Sun 18th Mar 2018

Threatened to be another grumpy day today. No downtime again last night, Erika appeared from the bedroom just as I’d finished the kitchen tidyup and was about to sit down with my crochet. Off to bed it was, then. At least I’d already decided to put a blanket on my bit of the bed so the cold wouldn’t keep waking me up, and Erika was more than happy to snuggle up next to me and go back to sleep.

And there was no cream for my coffee this morning because there’d been no time to go shopping yesterday. I hid in the bathroom under the pretence of changing my i-Port but I was actually trying to face a day without cream for my coffee. I’m a cream addict. But, when you get a message asking if you want a warm croissant with melty port salut… Well the day started improving.

Turns out I can cope with my coffee black again. And there was bacon. And the sun was shining, and Steve was looking after me, and we even got to have our breakfast together. I don’t feel like I see much of him these days, so when he’s here I tend to follow him around like a lost puppy!

But there was work to do. We may not be able to fix the money side of things by ourselves right now but at least we can sort out the fuel. While I dealt with the dough making (sourdough bread for tomorrow and pølsehorn for today) Steve sawed his way through pile after pile of scavenged wood: some that we dragged down to the yard a few weeks ago, and a couple of very old beams from the garage that were actually doing more damage pulling on the roof than they were usefully supporting anything. I could have happily watched him for hours! My fit hubby…

Lunch was fresh pølsehorn, sweeter dough than last time and it was very acceptable. Ben helped make the dough today.

They’re especially good with a bit of ketchup added next to the sausage before they’re rolled up and cooked! Shame the pølser were too peppery for the kids, but it meant we got to eat them instead.

Erika has been in the wars today. She trapped her hand in the piano lid trying to close it, and a little later on fell off her chair possibly trying to get down from the table – both things she’s more than capable of doing normally, so I guess she has just been having an off day. She fell off her stool having supper this evening too, but at least that time she just looked more surprised than hurt. She was happy to go to bed though.

While she was sleeping and Steve continued sawing up the salvaged wood I headed off for my happy place in the woodland with the loppers, hunting for a tree to bring back for firewood. There are so many fallen trees that we just can’t get to yet, but there was a fairly big one that had taken out at least three others that was quite close to the front edge of the woodland. That’s where we’ll start, and just methodically work our way back through the woodland, clearing fallen trees, thinning out the undergrowth, replanting where necessary, and figuring out where there is potential to coppice, as it will only be for our own usage either for building / crafting or for firewood.

I stripped the small twiggy branches off as far up the trunk as the undergrowth would let me get to, trimmed a few other trunks while I was there, and then Steve came up with the saw to cut it into liftable pieces to carry down to the yard. It must’ve been been down over a year, this tree, and the ones further back that I could see I expect for longer than that. We brought back 10m of useable tree today! But with the light fading (and with it the welcome warmth from the sun) Steve only managed to get 1.5m of it cut into lengths for splitting into firewood. But still. There’s now more than enough immediately useable firewood in the workshop for tomorrow, and the rest of that tree will do another couple of days (longer if the temperatures lift as hoped).

I ache all over now. But in the best possible way: we’ve worked hard today! Quick sweep up before coming indoors, working around the shrew – one of the cats must’ve caught it in the night, it was lying dead in the middle of the pile of branches waiting to be sawn outside. Kinda sad to see it but also a bit of relief. There was no scritching or rustling while I was settling Erika to bed at all.

The boys also did some building today, Steve had picked up some toy construction kits the other week and it seemed like a good day to get them out. There was a plane and a racecar, wooden blocks, plastic fixings, and some surprisingly solid feeling plastic tools to use. That worked. And actually did the jobs they looked like they were meant to do. They’re pretty good little kits! The boys enjoyed the different challenge of building, and they got to spend some time with daddy.

We’ve not solved the money problem. But getting outside into my happy place with my favourite human helped work the stress and grouchiness away.

And the fungi we find on the trees is always incredible!

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