Saturday, October 22, 2005

Settling In 

A drizzly Saturday, but Darcie's parents were down from Vermont and we got the date wrong on the church craft material tag sale, so off we went to the harvest festival anyway.

The sixteenth annual Sturbridge Harvest and Scarecrow Festival was a pretty small affair -- a country and western band, a couple of craft tents and local country kitch merhants. We parked behind the Publick House, ate chili and apple pie with local cheddar, and filled the corners in with kettle corn while we wandered the tiny town common, admiring the scarecrow contest entries and dodging the raindrops.

I remain proud of myself for not spending a mere fiver on a minimarshmallow blowgun made of smallbore PVC tubing, complete with candyapple duct tape striping -- ingenious and very tempting, but if I had it, I'd surely use it, and marshmallows bring ants. Sigh. One more sign of adulthood, I suppose.

Back home, Neil (the dad in-law) and I headed over to the local lumber-and-hardware store to fill the trunk with pallets and scrap wood. Neil bought me my first hatchet (nominally for turning cordwood into kindling, but officially because Neil believes that everyone should have a hatchet) and admired the pellet stoves for a while, then it was back to the house to start up the woodstove for the season. Can't tell you how wonderful it is to step out on the porch, smell that great woodsmoke smell -- all must and spice -- and realize it's your own.

Been stacking wood since they left, about four hours. I seem to be at the halfway point, which is perfect, since I left off at the six-foot mark of three of six pallets. Two cords in three days is no small feat for a solo artist with a bad back. Darcie's parents both complimented me on my haphazard cross-stacking; the confidence of two true-blue rural-life expert opinions will get me through the rest of the pile in no time.

Tomorrow I'll watch the baby in our finally-warm house while the wife and three-year try a church outing without us, set up the rest of the pallets for a good afternoon stack, and then it's off to line up early for a good table at the Iron Horse for a night out with Dad. It'll be my first time seeing Lucy Kaplansky perform outside of the folk festival world; the small setting and the novelty of folk music indoors should be a nice bonus to what is always a sweet and poignant treat for ears and heart alike.

Of course, getting in at 5:30 for a 7:00 show means supper beforehand -- the Iron Horse has great pulled pork and salads, but I'm especially pleased at the prospect of eating supper at an actual table. Stay tuned for updates on the foreverquest for furniture...

posted by boyhowdy | 7:15 PM |

Uh Oh afterthought:

The furnace was off when we arose this morning.

Off, full of ashes, and stone cold.

The house is still mostlywarm, but as near as I can tell, after filling the stove so many times yesterday, and then using that number to estimate against the size of the woodpile, we have enough wood for 90 days of real heat.

4 cords = 90 days. We got pellets to support the process, but no one expected pellets to cover the whole house. They might help us go another twenty, I guess.

Looks like we're buying oil after all. At retail cost per gallon. In February.

Hey, maybe by then it will be cheaper, eh?
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Hey Josh, just dropped by to catch up with what's going on in your life. Maybe it's just the Voyer in me... lol

So first (well second technically I guess...), I just have to say that the statement about owning a hatchet is so true. My dad got me a hatchet when I was about 10 years old and made me split kindiling with it. But of course, what 10 year old wouldn't love to play with a shiny new hatchet and do that!

Anyway, I'll have to do more back reading, but I'll catch up eventually. Hope things are going well with the family (both kids and in-laws heh).

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