August 8 Diary and Update: Firewood Follies

Firewood stacked and dry, ready to burn.

We are at the new house in the mountains for the weekend.  Our cable is now up and running so I added an old WiFi router, and I am now able to post without having to drive into town and to find a signal.  I am posting this from our kitchen counter because we do not have any other furniture yet.

I tracked down some pallets and have arranged them on the ground to stack firewood and keep it off the dirt and prevent it from rotting. Being here 2 days every two weeks, I do not have time to harvest my own week, so we are looking into purchasing it.

Firewood Follies

I’ve been talking to a number of locals, done some research, and made some calls to determined that there are four ways to get firewood:

  1. Buy cut and split seasoned hard wood for between $220 to $250 per cord.  This is delivered, but they use a dump truck or dump trailer and you get a big pile of wood.  You have to stack it yourself.
  2. Same kind of wood as above, but in a pickup truck bed.  They will unload and stack it.  Usually runs about $150.  I have no idea how a long-bed load of wood compares to a pallet from a volume standpoint.  Clearly, it depends on how high they stack it in their truck.  I am guessing this is less than half a cord.
  3. A logger will dump a big old dump truck of recently-harvested wood that includes branches and weed trees that have little or no value to them as lumber.  You can get wood for less than $100 a cord, but you get 5 or 6 cords at a time and you than have to cut and possibly split it all yourself.  Plus, it is fresh-cut green wood and you don’t really know what kind of wood you are getting until it shows up.
  4. Occasionally, someone without a wood burner will give away logs, trees, or limbs which is usually fallen or recently cut trees on their property.  You have to pick it up, load it, and cut it yourself and it may be of dubious quality or be softwood rather than hardwood.  Growing up, my dad snagged plenty of free wood like this.

We’re going to start with #1 and consider doing #3 later. Number 3 would give me a winter project I could tackle a little at a time.  The big issue will be how my wife feels about having a giant stack of uncut firewood on the driveway for who knows how long.  We’ll also keep our eyes open for #4.

Plenty of Toilet Paper

We went to a local grocery store, and they had plenty of toilet paper, especially the store brand.  I don’t know how supplies are where you live, but closer to our old home, we are continuing to see occasional intermittent shortages.    The local grocery store is quite nice and my wife approves. 

We have not yet been to the local Walmart, but the folks at the closest hardware store now recognize me since I pop in seem to pop in every visit to pick something up.  I guess that’s a good thing.  I’m happy to support a local store and hopefully a local family.

We didn’t catch as many mice this time.  Just three in the traps.  Hopefully, we’re making a dent in their population.

We experienced our first power outage late yesterday afternoon, so I did the smart thing and took a nap.  Power went on about an hour later and woke me up.  First time I’d ever wished for a longer power outage!

Coronavirus Numbers

Since our last report, the U.S. has reached 4,950,700 cases, meaning it will likely hit 5 million today, and a total of 160,977 deaths.  Globally, there are 19.4 million cases and India surpassed the 2 million mark.  Johns Hopkins is reporting 721,925 deaths.

Latin America has passed Europe and now accounts for more deaths than any other region.  Their numbers are boosted by Brazil and Mexico, which have 99,572 and 51,311 deaths, respectively.