Looks like the snow finally stopped, wood used so far

November 14, 2014

I got a good eight inches of snow here at my house but I kept the sidewalks mostly clear. I managed to break the plastic handle of my snow shovel and it will have to be replaced. I never cared much for that old snow shovel, I’m glad I have an excuse to replace it now.  I didn’t go driving but I saw people were driving much slower today and leaving more room for stopping. It’s going to get into the single digits overnight but the weekend should give the road crews time to catch up and for people to practice driving a bit without so many going to work and rush hour’s traffic.

I checked my car battery and it finally crapped out. I have been expecting for awhile so I replaced it with an AGM battery I had standing by just in case. The hardest part in replacing it is one of the battery cables was too short to reach the terminal and I had to add another cable for it to reach. It is a kludgy sort of arrangment, I need check out the auto parts stores for a long term fix. The old battery did a good job for many years as it was the one that came with the Kia when I bought it. Working in the shop made things easier even though it is not insulated it is dry and out of the wind. Diana the peke complained a little bit as the concrete slab was cold on her feet. She went into the house to warm up while I finished the repair.

On the wood used since I stocked up for the storm. The wood rack of elm is over half full after a week and I still have the first bucket of mill ends though I did add a 5 gallon buckets worth when I cleaned the wood from the new chicken coop area.  I have not started a fire as the elm burns nice and slow over night and leaves a nice bed of coals in the morning.  The elm has worked much better than the fruit woods in keeping a a comfortable temp of 65-75 degrees F. in the house.  When I used the apple and cherry wood last year the house would get up into the 80’s and I could not seem to control the heat output very well. I supposed I did learn a little bit last year about how to burn wood in the stove but I believe it is how the elm burns that has made the biggest difference.  I hope the holly bush transplants I gave to my aunt start growing along the fence line and she will cut down the elms to use for fire wood.  I will be looking to add more wood next year and if I can get elm cut & split for a good price I will buy it!

I finally got the amber ale bottled today. With getting the yard work done and moving in Mom and getting the house ready for this little polar vortex thingy, bottling the beer was not a priority. As Mom put it we both needed a snow day to recover and catch our breath. I don’t see any big tasks for Saturday so I will get the amber lager boiled up and fermenting. One thing nice about brewing beer in the winter time is adds heat as well as much needed humidity to the house.  Heck even my beer brewing is a multi-tasker. I did not taste much of a flavor change with the wheat beer “bottle conditioning” though I think it help the black ale get a bit smoother and combine the richer flavors of the black and chocolate barley malt.

I want to add a few more fire extinguishers to the house now that the wood stove is going. Total Survivalist blog  http://www.totalsurvivalist.com/ suggested having a small extinguishers in each bedroom along with a couple of larger ones in the kitchen and close to the wood stove.  I think this is a brilliant idea as a person might put out the flames of a small fire or they could smother the flames in order to escape a fire. I think these might also be useful in many situations from a brush fire to a riot. I do wish the mob would leave all lighters and matches at home. Something about a riot always seems to bring out all the firebugs wanting to commit a bit of arson.