Getting on….and still truckin’, buckin’ and chuckin’.

February 7th Sal was under the surgeon’s knife. Total knee replacement. By that evening some Nazi-sadist made her walk around the ward. So, she did it. That was premature, wrongly advised and proved painful enough that the physio was reamed out by the doctor.

Then Sal went to the motor home to convalesce for a week before she went to the physio gym for ‘real physio’. We went to the gym a few times but the gym was so dirty, we refused to return for the full regime.

It was just as well we cancelled because within a few days, Sal was sick-like-dog. Passing out. Ambulance. Emergency ward. Rehydration over night and then released back to the moho. The intrepid Sal lay like the proverbial dead cat for the next three weeks. No bounce. But, to be fair to her intrepid-ness, she did walk a block every day sick or not. Rain or shine. By mid-March we were back home, she was on the exercise cycle and basically doing fine.

As I write this, it is May 20. I could have written this three weeks ago (11 weeks after surgery) but we were not putting her knee to the test back then. We did over this last week. We went logging.

As described many times, we chase logs and then wrangle the suckers onto the beach and leash them all up until we have enough to process. That process started a week ago. Step one, after the collecting, is to wait until high tide and then pull the leashes tight so that when the tide goes out, the logs are close to the high water mark. When that is done, I start chainsawing. If all goes according to plan, the rounds I cut are within fifty feet at most of where they should sit awaiting the splitting phase. It never goes perfectly and so some of the further cuts are maybe 75 feet away. But it is NOT the distance that really matters, it is the terrain on which the rounds are carried.

If a round is 75 feet away, then 25 feet of that is terraced slabs of granite. Solid, slippery, uneven but manageable. The ‘difficult’ 50 feet remaining is because it is a field of round boulders of all different sizes and shapes and absolutely treacherous when carrying a load.

Each round weighs between 30 and 75 pounds depending on the tree species and the diameter. Today we had two Fir logs in excess of 15″ in diameter. A 16″ cut off a 15″ diameter Fir that has been sitting in the water weighs all of 60 pounds and some weigh more. I swear I lifted several closer to 75 pounds today.

But Sal will do up to 60 pounds without batting an eye. A 60 pound log round is HALF her weight!! Sally can lift her age!!!

Naturally, we fall. Sal fell on the slippery granite ledge today. But, like the proverbial live cat, she bounced up and continued purring. She was fine despite slicing her foot on some barnacles. Blood and all. We just carried on.

I know I have said much of this before but Sal’s recent TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT added a slightly different factor to the whole saga, don’t you think?

14 thoughts on “Getting on….and still truckin’, buckin’ and chuckin’.

  1. Sal’s looking good! But I know that a complete knee replacement takes a lot of time to fully heal and a lot of physiotherapy to get back to a fully healed knee. So, that said, it’s quite early for Sal to do this kind of work, no?


    • Well, she is intrepid and stubborn but that is not really it….the surgery was very good and she was remarkable quick-healing form the Nazi on. Had it not been for the illness, she would have been even quicker to recover. The physio staff said that she was the fastest so far. Her knee is now strong. No pain. No swelling unless it is a long day but we keep our wood-chucking to two hours a day. But, all in all, we both estimated that she was ready (her decision but I watched her work out in lesser circumstances). And the proof, it seems has been borne out – she is fine.


  2. Work work work. And you called the physio therapist a nazi!
    Impressive recovery time. I think her level of fitness is a major contributor to it.
    My step dad went through the same process. Didnt stay active before or after his surgery.
    Long, slow , painful recovery. But he definitely improved.

    Do you guys pick at getting more the firewood all summer as well? Or do you bulldog it all now and relax in the summer.
    When do you call it a day? 5 cords? 10?


    • I had a knee reconstruction back in the 80’s. Very, very fit at the time. Took me six months including 6 weeks in a full leg-cast. That was then. This is today. Huge progression in the process in almost 40 years. The surgeon was great, the surgery 100% and Sal was in good shape at the time (disease contracted at the physio lab) . So, it was as good as it gets for the surgery – as bad as it gets in the physio. So, we did our own physio. We looked it up and did what was required.

      We need only 3 cords for a cold winter. Getting in three cords requires a lot of hauling up a slop and man-handling. NO pick-up trucks for us here. So, to do all that, we break the chore down to two or three hours at a time. Yesterday was only two. The day before was three. That kinda thing.


  3. You two continue to be a considerable inspiration to us newbies. It is a hard thing we are doing, moving from the BIG Smoke, to such a Beautiful hard place, but we are doing it. It’s harder than I ever thought it could be, and we haven’t even really got into moving the moving van contents as yet! Too much work and boat breakdowns. Crossing Johnstone Strait is almost a dire exercise. Sooo much to do and just me and the wee woman, but we WILL get it done, just as if it was all 60# chunks of wood to be carried over slick round rocks.
    So “Thank YOU”. David.


    • David, crossing Johnstone Strait IS DEFINITELY a dire exercise! There will be times when you simply cannot do it anywhere near safely. I have done JS in the middle of a night fog with the current running and freighters passing me in the mist as we all went through Seymour Narrows. I could have bent iron bars with my sphincter. Terrified does not describe it. Stupid-beyond-belief is getting close. JS is a tough body of water. Pick your times carefully, my friend, and fuggedabout night-time, snow and fog. Heavy rain is tough enough.
      Boat breakdowns are the common plague but, with a new Yamaha/Honda/Suzuki motor and lots of filters and fuel, they can be minimized. If you have an older motor, trade it in. If you have a Mercury, throw it away. You really cannot afford an untrustworthy boat motor out here and, if you are in JS, have an emergency kicker, too. You MUST have a small, portable VHF for both of you, too. The floating kind. Apologies – NOT a lecture – but you will learn that after a time anyway, may as well say it up front.


      • Thank YOU David.

        Our steering cable broke! Right there on the mid stream JS, only 3 whitecaps. 3′ waves in less than 5 minutes, just like in the movies! Kicker, brand new kicker, would not start….. it took a while, and we putt puttered Home. Scary AF!!!
        Then had to cross back via kicker, on a calm foggy morn – that turned to pouring rain and waves, only 2.5′ that chased us right to the dock. We have Honda’s, and a mobile radio (not on the 1st trip!😳😱) but will take things MUCH more SERIOUSLY from here in.
        I was a proud Mercury boy as a kid, but wow they seem like a Trump here!πŸ™
        We are currently in CR, boat repairs n shopping so soon back Home. and also trying to get the xplornet folk to install our sat’net. They have passed us to North Island Comm.🀞🀞🀞

        And you have knowledge and experience that we need. I’d rather hear it and sort it than die trying, so
        Thank YOU. It IS appreciated!

        Our best to you & Sal.
        Take good care! David.


      • Well, sadly for you, I am full of opinions. Chock full. On just about everything. Hell, I can do a 5 minute stand-up routine on just wine under $15.00!! And you KNOW what politics does to me. So, out of consideration, I will try to shut the hell up unless my inner lectern calls me.
        But here goes with another….aaaaaragh….I cannot help myself……you need two boats. #2 can be a cheap f’glass 17′ Campion or something saved from a backyard somewhere. A $500 boat but with a $5,000 plus engine. Being reliant solely on one will leave you inconvenienced at the very least and trapped once in awhile.
        Typically, the men drive the boat. It’s a macho thing. Get one for your wife. Teach her to drive it, maintain it and fix it. That will take years so start now. “Oh, I’ll do the fixing and maintaining.” Big mistake. She needs to know the basics and she needs to know them quickly. Boats rarely break down at the dock. And, from what you say about the typical seas you are in, have lots of fuel filters and use them. And Methyl Hydrate in your tanks. Water in the fuel is likely the most common cause of engines faltering and tossing seas make that worse. Oh yeah, and have a spare prop, a pair of pliers and a good sized crescent wrench on board. Spinning the prop hub is close to second most common.
        OK….shutting up….


  4. Love when you include pictures. I know how different water soaked logs can be vs dry ones. We pull our wood from the lake, cut the rounds and let them drain out and dry a bit on the side of the floating woodshed. Because we have all the old deck boards cut and stacked in the shed we probably won’t have to do any log work this year. Doing more RV travel in the winter months has reduced our need for lots of wood, but it’s like money in the bank, you can never have too much. – Margy


    • I agree! A full woodshed and a few logs already wrangled to the beach makes me feel rich! Weird. Even ‘expensive’ chopped wood from a supply-guy would likely be only $250 a cord and we only need three cords so the ‘rich’ feeling is – in monetary terms – a paltry $750.00. But it FEEEEEEELS like so much more, doesn’t it? A full pantry and a loaded freezer does much the same. Jeff Bezos never gets to feel that way just looking at ones and zeroes on his bank account. Poor sap!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Looks like you are working on J’s wood not yours. You still have to haul yours up the cliff before cutting/splitting. Sorry I’m away and cannot contribute.
    I have to handle wood 9 times to get into the stove so bought a hydraulic splitter for my beach to make phase 1 a bit easier, and am bringing home 14 pallets to make a big storage nest.


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