Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Rethinking Going to the Wood Shed

On the other side of the chicken coop and wired enclosure is the wood shed Mel built out of pallets.

We did an oops with it's placement. I tried to tell Mel that it needed to be closer to the house, but as usual she did it her way. Back when she first built it we didn't have a deck with ramps off the back porch, the rabbit hoop house, the driveway beside the house, or the chickens penned in beside the rabbit barn. Hind sight is 20/20, right?

 She was man handling the wood into a wheel barrow, rolling in around to the front porch, and then lifting each arm load of wood, carrying it up the stairs, and stacking it on the porch so it could be carried inside as needed. How cumbersome the whole process was soon had Mel regretting her decision on the location of the wood shed. The first winter after it was built, Mel realized I was right. HA HA! Told you so.

Now a year later, the wood shed is virtually unusable and impractical. It will be moved closer to the house. Actually, behind the food storage building to be exact. Some 30 feet closer for the bulk of our firewood. We'll stack half a cord of firewood at a time as needed on the porch. We'll toss wood onto the new 4 wheeled cart, walk along the new graveled driveway, and Mel will chuck it through the new gate we installed along one side of the porch. The gag gift I bought for Mel has come in pretty handy...a box full of assorted sized hinges. She has a major love relationship with hinges. But back to the new sequence of events. Once the split wood is on the porch, I'll sort and stack it. We have a large 18 gal tote that we put smaller pieces in as fire feeders. If the cart is too heavy to maneuver, Mel breaks out the riding lawn tractor. It's amazing the time savings that little tractor has gained us. A nice, sunny (although cold) afternoon's worth of work and it's done for a week.

Peppermint plants between the pallet bottom will deter rodents from making their nests in the wood. I've transplanted some thirty plants around the food storage building. We found rat droppings in the building. Not a good thing. They demolished my stored sweet potatoes. I'm glad I canned most of them.The peppermint plants will reseed and root themselves into a nice large patches over time.

So when we get down to the last half a cord of firewood we are playing demolition derby on the old pallet wood shed. It will be reconstructed using the same technique shown in the video.

So everything is falling into its cockeyed place around here. Maybe Mel will listen to me next time. Who am I trying to kid? She's just as hard headed as I am.

Starting in the spring we'll be dragging fallen trees up the 100 ft slope to get ready for the winter of  2018-2019. Some of these trees have been down since before Mel moved here four years ago. They should be good and seasoned in place. First, I need to put a winch and a trailer hitch on Mel's truck. Anybody know of an electric start chainsaw? We've got the Poulan, but Mel can't pull the cord with enough oomph to start it. For me, it's backwards and awkward to pull. The thought of running several hundred feet of power cords for the 14" electric chainsaw, just seems a tad more cockeyed than we are down the slope, but we'll do it if we have to. It would just be simpler with a larger hand held chainsaw. One of these days, Mel will let me operate the little chainsaw. Exactly when that will be, God only knows. She's like my husband was with ours after my stroke. He gave ours to a son-in-law to get it away from me.  I don't think I can control the big one one-handed but the little one...no sweat. You'd be amazed what I can do with battery operated hand tools. My Ryobi set got a good workout after my husband died.

Mel is basically one handed again because of trigger thumb (pulled tendon at the base of the thumb). I've got her in my cock up splint to let it rest if only she'd keep it on. I've tried to convince her to go to the doctor for a steroid shot, but she's having none of that. At least, she's taking the Alieve so it's working on the swelling. Granted she has no medical insurance, but I'd be willing to pay for it, if she would go. How does she get away with it with Obama care and all? She's only worked part-time for years or been unemployed. We've had this argument for over two years. I can't make her go. It hurts both of us the longer she's out of commission. So for now, between the two of us we have two good hands. Unfortunately, it's two non dominant left hands.

So that's it for this week...
Y'all have a blessed day.

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