First Snow, First Stove
Just in time for the first snow of the season, we got our wood stove up and burning.
Of course, we still have lots of f wood to cut and split, and I realize that one point of view might see the fact that if we would have worked as many hours as we have spent cutting wood for this season, we would have been able to buy enough pre-cut wood for several years, but it sure would not have been as fun.
The only "not-so-fun" part was when I ruined our new (used) chainsaw after only three days. I asked the nice man at the hardware shop where the 2-cycle oil was (which needs to be mixed 25:1 with gasoline for use in the chainsaw), and he pointed me to a canister that, in big letters, said "2-cycle 25:1". I Guess I should have read the fine print, because it was actually already mixed with gasoline. So, when I mixed it again, it made the mix ratio about 500:1 and I ended up burning my chainsaw engine. Nothing is more annoying than realizing that you basically spent $100 a day to use a chainsaw.
My neighbor must trust me more than I trust myself, because after that fiasco, he lent me his chainsaw to finish all the wood. Of course, he *is* careful to lend me gasoline that he has pre-mixed himself.
The wood is all from an old house that was demolished this spring. Its not the best wood for burning, because it burns so quickly and is quiet dirty (lots of soot in the chimney), but it was free and close and we felt it would be a waste to just let it rot or be thrown into the dump. It also saved the owner of the house the cost of disposing of it, so we consider it a type of neighborly favor.
The photos show our neighbor helping us with the chimney, while other neighbors gather around to watch the first smoke from our famous (in the village) fire stove. They all came over to our living room door to check it out and give their advice about how to best use it. There is also a photo of us peeling persimmons. While we had decided to make mostly vinegar this year, the persimmons I dried the other day turned out quite nicely, with less mold than last year, so we are tempted to try more. It is the one thing that we can give to our neighbors that may have some value.
There is still a lot of work to make the stove situation "perfect". More wood to cut, and we have to make a drying rack to hang above it so that we can utilize the heat for drying fruits, veggies, and socks and underwear over the long humid winter.