Well. That was embarrassing…

I’ve been preparing since yesterday for today’s big trip to the biggish town about 35 miles away, where there would be lumber and ammo and meat and distilled water and assorted other groceries. Showed up at D&L’s right on time this morning, all dressed for town…only to discover that it’s next Wednesday, not today.

And I had to put off a couple of other social things to get it done, too…one of which I was able to go ahead and do, fortunately, but I have to go visit a neighbor tomorrow to discuss a paying gig and that meeting was supposed to be today.

Ah, well. Sick chicken, which I noticed yesterday and Neighbor L said this morning had to be, er, relieved of her misery. So I did that…


…and before anyone asks, because somebody always asks, no. I don’t eat sick chickens. This one was skin and bones under the bloat anyway.

I’ve been getting into winter nesting mode. Yesterday afternoon I fixed some worn-out skateboard tape on the porch steps…

…and this morning I got to thinking about my kindling hatchet, which it turns out I stored in deplorable condition…


Yeah, that’s a downside of heating with cut-up pallets. You just cut the nails with a sawzall, which means when you’re splitting planks for kindling you are occasionally going to find a nail. I like a good hatchet but a fancy one is not only unneeded but actually a disadvantage.

Anyway, I shouldn’t have stored it in that condition. But by Spring it is with a sense of profound relief that I put away the stove stuff, and the thought of fixing the edge then never crossed my mind.

So, since I had a few hours before (I thought) I needed to go meet neighbors, I brought out the edge tools.


I already took care of my full-size axe in July, in celebration of coming home. So that part of firewood prep is done.

Now it’s time to actually set up the saws and cut firewood, but I’m not going to make a big production of it this autumn. I still have half a woodshed full, and it’s nothing but a head-high rat nest and needs to be used up. So I’m going to cut a reserve supply just in case, but leave it under a tarp at the woodlot so I can spend the winter cleaning out the woodshed. Probably a lot of what’s in there is spoiled with rat byproducts but I won’t know how much till I start hauling it out.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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10 Responses to Well. That was embarrassing…

  1. Ben says:

    I was wondering when you were going to do something about that aging wood at the back of your woodshed.

    I can see where storing stinky firewood indoors would be nasty, but once ignited inside your stove does a stinky coating of rat urine and poo on your firewood really matter? After all, that stove must vent outdoors pretty damn positively.

  2. Joel says:

    Don’t know. But it’s not an airtight stove and I don’t want too much stink and toxins burning in my little cabin.

  3. Robert says:

    “rat by-products”
    “rat urine and poo”
    “stink and toxins”
    Gosh, Joel, you make heating with wood sound so appealing. 🙂 Ew.

  4. Ben says:

    Besides the need for heat, how is winter nesting mode different from summer nesting mode? 😀

  5. Mike says:

    Cleaning ups axes, cutting up firewood, fixing steps… Yep, another sign that it’s fall… 😉

    BTW, the axe looks good. I know people who would have just put an edge on the axe and left the rust on the head as a “decorative patina.”

    Just a thought, have you considered covering the steps with non-skid paint? It’s an easy fix, one simply adds a bit of sand to the paint when painting.

  6. Zelda says:

    Just another thought, have you considered replacing those really casual, scary steps with wider ones that have deeper treads and very good handrails on both sides, or with a ramp? that has skateboard tape on it? If I had to use those steps in winter ice and snow I’d certainly have low deductible high coverage medical insurance. BTW you can use the same ADA guidelines for your steps/ramp that you’ll be using for Landlady’s deck ramp(s).

  7. Joel says:

    I don’t trust “non-skid” paint one tiny bit. One of the worst falls I ever took was on “non-skid” paint. I trust skateboard tape a little more.

  8. Mike says:

    Joel, if you’ve had a bad experience with non-skid, I don’t blame you one bit for not using it. However, skateboard tape is just as slippery as none-skid when it’s covered with snow/ice. At the very least, think about getting a sack of sand or rock salt that you can toss a hand full of onto the steps when it gets icy later on in the winter.

  9. Ben says:

    Obviously, there is no non-skid that can remain effective given a sufficiently thick coating of ice, but hardware cloth wrapped around the edges and over the surface of each step and fastened securely might come close.

  10. Tennessee Budd says:

    But, Joel, Christmas is coming!
    “Rat turds roasting on an open fire….”

To the stake with the heretic!