Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"I love the smell of napalm birch in the morning . . . smells like victory." -Lt. Col. Robert Duvall, Apocalpse Now

Original Post Date July 15, 2005

The pile that you see above isn't sticks. It's real. It's wood. It's four cords of real wood that we got in one weekend. The Boy is standing next to the wood, for scale. As he is over six feet tall at nearly five years old (I think that's 7 metric years), you can see indeed that this a great gob of wood.

Most of it is birch (yes, that's spelled right), and I pulled out my calculator and trusty Alaskan Wood Thermal Output Guide and calculated that this is equal to a whole bunch. Over 12,000 pounds, gotten with just a chainsaw, grit, determination, my pickup, a trailer, The Mrs., and A Visiting Relative. I would count The Boy as helping, but while he contributed, three random sticks doesn't quite make the hall of fame.

Nearly 81,000,000 Btu's (that's three bazillion dyne-centimeters, the oh-so-useful metric measure of heat). A Btu is a British thermal unit, which is the heat energy required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. This is nearly enough wood to heat up enough water to wash Courtney Love squeeky clean, but only half as much as we'll need for heating our house this winter.

(An aside, what does Courtney Love bathe in now? Ham?)

What amazes me, though, is The Mrs.

She is a woman of iron.

What would make me say this? She carried more than a third of said wood (remember, estimated wood in excess of 12,000 pounds). And she had a c-section nine weeks ago. Let me repeat that: major baby pulling out surgery nine weeks ago.

I've posted the picture below before:

Now, though, I'm officially scared. If she has acquired some sort of super-hero like healing ability plus super strength, how much longer is my position in the house secure?

She cooks better than I do, she cleans better than I do (not to mention frequency of said cleaning), and she's also refinished an entire dresser since she's been out of the hospital. Now, she's lifting heavy things.

You see, I at least used to have the monopoly on that one, lifting heavy things. But, this move to the higher latitude of Fairbanks seems to have pulled out some long-dormant quasi-Arctic Norse Valkyr gene (previous post). I went to Dictionary.com and looked Valkyr up, just to make sure I got the spelling right:
Valkyr: (pronounced: The Mrs.) One of the maidens of Odin, represented as awful and beautiful, who presided over battle and marked out those who were to be slain, and who also ministered at the feasts of heroes in Valhalla.
This brings up several questions:
  • Is my father-in-law Odin?
  • Does this mean my cabin is Valhalla?
  • Will my insurance company cover damage caused when Thor and Frejya get into a domestic dispute? Or are those excluded under the "acts of Gods" clause?
  • Should I worry about her marking "slay this one" on my forehead as I sleep with a Sharpie?
  • If The Mrs. ministers at feasts, can she perform marriages?
  • Will Frank Frazetta have to do our family portraits? (a good link to get in the spirit)
  • And, most importantly, will some German write a fifty-hour long opera about us?
Well, on further reflection, she might not be a god, but she is heaven sent. And, Alaska tough. Dang, The Mrs. does need that bumper sticker.


Blogger Kevin Foward said...

I am glad you understand!

Your wife doesn't wear one of those Sharpie-mini pens on a lanyard around her neck does she? Cause then i might start to worry a little.

7:16 PM  
Blogger John said...

Ohhhh, that's why she bought 'em.


7:14 PM  

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