Thursday, October 4, 2007

September- no stove.

Time has been sneaking past me here; perhaps I could blame it on the medications for my "out" back.  Or just the blur of constant work.  Our harvest is still going on, and will for a while yet.

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?


video

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-

25 comments:

Christy said...

Oh, how precious! I love to see young children run and laugh.

Nick said...

That is so blooming cute.

Is she singing "I knew an old lady who swallowed a fly"?

tk said...

I like your posts both meta and micro. Just glad to see you updating again! That's one of the most gorgeous toddlers I've ever seen in my life.

Greenpa said...

Christy - precious is exactly the right word; just like Colin's Isabella; and Crunchy's husband- I was thinking of them both when I put this happier snippet up.

Nick - Impressive! Exactly right. :-)

tk - :-) yeah, we think so, too, big surprise!

Theresa said...

I enjoy both types of post too Greenpa. That's how life is: the daily grind sometimes and overarching philosophical ponderings at others.

Smidgen sure is cute, and I love her dress!

Glad to hear your back is doing a bit better.

Isle Dance said...

Oh my gosh, that is so precious!

Carreen said...

Hey, I think that might have been my anonymous comment. Your post that day said something to the affect that it was hard come up with something to write about when you are feeling tugged in so many directions... I was just offering my thought that sometimes the best posts are probably the ones that are easiest. (Trying to give you a break, ya know?) I enjoy the more philosophical too! Your life and the choices you've made really are inspiring - so keep up the writing. It matters!

P.S. I don't know how you have the energy to keep up with her. Especially running backwards with a camera!

barefoot gardener said...

That is a fabulous little clip. There is something so incredible about little ones running free and just doing whatever sparks their interest at that moment. I am so glad you captured and shared the moment.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Your back must be feeling heaps better to be running backwards on (I assume) uneven terrain doing tricky camera work.

Thanks for sharing the clip! It brightened my day :)

Greenpa said...

Dear Crunch- well, it makes my day that you found that cheering. :-)

I confess- the clips were taken before the back went- I did manage a little jogging yesterday; but forwards only, for sure.

Susanna a.k.a. Cheap Like Me said...

Capturing that laugh alone is priceless! Oh, those baby voices!

Kate said...

Adorablest. Child. Ever.

Also, I wanted to write and thank you for your writing here -- the philosophy is great, the everyday stuff is great. You're among a few people who have inspired me to start learning how to live a slower, less gas-dependant life. I'm riding my bike more, growing things on my apartment porch, and a few weeks ago some friends and I spent four hours canning thirty pounds of tomatoes and putting them up for the winter. Baby steps indeed! But that's how you start.

Thank you, thank you!

Caroline said...

You are SO RIGHT about the weather changing. We just had a woodstove insert put in our fireplace ... on a day when it was 80 degrees out and sunny ... in October. That is just WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. When I was growing up here in the north country, it would be a toss up whether or not we'd need our winter coats in the first week of October; now it's a question of when to pack away our shorts and tshirts. Global climate change is here, now, and like Nero, we fiddle with arguments over whether or not recycling helps while the icecaps metaphorically burn. Gah! Please keep writing both kinds of posts. They connect the personal and the political/global in a way we all need to see because, dammit, this is going to change our day to day lives in ways we can't even begin to imagine. Ignoring one dimension of our lives in favor of another doesn't do either one justice.

sue said...

Funny, I just had the same thouht about our woodstove - we haven't used it yet and it's been so warm, I haven't ordered wood yet.

One of my biggest concerns is that oout house has a wood foundation. As the average temperature increases, our climate is less suitable for this type of building (and th house is already 30 years old) Here's hoping it doesn't rot out from under me!

Pea said...

The little Pea loves to run, too. She can run an entire mile before giving out. She doesn't know that it's work! I'm a former long distance runner that might have to begin training again just to keep up with her. I think we should all record our children's laughter and loop it continuously. It's difficult to have a "tough" day while listening to that sound.

Crunchy Chicken said...

It's funny that you guys are having warmer weather. It's been cooler here in Seattle than normal. And, we're supposed to have a colder/snowier winter due to La Nina. Oh well, the kids will love it.

Kali said...

Your little Smidgen is quite a charmer. It was a lovely video and I'm sure you will cherish it forever. What a lucky Papa!!

Theresa said...

We've had weirdly warm weather too. Husband and I were able to eat lunch outside on the deck/porch on Canadian Thanksgiving day for heaven's sake! And we're 20 miles north of Edmonton, AB. That's just odd.

Sheri said...

How absolutely precious is that?

I admit I skipped over the woodstove part just to watch the video.

I was delighted to find out that I was right about the song...all I managed to get was the word "swallowed", but it was enough.

Thanks so much for sharing your joy as well as all your awesome experience.

marguerite manteau-rao said...

Just letting you know that I included you in my top 15 list of favorite Green Guys Blogs . . .

la marguerite
http://lamarguerite.wordpress.com

Susan said...

My daughter and I enjoyed the video soo much! You know, Greenpa, we just had Thanksgiving this past Monday, up here in Ontario, and I always love Thanksgiving. The smell of the turkey and the warmth of the oven heating the house and taking the chill off. This year, however, we were at an unbelievable 30 degrees C, and humid. (I think that's about 86 degrees F.) Normally it's 15 degrees (59). I hung a blanket between the kitchen and the dining room to keep the heat out. It was quite creepy.... I'll tell my husband we checked in on you. He's just getting over a lower back business and I hope yours heals fast too.

Oldnovice said...

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.

I've already watched it five times, and I might be back tomorrow to watch it again. lol.

christy g said...

this is the best video ever. I love it!

song said...

so sweet. And a good reminder of what you are working towards - that children have the ability to run free and laugh because they feel like it.

Here in western australia we actually had rain this winter - after about 7 years of drought. Now the weather is already in the 30's (celcius) and it's only just spring. It's scary.

shandra beri said...

Her dress, her curls, the bells of her sweet laughter... you don't understand her song because your Latin is rusty! She is singing a paean to the perfection of that moment in perfect infant falsetto. You were lucky indeed to have caught that on tape- usually only angels can hear such things.