Sunday, December 14, 2008

The difference between 20 below and 30 below

Moon through the skylight

New woodstove, hot water pots, and not enough wood

Got down to 30 below last night and I burned twice as much wood to stay warm. The new stove is hooked up, that was kind of stupid to install it in 25 below because it smoked like a tire burning and I had to open the door and air gertee out before I choked to death.

Put it together myself but got stuck on the stack piece. After struggling with the metal cutters I took it up to Tim's shop and he sawed off the 4 inches while I held it steady. Cutting metal with an electric saw is not something I ever wanted to learn how to do. It's just another one of those things that when I ask a man out here to help me with it they say "okay hold that end still" and next thing I know I'm freaking out wondering why we're not wearing safety glasses or something. I am still so afraid of saws and electrical tools, and I keep having to face that fear head on. I used the nail gun this summer and I did not want to try that either but man, am I glad I did, ended up wanting to nail a whole bunch of stuff. My brother Jimmy thinks I'm tough now but I'd still be a lot happier if he was here doing all these manly carpenter things for me. :)

Thank God I'm over my horror and just have a healthy fear left of the chainsaw because I sure need to cut wood now. I was getting so spoiled with the above zero temps and was wearing so few layers of clothes it was like I was in Seattle again. But that's over. Right now I still have my snowpants on and my hat because I want to be HOT after being outside for the past half hour. It is incredibly beautiful this morning though, the moon is right THERE above the hostel and I barely needed my headlamp on to see what I'm cutting. I couldn't help but be happy I had to be out there, and that is part of the appeal of this lifestyle. Now I think I know why mushers run the Iditarod, and I was imagining myself mushing into the crisp mtns and having to melt snow and feed and see to my dogteam, and then I ran back inside to warm up.

Anyway, I'm getting lots of great contacts from the last few blogposts and I have to say a huge thank you to all the people who are digging on this with me. Silvia in New Zealand (who has the cutest little gertee in her backyard) is working on a new gertee model. Tracy at Possum Living said the nicest things about me and my ACL work, the Survivalist News is linking to me now and my sister Susan may come visit Gerteeville next summer with her good friend Jane who I met in Madison in 1974. Those were the good old days when Madison was full of free spirits and friendly people. I'm thinking I should be ready for a fun summer, and that's what will keep me going for the next four months of this hard wintertime living. I sure hope I'm not glamorizing this in any way because that would be just wrong. This life is plain brutal, and so far nobody has asked if they could come visit me now, and why would they. Paris sounds oh so much better, right Sue?

The thing I've learned about myself in this is that I'm way better off if I don't think about the hard things I have to do before I do them. Thinking about putting on all my gear and going out there and tugging big logs off the pile and sawing them carefully and bending over and picking them up one by one and loading them on the cart and then carrying them inside and stacking them by the stove... it kind of depresses me. And there's no point in thinking about it anyway. I know what has to be done and I know it has to be done every day. It's when I put it off that I think about it and worry that I'm gonna run out before I get off my ass and go get more. My sister asked what I do when I get sick and I realized I haven't been sick since I started living like this. So then I decided I better have a stash of extra wood inside in case I do fall ill. But I know me, I'm gonna burn it like I have every other stash, I'll be like oh yay, I don't have to cut more right now cause I have that other pile in the corner.

This would all be so much easier if I was burning oil or propane and I did consider installing the oil stove Rick brought over. But the price of oil was so high then that I didn't want to get dependent on it and then not be able to afford it. Now it's less than $3 a gallon and oh well.

The Manifesto is finished!!! For real this time. Nord's picking up the proof tomorrow and if it looks good she's placing the order. Great Originals is pretty fast once we have it ready and the orders should go out by the end of the week. Some people have waited a long, long time for their books and I've stressed over it for almost a year now. We've had a lot of things happen that slowed things down but Nordica never gave up and I'm very lucky she's so committed to making it all come together. I was ready to give everyone's money back and she said "No mom, just chill, we can do this."

I've also been introduced to an amazing new thing called Earthing Technology. I'm going to get to try one of the bed pads! Thanks Bob!


Anonymous said...


When I'm watching the fireworks over the Eiffel Tower and thinking its cold outside my new year's wish for you will be the gift of a cord of wood: cut, stacked and ready to be burned.

Make that ten cords. And while we're at it indoor plumbing with a big old bathtub too!


the tent lady said...

thanks sister! I love the way u think. Say hello to gay Pari for me! There is a French commedian who I like very much, maybe you can take in one of his shows. His name is Dieudonne Mbala Mbala.