The back is better, but not entirely back. Slogging on.
I was tickled by several of the recent comments here - one stating they liked the glimpses of real life best, and I could leave out the general discussion; another glad to see I was making "real" posts again, after a bit of an enviro rant- must be doing something right; if all parties are equally happy and displeased!
I'll continue to write both- partly because I need both for my own sanity. It does get frustrating, pushing on icebergs and not seeing anything happening. The rants help blow off steam, and who knows, may even reach a person or two.
So- a bit of the real world, here; it's October. And for the first time since I built the Little House- we didn't have the wood stove in operation during September, not once.
In a normal year, there's a week or so of cold, often rainy weather, when we crank up the woodstove for the first time of the season; we need to stay warm. But not this year. We had rains; but they were warm, and came all in one day, not slowly over 3. It never even occurred to me to light the stove.
The woodstove is a huge part of autumn and winter. It changes how we cook (you can't bake potatoes on a propane burner - or pies) - changes our work- the need for wood, and feeding the stove takes precedence over almost everything, when it's zero outside. It changes our eye on the weather- if a storm is coming, we need to get wood under cover in the shed, before it gets wet, or buried in snow.
I enjoy it immensely. A tick of the seasonal clock. I love sitting where the radiant heat warms me- chilly on one side, over-toasty on the other. I love splitting wood, in fact, and doing all those little chores involved in keeping my family safe and warm.
So it was a shock when I noticed it was October; and no stove. Yes, I'm afraid it really is global warming, our constant companion, again. Actually, I know for a fact that I've burned far less wood in the past 3 winters than was usual in the '70's and '80's.
Doesn't mean I don't still have to prepare and think ahead for a "real" winter- that can still happen, of course. My biggest problem with wood last year was... mud. Usually we move firewood to the house on snow sleds. I arranged things originally so the wood yard is out in the sun- and uphill from the house. The wood dries nicely out there, and it's pretty easy to get a sled load, and just guide it as it slides downhill to the house. But sleds don't work well on mud- nor do wheelbarrows. I had to just carry it in my arms more times last year than any other I recall.
Changes in our lives; here now.
So- the video here is just for fun; and because I've just figured out how to include video, since I updated my browser. It's around 18 megabytes; hard on a slow connection- ... This is Smidgen, of course; running for the pure joy of it- it's a new concept for her. Then to my surprise, she stopped- and started to sing. I was so lucky to catch it. Can you tell what she's singing?
Boy, I gotta tell ya. That's a dangerous clip for me. I'm afraid I could just sit here and watch it over and over. Probably not quite so dangerous for you- but I'm her daddy. It was pretty tricky running backwards and using the camera-