Houston, we've got Winter.
It's been snowing off and on the past few days leaving behind snow dust, sharp cold, and ice. The ice melted off just enough to cause worse icing now that it is late afternoon here and the temp is dropping. I love Scotland in the Winter-sunrise at 0830, and sundown by 4pm, pitch dark by 4:30pm and by 9pm I feel interested in falling asleep. We have a TV license now, and I find myself falling asleep during the best parts of programmes. Of course.
Here in our little corner of Scotland in that the ice hasn't blocked anyone in or caused any terrible car wrecks but there have been a few very bad collisions resulting in death elsewhere in Scotland. More wintery weather is on the way, and from the sewing room window I can see a good bit of snow on the Cairngorms-I think it is officially Winter.
This afternoon we took delivery of two more builder bags of wood-I think we have enough now to get us through until around March. Paul has been building the nicest log stores with the pallets last winter logs were delivered on:
The above is the first one he built, we have another one now, too. Each holds a builder bag of wood. I'm not really sure what that is in 'cord' wood, though, but eyeballing it, I'd say a builder bag holds a little less than a half cord of wood. He has enough of the pallet wood left to build a few more log stores, too. I'm really proud of his work, he used almost all salvage material, and the cover for the second and subsequent ones will be at the whopping cost of 50pence, lol, thanks to a going-out-of-business sale locally.
We are using seasoned wood this year having found a reliable source; last year we were not able to find a reliable source (a very polite way of saying we were taken advantage of by the seller who had NOT properly seasoned that wood) and had to find a reputable source for kiln dried wood in a real hurry or risk freezing. We had the gas turned off to the house and the boiler pulled to make room for a walk-in pantry in September 2010, and while my husband was not pleased to hear me say "Hey, most of this wood is green" last year, he was even more unhappy when I was proved right as he tried to light what I'd just ID'd as greenwood.
Brrr, off we went out to the garage where the wood had been neatly stacked by him after the woodsmen dumped it in our forecourt-I'd offered to help and if I had I would have known immediately that we had a problem. But I was busy inside, and he was busy 'being the man' and so I didn't get a chance to heft the firewood until it was about to go into the stove.
We re-stacked the wood, Paul learning very quickly to tell the difference between 'tink' and 'tunk' as an identifier of seasoned and unseasoned wood. Naturally the stack of green wood was a lot taller and wider and deeper than the tiny little pile of wood that we could reasonably expect to burn...
I got on the 'Net and found a company we could do business with and a couple of days later we were running both stoves wide open because we took delivery of several pallets of kiln dried wood (and a couple of pallets of pressed chip logs-oh my those do burn nicely!) just in time-The Big Freeze 2010-2011 had hit and the UK was near paralysed with the cold. We however, stayed toasty with our kiln dried wood. And we seasoned the greenwood over the rest of the winter 2010-2011, and spring-summer-fall 2011; it all worked out, the green wood is now seasoned and burning along merrily.
But when we looked at the cost we were disappointed at our savings (in electric and gas from not having the boiler doing the central heating). Luckily this year when we had the TV antenna installed we found a reliable (as in money back, etc) source for seasoned wood at a great price, and we've got the last of it stacked in the garage. The antenna installer has a cousin, you see, and they sell firewood...
So we bought four bags early, back in September, to give them a try and thinking well, if this doesn't work out we can always season it for next year. But every single piece in the delivery 'tinked' instead of 'tunked' and we just finished stacking another delivery of two more of those 'tinking' bags-not a 'tunk' in the lot. To make it even better, the driver told Paul that if they look as though they are getting down to the last few bags of seasoned wood, he would call us.
Now, between deliveries we had a chance to check out their business base, and are pleased to have found they season the wood in huge log stores with dating tags attached. So we are comfortable with this company, happy with the wood, and feeling pretty good about our warmth factor for Winter 2011-2012.
Just in time, I'm crocheting like mad to finish off the Dr Who length scarves for son and grandson Christmas:)