Sunday, January 23, 2011

More and less

It's currently the very specific time of year which results in many conversations between Bill and me regarding wood supply. It's been wicked cold this week and our stacked wood is dwindling. Every individual log that goes into a fire initiates an estimate from Bill on how much wood we have left and if it will get us to spring.

We have this much left in the wood shed:

(can you see the tiny pile in the back? It's about 4 pieces)

And this much on the porch:

Current guess is that we'll be ok until March, but we will have to dig into the pile of unstacked wood which is under snow, but covered by a tarp.

While we have used much more wood this year, we haven't used any noticeable amount of propane. In fact, the batteries in our thermostat were dead for 2-3 weeks around Christmas break, meaning the furnace wasn't on at all, and we didn't even notice. It is possible the propane company may come take our tank from us, as they expect us to use at least 500 gallons per year.

(the tank just looks lonely and disused, doesn't it?)

Between last year and this year, I think we've used a total of 200 gallons. Far less than the 7-800 the first year we lived here. And - with two wood stoves and a proper amount of wood, we are much warmer than when we burned propane.

As an added bonus of using more wood and less propane - I love stacking wood...and boiling water for tea and hot chocolate on the stove...and even lugging carts of wood from the shed to the house through the snow. I love putting on my blue hat (knit from yarn I spun and dyed!), boots and gloves and venturing out into the cold - especially when the sky is blue and the ground is white. The cold is refreshing and I appreciate the warmth of the house even more when I come back in.

What's that? You haven't seen my blue hat yet? it is:

It was made with my first knitable handspun. I've spun more since then - it is more even and less bumpy, which is very exciting.

(new yarn- shows improvement!)

(bumpy "yarn" from my first attempts)

I believe I've now earned the chance to spin with colored roving. Bill helped me dye a pound of it yesterday. Both of these are dyed with the same 3 colors, but different distribution. On this one, I just plopped the green, brown and yellow all over randomly.

On this one, I kept the colors mostly segregated:

I'm interested to see how they spin up! More color, less white!


  1. The fire wood discussion is familiar to everyone I've ever known who heats with cordwood. Even when you have more then enough stacked in the basement (as my parents do) the discussion surfaces during these coldest days!

    We, OTOH, only bought half of what we needed in November, because we don't have space to store more. And now we've got to find someone who has wood for sale in January. That was a tactical error...

  2. I am excited to see those rovings spun - especially the second one!

    It's curious that our 90-year-old house has no fireplaces nor are there hints that there ever were any. I think I could have enjoyed heating with wood...