Indoors day, mostly, but busy…

Sorry, I know I haven’t been posting a lot but the weather has been so changeable that connectivity has been a real problem. I have a lot of photos but they’re taking forever, so even as I type this I don’t know how many i can actually post. Yesterday was gorgeous but today’s cloudy and windy again. Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain. It’s warm, though, high fifties, so I can strip down and do an indoor chore a little birdy told me I can’t put off any longer.

Baking day! I have found that making and kneading the dough is a lot less tedious with some entertainment on the counter. Normally I watch Youtube videos but connectivity was not allowing that this afternoon. Fortunately I’ve got movies on that tablet Big Brother gave me last April. Nothing like a nice cheerful upbuilding war movie where everybody dies…


While the bread is in the oven there’s a lot of cleaning up to do. This has been kind of a problem since around Christmas because I had to spend drinking water on washing. But now, even though I still don’t have indoor running water, I do have water to the yard and it works just fine. So at least I don’t have to ration any more.


Once that was all done and everything put away, it was time to take care of that message from the little bird.


Yesterday afternoon a small bird, the first of the year, got into the stovepipe. No problem, he flew around the kitchen window for a while but I caught him without any issues and he’ll live to screw up some other hermit’s day. But on his way down the pipe he shook loose so much soot he reminded me that the pipe hasn’t been cleaned all this winter.

In a way I was kind of proud of myself – once I was so paranoid about this that I could barely go a week without cleaning it. Now it hasn’t been cleaned since the beginning of the season. It’s just soot, the stove burns nice and hot now and I use hardly any juniper, so it’s not building up creosote like in the disastrous winter of ’11-’12. But still, definitely time to clean the pipe.


There’s an easy way to clean a stovepipe, and a simple way. The simple way involves not building your cabin with a loft, so you’ve got a nice easy roof to climb on. Then you can just take off the weathercap and brush the soot down into the stove.

I use the other way. The bottom section of pipe slides up on that coupler, then I pull the stove out from under it.


Lay a tarp on the floor, take off your shirt, wrap a rag around your head, and start a’scrubbin’. The bottom section can go outside and make its mess there.


If you lay out the tarp right, and this time I did, you don’t even make a mess inside. Just gather up the tarp and shake it into the wind.


And on a windy day like this, you don’t even have to worry about scrubbing off the tarp afterward.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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8 Responses to Indoors day, mostly, but busy…

  1. Anonymous says:

    I would call that a productive day.

  2. Mark Matis says:

    Next time if you get Laddie downwind when you shake that tarp, you can change his coloration!

  3. doubletrouble says:

    Wrap a piece of hardware cloth around the flue cap to keep the critters out.

  4. jabrwok says:

    Next time if you get Laddie downwind when you shake that tarp, you can change his coloration!

    But then he’ll never be eligible for public office in Virginia!

  5. Stupid question: you have a whole herd of chickens. Why do you have a carton of what i presume are store bought eggs?

  6. Mark Matis says:

    Commander Zero, the answer to our question is here:

    http://joelsgulch.com/literally-cheaper-by-the-dozen/

  7. Joel says:

    Our hens are laying well now and there’s no shortage of fresh eggs but I still need a way to store and transport them. I gather 12- and 18-egg cartons from wherever I can get them. The eggs in the picture came from our hens.

To the stake with the heretic!