Seasonal Jobs

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Summer is gone and today was a sign of things to come.  Although many of you would scoff at our version of winter it is a clear contrast to our hot, wet summers.

Winter is heralded by cool clear days, cooler nights and a biting westerly wind which can make the apparent temperature seem much less.

Autumn foliageThe leaves have turned and are falling so it was time to gather some firewood as our wood-burner is the only form of heating we have in this house.

We retrieved the dry logs from the woodshed.  These were leftovers from last season.

002This box is right beside the door that leads upstairs.

003And some more under the house.

We are now ready for when we decide to light the fire.

FireplaceGMan has chopped another pile that was by the bottom gate and these are now stacked in the shed to dry out.

Autumn Has Arrived

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After a long summer that seemed it would never end, we finally have autumn in abundance.

Autumn foliage

The past week has seen the minimum temperatures drop to single digits and our maximums are only in 16-18C range.  That is a drop of about 10C from a fortnight ago.

Fireplace
Casserole and vegetables was an enticing option for dinner.  I made this in the slow-cooker a couple of days ago.

Dinner
The feather doona is on the bed and the fresh blue/white cover has been swapped for a patterned plum-coloured one.

 

Organising the Woodshed – Part 2

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Another cold, grey weekend has meant that the fire has been going most of the time.  This is a timely reminder to prepare some more firewood.

2012-06-24 01This is a pile of large logs near the woodshed.  They are pieces which The Duke had cut from large limbs that had dropped from the eucaplypt tree at the bottom of the garden.  We moved several loads in the wheelbarrow to a spot which is closer to the house.

2012-06-24 02The Duke split them into pieces of a more manageable size.

2012-06-24 03I loaded them into the wheelbarrow and then stacked them under the house.

2012-06-24 04

This is the result of less than 2 hours work spread over both days of the weekend.  We now have a substantial pile of split wood which will dry out completely since it is out of the weather.  We have achieved this through collecting wood from our own property, allowing it to weather for a couple of years and finally, splitting and stacking it.

Like many other activities of self-reliance we have a real sense of achievement and satisfaction in knowing that we have done what is required to maintain a warm, comfortable home through the winter.

We plan to continue splitting and stockpiling firewood until all of the current piles of logs are prepared for use.

Finally, a big thank to everyone who has commented this week.  I have responded to them all (I think).  Come back tomorrow for the next instalment of Project Streamline.

Outdoor Organising – Woodshed

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The cold, wet weather of the past couple of weeks forced me to do some outdoor organising.  Our only form of heating is the wood-burning heater and this is fueled entirely by wood collected from our own land.

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We have an area next to the chicken coop which we use as a woodshed, however, this was mostly small branches suitable for kindling.

There are several piles of large pieces of wood that are out in the weather to season before being split into pieces that are suitable for the fireplace.  They have been there for at least a couple of years so are well and truly ready for use.

One of the problems with our wood storage system – if you can call it a system – is that it is stored directly on the ground and over a period of time this will degrade into soil.

After much thought over the years I was finally galvanised into action.

Most of the medium-sized pieces had been used last week to keep us warm and to dry the clothes so there was space cleared on the right-hand side of the shed.  I raked up the remnants of kindling and then used a couple of offcuts of corrugated iron to make a ‘floor’ and stacked some pieces from the outdoor pile against the side wall of the woodshed.  Now that the wood is undercover they will be able to dry out and be split ready for use.

We have a spare half-size wheelie rubbish bin which I filled  with small pieces of kindling.  That is now in the workshop and there are also 4 black tubs in the shed stacked with small to medium wood.

This definitely a work in progress but I am determined that the pile of large, wet  and well-seasoned logs in the backyard will be a a stack of dry,split firewood that is ready to use and easily accessible from the house.

The first step of the process has been taken towards this goal.  That is often the most difficult.

Do you have an overwhelming jobs that you do not  know where or how to start?

Firepower

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The only heating we have is our wood heater and since we are out of the house most days it does not get used a lot.  It costs us nothing to run as the only wood we use is fallen branches from trees on our property.  This weekend it has been wet and cold so the fire has been on for the best part of each day.

While any heating is designed primarily for heating the room to a comfortable temperature it can be used for other purposes at the same time.

2012-06-10 01I put the kettle on top of the heater to heat some water and you can also see the wood drying out which will be added to the fire later.

2012-06-10 02Our wood fire is very versatile and will dry the clothes as well.  I have a clothes dryer which I use from time to time but the fire is better as I can even dry knitted and delicate items which I would not normally put in the dryer.

So the humble fire can keep the room warm, dry out the firewood, dry the clothes and heat water – all at the same time!

Can your heating do double duty?