About Me

My photo
I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of one. I have many hobbies and interests but gardening and rug hooking are my main interest at the moment. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and have been married for 49 years.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

WHO SAID THAT YOU CAN'T TEACH AND OLD DOG NEW TRICKS?

Photo #11
My husband proudly posing besides his neatly cut kindling and this is only a portion of the small branches he so neatly cut.



Photo #9
The third portion of kindling

Photo # 8
Another portion of the kindling

Photo #5    
 My husband cutting the larger branches with his chain saw.
Photo # 6
I'm almost finished cleaning up the huge mess of branches. All what's left to cut is the stump.
Photo #7
 A portion of the kindling I cut up  with my pruners.
NOTE:
 I'VE NUMBERED THE PHOTOS BECAUSE I CAN'T GET THEM TO APPEAR IN SEQUENCE.
Last night I had my blog post all typed and as I tried to upload some photos to add to it. I didn't have the internet because my husband had unplugged his computer and also the router-modem box in anticipation of a thunder storm which we never got,  without telling me. So I had to retype my blog for today.

We use a wood stove to supplement our costly electric heat in cold weather. We have a large two story open concept house plus a basement to heat. Every year I would beg for kindling to light the stove but I never got an adequate supply. It was gone in no time.

My husband is a sweetheart but also a procrastinator and waits until it's late in the season before getting his wood ready for the winter and to compound my woes the wood never has a chance to dry properly in rainy weather.

I'm usually the one who lights the stove because my dear husband just don't have it in him. He's talented in many ways but just can't light a fire, poor him. He has to light the fire repeatedly for it to finally catch. No wonder with wet wood. I on the contrary light the fire on the first try, most times.

Since I was never getting an adequate supply of dry kindling I decided to make my own by saving all the small branches and twigs every time I trimmed the lower branches from our soft maple trees in the spring and I grew a few biceps in the process. We have rock maples that grows slowly and never need pruning and we have soft maples trees that are fast growing are the subject of my constant pruning.

Armed with a long handle pruner and a pruning shears I cut all the smaller branches and twigs and put then to dry for kindling in open boxes in the garage for the fall and then moved them in the basement. With a pair of leather gloves I ripped tons of leaves and saved them for the compost. Waste not want not was my motto.  My neighbor was shaking his head.

Finally my husband caught on to my wisdom when our beloved soft maple tree had to be cut down  for safety reason.   It meant sacrificing our shady spot on the backyard patio, but it had to be done. I called it my giving tree because for years it gave us beauty, shade in the heat, leaves for my compost, a place for the grand kids to swing and climb, and the song birds to make their nests.  The only thing that I don't miss about that tree is the million of seed pods that I had to clean from my flower beds and yard each spring.

The  huge tree was rotting and a large piece of bark had fallen off the previous winter and  also it was growing in the power lines.

The power Commission came and cut down the upper portion for us. Once down, I removed all the small branches so that my husband could safely saw the larger branches with the chain saw. The only reminder that the tree was there is the ugly pile of wood still sitting on my patio.

I worked so hard cutting loads of branches that finally my husband took pity on me and this past spring he cut down 30 maple trees on our farm property and guess what he did. He saved all the small branches to make into kindling using his table saw, all measured precisely to fit into those plastic ventilated boxes.

Now I have heaps and heaps of maple kindling for the cold weather. So bring on the winter, all I need now is a set of new snow tires. Who said that you can't teach old dogs new tricks.  JB


Photo #1
My lovely tree as I want to remember it


Photo #2
View of my giving tree from the other side. Notice a large chunk of bark missing.
Photo #3
My shady little spot to rest from my gardening chores.

Photo #4
What a sad sight and I have my work cut out for me