREAT post.
Blessings,
J

L. D. said...

Wood burning in a stove or fireplace is a great sound on a very cold snowy day. One of my earliest jobs as a kid was to hall the cut wood from the basement stairs that had been placed there by my dad. I had to tote it over to a closer location near the old wood burner in the basement. I was young and learned to stick with it until it was all done.

Susie said...

Judy, We went through our wood last year and Ted had to get one more load from my SIL. We have the wood bin full. Ted can get some fallen trees from our neighbor's woods , down the road...that sure helps. We saved a lot of money, burning wood....but it's a dirty thing at times. I get mad when Ted throws more logs in and doesn't give the chimney time to make the full draft ...he lets smoke into the house a bit. I hate that. I am hoping we do not have a severe a winter as last, but the almanac says we will. xoxo,Susie

Carla from The River said...

Ha, I still say, I am going to take you out for a cross country ski this year.
20 to 15 degree day, a light snowfall coming down. The woods is so quite you can hear the snowflakes fall. All the animals in the woods seem to not be as jumpy, a deer will just watch as you ski by. I had an owl swoop down by me once. It is peaceful, beautiful white and okay I will admit, COLD.
:-)))
After a good ski in the woods, I just know that Winter will become your very favorite season.

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Goodness! Seriously, some days that are 30 below zero-Yikes! Although, the beauty of it all sure compensates for the cold!
Your stove is beautiful and the fact that it is your true friend during Winter, makes it even more charming!
Happy Friday,
Jemma

Lorrie said...

Wood heat is so wonderful. We lived with it for a few short years, long ago. We don't get that cold here, but I'm still hoping for some snow this winter - a couple of weeks would be nice. Snow really brightens the normally grey landscape in winter.

Your menfolk are getting warmed twice, as they say, by the preparation for winter.

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

What a great post! Love the humour interjected here. I definitely hunker down in the Winter. When a storm is coming, I run out and stock up. The collage is awesome!

Nancy Shuman said...

What a cozy post! And I laughed out loud - genuinely - at what you think Mr. C would say about saving money by planning two trips. Still smiling at that one.

As for me - I suppose I hibernate in the chill. A nice middle ground :)?

Beatrice Euphemie said...

I can feel the warmth of the wood in your beautiful post, both in the cutting and in the burning! Sounds like you are going to have a lovely, cozy winter with your beautiful stoves (I am in love with your wood cook stove) and all your knitting and sewing projects. - 30 degrees sounds very scary! Keep cozy! Hugs xo Karen

Chatty Crone said...

Your photos of your area are always so gorgeous.

And a wood fire and heat is the best.

You sure do have to prepare for this and quite a bit too!

Felicia said...

we don't have a wood stove. wish we did. we seem to have so much trouble with our oil furnace.

Love your wintry image and your mosaic.

Judy S. said...

Brrr! I do remember those cold Wisconsin winters even though I left there many, many years ago. One good thing about all our rain is it doesn't need to be shoveled! It does get tiresome though until I think about those clear January days in WI when the sun was out but didn't seem to be doing anything. Where are you planning to go in March? Somewhere warm and sunny, I'll bet. Have a great weekend, Judy!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I'm ALL FOR WINTER....50-60 degrees for a high and low of 40s with NO snow.

I remember those days of getting the 'stock pile of wood' for our wood burning stove. It heated the whole house when drifts of snow surrounding the exterior walls of our house.

I could feel the crisp Fall air as I perused these photos.

Vee said...

Like you, I'm dreading it. The only escape will be to my bed with the comforters up around my ears. I remember wood gathering, sawing, chopping, stacking, hauling, burning, woodsmoke, ashes, start all over days well. Then we got lulled into a false sense of security and took out the woodstoves. Half of the family has now gone to burning wood pellets; the rest of us deal with the price of oil.

Love your cookstove! And I imagine that you do cook on it. Some of the most flavorful meals ever were cooked on a woodburning cookstove.

Eva Marie O'Brien said...

I love the winter even though it at times takes more to stay warm and such. But if there is a few degrees below zero Celsius, and not too much wind it can be nice. And love sitting by the fire in the evenings.
I love your wood burning stove, they generate such nice heat. Use to have one living in Sweden. Nice to smell the wood burning too.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

Your stoves makes the rooms look so cosy and warm... You'd say there's no winter in Brittany... As Britain, it's practically surrounded by the sea where the Gulf Stream allows the temperature to stay never too high, never too low. It rarely goes below 0°C... I still would love a burning stove!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I heard that the middle of the country (including us in eastern Colorado) is due for some severe cold the week coming up from the storm over Alaska right now so you are wise to stock up on wood!

I love your vintage wood stove! My maternal grandmother had one in her home in Pennsylvania and I loved it so much. She made the most delicious foods on it. If I wasn't so young (16) when she passed away I probably would have taken that stove and stored it somewhere till I could have used it in my future house.

Stay cozy and warm!

Theresa said...

I wanted to stop by and say HI and thanks for visiting me and leaving your sweet comment:) Nice to meet you! I love that picture of the December morning! BEAUTIFUL! We are ready with the biggest woodpile we have ever had! We don't usually get really cold winters buy we are ready if we do! Enjoy your weekend new friend! HUGS!

Missy George said...

I don't mind winter..either does Mollie (dog)..We prefer it to the heat of summer unless it's windy...I love your stove..nice post..Warming :)

Donna said...

That is a LOT of wood! Yeah, it is dangerous for trees to get hung up like that. About 30 years ago (and 2 houses ago), we had a neighbor who was cutting a tree in his back yard. He got a big one hung up. Mr. Jim came to his rescue with ropes and a plan. Love that kitchen stove. What a beauty!

We've been having some relatively warm winters the past couple of years. It's about time, I suppose that we get a cold one. We have gas heat and the house is pretty tight. I'll have to keep the thermostat temperature up though because Mr. Jim gets cold really easily now. So I'll be burning money. Ah, he's worth it.

Simply Linda said...

Sigh...One day...I will have a woodstove....and a home of our own...back in the country. Until then, we are 'city' (really town) dwellers renting. I, for one, love winter...ask me again in Jan. when I am walking those hills at school(wink). I rather be cold and layer then be hot and can't take off clothes, tmi, I know lol. Blessings

Chris K in Wisconsin said...

I am NOT looking forward to another WI winter. And it seems to be starting WAY too early this year. I believe that you are predicted to get some of that terrible "s" word up in your neck of the woods in the next few days. We are only to get about an inch. I am thankful for that, but low temperatures around 12*. Too cold too early. And if it is that cold, we know the snow will stay. Oh, I am SO not ready!

kitty said...

Hi Judy, we had two wood stoves when we lived in Ohio. This brought back fond memories of my late beloved hubby cutting and stacking wood for the winter. There's no need for a wood stove here in Texas!

Ida said...

We have gas heat here so I'm never cold "inside" during the winter. You do have a good stockpile there of wood though. I am "never" ready for winter, it's my least favorite season.

Lynne said...

Wood heat is the best ever . . .

Enjoyed your pictures . . . I think you are ready for winter!

I am an EMBRACE . . . although for the first time ever we are going to take off for some warmer, sunny days mid February to mid March . . .

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It sounds like you have a winter blast on the way this week. We got photos of my youngest son and his kids cutting and stacking wood today, too. They live in WV. Enjoy your week my friend! Hugs!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be Judy but my body doesn't like the cold. Although I walk the dog every morning, when it gets extremely cold I tell him to go in the backyard. Otherwise it's getting his winter coat and boots on. :-)
We're heading to Florida for the month of February which helps break up the winter and will give us much needed warmth and sunshine.
Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

We're ready as we get around here and we've got snow on the ground already. We had a wood furnace in a home we built in the late 70's. We went through about 10 to 15 cord of wood a season. It was very toasty in the house. We had propane heat otherwise and it was to darn expensive so we went to wood. I have natural gas now and love the convenience. That supplemental stove is a real gem! A vacation sounds wonderful- I haven't done one in too long!

Donna said...

I embrace the harsh winters here...can't escape at this point ...no money. But I am hoping to do some projects to while away the time.

Suzan Sweatman said...

Oh that stove Judy - absolutely gorgeous and almost ( only almost though ) makes winter worth it! I'm going to miss our wood burning fireplace from the last place this winter - this house has a propane fireplace - and once you've removed the wood burning function of it - you can't return to it - it's the law here *$&#(*#.
I love the wall sized map in your kitchen too ( is that what it is? )
We haven't had a drop of snow yet - and I kind of wish it would just come so I could stop fretting every single day if
" this is the day " when reality hits lol
XOXO

Barb said...

It snowed hard here today in Breckenridge, CO. We're ready for winter. We have the fireplace burning and the down quilt on the bed. I'm wondering if I should get the skis tuned.

Lady of the Manor said...

This is exactly what we do to prepare for winter! Our Hardy Woodstove is a 'hungry beast' that needs to be fed often so we have to cut a lot of wood, too. Our kids are in college now and only help on the weekends. It keeps us in shape, though.

Hear you're having some winter weather today. Stay warm and safe!

J_on_tour said...

Nice post with you bringing the positive out of it. Winter is the time when I try to catch up with things inside the house, hunt out the thick socks & listen to true local authorities complaining about running out of grit stocks for the roads. Not sure if they base their budget on the previous years supply used ... in which case they'll sounding off very early on as last year was mild and and very wet. Any more than 5cm of northern urban snow, my local indoor bus station is almost like a relief base in a war zone.

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