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Firewood a necessity in the Tiny Russian Village…

Two wood stacksAs last year, wood is very important. With -30 C and below temperatures, life would be rough without plenty of wood to burn…

Therefore, as autumn has approached and the heat has gone away, it is time to gather the wood piles and it takes three at the very least. I have two split and stacked and have started on the third today. The third will be a double length stack and it actually will be enough for most of the winter, but as I talked about last year, I rotate the wood and this year the two stacks nearest the door of the village home are the oldest and most usable. The big third stack will be then brought to the front door next year, unless I have to burn it this year. Probably not, for I have well seasoned, long burning oak this year…

I have been splitting huge stumps for days now and after splitting 10 stumps today, I had to stop! My neck is hurting, my right shoulder is sore and I have five blisters on my hands. My hands are kinda ugly right now. I put iodine on all the torn skin and band aids everywhere… 🙂 Oh! That iodine hurts when applied to open skin wounds… 🙁

I talked to Svetochka and told her that we need to get a splitting hatchet. I will work the budget and try to figure out how to get it. I need it to whittle down some of the bigger pieces, for some are too big, but too small to split with my huge maul!

The splitting hatchet can be used by the front door with a stump set there and then I can split some more as needed. Splitting the already split stumps is much easier in the cold and the smaller stump pieces will pop easily during a -20 C day. But I have to lay the foundation by splitting the huge stumps, bigger around than you can put your arms at times and create small wedges. I get about six to eight wedges of firewood out of a big stump and that can be easily taken to what ever size I desire…

Someone who has split wood before, knows that a hardwood is tough. Splitting pine or another soft wood is easy peasy in comparison and this oak is well seasoned and hard as iron. I have to laugh or else cry in pain, as the maul bounces sometimes, as if I smacked a brick wall with a baseball bat. Then I get tough and after about four or five wacks, it starts to crack and split. When I find these stumps like this, I soon realized what is causing it. There are knots, huge knots deep in the wood and a knot is hard a steel. These are caused by places where these hundred year old trees had limbs in the past and grew around and covered them over. They catch me off guard sometimes and then I wrench a hand, shoulder, elbow and or all of them as the maul bounces like a rubber ball…

I remember splitting walnut and oak as a twenty some year old. My how father time can steal some oomph out of your swings. But I just get grouchy and make a small war cry and swing harder. It has worked on all but one huge stump and he is going to split tomorrow, or else! Yes he will be beaten tomorrow, after I recover from having split ten of his almost as big friends today. Maybe I should just make a stump to split wood by the door out of him? Hmm…

Everyone in the Tiny Russian Village comes by and explains to me the best way to split wood. Everyone has their own way and one even said, “Hire someone to do it!” because that is what he would do…

“But I am not rich!” I say…

WtR

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