Saturday, November 10, 2012


We heat our home with firewood in an old woodstove that truly needs to be updated.  However, we are thankful for it - for the warmth and coziness -  and were especially thankful as we prayed for the many families that lost their power or their homes in hurricane Sandy.

Our firewood we gather tree by tree, branch by branch with the strength of our bodies.  Mike has just about finished thinning out the trees on our small 3.5 acre homestead.  We also get offers from neighbors to come gather wood from dead trees on their land.   We are thankful for the trailer from our neighbors that they gave us when they moved away, as it is strong enough to hold a decent load.

After the lengths are cut with the chainsaw, the older boys split the wood.  They enjoy this process as it works their muscles and builds strength.

We had a very bad accident, however, on Thursday.  Nolan was using the wedge and maul to split a larger piece of maple and shard from the wedge flew up into his face.  In less than a second after the maul hit the wedge, blood began to pour out through a hole right below and to the left of his mouth. 

Mike brought him right to the emergency room - oh how lucky we are to live in this modern age of medicine (yes, at times a mixed blessing, but it is wonderful that we have choices and need to continue to fight for the freedom of being able to choose) - and they removed the metal and gave him two stitches and some antibiotics as the hole went all the way through to his mouth.  He is doing fine now but...

(This is how we stack the ends.)

There were some hard lessons learned.  Always wear eye protection - gosh, didn't we know this and why didn't we insist?  Second, don't use an old wedge.  The one that he was using had mushroomed out on the top and left a bit of metal on each side - that is from where the piece broke off.

Just wanted to share these simple lessons so that maybe it will help prevent another injury.

(We use bits of roofing metal that we have gathered from here and there to cover the pile.)

Generally, however, we enjoy and appreciate the process of using wood for our heat.  I particularly enjoy stacking the wood.  Each piece, one at a time, providing for our family for the winter.

Do you have any firewood tips to share?


  1. Oh no, so glad he is okay, not fun at all. It is at times like these modern medicine is exactly what you need. Hope he is healing well.

  2. What a horrible accident! Thank goodness that he is doing well!

    We cut firewood all morning. I have to say, I love doing this because it reassures me that my aging body (60 is closer than I want to admit) can still do a full day's of work. I am grateful that I can still do this work. And, I love when the fire is going to think how right Thoreau was: "Wood is the fuel that heats one twice."

    Be safe! And best wishes for a quick healing!

  3. oh no! hope he heals quickly, how scary. wishing you warmth and sun this week.

  4. oh, thank goodness your son is alright! I am always so thankful I live in a time and place, where although we do not have the medical answers for everything, at least we have hospitals, antibioltics, steroids, etc.
    On a completely different note, I am kniting the Modern Baby Bonnet from the book Vintage KNits for Modern Babies and I have come to the decrease section and it appears to me to have an error. on the first shaping row it says to sl2k which seems like slip 2 knitwise and then after knitting 12 to k2tog which is repeated three times for a total of 4 decreased stitches, but the new row total listed shows 8 stitches decreased. Are you supposed to slip those two stitches and passl one over or knit them togehter or???? Or am I just reading this completely wrong or adding wrong or something? What do you do? Thanks, Elisa

    1. Hi Elisa,
      On the inside front cover of the book there is a stitch description page and it describes the sl2K as slip next 2 stitches knitwise, one at a time, to right-hand needle; insert tip of left-hand needle into front loops of these stitches from left to right, and knit them together, which decreases 1 stitch.
      Would love to see your bonnet when it is doen.
      warm wishes,

  5. great reminders. I'm so glad that he is going to be well and without too much discomfort!

  6. I'm so thankful for firewood as well. It's amazing how much thinning our little 2 acres of woods needs after years untouched.

    And glad that Nolan is alright--my boys (only 8 and 5) already like to help split wood and we use old mauls a lot...I will definitely enforce some eye protection now!

    1. Just wanted to let you know that it was the wedge that was actually the problem piece as it had been hit so many times that the top extended over a bit and that is the metal that flew off.

  7. Eek! I'm glad Nolan is doing well. This last year, we've had multiple trips of our own to the e.r., resulting in stitches and such. I'm very grateful for a bit of modern medicine during those times.

  8. Oh dear, Tonya I am so sorry this happened, but I am so glad it was so superficial compared to what could've happened (that his eyes are safe)!
    Thank you for sharing this experience!

  9. Hugs and well wishes to you and your family.

  10. Wow, I'm so glad your boy is ok. I'm thankful that it wasn't his eye or another more permanent problem area. Your firewood stack is beautiful and is a testament to your family's dedication to "each do his/her share".

  11. Im glad to hear your son okay and it only required a couple of stitches. It's easy to forget how dangerous gathering and processing firewood can be. We love heating with wood and all of the benefits, responsibilities and exercise that comes with it! Our children are just getting old enough to help move the firewood and pick up the small pieces. Thanks for sharing your story and reminding us how important safety glasses can be.

  12. Oh Tonya...That is horrible!!! And to think he was trying to help with the family chores. I am always nervous about that, too...A good friend sent the axe into his foot about a month ago. This is a good reminder of how careful and deliberate using such tools can be. I hope he heals well. I can't imagine how you felt when this happened!
    xo Jules