It is the season, winter appears to have set in and once again my firewood accumulating has fallen short. In my defense I did much better this year but a combination of loosing the use of my borrowed trailer and not getting the air tight heater installed upstairs in time have created a small issue. Once the air tight is installed I anticipate the amount of firewood required in the house will drop by no less than 30% and I am getting close. I am still waiting for my helpers to have enough time to come out and physically drag it into the kitchen (it is likely a little over 500 lbs.). once that is done it will likely take 4 or 5 days to fabricate the pieces needed to make it functional and to hook it up.
The photo on the left is the pile for the studio, next is the pile positioned to be brought in for the not yet installed air tight, and the last two photos are what was set aside for the basement furnace. Since I have relied on the furnace to heat the house most of those two piles are gone.
Although I have used 2/3rds of the wood that I had set aside for the basement furnace, if push comes to shove I can steal from the pile beside the studio to keep going. This will ultimately mean that I will run out for the studio and also means I will have to carry each piece in and down the stairs, not something I am looking forward too. In order to avoid this I am running an online auction in the hopes of raising enough to buy a cheap used pick up or if that fails a trailer that my mini van can pull. The trailer is problematic in that the van can only haul so much weight and having the truck would at least triple the capacity. Either way hopefully I will have this issue solved before Christmas.
On another firewood note, I spent yesterday doing what is probably the most boring and menial of task, stuffing small boxes with sawdust. I burn almost anything that gives of heat from my used paper towels which I stuff into empty cigar boxes, to my sunflower seed shells and cigar buts which I put in the paper lunch bags after I use the bags to make poor mans microwave popcorn. Back to sawdust stuffing, I use old milk cartons, cereal boxes, or any other boxes that fit into the stove and pack them with sawdust and if I have any a bit of used oil and then use them for fire starters. They work great. The other thing that works great is old leather, shoes, gloves, and old harness leather. I often acquire old harness that has has seen better days and use the metal off of it for my art and then burn the leather to keep warm while I make my art.
Subsistence living is a challenge and full of problems that require unusual solutions, it is in fact both the attraction and the pain of this lifestyle. I wouldn’t trade it for the world but once in a while it would be nice to just turn the thermostat up and forget about starting a fire.
Just another day and a few notes from the life of an old hermit artist trying to get by and live the balance of his existence doing what he loves. Below is the link to the auction, there is a donation option if you are so inclined. I have tried a few times to put a donation option on the blog in the hopes that those that enjoy my ramblings could kick in a dollar or two but the technology seems to evade me. There have been a few that have actually taken it upon themselves to help out and for them I am forever grateful. Either way the blog will continue as long as my donated computer survives, the next purchase on the list is a lap, but for now all is good.
Take care out there, life is good and live each moment of it.