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Monday, November 14, 2011

It's All About Wood

It seems like every pickup truck bed is filled to groaning with wood nowadays, a reminder that winter is coming.

Here in Northern New Mexico most people heat with wood and a significant number use wood for cooking, too. It just makes sense: Heat the house and cook a meal at the same time.  It's not unusual to enter a kitchen and see two stoves, one for summer and another for winter. My kitchen is too small for an extra stove, but we have a wood burner in the living room, keeping us nice and toasty.

We're lucky because with trees right here, we just drive the Ranger around, cutting and collecting dead and down wood. I help somewhat, but Tom does most of the work. He says wood warms you up twice: once when it's collected and sawed, and again when the wood fire is burning merrily in the stove. (Tom doesn't say "merrily." That was me.)

Sometimes Tom does a little "Tom Sawyering" and gets innocent friends to collect wood for us.

 So we have piles of wood all over the place in different stages of preparation. That's okay because everyone else does, too, unless they buy wood already cut and split from that guy in the truck.

Yep, that's our bathtub from the old house. Next summer we will set it up in the yard for open air solar heated baths.

If you round the corner of the fence to the right, there's some more.

And if you walk along this fence, guess what?

Inside the fence next to the garage is the good stuff, all ready to burn.

 We keep wood close to the  house for easy access. I think we are set for wood now, Tom.

Uh, Tom?  Tom?

 Well, it's a sure thing we will be warm this winter. 


  1. DH will love this post. He's a wood freak and loves winter just so he can play at being a lumberjack with his 3 chain saws and wood splitters in all shapes and sizes. We have 2 x 10 kw wood burners to keep us toasty warm.

  2. We've already burned through a quarter cord of avocado. Tomorrow night we'll start burning the citrus. We have a fireplace with one of those box inserts and it does a good job of keeping our living room warm. As for your summer plans--it looks like you now have half of a Cialis commercial!

  3. I loved our wood stove when I lived in Blue Lake. It was the only heat we had and it had two burners on top that were great for making soup or spiced cider on top of it. Made the whole house smell good. We also used to dry the walnuts from our tree under it. And I understand where Tom is coming from, there is just something about gathering and chopping wood that is so primal and satisfying even though i'm not very good at it.
    Like your new blog template, BTW;)

  4. Like the Indians always say "you can always tell how bad the winter will be by the size of the white man's wood pile."

    The bigger the pile the worse the winter. looks like it is going to be a bad one.

  5. @New Mexican Hilarious comment, and very true!

    @Clare-Woodcutting is manly work!

    @Teri-I bake apples on top of our stove. Smells awesome!

    @Cyndi-I remember using orangewood when we lived in a house in an orange grove in the 1970's. Great wood, very dense! Kind of like my brain!


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