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The Season of Firewood

October as always flew right by; swish, it’s in the books and put to bed last night with Halloween. Now we are well into the next season, and around here that means firewood and winter preparations. We’ve started already but now it’s really time to buckle down and be a bit more serious about it.

The automatic waterers are now on their last days, as the night will begin to freeze more often, all the hoses have been unhooked unless being used. We can’t leave them hooked up or the line could freeze and then… well, then we have to dig out the line from the ground and replace everything. This I can tell you from experience… is very much NOT my husband’s favorite thing to do. And when it happens, it’s usually one of those freezing days, and the wind is blowing and a storm is on it’s way and he is left to be outside fixing the break while his hands also freeze. So, we just try to keep that from happening…to often.

We brought a couple of cows home yesterday that had been out on pasture at a neighbors place, Korker and Violet. Korker is my oldest Jersey milk cow and she is fat and sassy right now, due to have her calf in January. But that didn’t stop her from running and bucking and kicking her heels up in the air like a spring calf when she came running home yesterday. I love when they don’t act their age. Once they were home and with everyone else they all act like long lost family meeting up at the airport greeting each other. After the greeting is over the new arrivals have to walk the fence lines to find the boundaries and see the sights. Finally late yesterday afternoon everyone calmed down and the herd was able to bask in the sun, graze and chew their cud.

I swear my husband loves to cut wood, firewood that is. I personally don’t like to do it until it’s a little cool and long sleeves can be worn and you don’t work up a sweat when moving it. The snakes are usually not out if it’s cool also… or at least that’s what I tell myself. We have an outside wood burning stove that heats our home, I love it. I love the smell of the smoke as it floats in the valley, I love coming home on a fresh snow and seeing the little smoke trail beside the house and knowing the house will be warm, wood heat just feels different. Our land has a lot of trees, a lot, a lot a lot, so we are blessed to be able to heat our home with wood from our land.

Dan loves his chainsaw, he finally bought one from me a few years back, I don’t use it except to cut firewood with him usually, however the funny thing is, I guess the chains on my saw don’t stay sharp for very long because every time I go to use it my chain is dull. I have a handy smaller saw that tends to get used by both Dan and my son a bit more than they like to admit! Dan likes to tell the family on the weekends that the activity for the day is “to hold hands and pitch wood”. The little ones are usually never as excited as he is to do this for some reason. But when they are older, they will have memories of spending the day together as a family, working. At the end of a cool day I try to make fresh cocoa. I mean the very best cocoa is made from the milk that is still warm from the cow. I bring it in and warm it more on the stove add my cocoa powder, sugar a little homemade vanilla and infuse a little mint from the garden in the summer. Mmmmm, truly that is the very best “hot hot cow juice with chocolate on top” as my oldest used to call it when he was very little.

The sun sleeps in a bit more these days, but I’d better get around anyway. Still have a list a mile long to get to before the snow flies.


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