Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back To Work

Well, it was a lovely holiday, but it is time to get back to work. The last two days the temperature never got out of the 20s and that is darn cold. The best thing about that is it is too cold to work and it is not in the teens. I can't find gloves warm enough to keep my fingers from burning when it gets that low.

This winter is the first that we have not had any snow. And it is January already. We had a slight dusting, but nothing more than that. The last few years have been so cold that it had my Aunt Suzy threatening violence to the next person who mentioned global warming to her. So this is a little unusual. I hope it doesn't mean we will have a real doozy (that's a real word, I looked it up. Wait a minute. I was lying....OK, now I looked it up. Yep. Real word.) of a storm in store for us. Maybe it will just be a mild winter.

It was in the middle 30s when we got up, so that was warm. The sun is out and it isn't too windy. Time to try out our new weedeater. We found it at a garage sale for only $5. It had a broken part and Lee fixed it. It is lightweight and on wheels and I hoped to use it on the slopes on either side of the driveway. The other weedeater hangs off my shoulder and gets very heavy.

I like keeping the sides of the drive cut back and after spending all the time and effort to clear them, it pays to keep them up each winter. There are a few volunteer pine trees coming in. They should get big and drop lots of pine needles and make my job much easier.

If you want a review of the equipment, I've got to say that I remain unimpressed. When the slope is steep it runs out of gas heading up or down. So I tried to run it sideways and that made the footing tricky. It didn't like anything bigger than my pinky and I would have to replace the string fairly often. On the plus side, it was easy to replace the string and worked pretty good on areas that were not too steep. I think it will best be used around the posts in the field and the barn. We can't get the mower in there and once again the other weedeater gets heavy.

All in all I worked an hour or so and had to use the machete for the medium size stuff and the loppers for the big stuff.

We learned about machetes when we lived in Tonga. They use them a lot there and we got used to them. Well, we also saw them in old Tarzan movies! They work great until your hands get too tired to hold them firmly and then they are dangerous! When you whack away at the blackberries, the canes sometimes whip around and grab your face. This is unpleasant and I recommend you avoid it. It helps to chop the tops off the long canes and then go for the base. I still got some good slices in my face. The ones on the lips hurt the worst. So don't do that.

Then Lee wanted to take the old mower that currently doesn't work to the graveyard. It's not REALLY a graveyard. It's the place on the top of one of our hills where we store things we just know we are going to use later. Really. One great advantage is that it is mostly rock and shale and vegetation doesn't grow well here. That way it won't grow up around the stuff and hide it so that we forget it is there. Plus, it isn't in our front yard so that people could drive by and think we are starting a junkyard. Or we're hoarders. You can't throw anything away that you might use. Just don't put it in the house. Or where people can see it.

We store old lumber and metal siding. It is also a good place to put the tractor equipment that is not in use. For example, we have the scraper on the back of the tractor to scrape the dirt road when it rains or plow the drive when it snows. When spring comes we will switch back to the bush hog for mowing. All the other places we put these things ended up all overgrown with grass and didn't look tidy. Can't have that.

So we towed the mower to the graveyard. I am tired because I have gotten out of the habit of a lot of physical work. Maybe tomorrow I will make chili. That will make me productive, but give my arms a rest. Gotta start slow;).

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