The winter firewood is almost in…..

… a few more rows to go.  In total we have a bit more than three cords.  Ten rows. Three hours to split and stack a row. We will go to four cords (12 rows) if we have the logs.  Sally and M, the one-week-stay Woofer, will finish it off as soon as I cut the remaining logs into rounds.  That chore goes much quicker with three people.  And Sal and her helper get faster as they go – they get into a rhythm. Split-stack, split-stack, split-stack. 

I’ve been using my new-ish, small Stihl 271 for the past two years and it is a good chainsaw.  Well designed.  But the best part of the Stihl line, in my opinion, is their new sharpening file.  It is really good.  It takes a lot of the guesswork and skill (that I never had) out of the equation.  A few strokes of the new file and the teeth are sharp.  The only challenge now is to get ‘er done before our backs give out.  It is gonna be close.

A Woofer is almost always a treat.  M is no exception.  She is 23, from Germany and very pleasant to have around.  We like her.  But the dogs love her!  Yesterday, I taught M how to use the dog clippers and she and Gus had a spa-session and he was content and almost fell asleep as she mowed the thick lawn that is Gus’ coat.  That guy can really grow hair!  Daisy had a go at it, too, but she remains somewhat impatient with the whole process.  As a consequence, Daisy is only ½ done and even Gus has a few bushy patches.  They look a bit lopsided. Today or the next we will finish that chore off. 

The electrics on the boat are now done.  That is good.  There is a bit more to do overall but I have to build a roof and windshield over the helm next and then put a solar panel on that roof before the last of the electrics are completed.  And lots of details still need doing.  The boat is not finished but it is completely functional right now and I returned some visitors with it yesterday.  The boat does not have two hours of use on it yet.

The garden has ‘caught up’ somewhat.  We had so much rain and cold this Spring, the garden didn’t get started until about June 1.  Now, three mostly sunny weeks later, the beds are getting full and salad produce can be harvested soon.  We are gonna be OK. 

T’is Guest Season and Sal informs me that we will have four free days near the end of the month.  “What about Mike?”  “Oh, yeah.  Make that two free days near the end of the month.” 

This has been an odd year.  Mostly bad and unusual weather.  Few whales (about 25% of the usual traffic).  Maybe one sea lion.  Only one squirrel! Even the ravens are staying away (altho the dogs kind of explain that).  The sea star/star-fish population still has not shaken off their ‘wasting’ disease and so we don’t see much of them either.  The commercial prawn guys even had a shorter season.  And tourist boat traffic is easily down 50/60%.  Only ‘Mericans moving big yachts. The fauna seem very much reduced in presence and we assume that means much reduced in numbers but we do not know.  It does seem as if this is the year that just did not quite get off the ground.  Not yet, anyway.

June 21 and it is raining again – Sal just took M back to the ferry.  We’ve had sun but we have also had record rains.  It is a very odd year – in so many ways.  Politically, economically and climate –wise, this is the year when nothing seemed quite right.  Right on the heels of two years when nothing WAS right!  And we still have pandemics to contend with, wars, shootings and all the usual ‘concerns’.  We feel somewhat shaken AND stirred. 

I confess to anticipating some ‘shaken’ times (Pre-Teotwawki) but I never quite envisioned what it would actually look like (well, except for the zombies, of course).  And I do not know if these past few years are going to be the new normal or if this last three year period was just an aberration.  One thing is for sure, our collective fragility, vulnerability and sensitivity has been revealed and we are not really ready for much more change.  So, we’ll see.  From now until 2024, it looks like the natural order of things is NOT natural, normal or predictable. 

Still, it is all naturally beautiful, the dogs are fun and Sal is keeping the world-we-call-ours in good shape. 

8 thoughts on “The winter firewood is almost in…..

  1. I have to say that M took some really nice pics of the sunset, what a magnificent place. Good to hear that the wood is getting on fine, is 4 chords enough to get you through a cold winter? I must say that I envied M, wish I was there in here place, splitting wood and all!
    Why do you need the solar panel on the boat? Isn’t the electricity powered by a battery and an alternator?
    I don’t think we will have a normal time soon, a new wave of Covid is coming in Europe (less severe than the earlier waves, but still), climate definitely has changed (more extremes), war will not stop soon and prices continue to climb.
    Fortunately we have something to keep our spirits up….your blog


    • Well, my spirits are kept up with Sal, the dogs and the surroundings. Plus I have projects! So, I am very fortunate. Extremely so. We just had guests come over for the day. They are city folk. They fell in love with it, too. This is pretty good, I must say.
      As for the solar panel…the weird thing is that boats – more often than autos – can drain their batteries. Bilge pumps in the rainy season, a ‘something’ left on, short boat runs that do not let the alternator charge the battery up enough…..whatever the reason, dead batteries are an issue that needs dealing with and the best way is to have a solar panel. The thing is you can’t jump start a boat by pushing it downhill and even getting a ‘charge’ from a neighbour is not easy when you have no neighbours. A solar panel is a must-have. Also boat solar panels are rarely perfectly situated to get the most solar exposure so a little trickle charger of 50 watts or less is just not enough. I have two new batteries in the new boat. I can go for a while without a panel but I also need the windshield and the roof so, for me, it is an all-in-one chore. The time to get it right is now.
      M seemed to like her stay. I am sure you will, too, WdG.


  2. Yeah. This winter and Spring has been very wet.
    Most consecutive days of rain I can remember in about 35 years. ( Expo86 was a brutal spring then the Summer hit July 1st and it didnt rain until Oct 30th
    Fingers crossed.


  3. Four rows, two cords done! Pretty good, considering I was still burning until a week ago, ‘Global Warming’ hasn’t reached this neck of the woods yet.
    If you’ve finished with M and she’s at loose ends, I might be persuaded to put up another cord, just because I can!


    • She was a good little splitter and stacker and I am sure that she’d enjoy being chased around the cabin and eating cauliflower (who wouldn’t?) but she has gone to Vancouver to greet her boyfriend who is flying out from Germany to travel with her. Good to hear that you are getting the firewood in.


  4. I’m gardening mostly flowers this year, but a few barrels have salad items. Nothing except for chamomile (you can’t keep that down) came up by June 1 from March seed planting. I replanted when we got home, and that is just starting to come up. The up side is with frequent rain I don’t have to water much. – Margy


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