A couple of months ago, we were driving somewhere when Bradley saw a woodchuck on the side of the road.
Bradley: “Oh mah gah, a woodchuck!”
Leena: “Where? What’s he doing??”
B: “Chuckin’ wood.”
I missed it. I always miss the wildlife. And I’ve never seen a woodchuck before, so for a second — just one second — I believed him.
L: “Oooooh, really??”
L: “He wasn’t, was he?”
B: “You’re not going to live this down for months.”
I haven’t, either. It ain’t easy being a city kid in a small town.
On Sunday, I got my woodchuck on after our firewood guy dumped 2 cords in our driveway.
Bradley was working on some other projects, so I was the designated chucker. It was easy work. Chuck logs into the wheelbarrow, wheel ‘em over to the basement door and dump them there. Repeat a hundred times. Then chuck logs down into the basement. Repeat a hundred times. Then stack the wood into a neat little pile.
Wait. Did I say it was easy work? I meant exhausting. Here’s I didn’t know when I signed up for the job: wood is heavy. Really, really heavy. Each cord of wood weighs 2000+ pounds and we had 2 cords of wood to stack. It took over 7 hours to get our firewood from the driveway into a stack in the basement.
During the last 2 hours or so, Bradley came out to help me before it got dark outside. By the time we finished, my shoulder and back were dead. Hence the trip to the chiropractor yesterday. Now if only I could find a doctor to cure Claw Hands Syndrome. My poor fingers are still aching and sore from all the pick up / put down / pick up / put down action.
Enough rambling. Y’all wanna see pictures? We got your pictures right here:
We picked up a firewood rack kit at Home Depot. It comes with two metal brackets that attach to two 2x4s (sold separately). Bradley assembled it while I chucked wood. Here’s what it looks like after we stocked it:
We wanted something right outside the door so we won’t have to go into the basement every time we need a couple of logs. The rack is conveniently located between the kitchen door (on the left) and the dining room door (on the right). We won’t have to venture far in the cold.
By the way, our ariondack chairs and little patio table were stashed away in the garage for the winter. We’re still getting used to the idea that we have the room to stash things away now. It’s magic. *Poof* gone. …but not GONE-gone. I don’t miss the apartment life at all.
While I chucked even more wood, Bradley gathered together some wood we salvaged from the office. He hammered out all the nails and cut the pieces down to make a wall:
So glad we didn’t toss this wood out when we demolished the office. We had a feeling it would come in handy for something. We used it to section off an area of the basement to use for wood storage.
We didn’t really care how the wall looked because — newsflash! — our basement is creepy as all hell. It’s smelly. It’s humid. It’s dark. Remember when it flooded and looked like this?:
We’ve made peace with the fact that our basement is never going to be fabulous. It’s the place we store our water hater, boiler and firewood. Also, monsters might live down there. So we’re OK if our wall looks like it was made with leftovers. It fits right in.
Here’s what we had at the end of a very long day:
Those are two stacks of wood: one in the back and another right in front of it. We’re having another two cords of wood delivered and we’ll just stack those right in front.
We put an empty 5-gallon plaster bucket in the wood area as well:
That’s a place to toss any wood chips or branches that fall off. We can use those for kindling to start our fires — no more scrounging around for scraps of newspaper!
We put a little work into the rest of the basement, too:
We painted the rafters because we thought it might help harden / preserve the wood (it worked on the floors upstairs!). We used a basic white primer:
We also insulated the rafters:
We got fiberglass insulation with a vapor barrier on both sides. Basically it’s wrapped in plastic. It’s supposed to help keep smells out. Not sure about monsters.
So far, we’ve only painted & insulated the area under our dining room so far. We still have to do the area under our living room, but we wanted to wait to get this sucker out of the way:
That’s the new hybrid water heater we picked up a few weeks ago. We’re hooking it up on Saturday — so excited! — and our first order of business will be to test how hot our water gets. The old boiler / water heater never really got water hot — we’ve been taking mildly warm showers for the past 6 months.
You can see our old boiler creeping in the back behind the new water heater.
Judging by the color and type on this puppy, we’re guessing it’s as old as we are. We’re going to keep it around for a while because we need a backup heating system. That way, if we’re in Brooklyn and the thermostat drops below 50 degrees, the boiler can kick in and keep our pipes from freezing. We’ll replace it later on down the line with something that isn’t reliant on oil.
We’ll be back with more updates on last weekend’s projects. Stay tuned for that!
What we learned about chuckin’ wood:
- Bradley is super anal.
Seriously. Nobody’s going to see this wall except us, but he still used a template to make sure all of the planks were placed perfectly apart. OCD anyone?
- Wear work gloves.
I didn’t wear gloves at first and I got a few splinters and a couple of callouses within the first hour. Doh!
- It takes time.
I wasn’t planning on spending an entire day hauling and stacking firewood, but that’s how long it took. Plan accordingly!
- It’s a workout.
We. Were. Exhausted. Our arms, shoulders and backs were aching by the time we finished, and we’re still a little sore. Chuckin’ wood is hard work!