It is still bloody hot but I can feel a difference in the weather. I got a late start moving the wood today and worked under direct sun for a couple of loads and while hot, I could feel a change in the air. I’m seeing a little haze in the air from the forest fires but nothing like the smoke we got last year that was so thick you could almost chew it. As for the would pile stack another couple hours of work and it should be finished. It was tough not to try and power through and get the last of the wood pile stacked despite the weather. I’m just starting to feel like my normal self again and the last thing I want to do is knock myself down again by overworking.
Backyard lawn area is looking better after just a couple of days of TLC. No grass seed sprouting yet but that sphagnum peat moss does a great job of retaining water/moisture on the grass seed. I would recommend adding that peat moss if you live in a dry area and sprinkle some on the grass lawn to reduce water usage. Sphagnum peat moss won’t change your soils PH but it will help retain water while it is on the soil and as it moves into the soil it will help loosen the soil so it is not as dense. I added this peat moss to my raised bed garden soil this summer and it was much more fluffy and less hard when planting. I bought one large cube of the peat moss and I’m just starting to run out after using it in all of my garden and on a small portion of my lawn. I hope to buy another couple of the cubes this fall for my front lawn and for next years garden.
Now is the time to get those soil amendments as things start going on sale to clean out the inventories of summer stuff. It has been strange seeing what people bought in stores this summer. Early on people were buying starting plants like crazy but I did not see mulch, soil and things like that sell out like last year. Now I’m seeing people buying hardware like fencing, decorative/landscaping plants. Perhaps people are not just growing gardens but want to make yards a more pleasant living space. Of course fencing can be huge for making a garden space more productive.
One couple was getting fencing and was looking at the plastic step in poles for electric fencing. I told them go for the steel t-post as I had used both and the wife exclaimed the t-posts were cheaper than the plastic posts. The husband said he wanted to protect an area from his pets and I explained I had tried using the plastic posts and unless he was going to buy an electric fence t-post and a metal fence fabric or welded fence would work much better. I am biased, I hate chicken wire. I understand it is cheap and effective for fencing off areas but I hate it with a passion. I’d rather spend more money to not deal with chicken wire.
All of the critters are doing great and my old cat Smokey is exploring more of the house again. The Purina UTI dry cat food has been working out great. It is also getting expensive. August cash flow is looking rough with paying off the credit card for the vet bill, getting the chimney cleaned and getting veggies to preserve at the local fruit strand.
I think now is the time to invest your money in what I call sure bets. You know you will need to eat in the future so buy and store food while it is relatively cheap. You know you will need heat and energy this winter so store fuel and a way to make heat/energy. This is about what works best for you. A winter in SW Idaho is a lot different in many other states or regions. Any temp below 60 degrees F. you have the potential of developing hypothermia if you don’t have proper clothing or your clothing gets wet or you can’t get warmed. Cold kills more people in the world than heat.
I know it sucks buying stuff at a higher cost because of government stupidity, it is your butt that will get frozen and not some DC politician if the electricity goes away. This a great time to start pricing a Buddy heater and other hunting and camping gear. Get a battery powered fan and rechargeable batteries. I could heat a 1200 sq.ft. house with a Mr. Buddy heater and a fan for about a week with a standard 20 pound propane tank when the High temp was 18-20 degree F. Now any rolling blackout is just that and you should have some power at times but in the worse case scenario you can store four 20 pound propane tanks and heat your home up to a month of power outages for about $200.00 todays cost for a refilled propane tank.
I know most people in the USA don’t have a fire place or wood stove. Even if they have a stove the chimney has not been cleaned and they don’t have wood to burn. If you want to get a wood stove for heat/cooking I recommend you buy wood first and all the tools needed for a wood stove. If you buy split wood you will need kindling and smaller sized to start a fire. That means axes, hatchets and small chainsaws at best. I have a great woo supplier now with very consistent sized chunks of wood but I’m still dealing with wood that would not fit in my woodstove from less reputable wood suppliers.
A cord of wood seems to have a lot of definitions but a true cord of wood is stacked wood that is 128 sq.ft. The math does not change from the traditional stack of 4 ft. x 4ft. by 8 ft. or if the stack is 12 ft. x1.5 ft by 6 ft. it is still about 128 sq.ft to make a cord of wood. A face cord is 4 ft. x 8ft. by 1.5 ft. That is not a problem if you don’t pay for a full cord of wood and get a discount. Not hard all you need is a tape measure and a calculator for the 3 dimensions. I doubt you can call out someone before you stack the wood unless they are very blatant shorting you. But you can let people know not to use them as a firewood supplier.