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The Wood Is Stacked! (Or Is It??)

November 16, 2009

Seasoned wood stacked on either side of the basement door (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) So many people responded to my photo several weeks ago of a big pile of wood waiting to be stacked (The Colors of Autumn), that I thought I’d give you an update. Today, I finally finished stacking the wood, 5 cords in all, to heat my house through the Maine winter (with a bit left over for next year).

Green wood stacked for seasoning (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) I am more of a turtle than a hare, so I just kept plugging away at it, putting in about 1-2 hours each day, with interruptions for visits to my mother in Rhode Island, plumbing problems, septic system construction, etc.

Just as I was about to congratulate myself on finally getting this job completed, I heard what sounded like a very large motorcycle without a functioning muffler roaring up my driveway at a high rate of speed. It was really the sound of this section of woodpile beside the driveway falling down. (All of these woodpiles are taller than I am, and as I work over the top of my head, it gets harder and harder to keep stacking the wood level and straight – with this result.)

Fallen section of woodpile (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)

It will take about 5 hours to restack this, but I’m not going to do it right away. Some of it can go into the rack by the woodstove, so the pile won’t be so high. The rest will have to wait while I get back to all the other fall chores I’ve been neglecting:

Hose on reel (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) Hoses in flower beds (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
… getting hoses disconnected and taken in for winter,
… getting the rest of my siberian irises cut back so that the iris budfly has no place to winter over (see Battling the Iris Budfly), Siberian iris foliage waiting to be cleaned up (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
Screenhouse waiting to be taken down (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) … and getting the screenhouse on the deck taken down before it gets snowed on.


Home & Garden Blogs

26 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2009 11:28 am

    I really like doing chores vicariously through other garden bloggers. I somehow feel like I got something done without spending all the time and energy actually doing them 🙂

    That is a lot of wood. Good luck getting that re-stacked!

    • Jean Potuchek permalink*
      November 16, 2009 11:26 pm

      Sylvana, If you want to get a lot of vicarious chores done, stick with me! This is the time of year when I’m most likely to question the wisdom of living alone.

  2. November 16, 2009 12:55 pm

    Hello Jean,

    I enjoy reading your adventures in the garden. I am sorry about your fallen section of your woodpile.

    As a desert dweller, I find what people in colder climates do to get ready for winter. It is foreign to me and yet, so interesting. I hope you continue to post throughout the winter.

    • Jean Potuchek permalink*
      November 16, 2009 11:30 pm

      Noelle, I do plan to continue posting through the winter, although less often (once every 4-5 days). I’ve been saving up topics I want to write about. I don’t know how many winter posts will be about winter chores, though. I don’t think I can get five months worth of posts out of shoveling snow! 🙂

  3. November 16, 2009 3:09 pm

    Jean, Would that tumbled-down woodpile be a “woodn’t”?

    • Jean Potuchek permalink*
      November 16, 2009 11:31 pm

      Great line! I wish I had thought of that. 🙂

  4. November 16, 2009 6:38 pm

    I only wish I lived closer as I would come and give you a hand with the chores, and we could talk gardens for the afternoon…. but then how much wood would actually get piled.

    • Jean Potuchek permalink*
      November 16, 2009 11:33 pm

      Gee, Teza, I wish you lived closer, too. That screenhouse really is a two-person job! (And of course it would be fun to pick your brain about all those rare plants that I don’t know about.)

  5. November 16, 2009 8:08 pm

    I feel so warm and cozy looking at all that wood stacked up for the winter. Ian sometimes gets mad at me, as I will get up on a Sunday morning and have a fire going all day. I just think that is the joy of a fireplace!

    • Jean Potuchek permalink*
      November 16, 2009 11:35 pm

      Deborah, I agree. Although I sometimes get frustrated with my inability to stack a pile of wood so that it stays stacked, I love the cozy feel of a house heated with wood. Since my wood stove is in the basement and heats the house from the bottom up, my floors stay warm all winter, which I consider a special treat.

  6. November 16, 2009 8:26 pm

    Oh Jean, I am so sorry the pile came tumbling down. I thought one cord of wood was really hard work, I can’t imagine five.

    • Jean Potuchek permalink*
      November 16, 2009 11:37 pm

      Weren’t you the one who had an article on how to stack wood properly? Maybe I should read it!

  7. November 16, 2009 9:26 pm

    I think I would have cried!

    • Jean Potuchek permalink*
      November 16, 2009 11:40 pm

      Well, I may have let loose with a few curse words. The year I cried was when it snowed on about 1 cord of wood still heaped in the driveway and the logs got all icy and stuck together. When I tried to stack them, they just kept sliding off one another — but I had to get them out of the way of the snow plow. After that experience, I vowed never again to get caught by a serious snowfall before this chore was done.

  8. November 16, 2009 9:41 pm

    Glad to see your wood stack. When I lived up north, I felt all cozy and ready for winter once the wood was stacked. Your stack makes me feel this way.

    • Jean Potuchek permalink*
      November 16, 2009 11:43 pm

      Yes, there’s a wonderful feeling a self-sufficiency that comes from a supply of wood stacked and ready for winter. In 1998, when Maine and Quebec were hit with a huge ice storm, and most people were without power for a week or more, I was the only person on my road with heat, and I could also melt snow for hot water and cook on the wood stove.

  9. November 17, 2009 9:07 am

    Ouch! But it was a good workout, wasn’t it?

  10. November 17, 2009 2:02 pm

    A fine stack of wood indeed- and I am in admiration for your beautiful gardens and gutsy attitude in the face of the “always somethings” of life.

    Keep your chin up 🙂 Seasons of life change and it settles down, until the next time, anyway.

    • Jean Potuchek permalink*
      November 18, 2009 10:32 am

      Ilona, Thanks for the words of encouragement. I am normally a pretty resilient person, but it’s nice to be reminded that these “It’s Always Something” periods do pass (as you said, until the next one!).

  11. November 19, 2009 12:54 pm

    I have to say the wood looks beautiful~~perfect for a warm toasty house this winter… May I recommend a wonderful bowl of ice cream and fudge sauce to reward yourself with~~I mean, you will burn off the calories stacking the wood. I can’t tell you how many hoses I’ve forgotten about…and they are ruined for the next season. gail

    • Jean Potuchek permalink*
      November 19, 2009 1:19 pm

      Gail, I love the idea of the ice cream reward! Unfortunately, while I’ve been doing all this wood stacking, I haven’t been getting out for my daily walks, so I think I’ve actually been burning fewer calories (not that I’ve ever let that stop me from indulging in a good desert).

  12. November 20, 2009 1:01 am

    Hi Jean, I’m glad no one was standing by that woodpile when it fell! What a lot of work- hopefully soon you will be able to curl up by a fire with a good book and your favorite drink. I am admiring your lifestyle.

    • Jean Potuchek permalink*
      November 20, 2009 11:11 am

      Deborah, I too am glad that no one (like me) was standing by that woodpile when it fell. I think this is the biggest wood avalanche I’ve ever had (and I always have at least one each year). The early rumblings probably would have given anyone standing nearby a chance to get out of the way. Despite the trials and tribulations of woodpiles, though, I love heating with wood — although, since my wood stove is in the basement, I don’t get to actually sit by the fire; rather the whole house has a cozy wood fire feel to it in winter.

  13. November 20, 2009 10:45 pm

    Oh Dear! I understand too well how much work that is Jean. I hope you have help! There is so much to do yet before winter sets in. Thanks for all the reminders… I still have hoses out!! Carol

    • Jean Potuchek permalink*
      November 20, 2009 10:55 pm

      Alas, I am a one-person operation — but I have been saved by unusually warm November weather. My plan is to spend several hours a day at garden chores for the next three days, and I think I can get it all done.


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