Chop Your Wood and Burn It Too

Its pretty cold in Arkansas these days.  When I wake up in the morning, the house is usually about 57 degrees until I can open the shades and get the electric heater going.  But being the tight-budgeted lovers of old-fashioned life that we are (or at least one of us is), we are "roughing" it through the almost-winter days as long as we can without turning on the heater. 

Sometimes, this makes perfect sense.  The cold indoor mornings are short before the afternoon sun heats up the living room and kitchen comfortably, and the chilly evenings get us bundled up in bed at a healthier time.  Sometimes, it seems ridiculous.  The bedroom is so dark and frigid in the mornings that I end up putting my bra over my pajama shirt and then layer my clothes for the day on top, so that I never even have to fully undress before being back in my pajamas that night.                    
The easy solution in my mind is our perfect little fireplace in the corner of the living room.  My husband can be happy with savings on electricity, and I can pretend I'm living in the 1800's.  But, come to find out, wood costs money too.  A lot of ridiculous money, actually, when you're buying $4 bundles at Walmart that burn up in one night. So I dedicated myself to combing through craigslist looking for deals on firewood. 

Fortunately, lots of people around town are giving it away for free!  Unfortunately, you have to come chop it and haul it away yourself.

I suggested we invest in a chainsaw or ax so that we could just burn fires all winter long with free wood.  I could monitor craigslist like a hawk for free wood, and my strong husband could chop and split it in his free time.  This makes perfect sense to me, and conjures up happy, realistic images:

Who wouldn't want that, right? But for whatever reason, my husband seems to think I'm romanticizing things too much.  He's always raining on my rainbow parades of naive and unrealistic expectations.  But here's the thing.... I'm usually right about this kind of stuff!  Or at least not wrong, if there's a difference. 

Just last week, the family at the farm agreed to let me pay for a wagon-full of firewood with a loaf of my homemade bread.  And a wagon-full = a trunk-full = at least 2 weeks of every-day fires.  But it still needs to be split, so we still need an ax. 

I plan to let our patio get piled full of logs until my husband agrees to get an ax.  Or we find one on craigslist.  Or I find one all shiny and abandoned on the side of the road, just waiting for a new owner to love and cherish it forever and ever.

Thats not unrealistic, right?

(Oooh! And I can write our names on the handle and decorate it with painted wildflowers!)

**Update: the rainbow parade marches on!


  1. Find a teenage boy who needs a job... paying him to cut an haul free wood for you will be cheaper than $4 a bundle at walmart... speaking of, you can probably find someone there who will sell you wood that is cut and delivered for way less than $4 a bundle. We used to pay not much and get as much already-split wood as would fit in our carport (halfway up the wall, 2 stacks deep, the whole length of the carport.)

    Note: if you keep your wood outside, invest in a tarp. Otherwise your wood is not only useless when it rains/snows, you will be tempted to try to burn it anyways and your house will fill with gross smoke that you never knew happened when you burnt wet or frozen wood. This is experience talking.

    Also, find out when the last time the chimney was cleaned is. The previous owners never cleaned ours, and we didn't know we had to, and after a while, the soot will build up and catch on fire... the kind of fire that fills your house with smoke and makes you call the fire department, who really wants to spray from the roof INTO your house until you beg them to spray from the house up OUT of the chimney because your parents will kill already when they find out you caught their house on fire... oh I mean.. because you don't want your things ruined.


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