Calling it a year

Last year we called it a year on November 23, because everything was done. This year I’m calling it on December 19th because it’s supposed to snow tonight. Lisa joked last year that we were afraid to stack anymore firewood because we always run out and we didn’t want to see the winter we’d get if our woodpile was any bigger.

Murphy must read the site: we had a six week cold spell. It was ten below or worse every night from the middle of December to the end of January. We ran out of firewood in March, right on schedule. This year we’re very short, so the bees and I are hoping for a little Global Warming action and a January thaw.

I got out yesterday and cut a truckload of firewood, carrying the saw between all the little stashes we have, and only bringing the truck afterwards. Unfortunately one of the wheelbarrow handles broke when I tried to dump out the load of compost that’s been sitting in it for far too long. It was getting late, so I loaded everything on the truck and took it around back and dumped it. The only sheep it bothered was Panic, and I’ve got to cut him some slack: The hill is steep enough that ‘dump’ is what it did when I opened the tailgate, and there were some heavy pieces of wood bouncing around in front of his nose.

I got my tail in gear much earlier today. I stacked the wood before noon and then had treat time. Treat today was leftover spaghetti. It’s not sunflower seed, but it sure beats carrots. I wanted to go in with the Shetlands, but gave up when both Leon and Sassy had their front hooves hooked over the gate, all excited, but blocking the entrance. Jarrett, who’s getting much more confident, came up and sniffed it, but decided it wasn’t as good as some grass she found by the fenceline.

Lisa and I have been a little concerned because with Panic gone, Raven has taken to bullying Leon down into the corner where they used to keep Panic. I’ve decided not to worry however: At hay time, if Raven objects, Leon, who is actually slightly bigger, just gives him a look and keeps walking. I think I saw Raven try to stop him once, but Leon just kept coming. At treat time, Raven, like the ewes, has learned to just get out of the way. Leon is running, and he is not stopping for anyone.

After treat time, I cut a skimpy truckload, all of slab. I was going to do one more pass of cutting, then load, but I flooded the saw and decided it wasn’t worth hassling with. After unloading and stacking on the deck, I sharpened the saw and went out to do hay.

It was snowing as I went out the door, so instead of cutting more firewood, I started the final cleanup. All the hatch wood and scrap from the sheds is in, and the last few tools. The cement mixer is next to the sawmill with a tarp over both.

The tractor has a dead battery. It’s a diesel, so you stop it with a shorting bar rather than by turning off the ignition. This makes it way easy to leave the running lights on. I’ll jump it tomorrow when I can let it run for awhile.

The other thing that really needs to get done is that the bees need to be wrapped. I’m thinking bubble wrap and ductape. Again, I can do it in the snow.

As I walked back from the sawmill, it quit snowing of course. But it was too late to do another load of wood, so at 3:45, I called it a day, and a year.

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