Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Is An Hour A Day Too Much?

So that is the question. You wouldn't think an hour a day would be too much work even for a person that has been mostly sedentary all winter. Nonetheless, I am sore.

I have had it on my list to trim the drive for sometime now. That doesn't sound like a big chore, but our drive is 1/3 of a mile long. A good bit of it is mowed or bush hogged. The rest is cleared by us. Lee isn't entirely convinced it needs to be done. His theory is that we will have to do it again in a few months. This is true, but we have to vacuum every week and I still find that important!

So I usually do the work, but today I asked for assistance and Lee agreed. I got out the trimmer and the two charged batteries. It claims to work for an hour on one charge, but I cut a lot of thick stuff and need the extra battery. We also took a long handle lopper and the chain saw.

There is some kind of vine that grows up trees and wraps around the trunk and as the tree grows, it chokes it. I hate them and try to keep them off the trees. I trim around the base, but they keep coming back and sometimes I don't get them off in time. I usually quote Martin Luther King while doing this. You know, "Free at last..." I picture the trees taking deep breaths and thanking me. These are the things my brain does to me when working....

We also like to keep the trees thin enough that they can grow to their full height and not grow into each other. I like to think that if we can get a bunch of mature trees, they will shade the ground under them and keep the rest of the stuff away. At least this is my working hypothesis and my fervent hope. I can't do this work forever!

We ALWAYS cut locusts. They have thorns that can get to be over an inch long. They are a pain and we cut them when we can.

Lee had the chain saw and I had the trimmer. We worked our way along the slope. We can't go up too high. It is impractical to clear every spot on 60 acres. But we go up about 10 to 15 feet or so. We try to clear any trees that we see getting choked.

After about an hour the two batteries were done and so was I. We had all run out of energy. I figure another day/hour on the one side and then 2 days or so of an hour each for the other side and we are done until late summer. I like to break it up for me and also the trimmer does a great job and is lighter than a weed eater and certainly easier to start! So when the two batteries are done I get to quit for the day! And this is the next section to do.

When we drove back to the garage, I was planning on going inside and doing something sedentary. Then I saw the weeds. Now I MEANT to weed the garden before winter. And then I meant to do it during winter. But I let it go so far that ordinary weeding wasn't going to cut it. It was time for the big guns....Round Up. This is my time honored, yet not recommended approach to the backbreaking labor of weeding. Carefully apply the Round Up to the weeds, avoiding the plants you want to keep and go inside until they die. Then you can rake the weed carcasses out of the garden. All done while standing up!

I had even gone to the effort of getting out the stuff and rereading the label to determine how to dilute it for the sprayer. It said it was supposed to be used on a warm day. Well, it was winter and not warm. Clear and bright, but not warm. Guess I better wait.

So now it is warm and clear and I am already in my grubby clothes. Shoot. No more excuses. So I filled up the heavy sprayer and went to work. Twice. And still I didn't get to everything.

We have a garden off our basement. It has the potential to be great. It has a ring of beautiful Dogwoods and we planted two cherry trees. The soil isn't great because of the way the basement was dug out. I have plans for it, but we are getting ready to finish the basement, so I expect a lot of equipment and footsteps will be tramping through there, so I decided to let it go for now. I DID manage to spray around the fruit trees and the vegetable garden area and I got the landscaped area around the house.

So THEN I went in and became a slug. And now I'm sore. But I still intend to get back out tomorrow to at least finish the one side. Because an hour a day working outside on a beautiful spring morning is NOT too much.

Lee on the other hand didn't rest and went and fixed the tractor. And then I took this picture of the Red Buds in bloom in our woods. Not a bad view. It was worth the two hours worked and I have to remember to stop and be grateful now and then.

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