Friday, February 14, 2014

Rickety-Split . . . Rather Slower than Lickety-Split!

Deadwood, Arkansas
Population: Two Humans,
Two Dogs, Likely a Cat or Two,
and Several Head of Cattle

Uncle Cran has sent yet another farm report -- what does he think this blog is, a country almanac? But I'm blood-bound by hillbilly kinfolk ties to post his agrarian musings . . .
This is likely TMI (Too much information) for most of you . . . uncalled for and unwanted.
Good call, Uncle Cran!
But after the past bitter cold, ice and snow days, plus all the trudging through the stuff to feed the livestock and chopping ice on the pond, it's pretty important to us. It has stayed below freezing for a long time. So far the local schools have dismissed school for about 15 days because of the snow, ice and cold.
Sounds like a schoolkid's dream and a parent's nightmare! But both visions are about to end:
Tomorrow they should be able to have school again. This morning the temp was 8 degrees, so I had to chop 9 holes in the ice, but it should be the last time for a while. Right now the temp is almost 40 degrees, and is going to keep increasing for the next two weeks.
I'm trying to discern the logic to Uncle Cran's actions: 8 degrees, 9 holes. Therefore 7 degrees, 10 holes? And 9 degrees, 8 holes? And 10 degrees, 7 holes? The math is beyond me, but I reckon the higher temperatures mean that Uncle Cran the Weather-Man and almanac prophet can stop complaining:
I brought in the last of our woodpile into the basement Monday, so Monday and Tuesday I cut down and blocked up several trees, Gay and I split it yesterday afternoon, and hauled it in and stacked it this morning. We now have 2 ricks on hand, and Gay thinks that should do us this year. I hope so, but it's still a long time until warm weather.
I remember when 40 degrees Fahrenheit was warm! But I'll never remember what "blocked up" means because I've never ever heard this expression used with respect to felling trees. Perhaps Uncle Cran will explain in a comment? And doesn't 'green' firewood from freshly felled trees need to dry before burning? I seem to remember that. Anyway, Uncle Cran has his memories, too:
When I was growing up on the farm, we would always start planting the garden about this time. We planted radishes and green peas, set out onion plants, and started tomato and cabbage seeds inside. There may have been some other things, but I don't remember. A lot of other things in March and April.
Was February always so warm in your childhood, Uncle Cran? I recall cold Februaries in my boyhood. Anyway, the photo above does show an impressive amount of wood in that stack. Well-stacked, too!

And thus ends the latest installment in Uncle Cran's continuing saga of life on a modern Ozark farm, a hillbilly reality show . . .

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At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By blocked up I meant that after I cut down the tree, I cut it into about 18 inch lengths.
The size of the holes in the ice depends on how strong I happen to feel at the moment of chopping.
I also felt a slight chill in reading your blogspot. That's ok.
My dear friend JK always likes my musings.


At 7:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the trees was dead, so I have mixed dry wood with the other. The ones left on the ground are all dry, and I use them in the mornings to get the fire going again.


At 7:54 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, Uncle Cran, I also like your musings, or else I wouldn't post them -- my ribbing is all in good fun.

I had figured out what "blocked up" meant. Is it your own coinage?

On "dry wood," I'm relieved to know that I was right . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inclement weather? Can’t be that bad (judging by the photo)…if shovels, hoses and Aunt Gay’s skillet are parked outside.

Cuz Bill

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're not my uncle, but I enjoy reading your musings on rural life. Never chopped wood but did plenty of gardening and other yard work in the small town where I grew up.


At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An all-in-one reply.


Blocked up is a term loggers use sometimes.
Thank you for your lukewarm praise.


The snow and ice are mostly gone.
Those skillets are now dog food dishes.
Thank you for your moderate concern.

Kind (and much needed) words from a kind man.
Thanks for the encouragement.

Where are you, friend?
Kind words or even critical words would be welcome.
I hope you are alive & well.


At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a woman who is usually kind but never a man. Have been falsely accused of worse, so no offense taken,


At 3:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm fine Cran, thanks for asking. Yesterday was abit of a challenge, had to go "visit" a dentist, he "blocked up" a tooth for me.

I note where you are nearly all the busdrivers rather than complaining about "can't get a grip" are now complaining "where's the bottom of this mud?"

If it ain't one thing ...


At 6:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


My apologies.
I've read your responses to Jeffery's blog, but somehow missed your being a lady.
Only a lady could be so nice and polite to an old decrepit man.


At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's a relief to hear from you.
I miss your unusual and interesting responses.


At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm no lady, hehehe, but I do appreciate your graceful Southern manners in referring to me as such. I prefer to identify myself as a broad, the vulgar term my blue-collar, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer-swilling dad used to denote a woman.


At 10:18 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Is "broad" etymologically related to "bride"?

Jeffery Hodges

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