Tuesday, September 05, 2023

The Yard is Trying to Kill Us!

 Yesterday I learned how to operate the riding lawn mower. 

This afternoon I learned how to operate the chain saw Michael bought for me last fall. At first, I thought I had to hold the little start button in while I held the trigger handle and cut...that was awkward. Once I got that figured out my only trouble was having the chain pop off...could be too much brush or sometimes the grass and dirt clogged things up if I tried to go a bit too close to the ground. I'll have to talk it over with Michael. 

Learning these skills is becoming a necessity. Michael wanted to live out of town. I actually have come to love it here - though I dream of being able to walk everywhere I need to be - ala Tokyo.  The thing is now that everyone has moved out, or is busy, busy, busy with college...there is much to do. Michael needs the help. I either learn these things or we seriously talk about finding something with less maintenance. And, y'all, ALASKAN WOMEN routinely do these things. 

I had not a clue what I was doing...either with the little chainsaw (as opposed to the 3 or 4 big ones Michael has) or with pruning plants. Michael assures me they will grow back, and he would have taken things down even further. Though we haven't taken them down since we moved in and thus the wild, overgrown look.  I should have taken a photo before I hacked the lilacs. They were quite a bit above the deck railing. I reached as high as I could and that's where I cut. Turns out the tree-like thing is a birch tree. ::snort:: I got it below the window...but Michael says it needed to go to ground level and he'll get the stump out. Unfortunately, the battery died right as I began that task. 

Looking much better

I didn't get a before...but I cut down cottonwood growth so we could find the stone wall at the front of the property. And then took the line on down to the back of the yard...that bushy bit in the back is trimmed back.  

About this time, I got into something. I was going to go out in the back and cut weeds down to ground....but wow. My legs were BURNING...and from mowing I had a bit of the same...and then blisters and red bumps.  I am told to expect more tomorrow. This is why Michael bought a complete suit to wear over his clothes when he works with weeding. Looks like a colorful hazmat dude - but I get it now. LOL  I am not sure WHAT I got into but after the last two days I am convinced the yard is trying to kill us. 

The lilacs on the other side needed trimmed back too. They were above the windows...and interfering with photos from the deck. The nerve! They are UGLY now...but again, Michael tells me they'll grow back. 


The thing is when one cuts brush - one creates a mess. I thought about leaving it - but it's been a pet peeve of mine that my love sometimes leaves brush piles in the yard...and he was busy stacking wood. We are expecting rain tomorrow....trying hard to get as much done outside as possible when we have dry-ish days. 

My shoulders ached...I didn't want to pick up the brush. I sternly told myself to, "Suck it up butter cup."  But I tried to "hint" - would a wheelbarrow be helpful to move the brush? Surely, he'll say to leave it and he'll do it while I cook dinner?  Nope. ::snort:: He introduced me to a rope with loops and knots in it and told me that it would be quicker and easier to lasso the brush and drag it away. OK then. 

"Suck it up, Buttercup." 

To be fair, if I'd asked him to do it - he would have done it....but I knew there wasn't time before the rain began. He suggested a brush pile out in the woods. I just didn't have it in me and we settled on me dragging it to the fire ring. We'll see if the woodland ferries will have mercy on us and drag it out to the pile he is thinking of adding to. 

OK, I admit it looks puny compared to the piles Michael and the boys routinely clear...but I still feel pretty accomplished. 

I should have probably helped Michael finish the wood before I went in...but as it was dinner had gone from a fine chicken dinner to chicken chili. Michael opted to have me start dinner rather than eat leftovers. 

Yep, the yard is trying to kill us...but we will continue wrestling with it....I plan to find someone who knows WHAT these things are and HOW to get rid of them, or groom them...and HOW to deal with the weeds in the garden, and what grows and what doesn't around here...and how to landscape because that is NOT a skill our nomad lifestyle taught me....I will find that group this winter and learn how to do better in the future....because there has to be better ways to manage all this mess. 

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