Keeping the homes fires burning and the house nice and cosy is a priority at this time of year. Although this year with this unseasonally warm weather we are only have 3 or 4 fires a week at the moment.
We have central heating but we keep the thermostat down at around 15-16 degrees, if it gets cold in the house it will fire up and bring the house back to this temperature, but it is so much cheaper to chop all the free wood we have all around the farm and use that to warm the house in the colder evenings than to turn the thermostat up and have the radiators glowing hot. Even the radiators have their own thermostats so we have them set to have more heat in our bedroom and the living room, all the other rooms have them set low just to take the chill off the air and keep the room at a neutral temperature.
Lovely Hubby went out with his chainsaw last week, and with our landlords permission, cut up some trees that had been felled earlier this year (they were diseased we found out, at first I was horrified to see the tree massacre going on).
We now have stacks and stacks of wood in the barn, drying nicely.
Some already chopped smaller to dry out quickly ....
.... and some still in big chunky logs that we thought might be easier to move with if we can find somewhere to rent soon.
We have a big builders bag full of ready cut kindling, that kept LH busy for hours chopping patiently away at pallet wood. The bag at the back is full of logs from last year which have dried out wonderfully, I get a few out each day and have finally mastered the art of splitting them. It's good exercise as I have to retrieve lots of logs that shoot off in all directions. The old saying is definitely true that wood warms you three times, the gathering, the chopping and the burning. Although the dogs think it's very unfair that Mum comes back from doggy walks with lots of sticks that she just won't throw!!
We have been very lucky recently, all through last year when we had pig feed deliveries we were usually the last farm on the drop off list as we live in the middle of nowhere, so by the time the drivers got to us they usually had our ton of feed on a pallet plus a few extra pallets that the previous customers didn't want. Of course I always made them a lovely cup of tea and then asked very politely if I could help lighten their homeward load by having the pallets.....I was never refused. So we have quite a stack of good pallets drying out ready to chop up for firewood or be put to lots of other money saving uses.
Although it makes the living room look slightly cluttered with our baskets of wood and piles of newspaper (also free - courtesy of Mum and Dad) I can turn a blind eye, knowing that come evening with the sidelights on and a roaring fire the room will just look cosy.
A good excuse to keep the home fires burning.