Logging truck of firewood, 20 inches of snow, roof raking & a haircut

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. We’ve been busy with usual mid-winter fun. We finally received our logging truck filled with firewood in early January. Ten full cords of the lovely logs, which translate to 30 face cords. (I am only typing this out because someone always asks.) This equals two years worth of heat for our little house in the woods.

For the even more curious among you: a load of good hardwood costs about one thousand hard-earned bucks in these parts. We also own a backup propane furnace which steadfastly supplies additional heat when we’re tired of tossing split firewood in the wood stove. Or when we travel. Not that we have any immediate plans.

Should you imagine that our work is finished when the log truck driver scurries away–let me illuminate. We will spend hours upon hours, days upon days, months upon months chain sawing, splitting, hauling and stacking these lovely logs into handy-dandy firewood lengths during the spring and summer months.

The fun of living of the “pioneer life” in modern America!

Okay, I jest. A little bit anyway. Cutting, splitting and hauling firewood is better than a gym membership. It’s kinda fun. I do not mind this chore at age 64. I sometimes wonder how I will feel about it at age 74–or even 84–but that’s getting ahead of ourselves, isn’t it?

The day after our wonderful wood delivery snow fell from the sky and covered the pile with lots of the white stuff. By the time we took our final measurement–yep, official, it was 20 inches. We were so grateful that the logging truck’s delivery occurred the previous day.

Nearing a foot half-way through the storm

Oh the beauty of snow!

Oh the challenges of snow!

Oh, the dismay of driving in it–the slipping, the sliding, the slush, the ice, the inability to see properly!

But before a person drives, one must dig out the cars from beneath 20 inches of beautiful heavy white snow. Then Barry drives our ancient Massey Harris tractor and plows our lengthy driveway, pushing snow hither and yon.

I admit to being a tad bit irritated while digging out the cars last snowstorm.

“How are we going to do this when we’re 80 years old?” I moaned, panting, to said husband.

He talked me off my snowy mental cliff by assuring we would take this one year at a time. In the meantime, he’s going to help dig out the cars during our next bout with mother nature’s white gifts. He’s always good at offering new solutions to make chores easier for us. He’s a good pioneer partner.

After we’ve dug out the cars and plowed the driveway we must rake the roof. We bought a snap-together roof rake a few years ago–when he didn’t want to climb atop the roof and shovel anymore–and this works miracles in removing the snow stuff. You place it up on the roof and slowly pull.

DOWN! comes wads of snow with a hearty thump, relieving the roof of hefty weight. He does about 75% of the work, but I add my raking prowess, too.

Besides firewood delivery, shoveling out cars, plowing and roof raking–what else has been happening?

Not much, dear reader. Hence the sudden silence. This is the time of year when my mind and body slowwwww way down. Sometimes it’s even impossible to blog.

But I did get my haircut last week. A VERY needed haircut! It’s shorter than usual, but I’m satisfied for now.

Thanks for catching up on our snowy world. How’s it going with you?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in January 2022, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Logging truck of firewood, 20 inches of snow, roof raking & a haircut

  1. leelah saachi says:

    Oh I want one of those rakes! I have only been up there with a big shovel – and each year I wonder hoe I can do this without a backache – at 77 years. Yoga and energy therapy does it β™₯ <And you look just so cute with that haircut! πŸ™‚

    • Kathy says:

      You should try one, Leelah! It’s still hard work for the arms and shoulders, but it’s easier than shoveling. And I love the way yoga helps with its stretching! So nice to hear from you this weekend.

  2. Dale says:

    I promise to never ever ever complain again when the already chopped wood is dumped in my driveway!! My mother’s late partner used to cut down the trees in his lot, haul it back and cut it. My late husband used to love helping him split the wood. I dunno… I’m an in-between kinda gal πŸ˜‰
    No rest for the wicked, that’s for sure!
    Looking lovely πŸ™‚

  3. Stacy says:

    I love the do, Kathy. It may be shorter than you’re accustomed to, but it’s very flattering.

    Might I suggest a carport or garage? I know I’m getting a decade or two ahead, but if uncovering the snow-covered cars becomes too much, how about a different sort of cover for the cars?I would rather a garage than a move. πŸ˜‰

    It’s nice to hear from you! XOXO

    • Kathy says:

      The haircut turned out different than expected, but I kinda like it. Thank you, Stacy! I totally get your suggestion for a garage or carport, but we already have a large garage. It stores the 49 Studebaker truck which is always being worked on. Plus hundreds of Barry’s tools and supplies. We do dream of a carport–especially for the tractor–but our land is not easily conducive for another out-building. But maybe one of these days we’ll figure something out. (It’s nice to hear from you, too! I notice there’s a pattern where it gets harder to blog as winter progresses…so we’ll see if it’s possible to soldier through the quiets of the season.)

      • Stacy says:

        Ah, the storage conundrum! We have a garage, too, but last year added a carport.

        Winter came and went yesterday down here. I do enjoy the slow winter pace – no snow, of course. XOXO

        • Kathy says:

          We heard about the winter weather down south yesterday. We couldn’t reach Barry’s parents on the telephone and became concerned, but this morning learned that their phone & TV weren’t working properly because of the storm.

  4. Kate Duff says:

    Wow snow is so much hard work (that I hadn’t begun to think of since we never have snow in sunny Queensland) you guys are inspirational to tackle such a climate and way of living – I’m sure 80 won’t stop you at all so don’t worry about that.

    • Kathy says:

      Kate, you have such confidence in us! Thank you. We do like living in this climate, although it’s been changing since we moved here. Last year we only needed to plow snow four times–a record. Sunny Queensland sounds wonderful about now. πŸ™‚

  5. Geezy peezy – That’s a lot of wood and work ahead!!!! …. But it seems the two of you enjoy it. Stay warm and enjoy. πŸ™‚

  6. Wow! That’s an impressive pile of logs! Methinks all the hard work you guys do keeps you more fit and healthy than many of us are. πŸ™‚ I used to enjoy the fresh winter air while shoveling out the car before Tim went to work, but now that’s he’s retired we usually just stay put and wait for the snow to melt. One year at a time is a good way to contemplate the uncertain future. Love your haircut! Things are pretty quiet around here, too. Spending more time reading and listening to audio books than usual.

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, thank you. It does feel very healthy to be tackling that log pile throughout the year. There is something fresh and enjoyable about being out in the cold and doing some physical exercise. You are lucky that the snow melts off your cars! If we waited for it to melt…we might not go anywhere until spring, lol. One year at a time… One of the things I learned about this aging body is that my old technique of kicking snow away from the car tires is not going to work for the long haul because the hip socket no longer enjoys the move. Btw, do you have any good book recommendations?

  7. Ally Bean says:

    You said it about the beauty and challenges of snow. We have yet to get any significant downfall, but like you I’m feeling like nothing is happening. Winter, a season I love for its quietude, is also the worst one for having anything to blog about. I wanna write, but about what? Your haircut is pretty.

    • Kathy says:

      Ally Bean, I SO feel your blogging conundrum. When you look outside (or inside) at this time of year there’s sometimes just an empty no-thing-ness. What in the world should we write about? It took quite a bit of effort to share this blog because uploading pictures felt like too much work. But it’s always so fun to connect with everyone! What are we winter (I accidentally typed whiner) bloggers to do?

  8. Val Boyko says:

    Now that’s the pioneer spirit! I am impressed Kathy. Love the shorter hair. πŸ’•

  9. dawnkinster says:

    Two years flies by in the blink of an eye, doesn’t it! That’s a LOT of wood!! I know the Little Brother’s wood program is one of it’s largest and most important programs. They deliver split wood to elders who heat with it but can no longer ‘make wood.’ Definitely a needed service up there. AND THEN! To get 20 inches of snow! Oh I remember the yooper scooper I used when I lived on US 41 in Handcock, pushing that snow across the highway. It takes a LOT of work to live in the UP! I wonder if my husband and I can handle this house, way down here, when we’re older. The gardens are already too much. I guess we’re reaching the age that we need to think about these things.

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, I love that you lived up here and remember what winters are like. Little Brother’s is such a great program–I didn’t know that they split and deliver wood (or else I knew and forgot…) People swear by the yooper scoopers! I guess when we get a “certain age” we do start noticing our energy slowing down a bit. It will be interesting to see what happens in another decade or so.

  10. dawnkinster says:

    PS: I’m only getting a haircut about 2x a year now. Since covid and letting it go grey the need to go get it handled seems less important. Love your cut!

  11. Debbie says:

    Oh, my, Kathy — that’s a LOT of wood to prepare for indoor use! Your back must be incredibly healthy (mine starts aching when I think about having to cut that much firewood … in the snow, to boot!!) Your new ‘do suits you — looks easy to maintain and flatters your face. A win-win, I’d say!

    • Kathy says:

      Debbie, thank you for liking the haircut. As for aching backs, I’m not sure ours are as pain-free as you might imagine. But they don’t seem to ache from the firewood production, except sometimes when Barry has to lift a very heavy one. By the way, we don’t start cutting until the snow is gone, usually in May.

  12. I love the heat from a wood stove. However, I have never regretted switching it out for propane. Once it got to the point where my Dad was no longer able to help me get wood, I had to purchase it ready-cut and split. It was not cheaper, then, than propane. Also, my hose never held the heat well when I wasn’t home to tend the fire. Usually, when I got up in the morning, and when I got home from work in the afternoon, the house was a steady 42 degrees. I used to joke that I spent a lot of hard labor, making the house comfortable for the cats while I was at work! Since I don’t have a basement, and my house is small, I couldn’t have both wood and propane. So, I have a little cast iron stove with a glass door, that tries to look like a wood stove. And every single winter not spent trying to wrestle frozen logs apart, haul wood inside, and clean up the mess of slush and sawdust and woodchips in my main living area that resulted from that…feels kind of like a vacation! Oh, and I love your haircut! Very cute!

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, it’s good to know you can survive (and thrive!) without a wood stove. You would know so well after years of burning it. I can NOT imagine the house being 42 degrees! When we didn’t have a wood stove a couple of years back our house was 55 degrees–and I moved downstate for a month! It is so interesting imagining your house and life on Beaver Island. Thank you for sharing this.

  13. that’s “house,” not “hose.”

  14. Reggie says:

    Wow, Kathy, I am in absolutely AWE of you and Barry. I cannot even imagine having to manually ‘transmute’ entire logs of trees into hunks of firewood!! Yeesh!! And removing that much snow off the roof and the driveway and the cars… Wow… I applaud you both!!

  15. Anna says:

    Two years of wood warmth must be very secure feeling. I know it’s a lot of work but the crackle and the heat must be worth it. So much cozier than the furnace. I know I romanticize your life in the winter woods and you’ve reminded me it’s not all feet by the fire, hot cup of tea and a good book.

    • Kathy says:

      Anna, it is such a good feeling to have our wood here for two years. Truly! It is the most lovely kind of heat–although it spreads its share of dust about the house. It’s been a fun lifestyle these past 40+ years, but definitely not always easy. Thank you!

  16. Tilly travel says:

    Your two years worth of heat is still cheaper that our gas heating. I would love a real fire, but they are being fazed out here, in favour of green heating.

    • Kathy says:

      Tilly, it does make sense that wood stoves are being fazed out. They are not the cleanest of heat sources. We think of that often. Not as many people heat with wood here anymore either, at least compared to 40-50 years ago when we first moved here. But it does make you feel closer to the earth, honoring and using the local resources.

  17. Barb says:

    That photo of the logging truck is our life just now – they’re still cutting in the National Forest behind us and the trucks enter right beside our house. We’re very happy for the fire break but our landscape has completely changed. We’re no longer in the woods! I can see all the way to the Mosquito Range from our back windows. We’ve lived in our house in the woods for over 26 years, but now I’m embracing this new change. Tell Barry that Bob is still raking our roof at age 77. He also clears snow in our driveway with his beloved 45 year old John Deere – he wears the same LLBean “Eskimo” parka he had back then. Enjoy your new hairstyle. I’m letting mine grow a tad (it’s still very short). For some reason, it’s behaving itself. Stay well, Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, so very nice to hear from you! Barry says he would love to see a picture of Bob’s John Deere, not sure if you sent one or published one on your blog before. You are one of our inspirations! We have several friends in their 70’s still going strong with wood & snow chores. We also have several who can no longer do it anymore. I’m hoping we’ll be one of the former group, but who knows? I love your attitude about the wood cut. There would be benefits. To be able to see the mountain range and larger vistas would be lovely. And less fear of wildfires. You stay well, too, my friend and enjoy your winter!

  18. It’s no wonder nothing much has been happening when you have so much to do just to live with the snow πŸ™‚

    • Kathy says:

      Andrea, it seems like it’s snow feast or snow famine. When the snowstorms come we work, work, work. When they stay away we snooze…. (well, that’s not really true but it was this Saturday!)

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