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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Firewood Cutting 2018

We got together for a short spell of firewood cutting on the weekend. Only had about an hour to spare but we got through a fair bit of poplar firewood with our 4 man, 2 women (and one dog) crew. The old Wisconsin V4 was a bit reluctant start after a night of sub zero temps but eventually it came to life and ran just fine. Unfortunately the saw blade got dulled shortly after starting when it hit a bullet lodged in one of the logs. Theres a rare and random occurrence.
Temp was up around the +8 F degree mark which is great for the job as the snow on the logs is not wet enough to soak  your clothes as you handle the logs.
Its been a yearly event for as long as I can remember. We used to help my uncles cut a veritable mountain of poplar logs as they burned wood in the cook stove year round. And it was more than a one day job.
We helped dad as soon as we were old enough to hold up the end of a log. Learned to stand and hold the log straight so it did not pinch the blade and throw the belt off. I eventually learned to wear ear plugs,  hopefully before I lost too much of my hearing.
Sometime in the early 1940s. My dad at far left and Uncle Sandy at far right. 
Firewood sawing at Hobetzeders in the early 1950s. John Hepting far left. 

Dad at the saw in 1987. This photo was published in the Western Producer magazine.
So here we were.......

Sunday, February 11, 2018

More Old Car Stuff

Just cleaning up some video off the camera file and I put this one onto youtube. Its another project I started and never finished. I have a few of those. I started too late in the year and the weather turned against me. Hopefully the old car comes home in the spring. Been sitting for probably sixty years so its about time. If it happens, there will be video.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Cold Morning At The Century Shack

I call it the "century shack" but in fact it will be 115 years old this summer. My grandfather, T. Goff and his brother , Alf, cousin Jack all spent their first winter in Canada in this little log shack. No, not the red barn at the beginning of the vido. About 10x12 feet built of vertical poplar logs. It must have been "cool" but maybe if they kept the wood burning stove well fed it would be ok. Jack was reported to have stated that he would be "back in Dorset for next Christmas" although he never did go back. Saskatchewan winter must have been a shock for these Dorset lads who likely didn't see a lot of snow before.
It had warmed up to about -15F when I did this latest Roosty6 video tour this morning. Made me appreciate the modern gas heat even more.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Today's History

February 2, 1870 was the birth date of Uncle Alf (great uncle to me) Goff in Dorset, U.K.  Not much is  known  of  his early days but at some point in the 1890s he spent some time in Queensland, Australia working on a sheep ranch. For a fellow named Quick according to my memory.
No information as to how long he was there but he returned to England briefly and then traveled with his brother Tom to North America. Not sure of the route but they worked some on the Canadian railway in the mountains. Alf spoke of being very sick at one point with cold or flu and he claimed the only thing that saved him was "Jamaica rum". In later years he was known to make some very fine wine of his own from rhubarb.
Alf and Tom also put in some time working on threshing crews eventually making  their way back to England in 1902.
Attracted by the advertising campaign of free  homestead  land in the district of Assiniboia,  (later Saskatchewan),  Alf, Tom, and cousin Jack all headed to Canada in the spring of 1903 to claim their "free" land. Many years of hard work eventually turned the homesteads into productive farm land.
From that point on Alf mostly lived his  life  on his homestead in  his log cabin.  He died there on the homestead in 1942 at the age of 72.