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Friday, October 28, 2011

Odds and ends

Not much going on at the Sixbears domicile. Temperatures never climbed out of the 30s, clouds threatened rain or snow, so painting was put on hold. I’ll have to catch narrow weather windows when I find them.

It’s crapwood season. That’s the time of year when it’s cold enough to burn wood, but not cold enough to burn the best wood. Right now I’m burning bottom of the pile stuff from last winter. Some of it is punky. Plenty of pieces are oddly shaped and need to hacked down to stove sized chunks. This is also the time of year when I’ll burn popular, white birch and even softwood. The nice pieces of seasoned maple, ash, and beech are for those bitterly cold winter days.

Household chores, put off while doing other projects, have caught up to me. Dishes pile up when people are too busy doing other things. The magic laundry fairies haven’t been by. Even the bills got a few a glances -no checks mind you, but I did look at them.

Last night I put a big batch of pinto beans in the crock pot. They were nice and soft by morning. Dried beans are cheap and store well, but need time to prepare. By having them cooked, I can prepare quick meals. Tonight it’s refried beans with olive oil and onions. In a couple days some will go in a beans and rice dish. They also add body and protein to soups. Some beans are frozen until later. It’s much faster to thaw beans than to cook them up raw.

My lovely wife kicked around some potential sailing routes and destinations. We used guidebooks, charts, and Active Captain. I’ve become a big fan of the site. It’s an interactive cruising guide that’s constantly updated by users. Charts and guide books are great, but they won’t tell you if a storm has caused shoaling or if a marina has closed since the guide book was published. I like that it’s possible to view charts, maps and satellite views.

So, not much going on. Some days are just about chopping wood and carrying water.



  1. 30's already! That's my January weather. Guess its time to hook up the boat and head south. Are you going to use the new truck to tow the boat down this winter?

    It was helpful and interesting how you handle the junk wood that's not really good for a long and hot burning fire. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Yukon: The plan is to take the new truck. It's got the power, plus we can sleep in it on the way, saving hotel bills.

    Glad you found the junk wood idea helpful. I am not a firewood snob. There's a use for everything.

  3. I could never figue out how Dad's firewood ric was always so perfect. Then I caught him. He would put the 'fugly' pieces, either in the middle or kept them out to burn right away. That way his ric stayed nice and even.

  4. Satilite views can be quite old, too. Maybe they are updating them quicker than they used to.

  5. Good wood burning experience to have first hand reports on.

    Now if I only had a wood burning stove!