I’m working on making kindling cutting easier for me and I’m getting a bit more efficient cutting kindling. Trust me, starting a fire just using a match is nothing to be sneered at. It really does not take many Doug fir logs to make kindling. I am getting better about using using the hatchet to easily to split small chunks of wood into kindling. I think with the big 18 gallon bushel bucket of kindling and another couple of egg cartons worth of fire starters, Mom should be “good to go” for starting wood fires through the month of January. Now both of my wood boxes are full and I have a large box of kindling from my wood supplier as backup along with all the wood trimmings I collect from my trees. For me being able to start a fire quick and easy, ranks right up there with the new windows/siding for making this winter more comfortable. Also if you pair a poplar chunk of wood in your stove with some Douglas fir prepare for a very hot fire box! Overall if you live in the Pacific NW Doug fir is probably the most cost effective wood you will find for heating your home. You can also find black walnut, elm, lots of fruit woods and even some maple. But most of those hardwoods also have a Premium price. I think poplar is an good wood choice when paired with another wood and I have been very happy with my Doug fir/poplar wood mix this winter.
Personally I’d like to have at least 4 cords of wood on hand. It looks like a mild winter for heating for me so far. I have probably burned about 3/4 of a cord of wood through the fall, perhaps a full cord. I also gave/sold Mom some of my Doug fir and she has received a little doug fir via kindling so I’m not sure about how much wood I have used so far this winter. I could say I have emptied at least one of my wood racks that are 4 ft x 8ft x 18 inches, I think that is called a “face cord”. Now I have also used quite a bit of my poplar wood. About another “face cord” of that wood. I guesstimating, but I have used about 1 cord of wood so far this winter. This has been a relatively warm winter so far as the coldest temps. in SW Idaho have been in the mid teen F. range. So far I have not seen any 0 degrees F. at all this winter. Next is learning my new windows and insulation. My house now holds in heat much better than I ever expected. I don’t concern myself about the wood stove burning over night. Will the house hold the heat till morning from the wood stove heat is the thing I want as a result.
My stamina and physical strength still need some work. I’ll never be as strong as was before I got disabled, but I can build up and be stronger and have more endurance overall. What I want to do, still has not caught up with what I can physically do. That dichotomy can be a bit difficult to process when making plans for the future. My physical abilities is what it is but I think I can improve that base line in 2019.
I’m changing up the doggie food diet and adding a little greek yogurt and a little cheese to give the pups a little more calcium. The pups actually seem to like a bit of variety and don’t mind a different menu as long as it isn’t to drastic of a change making wet food for the dogs. One of my dogs devoured the new wet food, one seems to need a bit more coxing. I can’t say it a raw meat diet because I don’t trust serving raw meat from a grocery store to my dogs. Not feeding my dogs canned dog food does cost a bit more but overall the dogs seem to be doing better and I know what food they are eating.