EARLY WINTER PREPARATIONS

September 12, 2010

Sunday

Sonny

Wow, this weekend seemed to just fly by.  We headed out Friday morning with plans to knock out several tasks.  We wanted to pick-up the lawn mower first, it was at the John Deere tractor dealer getting some warranty work done along with a new set of blades.

Look Mom "RAMPS"

Next it was off to Lowe’s to pick up another roll of R-19 insulation to go between the floor joists of the house.  That was one of the things we didn’t have time to finish last year in the rush to get the place ready for winter. After last winter it was certainly going to happen before the next first snow.

We also have found out the price if insulation goes up as the temperature starts going down. The price has went up over $10.00 per roll in the last month.  Yesterday we crawled under the house and put up 3 rolls and determined that we needed another 6 rolls to get the job done.  I think next payday we will pick up another 3 rolls and go at it again.

Still a long way to go

Saturday afternoon we got started moving the split firewood into the wood shed.  I think we have enough to fill it about 1/4 of the way.  We have 40-50 seasoned log butts in one of our fields that we plan to attack with the chainsaw around October or as soon as it gets cold enough that the snakes get out of the nooks and crannies.  Linda and I have identified some of the trees that we will drop for next year. They are also the ones that block the winter sun.  If you don’t know what I mean here it is: In the winter the sun not only is up for less hours per day it also rides lower in the sky. Your tree line can have an impact on shading your PV panels that you may not have anticipated when you installed your system in the summer. Yep, that’s what I did.


SCARED KITTY

September 8, 2010

Wednesday

Linda

Minnie Pearl has finally excepted Moby as a friend. They play together and Minnie Pearl has coaxed him out of the barn and into the wild and exciting world of the woods.   They don’t travel far, they tend to stay in the brush and woods closest to the barn. I imagine as they mature they will wander further out to hunt.

The Dynamic Duo

Shiner has discovered their hiding place and the other day I caught him rooting around in the brush. I called him away and since he was a bad boy he was promptly put back into the house with a sharp reprimand.  I went back out to check on the kittens and as I got closer I could here one of them crying. I called them as the terrified mews continued.  Minnie Pearl cautiously made her way out of the brush constantly on guard, sniffing and watching for the brindle bully dog.  I could here Moby, but I couldn’t tell where he was. Was he hurt or caught in the brush somewhere?

I was starting to get worried. The cries were so faint. Then I looked up. There he was near the top of a tall walnut tree. The top of the tree swayed back and forth as a strong breeze blew through it. A large limb stuck out where Moby sat. I called to him and he started to crawl out on the limb. That would be a catastrophe.  I knew I would have to go to the base of the tree, but to do that I would have to go around to the path that heads up the hill and then get down into the ditch. I wasn’t going to attempt that wearing clogs. There could be slithery, creepy crawlies down in that brush and I needed some traction as well.

As I ran back to the house to get my wellys I was trying to figure out what to do if I couldn’t get him down. Now everyone likes to say that a cat will find their way down a tree when they get hungry enough. That is an old wives tale. More than one cat has been caught up in a tree for days and Moby was definitely too small to know exactly how to maneuver down not to mention he was terrified.  There is no way I could leave him up there.  If I couldn’t get him I decided I would get a ladder from cousin. I wasn’t going to let him stay up there all night.

With my wellys on I carefully stepped down into the brush. There were piles of broken branches twisted up with tall grass and weeds. It was hard to tell how deep it was. I can tell you I got hung up more than once. Moby came to my side of the tree and I kept telling he him he could do it.  Sounds stupid I know, but he seemed to respond to it. The poor little thing had no clue how to get down. He started by climbing down head first, then sideways and backwards franticly meowing the whole time.  I continued to cheer him on. About halfway down he got stuck on a bent limb. He was confused on how to get straightened out. I don’t know if he lost his grip, was a dare devil and jumped or was just too tired to hang on, but down he came ending in a thump.  My heart jumped into my throat. I hoped the brush had broken his fall and prayed he wasn’t hurt.

After a second to recover from the shock he came out to me.  I picked him up and held him close, soothing and stroking his fur. He was soon purring after his heart rate leveled out. I gave both cats equal attention and checked them over for any injuries.  A handful of kitty food thrown into their bowls and they were back to normal.  I’m not really sure who was more of a wreck after all was said and done.  Me or the cats. I’m sure you all can figure out where which one to lay that bet on!


UNDERTONES OF FALL

September 7, 2010

Tuesday

Linda

This mornings weather was cool and Carol and I took a brisk walk before leaving for our usual girls day out.  Today we did a little window shopping and ran a few errands before enjoying a nice lunch at a local restaurant called Parquets.  It was almost two o’clock before I arrived back home and I was excited to find a new Country Living Magazine waiting for me in the mailbox. You know, the mailbox that is a mile from my house because the post office says the road is too dangerous for the postman to drive on… Yea Right?

Anyway, I knew then exactly what I was going to do when I got home. There would be no work done today. I had a date with the porch swing. It just seemed like a lazy kind of afternoon. Even the dogs didn’t want to run around the yard. With my new magazine tucked  under my arm, I carried a snack and a cup of coffee (hoping that it would perk me up) out to the porch swing. The coffee did nothing to ease my laziness. I guess there was no use in fighting the day, so I didn’t.  The dogs had already given in and were stretched out on the porch floor snoozing.

Although the afternoon was fairly warm, a nice breeze was blowing and it was music to my ears as it rustled through the leaves of the tree tops. All else was quiet except for the chirping chorus of crickets.

Walnut Tree

The leaves of the walnut trees are already beginning to turn brown and I watched as the wind plucked them off the limbs and scattered them across the yard. I could feel the undertones of Autumn all around me. All the signs are there.  One day soon we’ll wake up to find that summer has gone on a long vacation and left Autumn in charge. Until it is time for Winter to take over.   The sky has been clear blue with cotton ball clouds. I leaned back in the swing and watched like a child as the wind made shapes out of them.

A Red Tailed Hawk glided in circles on the currents high in the sky. He knows. He knows that Autumn is right around the corner. So do the birds. Their patterns have changed. I don’t hear many happy morning songs. They are off eating the dried seeds of the meadow plants preparing themselves for the long flight south. Oh yea, the tunes of Autumn are marching closer.


LABOR DAY WEEKEND

September 6, 2010

Monday

Linda

Labor Day weekend is the best description of what our weekend was. It was not a lazy laid back weekend, it was a work weekend. Friday we planned to take the lawn mower to the John Deer dealer for service work. One of us, probably me must have run over a root or something and caused a vibration problem with the deck. Sonny borrowed my cousin’s flat bed truck and pull trailer. He tried to put the lawn mower on the trailer, but the trailer wasn’t wide enough by about 3 inches. So we decided to put it on the back of the flatbed. We made some make-shift ramps from a couple of 2×6’ss and Sonny drove the mower up on the flatbed, but it wasn’t all that easy. The boards were to short and made the ramp steep and the mover deck dragged. It required me to help push the mower to get it started up the ramps. We got it up on the back and strapped it down with some ratchet straps. Off to the dealer.

On the way home we decided to stop by Lowes and pick up a log splitter. It won’t be long before we will need some heat in the house and we have to get stocked up on wood. There was a time when Sonny could have split all the wood by hand, but shoulder problems prevent him from doing that now. So Sonny and a Lowes salesperson got the thing loaded on the flatbed. They have better ramps than our wooden substitutes. Getting that thing unloaded was a job, but with teamwork we got it done.   Sonny had a big pile of wood split in no time. It was definitely worth the investment.

Making a Pile

We also did a lot of little jobs that needed to be done around here. We put up a proper clothesline, put up some shelves in the electrical room, cut grass the old fashioned way with a push mower and built a platform for the generator to sit on so it is up off the ground. We used 2×6 boards for the frame and then placed the generator on cement blocks. We then filled the frame with gravel. This way the generator no longer sits in mud or snow.   We did manage to enjoy a nice Labor Day BBQ with John and Carol. It was a great ending to a busy weekend.

Off the deck now


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