Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Woodpile Showdown

Today I checked a very important box.

When I moved to Vermont and had a daughter (and then another), I decided that I was going to get tough. I was going to be the woman I wanted my daughter to be, model the types of behaviors I would want to see in her.

I fail at this daily.

MMB (around midnight, nudges Dogtor): There is something in the attic.
Dogtor: zzzzzzzz
MMB: I think something is in the trap. Oh God.
Dogtor: zzzzz
MMB: Bo! Seriously. It's - oh God - it's caught in the trap and moving around. It's dragging the trap.
Dogtor: What?
MMB: Death throes!
Dogtor: Sigh.
MMB: Go up and look.

What he should say: YOU go up and look.

I'm working toward that. I'm not ready to wrangle half-dead varmints, but recently I've cleared dead chipmunks from the garage. That's something.

The list I made when I first moved here is as follows (with progress notes):
  • learn to drive stick
  • drive the tractor
  • use the rototiller
  • car stuff /changing oil and tires
  • not squeal upon discovering a snake (I'm about 50% here)
  • handle attic varmints/clear traps
  • chop wood with an axe
  • start the grill (seriously - I'm not reliable with incendiary devices)
  • start the woodstove (score -done)
  • start campfires (doable)
  • assemble tents on my own (check)
  • be ambivalent about bugs/touch random salamanders and frogs presented by the Dogtor (75%)

Today I helped the Dogtor stack wood. There is something about a large, messy stack of wood that eats away at two type A people. So we put Zephyr in a jacket, let her coo at the leaves, and started heaving wood. Chickens, dogs, and cats milled about; the corgi and beagle were hunting something in the wood pile and were climbing it like goats.

But there were about 20 logs which were still too big for the stove, and Lesson Time presented itself. It was time for me to use the axe. Now - there is a huge difference in learning to use the axe and being proficient with an axe. (See difference between first and second photo. The Dogtor...swoon.)

I swung, oh, about 30 times and managed to split 3 pieces. My fingers are cramped and shaky, but, to use a line from Frasier's potty training book, I FEEL PROUD OF ME.


  1. I haven't visited your blog in a while... a treat to read the last few posts - and a nice break from painting (or re-painting, rather). I FEEL PROUD OF YOU too, mountain woman! what makes you special is that you're a north-south hybrid! love you!

  2. Chopping firewood is our next big project to tackle, too. I've fwd'ed Danielle this post as inspiration, also with the hopes that she'll find strength in her own battles with snakes, varmints, etc.

  3. This is awesome! Go Megan! I *learned* to chop wood when I lived in Ripton during my last semester at Midd. It was so intimidating and fun at the same time. I think this is a major check on that list... much harder and more fundamental (on the mountainwoman scale) than pitching a tent. IMO.