It's pretty universally agreed that the majority of the country is tired of winter right now. To say there has been a TON of snow, and that it has been crazy cold, is an understatement.
But nothing really brought the point home like killing two ash buckets in less than a month. We heat the house almost solely with wood, which is generally awesome, but when it's stupid cold and we're burning hard the ashes can pile up quickly, no matter how efficient we try to be.
When I went to pick up the first bucket from where I'd left it outside the front door, and bottom completely detached from the top, I wasn't really upset. It was inconvenient, but it had come with house. If everything else we've seen was any indication, it was probably cheap to begin with and God only knows how long the previous owners had had it. I figured it didn't owe us anything.
Then I found out how expensive those things are! After I got over being appalled that someone would expect me to pay $70 for a bucket that I would use six months a year to dump fireplace ashes, I told myself it would probably last us forever. That would make the cost per use really low, and make it qualify as an investment... Until it broke, two weeks later.
Seriously?! Two ash buckets in less than a month?! *sigh*
Thankfully, I had filed the receipt so I can return it. I also discovered that such buckets can be bought cheaper... at Tractor Supply, of all places! So ultimately, it will work out to be a good thing, but I still take the demise of such utilitarian tools as a mark of nasty this winter has been.
We're on track to put the final nail in the coffin of our "indestructible" maul this year as well. No one said heating with firewood was easy on the tools! Still, I'm tremendously grateful that as our neighbors deal with high (electric/propane) heating bills and dump money into yet another pallet of pellets, we still have firewood from our own land laid up to see us through. We will definitely adjust our estimates of much to lay in every year based on this experience, though! And hopefully, the next ash bucket we buy will be the last...