Zen and the Art of Stacking Firewood
“Winter is coming!” It’s time to hunker down to a nice, cozy fire. In our rural home, we have an energy-efficient wood stove for supplemental heat, and to enjoy the ambiance of a fire on a cold winter night.
If you have the time and equipment, Gifford Pinchot National Forest offers a free firewood program for personal use. But, when we don’t have time to cut our own, we typically order seasoned wood and have it delivered. Some companies will stack for an extra charge, but we like to do it ourselves.
Firewood delivered by dump truck, however, ends up in a large, jumbled pile in the yard. So… there you are – now you need to move and organize this mess. Where to start?
At first, the job can be overwhelming. It feels like a repetitive and boring task ahead of you. With the right mindset, it can become a great physical and mental challenge.
Stacking firewood is basically solving a geometrics problem: how do you fit those random-sized pieces together to form a solid, stable structure?
Whether stacking in a woodshed, or between posts, start with the half-circle pieces. Lay them flat-side down to build the base. Add more levels, keeping
it as flat as possible, using the best combination of angles and shapes for a level surface. It won’t be perfect, but this is where the mental acuity kicks in. You will start to see patterns and combinations that work best. Your brain quickly assesses even irregular pieces to place them in the right spot. It’s like playing a physical game of Tetris as you build each level.
Once you settle into that rhythm, let your brain switch to auto-drive as you slip into the meditation of the moment: moving, measuring, solving, then moving again. The physical activity stimulates blood flow and endorphins to the brain. Eventually, your thoughts will focus on the activity at hand. Take your time. This is a great way to spend a cool, crisp winter day – exercising your body on the outside and your mind on the inside.
Zen and the Art of Stacking Firewood
Soon, you’re done before you know it. You now have the gratification of a nice stack of wood, a physical workout, and a refreshing, mindful meditation.
There is an expression “Firewood warms you three times – cutting, stacking and burning.” Now you can add a fourth dimension – it also warms your brain!
Now go inside, relax, and enjoy a nice warm fire. You’ve earned it.
Want to know more about stacking firewood? Just ask us!
Country Life is for the Dogs!
Country living is for the dogs! And we mean that, literally. Plenty of space to exercise and fresh air is a good combination – for people and dogs. Plus, generally, it’s quieter in rural settings which means a more peaceful lifestyle. Less stressors.
Our two white Golden retrievers are lucky to have their own dog park – right here at home. One of the first things we did after moving to our rural home in Camas, Washington, was to fence about half the property. Boy, are we grateful too, as it keeps our two young pups safe. And, it keeps area wildlife from becoming a different kind of nuisance.
To date, they have not been skunked, and other than barking at a passing deer, or a nocturnal visit from a raccoon, we’ve been very lucky.
They do manage to stir up trouble digging holes, eating mud, chewing sticks, and gnawing on pinecones and rocks. What one doesn’t think about doing, the other does. Naturally, that’s why we still monitor outside time carefully. To date, they just can’t be trusted on their own.
Fortunately, running around the yard and soaking up nature is good for all us, four-legs, or two-legs. They get us out in all kinds of weather too. Rain or shine, even sleet and snow, there’s not day off with dogs. They nap frequently from all the exercise, but wake up ready for more.
They keep us moving indoors too. What they bring in the from yard – pine needles, dirt, and debris creates a messy mixture with their long white fur. Therefore, our vacuum is frequently put to work, and there’s generally a load of dog towels washing or ready to be folded.
At the end of the day, we all take a moment to appreciate the beauty of a darkening country sky, while the dogs dream of another day to play.
Want to start your country life with the dogs? Call us today.
Rural Homes on Acreage for Sale in Camas
We’re such fans of rural living, we made the move ourselves in 2015, happily leaving the suburbs behind. The ability to enjoy soothing views and elbow room for the soul has been especially comforting in 2020. Our veggie garden and fruit trees were lovingly tended all summer long, and it paid off with a bountiful harvest this fall. Anyone in need of zucchini? Talk about an overachiever.
The stars shine brighter in the country too. The farther you get away from light pollution, the clearer the constellations sparkle. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn have all been showing off all month in the night sky. Venus is best spotted when the planet shines its brightest – just before dawn. We’re hoping for clear skies on Halloween night as there is going to be a rare Blue Moon appearance. Apparently, it only happens once every 19 years.
Admittedly, living in a rural location in Camas requires a different mindset. You aren’t likely to be within five minutes to a nearby grocery store. In fact, it might be 30 minutes, or more, away. At least to a large store. Though many of our rural areas do have smaller markets which are closer. For example, we often shop at the Fern Prairie Market. Naturally, the price of convenience is higher, and we understand why.
Rural living brings out the independent streak in some people. They choose to live away from populated areas to enjoy the freedom to shoot guns and fireworks, ride motocross bikes, work on cars in the front yard, and basically live life their own way. Most are considerate, some are not. It’s something worth considering if you are sensitive to any of the aforementioned behavior.
If you do have concerns, we know neighborhoods where residents have acreage and privacy, but also have CC&Rs (Covenants, conditions, and restrictions) to ensure a quiet, rural lifestyle experience for all residents. Feel free to contact us today for more information.
Search here for Homes on acreage in Camas, Washington. Or, better yet, let us set up a custom search geared specifically to your wants and needs.