Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

shhh, ya might hear something

Been a might quiet in the hollar this last week. Other than the ‘chuff’ of the shovel or the ‘chink’ of a pick on stone (and there is a LOT of stone) or the ‘WhumP!’ of the ax hitting log, its been very quiet. I have had some side work to help line the pockets somewhat: enough for fuel for Lexi and myself and of course, the Voodoo (as well as his off and on buddy, Jack-Jack)

I mentioned that there has been a lot of digging. Well some of that is due in no small part to my relocating the Beast forward thirty feet. I had to cut some channels for the run-off to pass around the beast, and one to guide the run-off of the awning. There was also some clandestine deep digging that was completed and back-filled pretty quickly, and that one is of a health nature, but also done without permission. Seeing how that is the one area around here that they get a little antsy about, I am not going to say any more here; that whole Fifth Amendment thing.

Moving the Beast forward did the trick on the solar panels. I haven’t dropped below 12.4V all week. During the day, I am starting to see 13+ on the face of the charge controller and for much longer than I was last week. It doesn’t hurt nearly as much when we have days such as today where the sun is a rare bird and rain is not. Not that I am complaining any about the rain: it makes for much easier digging, and it allows me to see where I need work on directing that water away from my living areas. It is also a lot nicer doing all this work with the rain beating down: Cooler, rain doesn’t burn your eyes like sweat does, and I can work harder because I am not as worried about overheating like I do when the humidity is pegged and the winds are somewhere over the horizon.

Yup, it’s been a good week.

Part of my good mood is in no small part to being productive on “Diggin’ in”, but also due to the fact that I have not been lingering over the mess that our ‘Leaders Pretend’ have been pushing. I have heard some about the “amnesty” fiasco, Some about that Court case in Floriduh, some about the whistle blower jetsetting his way around the globe seeking amnesty. And you know what? SO What! Its all smoke and mirrors anyway. Every little thing they throw out through the media just seems to be chafe to distract us from the fact that our course is pretty much in a vertical mode, and not in the upward motion type of vertical either. That leaves me feeling a little more warm and fuzzy about the productivity I have accomplished this week. And I did it all for less than $20. I did have to purchase some pipe for the deep digging project, but other than that, most all of my materials have been salvage, scrap or bartered. All of the labor, for the greater part, has been myself. I did have help from my dad felling those trees, and a neighbor helped with hauling buckets out of the hole I had to dig out, but otherwise, it has been my back, arms and sweat involved with no help from the four-legged supervisor.

Oh, and here is the current status of that wood shed. Yeah, I have been a busy camper.(sorry Pic won’t upload)

And for the record, that is with an Ax and occasionally, a sledge to finish driving that ax deep enough to crack the log. No powered splitter, no mauls, no wedges. Just momentum and a sharp edge. The white oak splits like you wouldn’t believe. Look at it funny with ax in hand, and it damn near jumps apart, swear to dog that’s the truth. That sourwood on the other hand,,,,, Nearly every piece had to be sledged. Its tough stuff. Even tougher than the locust. And that locust; I have 12 more logs of that, that needs cut to size than split. That should give me at least two more rows deep for total of three. I should be able to get five rows in there. 10′ in length, 18′ wide, and 6 ‘ high times 5. A cord is 4’x4’x8′ so the shed will hold near enough to 2 cord for my comfort. (actually, by calculations, its 3.5 cord, but I am going to stick to 2 cord estimate for gathering purposes.) If I can’t get through the winter on 2 cord, I am doing something wrong. As for the gathering, there were loggers in the area earlier this year and they left a lot of downed trees. I am fine with cutting up the branches they left behind (no need to split) and there are plenty of larger sections that they left that are just as good for splitting. Just need to get the truck and a cable up there and pull ’em out. It will pull double duty of providing me with wood and cleaning up the hills to prevent forest fires next year (or even later this year if it dries up like last year.) Yeah, that wood shed will be FULL by early September at the latest. And that truly gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. (several times even as anyone that has cut and split their own fire wood can tell you.) Besides, if’n I don’t get it, someone else will, or it will sit up there and rot away; Why let it go to waste?

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