Friday, December 28, 2007

still ten-fingered and ten-toed

I'm doing some work from here, which means sitting in the living room in front of the wood stove in a pretty cedar-clad house looking out on the snow covered mountains and watching the sun rise very slowly while I tap away on my laptop.

Last night my sister and I were both working, and in the spirit of this great card, we had the following IM conversation while at opposite ends of the same couch.

Goose: you are doing a fine job of chopping and burning wood

Roo: thank you
I am trying
I was really really bad at it at first
you would have laughed today (when you weren't feeling freaked out about me possibly hacking off a toe or driving the axe into my leg)

Goose: did [my boyfriend] help?

Roo: he helped me not cut off my feet or split my shins

Goose: goodie

Her boyfriend is 6'4" and quite large, being also 80% lean muscle the way the rest of us are 80% water. He started me off in the wood-splitting lesson by demonstrating on a log as big around as my torso, which he split into quarters with a light tap, like separating pieces of a Terry's Chocolate Orange. He is gentle and patient, however, (not a single macho bone in his body), and there's no one better to teach you how to split wood.

My first few attempts involved sinking the blade of the axe approximately 1/8th of an inch into the dry cold wood (which should be easy to split), not really anywhere near the center of the log. By the end, I was starting to get the knack of it. There's something very satisfying about splitting wood, that crack as the wood is rent by the axe, that moment when the blade comes down through something solid. There's still a big pile out back - drop by any time and have a go.


At December 28, 2007 3:37 p.m., Blogger Hooker said...

I love chopping wood.

I did a ton last year for my mom. After doing like a half cord my step father goes "did you use that little axe? I have a splitter in the garage"

Had no idea.

At December 28, 2007 3:56 p.m., Blogger banjeroo said...

Come on over! The axe is a little dull but it still works, and then you can come in and have a hot bowl of bison chili and a cold Lead Dog Ale.

At December 29, 2007 4:35 p.m., Blogger First said...

I personally am a big fan of the way some nice well-seasoned oak will split like pulled pork.

Nothing makes beer taste better than splitting wood.

At December 30, 2007 5:18 p.m., Blogger Jonathan said...

I learned to use a feller (don't laugh) a couple of years ago when we bought a big old axe to take down two huge conifers in our back garden.

After a couple of hours, your body learns to go with the axe, doesn't it - it becomes easy somehow.

My father in law taught me how - he was a scout leader for years, and specialised in back woods type stuff.


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