Burning Firewood

I put another stick of firewood on the fire.

It’s a large awkward chunk with holes riddling it, part of an old carpenter ants’ nest. It came from the big cherry tree on the old fence line. It must be one of the oldest trees on the property with three big trunks and when one of them broke and fell it landed on the neighbors side. Cherry is about as good of wood as we have for burning at our place, so I quickly sent John over to negotiate. Our tree, his land, we will clean it up quick, thank you very much!firewood carved by ants

My brother happened to visit just about then so I put a chainsaw in his hand and he cutΒ the limb into rounds while I heaved them over the old wire fence. Straight into all the kinds of prickles that grow in Wisconsin. It took another day with John running the chainsaw to finish clearing everything. And then, over the course of several months I smashed my wheelbarrow through the brush to a little clearing I had made. There I split the big rounds into firewood sized chunks. There I also learned it’s important not to catch brush on the top of your arc while splitting wood. Then I loaded them all up and brought them to the wood pile. That was the time that I learned that even if those ants are frozen solid, they thaw – alive…

My firewood piles near the house are dwindling. I need to move more from the big stacks a bit further away but I need a better system. The tractor would be ideal. Hopefully it’ll be fixed soon. Maybe a sled would work. I think there might be a half dozen hard to split pieces back by the fence. I must have given up on them when I hurt my shoulder last year. I should check. And I should learn to use a chainsaw so I don’t have to rely on the boys. Of course that gives me an excuse to spend a day working outside with John or my brother or my dad. Maybe I’ll stick with the splitting maul. Our chainsaw has issues anyway, I wonder what else we can try to fix it…

I put another stick of firewood on the fire and I wonder what people think about when they turn up the thermostat.



16 comments on “Burning Firewood

  1. Jesska says:

    ” Brrr! Cold today – only 20 degrees (C) in the house, shall I head upstairs for a long-sleeved T-Shirt? Nah, I’ll just turn this dial round a bit….ahhh – that’s better!”

    I always lose the “go-and-get-a-jumper” arguments with DB because he doesn’t see why he should go to work if he doesn’t get to live in a warm house. (Warm meaning short sleeves even in winter). When we go to visit my parents where an average of 17-18-19 counts as “well-warm-enough” (and where, when I was a kid, seeing your breath in the dining room wasn’t a rarity) he freezes..

    • Jessie says:

      I would be freezing at your parents too. While parts of our house are that cold you can always go run back to the fire to warm back up again!

      • Jesska says:

        Hehe! It’s not that cold next to the Rayburn in the kitchen, and since the radiators were mended it’s never really been too cold anywhere else.. If it gets properly cold out, they have a fireplace in the sitting room too. πŸ™‚

  2. Jesska says:

    (And isn’t that the mundane Monday chunk of wood)

    • Jessie says:

      Why yes it is. Also I’m now feeling extra happy that I have at least one blog reader who reads this space enough to recognize a picture I posted over a year ago! πŸ™‚ Also- seriously can I get nothing past you guys! πŸ˜€

  3. ssertain says:

    I love a fireplace and have had to depend on it before. We have gas logs now in this house and I do stare at the flames and my thoughts wander. But it’s just not the same as the crackling fire and glowing embers.
    Your story was so well written, I felt like I was right there!

  4. Yep. My life. Cherry is easier to split after it freezes The first whacks with the maul sinks the wedge into the round a couple-few inches, then hit the face of the maul a couple times with an eight-pound sledge hammer. The round pops open like a book. Great winter exercise. πŸ™‚

  5. Widdershins says:

    Le sigh … no fireplace here, so I truly enjoyed your thought train on the subject. πŸ˜€

  6. Kate Wally says:

    Well done with your fire wood, but hang on – did you just say frozen ants thaw alive? Fascinating. πŸ˜€

  7. Sharon says:

    How much fun is that, no, how much work is that. Reminds me of an old country song. One line is “put another log on the fire!

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