Monday, May 23, 2011

Ta Da!!

Have tractor, will mulch!

Even if I have to spread it around in the rain. Now to get the barrier down in the remainder of the yards!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I got me a farm hand!

Today, my friend Dangerous Dana lent me her son to help me around the property. Boy Wonder (not his real name, as his mother knows better than that!) spent half the day with me as my very first farm hand.

There was mulch to move and, more importantly, lots of logs that needed splitting.

As I explained to him, a smart person know when to ask for help, and I AM a smart person (quit sniggering!)

We started with this pile:

Although most of these logs are the right length for the fireplace, this fresh oak weighs a ton! Some pieces took both of us struggling to lift it onto the hydraulic log splitter.

But Boy Wonder was game to work and work hard! We did take breaks for lemonade (provided by Dangerous Dana) and trips around the property on the buggy, but then it was back to work.

This is what is left. Some wouldn't split no matter which way we tried, so those will have to be chopped with an ax or chainsaw.

And my firewood pile has almost doubled!

Thanks Boy Wonder! I couldn't have done it without you! Hope you'll come back and help again. Maybe after a nap for me!

Friday, May 20, 2011


It's taken almost a month, but the tree guys FINALLY showed up to clean up the storm damage.

At about 7:20, I took the dogs down to open the gate, expecting the guys to show at 8 AM. Good thing I wasn't still wearing my PJs! I wish I had brought my camera to show you the scene but I really wasn't expecting anything worth photographing!

What I found were four cows pressed up to the gate, all peering at my tree crew, who were unloading equipment. (Judging from the cow pies, I think the cows stayed on my property all night!) The dogs charged up to the cows and stood around wiggling and wagging like they were reuniting with long lost friends.. Some protection they are! It was a bit of a challenge getting the gate open, the cows out, and the guys and equipment in, but eventually we sorted it out.

The big red oak tree at the front gate is now chopped into pieces and hauled to the garage.

And the stump stood itself back up and filled the hole that threatened to swallow small children.

The guys removed some trees and trimmed the others around the solar panel that opens the gate. Now the panel will get sun for more than a couple of hours everyday!

The cedar tree is now out of the spring house.

All the remnants were tractored off (oh shut up spell check! That is a real word in my head!) into the woods and tossed down the hill.

The trees at the end of the driveway that always dropped branches in storms are now history!

There was branch wrestling when things got hung up. I bet these guys are great at TPing people's houses in the dead of night.

The biggest problem was just discovered the other day when I mowed the road to the cemetery. One half of a HUGE white oak tree blocked the road right before the cemetery (and the only place to turn around on that road!)

This thing was around 3 feet in diameter! Me and my little chainsaw couldn't even begin to attack this tree. The guys got their saws pinched 3 times trying to bust it up. But they finally were able to dump it off in the woods and gain access to the cemetery again.

And all that was left was a pile of very large, very heavy logs in desperate need of splitting.

But that is a job for tomorrow!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Frickin' Cows!

All I wanted to do was sit quietly and watch the Real Housewives of SomethingOrOther and relax. I caught a blur of dark motion outside the window and assumed it was Dilbert, the neighbor's dog. But wait! That's a dang tall dog!! Oh no... I know what that is!

A pair of cows on the driveway! No, wait! Four cows eating the lawn. And the shrubs.

You've got to be kidding me! Didn't we already do this ?

When I caught them eyeing my vegetable beds, I turned the hose on them and yelled, "Go away, dumb cows!" in my best raving-lunatic voice.

It didn't work. In fact, I think they liked the water! They certainly weren't impressed with me and my attempts to herd them.

I've decided that cows are like cats. They look at you with such distain, and then do whatever they want to. And if they leave, it's cuz they "chose" to, not because of anything you did!

Unless the sight of my jiggly arms flapping in the wind grossed them out!

The End

of the homegrown strawberries for the season. Sad. It was so fun to go out with the dogs every morning and see how many ripe berries we could find for breakfast!

What has not come to a welcome end is the need to bathe Nick every. single. day. At least once. Sometimes twice.

My dog is actually blond!

The little butt-wrinkle simply must roll in bovine excrement and splash in the creek every. single. day.

He thinks he smells Fab-moo-lous! Trust me, he's wrong!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Do you think...

this gray carpet looks good in my side yard??

I wasn't sure, but I went ahead and laid it all the way around to the front porch.

You like?? I'm thinking... a sofa, a few throw pillows and it will be real purty!

Okay, so it isn't carpet, and by now I was hoping this project would be done and I could show you the fabulous finished effect. This is actually weed barrier that goes down before the mulch to prevent slow down the grass and weeds from growing into the shrub beds.

It's a bit of a pain to put it down around the shrubs, cutting holes for the plant base and tacking the remainder back together, but I am "converting" an existing patch of grass next to the river bed into an extension of the shrub bed, so it's necessary.

I also laid down some left over pavers from another project to get from the bridge to the gate into the backyard.

So how far did I get with the mulching part of this project?? Starting from the far (far, far) corner, past the bridge,

I only got to the bridge before days of rain soaked the lawn. I later hosed the mulch off of the steps so they look better.

And since I am moving massive loads of mulch with the pickup truck, I need to wait until the lawn can handle the weight being driven over it.

I'm beginning to think this project is going to be a bit like painting the Golden Gate Bridge. By the time I get all the the mulch spread around, the first loads will have decomposed and it will be time go back to add another layer!

Monday, May 9, 2011

How does your garden grow?

Time for a little garden update.

Salad greens under the shade cloth (in the back bed), peas, broccoli and tomatoes in the front bed. Which desperately needs weeding.

Cabbages, cabbages, cabbages!

Bell peppers and herbs. This is another bed of tomatoes, but about half drown in the storms, so I didn't take a picture! They are too pathetic to post.

I'm going to get my first crop of grapes this year!! I'm so excited! I have no idea when these will be ripen since they are only about the size of a pin head.

The strawberries are petering out. I lost a lot of them to mold from all the rain we had, but I still get enough each day to eat for breakfast.

There will be pears this year,

and apples, if the squirrels don't steal them all like last year.

Here's a fuzzy picture of a fuzzy peach!

Basically, the vegetable garden and orchard are taking care of themselves (hence the need for the weeding!) because I am working very hard on a major project that will be the subject of my next post. It still has a way to go before it is finished and ready to show. I am also still cleaning up from storm damage and, occasionally, I try to round up the dust buffalos and dirty dishes. But I knew "some people" would be looking for a post, so here it is!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Where's the ark??

As if epic rains, tornadoes and snakes weren't enough, the other morning I opened the front door to find cows on my lawn!!

Sorry about the fuzzy pictures! It was kind of foggy and well, I was pretty startled to find cows when I just wanted to pick strawberries! And this isn't my front lawn, but they scampered here while I was getting the camera. Bet you didn't know cows could scamper.

Nick, who has more cow experience than Sassy, decided to show them the way off of the property. But cows don't take directions from a dog that says please.

Sassy ran up to one then ran back to me as if to say, "That's a really big dog wearing earrings and I don't want to be friends." Plus, she loves strawberries and was much more interested in "helping" than in checking out jumbo dogs.

So the cows stomped around the garden and woods for a while until they decided to wander off. I hope they found their way back home and aren't lying in wait to jump out at me! Cuz cows can jump as well as scamper.

But what I really want to know is... Can Noah and his ark be far behind??