This weekend, we had no other plans, so we got to spend the whole 3-day weekend at the property completely focused on getting the wood put up.
(Well, almost completely focused - I did take a moment to put up a little nod to Halloween decorations.)(look at the windows)
Friday was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL working day. It's what I'd been envisioning all along, with the sunshine and the fall colors, and a little fire going all day. It was sweatshirt cool when we weren't working, but once we got moving and warmed up, we were down to t-shirts.
A few weeks ago, we bought a second cart and developed this great system with the two of them, where Scott has one by him that he throws the split logs into. When it's full, I grab it and pull it to where I'm stacking, while he fills up the second one. By the time I've stacked everything, and get back to him with the empty cart, there's a full one waiting for me. (There's always a full one waiting...). It worked out very well - we work at roughly the same speed, so I just kept going around and around and around with full and empty carts. Sometimes, I'd get ahead of him if the logs were particularily snarly and he had to fight to get them split. During those times, I'd start cutting up the lumber and building the frames for the next stack.
About mid-afternoon, we took a break and had lunch by the fire, just the way I wanted to. We stoked up the fire, turned on the tunes, and ate cheese and salami and crackers while we admired our hard work. We even decanted some nice wine to enjoy fireside. (Apparently, my daydream never included packing glasses).
I will still say that if we had perhaps been a little more patient and planned to get logs in the spring and put up this wood over a summer, in a SANE fashion, where we weren't under such a deadline, we would have been much better off. We'd also be a year further away from our awesome house, so I have no regrets, but still.....
There may be room for regrets yet, I don't know. I confess to still being worried about not doing the Borax dip this fall. And there's no doubt that having to peel all the logs first, and then cut them and split them caused some issues. In hindsight, we should have gotten everything peeled, and then cut stacked and split each log, so we didn't end up with logs ends laying all over the ground for weeks. At the time, we were thinking - we need to cut all these up so we can get at the rest of them to peel them. But it would have been better to suck it up and just move and restack the heavy logs. Lots of the wood has been actually ON the ground, With all the rain we've had, it's gotten pretty swampy and quite a bit of the log-ends came to me slimy or muddy. We hadn't been worrying about this because they were going to get dipped and scrubbed off in the Borax.....NOW they are getting stacked slimy and will dry that way until spring. I'm assuming/hoping most of the crap will dry up and flake off, and they will get pretty well cleaned up when we Borax them in the spring. It doesn't matter if they get stained or discolored - only the ends will show, and those will be either sanded or shaved off.
This is what I mean. Oh, WELCOME HOME....barf
So, Friday was great, we killed off one whole wood pile (the biggest one), and ended our day in the traditional way in Wisconsin - eating fish fry in a bar.
Saturday, we woke up to THIS:
We actually got two full ranks filled up before we got cold and hungry and decided to call a break for breakfast. Work like that in the cold and the wind earns you a hearty breakfast at the diner in town. (I wouldn't ordinarily show you our breakfast, but I found this pic when I was loading photos off Scott's phone from the weekend. He apparently thought it was worth documenting, so now I share it with you).
We went back and worked until early afternoon, by which time, we had filled up two more ranks and run out of materials to make any more frames. WE HAD TO QUIT, Y'ALL. We HAD NO CHOICE.
Naturally, we went out to the bar. We met up with some friends who have a cabin on the same lake as ours and had an awesome time. (You can do a respectable amount of bar hopping in Barnes, WI - who knew?) My point being, even in the midst of all the hard work, we still manage to have fun.
Here's the start of the final day:
I made many many round trips with my wagon, and Scott split many many pieces of wood. We had a fire, ate snacks for lunch and by midafternoon, it looked LIKE THIS:
It's a fact of life that you can't tarp anything large without the wind blowing off the tarp before you can secure it - at least once. So we wrestled with that baby, but in the end.....
HOUSE: some assembly required
So what's with all the "technically" crap, and "nearly done" stuff?
OH yeah - we really haven't gotten our heads on straight yet, and when a friend started to clear land to build a garage, we offered to help him if we could have some of the Poplars. We didn't get many rounds from the logs we have because they were all pretty big, and needed to be split in order to dry soon enough. So, we wanted some smaller ones that we can cut and leave whole and still be able to use next year. Also - Scott wanted to do some built in shelves, which is done by using a flat sided log-end that is longer than the others so it sticks out, making a shelf. Only.....we never saved any logs to cut longer. So we took the 4-wheeler and went down the far end of our property, where we dropped one good sized tree we can use to make shelf logs.
So - after all that hard work and angst, and the feeling of accomplishment when we tied down the last corner of the tarp....
We ended our day by HAULING FUCKING HEAVY LOGS AROUND.
And next weekend? You guessed it - we will be peeling logs....
(These are all optional logs, though - the pressure is off, and doing these won't be anywhere near as bad. And if we don't get to them, it's not a big deal)