Friday, November 12, 2010

How much wood can a Secret Agent Man chop?

I have mentioned before that we have a wood stove in our old house. At times we have used it exclusively for heat and during the ice storm we even used it for cooking. At that time, it really was a lifesaver. It never really occurred to me, before moving to Smalltownland, that I would ever live in a house with wood heat. I mean, I thought that was something from a bygone era, certainly not something I would have in my own modern home.


Well, have it I do. And this year, Secret Agent Man has been motivated to make sure we have enough wood for our house....and maybe someone else's.




Cutting wood, hauling it, stacking it, and then bringing it into the house is a tremendous amount of work. Through the years we have used only fallen trees on our farm, or from a friend's farm. And yes, Secret Agent Man likes to do the work himself.


Although this seems laborious, I can't imagine what it was like in earlier times when you had to rely on the fire for heat and cooking. The following excerpt from, "The Foxfire 40th Anniversary Book - Faith, Family, and the Land", will not only have you loving your modern heat source, but you will also appreciate a box of matches.


"We didn't depend on matches then like we do now, so we'd have to keep the fire covered up. If your fire went out and you didn't have any coals to build the fire, you'd have to go down to the first neighbor and borrow some coals. You'd take a bucket or somethin' down there and get the bucket full of coals and bring them back to the house and put them in and get your fire started." R.M. (Mack) Dickerson, Summer 1976




I appreciate Secret Agent Man's work, our electric heat, and our box of matches. I also appreciate the fact that there is nothing quite like relaxing in front of a warm fire after a long, cold day.




I would be remiss if I didn't give some kudos to my Jack Russell buddy. She likes to chase the occasional mouse, lizard, and snake from the wood pile. A dog's work is never done.


Stay warm my friends.




38 comments:

  1. God Bless all dogs who chase away evil critters from the wood pile. Our wood stove/boiler is ready to go once this cold snap gets in our neck of the woods. Sounds like that will be tomorrow sometime!

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  2. Love your post. Funny thing, we are looking at a house that has a wood stove for heating. It's really cute but quite a stretch for someone from the city. I guess time will tell we're going to look at it a second time.

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  3. Cheers to Secret Agent Man! His work is appreciated.

    Stay warm.

    Velva

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  4. I really wish we had the wooden heat here. I never dreamed I would want something like that either but my friend has it and it is wonderful and they always have heat, blizzard or not!
    Amy

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  5. I have a Franklin Fireplace in my garage that burns wood. When the electricity goes off it provides heat and a stove to cook on. The only problem is we don't have any wood on hand. Hubby will have to go out and chop up a tree or two before winter arrives.

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  6. Randy - There is nothing like wood heat, although it is a bit of work.

    Velva - We do appreciate my husband's work, for sure!

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  7. I could use that guy up here haulin' my wood in this weekend. Well, starting to get it in.

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  8. We are into the wood burning thing too. There is nothing like sitting by the fire, even tho it creates a lot of work and dust.

    Looks like your mornings have been as frosty as ours.

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  9. The old Wis. farmhouse I grew up in had only wood heat - a HUGE wood stove in the basement that my mother would have to "fire up" in several times a night to keep the heat coming. Although she did have to bundle up, go outside and down the stairs to the basement entrance, at least she didn't have to go down the road to a neighbor to collect coals! Hurray for your husband, and for your cute, smart, handy dog! :)

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  10. I love the smell and sounds of a woodburning stove or fireplace. I remember the first fall and winter after John and I began dating we'd sit on his parent's couch watching movies while they had wood burning in the fireplace. My gas fireplace is nice, but it's just not the same.

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  11. I can't wait till it's cold enough to build a fire here. It was 85 today. It's not looking good for me. Oh, and can I borrow that snake chasing dog? If I find another snake at my house, I'm moving.

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  12. mmmmm...can't wait til it's cold enough to build a fire. your doggie is too cute! have a wonderful weekend! xo

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  13. Last winter we were without electricity for two weeks due to snow--including during Christmas.

    Love the dog. :)

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  14. Chopped some wood when I was younger and it was an exercise I liked. The logs kept you warm even before burning...
    A lot of people burns wood here, but it is mostly the handy wood pellets. The automatically fed pellet stoves are 'hot' in every sense here!

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  15. My hubby has had to cut tons of wood for years. We got a pellet stove last year and it is really nice. We still have one of those outdoor boiler stoves that burns wood and heats water. It's then piped into the house where it goes across coils and heats the house. It also heats the water for the house. We don't always use it since the pellet stove, but it works well. This year we had two brothers who were clearing trees off their property. They dropped off truckloads for a few weeks this summer. The wood pile is huge. So, if we need to use the big wood burner outside, we have that pile. BTW- the outside wood stove looks kind of funny. Most people think we have some type of meat smoker or a large out house. LOL City folks!!

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  16. We have propane units on the wall for backup, but we haven't used them in years. Burning wood for heat is laborious, but most worthwhile endeavors are.

    Hooray for husbands who make sure there is enough wood to take us through the winter months!

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  17. Heating with wood is a lot of work and making wood is a never ending job, but we love it. Our dog loves getting the occasional mouse we stir up.

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  18. I love a wood burning stove or fireplace. I don't even mind the mess. The smell is so wonderful.

    Secret Agent Man does good work.

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  19. I remember chopping wood at my parents house when I was at school and all I can say is respect to the amount of wood Secret Agent Man has done. It looks like that the dog awaits her next task too !!

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  20. That is a lot of wood!

    My grandmother had an old fashioned cast iron wood stove. She made the most amazing food with it. I don't think it's possible to get a hotter oven. My mother and her siblings bought her a gas stove but she refused to use it.

    Jack Russell's are so smart!

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  21. Pat - That is not even half of the wood pile we have. Seriously!

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  22. Not many aromas better than smoke from a wood-burning stove (the neighbor has one, and I feel as if the rest of the 'hood is stealing something valuable from him).

    Thanks for the visit at my place. It's not always that heavy there.

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  23. Yes, lots of work..but oh, so rewarding! :) I love the picture of it all finished and stacked up!

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  24. We have a fireplace insert in our house and like you said it's hard to beat a warm fire on those cold days.

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  25. Oh I like nothing more than a fire when it's chilly...like now.
    Yay for those who can chop that much wood, and for our lovable pets who scare away the critters;))

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  26. The first thing we did when we bought our current home is have a wood stove installed, since there are frequent power outages. Now we've come to depend on it since we love the heat it delivers. I ordered, cut, and split a truckload of wood last year - enjoyed doing it. We'll likely use less this year, of course.

    Nice story and photos.

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  27. Back when gas prices were up, EVERYONE wanted the wood fireplaces (with matches, of course). MrC is determined to have one in our house one day to at least supplement the normal heating.

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  28. Secret Agent Man does good work. Sure would hate to have to take a bucket to the neighbors to get coals...

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  29. Jen - I would have to hike it up the road to get some coals. I really would not like that!

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  30. Very cute your friend Jack !! :)
    I heat my house in the mountains with wood, and yes, I know what work it takes, cut, carry and store, this is huge!
    Generally we do this during summer. but during the winter what happiness ! :))

    Bye**

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  31. Bonsoir,
    Tout ce récit ressemble à cette superbe maison éclatante de couleurs qui illustre ton blog.
    Il y a du bonheur à te lire et à t'imaginer coupant du bois pour préparer un hiver que l'on imagine rude, en compagnie de ta famille et de ce chien chasseur.
    De bien belles soirées en perspective, certainement méritées.
    Cordialement,

    Roger

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  32. Impressive that this is how you have chosen to live. Lots of effort but if it is right for you, good. Thanks for sharing.

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  33. my husband was looking over my shoulder and says....who is that? i said, Farmchick..he LOVES the wood chopping. he has been chopping too..i think he likes knowing he is not alone :-}

    we live in california, but it still gets cold here...sometimes...and we heat farmhouse with a vermont castings woodstove...but don't think i haven't been eyeing those heat dishes when you first walk in costco. do i dare? sure wouldn't be very farmhouse though....

    i LOVE your little jack russel...she is adorable...give her a hug...from teddy...and me.

    kary and teddy
    xxx

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  34. One of the advantages of living in the Tropics, you aren't concerned with keeping warm. Keeping cool, on the other hand, is very difficult.

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  35. I could write a book on this subject. Thanks for reminding me of our "Foxfire" days. I know first hand how much work heating with wood only is.
    Nothing cozier than sitting by an open fireplace with family. And a good dog too. Love your little girls sweet face.

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  36. I rely on my wood stove and small electric heaters for heat here as well. The house has floor board electric heaters but they need some work. And, funny about matches, I just realized I'm almost out. I have to go and make a note to buy some or I may be very cold when the weather changes.--Inger

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  37. We don't have a wood stove, we have a fireplace. And I don't think it puts out as much heat as a good ole Ben Franklin pot belly stove would. When the fire is roaring, my place is on the hearth in front of it. Nothing will warm you up faster than having a roaring fire to back up to in the winter.
    My three dogs killed a rat that made the mistake of wandering into the dog yard. Gotta earn their keep somehow. LOL

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