Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘logs

Prepping Machines

leave a comment »

It seems like it should be simple to just cut down a couple of trees and grind the branches into chips, but there are a lot of little steps to setting up and actually executing the tasks.

After work yesterday, I set about prepping some of the equipment, in hopes of priming this morning’s start on this weekend’s logging project. The chipper attachment was stored a couple levels deep in the shop garage. I needed to do some rearranging before I could get access to it.

The back-blade was still on the big tractor, so the first order of business was to find somewhere out-of-the-way to park that.

Except, that wasn’t actually the first order of business. I decided to move the Grizzly out, to make room for fueling up the New Holland, and in so doing, ended up driving the ATV down to the barn to hook up its trailer.

After that, I was finally ready to back Big Blue out of the garage and get rid of the back-blade.

Once that was done, I hooked up the chipper to the 3-point hitch and parked the rig in the barn.

Next, I started collecting equipment I would want to haul to the work site in the ATV trailer.

Chainsaw. Check.

Chain oil, mixed gas, wedge, face shield, leg protectors, ropes, come-along, chains, pole saw, log holder, hand saw, ax, spare ear muffs/hearing protection, ladder, rake, branch pruner… and if I can find it, a kitchen sink.

Still, there will end up being a need for some item that I forgot to bring. Honestly, one goal of bringing so much down there is so that we won’t need it. I’m not above using a little reverse psychology with the universe.

My hope is to have tedious setup tasks taken care of in advance to get full benefit of volunteer help for cutting limbs of felled sections of trees, feeding branches into the chipper, and cutting trunks into logs. If we are really productive, there will be the added chores of driving loads of woodchips away and dumping them, or hauling logs up to the woodshed.

Most importantly, I’m looking forward to the opportunity for hearty fellowship in the great outdoors and an outcome of safe and healthy success for all bodies involved, particularly the discs of my lower back.

I don’t want to get too greedy, but some time for good-natured banter around a fire with people’s favorite beverage after a day’s physical workout would be a fine outcome, too.

I’m just sayin’.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

December 1, 2017 at 7:00 am

New Normal

leave a comment »

Wednesday brought a return to normalcy at Wintervale, as Cyndie ventured out in the rental car in the early morning hours and drove herself to work. A form of “getting back on that horse,” if you know what I mean. I don’t know what that was like for her, but her safe departure brought a return to the usual weekday routine for the animals and me at home. Although, it was ‘usual’ under the guise of our new normal which involves WINTERY weather!

DSCN2590eThe horses appear to have adopted seamlessly, and happily paw the ground in the back pasture to reveal grazing available that still interests them. Regardless, I have begun to increase the daily ration of hay that we put out in the paddock to assure they have access to all the fuel their bodies require to be comfortable in the cold temperatures.

I suppose I should probably increase my daily intake of peanut M&Ms to help my body beat the cold, as well.

I finally made it to the bottom of the pile of split wood that my very generous neighbor helped create, moving it all into the woodshed. Now the stack of logs remaining to be split stands out a little more. I was too busy with other priorities in my race to prepare for the impending snow last weekend, to accept his offer of returning to finish all the splitting.

Much of what’s left is little stuff that will be easy to do by hand, anyway. Not that that would have stopped him. I look forward to using my fancy Swedish Smart Splitter to split a few logs at a time, and working on getting that shed filled to capacity. Everything going in there now is for burning next winter. Right now we’ve got barely half the amount of seasoned wood I’d like to have available for burning this year.

Who knew winter would arrive so early?

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

November 13, 2014 at 7:00 am

Big Plans

leave a comment »

Today we have some high expectations for big accomplishments. Our friends, Barb and Mike are coming over to help us get the woodshed roof back up. Before we even get to that project, our horses have an appointment with the veterinarian. They will have their teeth checked and be given whatever shots are due in this routine scheduled visit. We plan to move them into their stalls in the barn when we go down to serve their morning feed. After horses, it’s all about the woodshed.

If we are successful in getting the woodshed rebuilt, it will be a significant psychological milestone for me. It has lingered in my mind all summer as unfinished business, and visually tarnished the look and ambiance of that space behind our house. While we’ve made great strides on all the other major projects we had in mind for the summer, that unfinished woodshed remains as the last of my significant goals. It has been an ongoing source of torment for me.

I miss having that place where my wood splitter was conveniently stationed. I would meander back there at various odd times, in moments between other projects, to split 5 or 10 logs, tossing them on the stack under the roof. There is something special about the atmosphere of that space where the logs are split and stacked. I don’t feel the same sense of satisfaction toiling away on the workbench in the shop, as I do around the wood splitter.DSCN2145e2

I’ll have plenty of opportunity to enjoy that space once the woodshed is rebuilt. We have quite a backlog of wood that needs splitting from all the trees we have cut to clear space for the pasture fence, to open up the south drainage ditch, and to widen the trail we opened up through the south woods. Unfortunately, it will all be for next year’s burning.

I’m going to be a little short of split wood this winter, I’m afraid. When things get slim, I’m hoping I can harvest some of the branches of dead wood that are widely available around the property. There are plenty that are small enough they won’t need to be split, if I just cut ’em to fit into the fireplace. I know Cyndie won’t want to give up warm fires just because we’ve used up all the seasoned split logs. It will be important that I devise a workable alternative to satisfy her voracious appetite for that mesmerizing glow from the hearth.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

October 25, 2014 at 6:00 am