Janie had to somehow raise the funds to buy hay for Angel and the herd. In spite of the forecast for a “dry” winter the month of December had already dumped more moisture than the entire monsoon season. The first big expense that Janie had in the winter was to buy propane to heat her cabin. It was clear that this was going to be a hard winter. While the cabin was not large, it did require an expensive amount of propane to heat. Janie decided to utilize the fireplace for most of the heat and only run the furnace for several hours a day. While this would mean the cabin would never get much above 60 degrees on a good day, it would save on propane, and thus leave more funds for hay.
There was plenty of wood on the ranch. The problem with the wood was that it was presently in tree form. A beetle infestation a couple of years before Janie moved to New Mexico had killed many small pinion pine trees. Juniper and cedar trees had been cleared around the cabin and these were in big piles on the mesa. All this wood was available, but all this wood had to be cut and dragged to the cabin. There had been some wood already cut, but it was not nearly enough to last the winter. The person that had cut this wood, being a city person, had also cut most of that wood too large to fit in the fireplace, so it had to be re-cut. Enter the chainsaw.
Now anyone who has ever operated a chainsaw knows that they can be dangerous. The first thing that Janie did was to get the chainsaw repaired, because the previous user, being a city person, had made it inoperative. That being done, Janie got out the manual, usually an action of last resort, but in this case, essential. It was discovered that you mixed oil with the gas that ran the chainsaw, and then put oil in another section as well. After reading all 99 precautions about safety using a chainsaw, and noting the death threats if these safety precautions were not followed, Janie wanted nothing to do with this chainsaw.
Fortunately Bill volunteered. Soon two people, two cats and a dog set off on a wood mission. When a promising pile of wood was spotted, Bill pulled the cord and with a menacing growl the chainsaw roared into readiness. The wood waited. This was the first step in saving money to buy hay.
Economic times are tough these days.