Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘splitting logs

Managing Well

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We managed to survive the coldest weekend so far this winter without too much trouble. Our heated waterer for the chickens didn’t fare so well, though. Cyndie brought it inside to thaw and tried a second time, but when it froze again, we put the backup unit into use.

I took advantage of the brittleness of frozen firewood logs and busted a bunch of them open on the manual splitter.

Full disclosure: That graphic wasn’t from this weekend. I keep my hat on when the windchill is minus-25┬░(F). Still, the exercise generates plenty of body warmth. Another reason I don’t need a gym membership for working out.

The ol’ Norwegian Smart-Splitter┬« is ideal for making kindling. Snaps off little bite sized pieces with one stroke. I push the limits a little bit and use it along with a separate wedge to split full-sized logs. Takes a few extra throws of the weight to coerce the more stubborn logs. If you look close, the once-yellow wedge is stuck in the wood beside the green wedge of the Smart Splitter. I’ve got a maul in my left hand and I switch back and forth between the two to increase expansion pressure until the wood finally gives.

Even though the wood was easier to split, I was less interested in being outside long enough to get it all done. Truth be told, I had a greater urge to lean back with my feet up in the recliner under a snuggly blanket.

Happily, Pequenita felt similar to me about spending the rest of the day on the recliner.

That’s what I call managing well to deal with a crazy, bitterly cold day.

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Written by johnwhays

February 15, 2021 at 7:00 am

Frozen Season

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DSCN4121eThe frozen season has finally arrived. It’s got me wanting to have a fire, and since we still aren’t able to have one indoors due to the cracks in the flue, I started one in our outdoor pit.

I was working nearby to change out the base of my Smart Splitter® log splitter. Having a fire nearby provided more than just a place to warm up, it created an ambiance of purpose and energy.

I get great pleasure from finally knocking off tasks that have lingered untended for far too long. The base of the splitter was a necessary project because the old one finally started to break up from the pounding that the old decaying wood was taking. In contrast, the task of adding boards to the pallets that form the floor of the wood shed was one of convenience which had been too easily postponed, again and again.DSCN4122e

Yesterday became the day.

First, I needed to dismantle more of the spare pallets I had collected from work, just as I had done to build hay boxes recently. In previous years, the pallets I brought home from work had a full surface of boards, but the supplier figured out they could accomplish the same goal with less lumber. Now they come with half as many boards.

In July when we were stacking hay, I needed to steal some pallets from the wood shed. They were the old ones with a full surface of boards.

The next pallets that became available when I was seeking replacements, ended up being the ones with every other board. That became a real ankle twister when I was trying to stack wood.

Yesterday, I dismantled new pallets to get boards that I could use to create a complete deck on the ones already in the wood shed. My ankles are saved! Now it’s time to take advantage of the below freezing temperatures and split some logs.

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Written by johnwhays

November 21, 2015 at 11:09 am

New Normal

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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?

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Written by johnwhays

November 13, 2014 at 7:00 am

Clandestine Surveillance

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Have you noticed the headlines in the news lately about a number of national governments expressing outrage over the revelation that the U.S. is spying on them? I suppose it is the politically correct reaction, to publicly complain about being violated in such a way, but come on, it’s spying. Clandestine surveillance is likely happening everywhere, from every direction, so I find it humorous to read the protestations that sound like they are shocked and upset to learn that it is happening.

How do you demand that other people not spy on you? Spying is not something that is done by permission.

IMG_3093eI fully expect that other countries are using whatever technique they possibly can to collect information on the United States. It’s what countries do. Heck, it’s what people do. Our neighbors have admitted that they spy on us.

If they were watching yesterday, they would have noticed Delilah helping me choose what to split next from the pile of cut logs by the shed. They should have noticed the FedEx truck come up our driveway. Weber grills customer service sent us a replacement regulator for our grill. Delilah got some doggy treats from the friendly driver.

Maybe they even noticed that we got a package in our mailbox. My two new pairs of work pants arrived. I needed to order some with a smaller waist, because all the activity we do around this place is burning more calories than I have been consuming.

Of course, all of this information is private, so if you are secretly reading this, then you are spying, too.

Maybe the next time I lose track of where Delilah wandered off to when we are letting her run off-leash, I should ask the neighbors which way she went.

Written by johnwhays

October 24, 2013 at 7:00 am