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Archive for the ‘The ever expanding yard’ Category

Some things I have learned this week:

When the weatherman says we are going to get rain for a solid week, believe him.  He is never wrong about getting rain when we don’t need it.

You can mow the lawn when it is 50 degrees, the wind is blowing out of the north about 20 mph and you have had about 5 inches of rain in one week!  You might come in with grass all over you and freezing but at least the grass is mown. And 4 days later you can mow the lawn again (and it really needed it) in shorts and a sleeveless shirt and sweat!  It is also possible to sing gospel songs at the top of your lungs and no one cares (well, if you live where I do and no one lives close).

It is possible to sit in a hospital waiting room for an entire day waiting for your mother to get out of surgery and into a room.  You might not be able to walk and your back will hurt like heck but it is possible. 

It is possible for it to rain when you need to mow and the sun is shining and you get to see not one but two beautiful rainbows.  Of course, I didn’t have my camera.  Luckily it was a quick shower and we finished mowing.  And a reminder of God’s blessings to us.

An almost 2-year-old can remember many things and can do anything her older brother tries to do.

You can teach your daughter to sew even if she thinks she can’t.  And she can make beautiful things.  And the other child is exceptional at putting colors together to make a beautiful quilt.  Thank you for sharing your gifts.

An almost 4-year-old can teach his sister how to cast a fishing pole and be really cute at working with her.  And will be sorry if his fishing line gets tangled around your flower and cuts the bloom off.

It is also possible to sit in on a disaster preparedness exercise and learn many things.  It also helped me to put some of my FEMA classes into practice. 

The local library (and their audiobooks) is much more interesting than the TV during the daytime.  They have fiction and nonfiction and I am anxious to listen to most of the ones our local library has.

It is also possible for my patio to look wonderful when all the flowers are planted and in pots, blooming and so fresh.

Hopefully next week will bring more surprises like wonderful weather, sunshine and warm temperatures so I will be outside.  Might have to move the sewing machine and computer outside to enjoy the weather!  Praying for you to have a great week ahead.

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Several weeks ago, I told you we were working on the lot that used to be behind the barn but in our front yard.  Well, The week before Craft Day was beautiful after the rain the week before, the temperatures were in the low 70s and sunny and breezy.  Perfect for the lot to dry.  On Thursday night of that week (Sept 30th), Jimmy decided to disk the lot.  OK, here goes and if you know him, he has a tendency to get stuck if there is mud around.  Sometime I will have to blog about mowing around the lagoon! BLEH, when you hit that stuff with the brush hog! it is a mess is all I will say right now.  So he starts disking, while me and the grandkids are watching him.  Brock encouraging him to not spin the wheels Papa, Adrianna clapping and wanting to ride with him.  HUM, nope, not a chance little girl, no matter how much of a fit you throw. 

So there is a beautiful low spot just begging for a water feature down there and it is MUDDY!!  He almost gets stuck in it a couple of times (see previous paragraph about mud and getting stuck).  So he is frustrated because he doesn’t believe the weather forecast of no rain for the next 10 days.  I told him we were just going to have to leave it and hope for the best until we got back, we were leaving Saturday for the races in Kansas and knew Tuesday of the next week would be the earliest we could get back to it. 

We went to Kansas, had a wonderful time at the race both days, even if Saturday was cold and breezy, nope, that is incorrect. When the wind blows through the Kansas Speedway at 20+miles an hour it is BLOWING and the high was about 58 degrees (burr, glad I had my Hatton Craft Day sweatshirt to wear!), Sunday it was wonderful about 70 degrees and the wind had died down.  A Roush driver won on Sunday (sorry all you non NASCAR Fans) so it was a good weekend.  We got home around 8:30 and had to pick up stuff they used at Craft Day.

Jimmy decided maybe he would try to take 4 hours vacation on Monday so he could get caught up after being gone all weekend (see why we never go on vacation?), and his plan all along was to finish up the lot.  He brought out his scraper and all of a sudden, I notice the wonderful water feature area was gone!  Not a dip in site, how did he pull enough dirt there to fill up a hole about 3 feet deep and 6 feet long and 4 feet wide.  I know my mouth dropped open and hit the ground while he was laughing when I walked down to see the progress.  He had succeeded!  No water feature, no swimming pool (sorry Shawna!), just a smooth slope that was ready to throw grass seed on. 

Luckily we had a seeder that we pull behind the 4 wheeler, 10 lbs of grass seed was soon scattered and time to clean up to go to a visitation (and pick up more seed while we were in town).  Then I had a meeting at Church while he finished seeding the lot and rolling it down with the yard roller.  So in the past two weeks, we have had about 1/2 inch of slow steady rain on this, just waiting for it to sprout but it looks wonderful.  He did an awesome job. 

I did burn the brush pile he was so worried about but there are a few sticks left, I think I will move them to the back of the house and burn them in that brush pile. 

Even though I am not prepared mentally for winter (I never am, cold weather makes me ache and my asthma act up, plus there are no flowers to look at!), we are physically prepared, lot ready to mow in the spring, the wood is cut, split, stacked and tarped, the yard is being mowed with less frequency but if winter decided to be mild this year, I would not complain!  According to persimmon legend, we will have a lot of snow so I am praying this is incorrect.

Here are pictures!

Doesn’t it look really awesome!!  So proud of his work (even if he removed my plans for a water feature), I love it.

Remember all those rocks I told you I would be picking up forever, well thanks to Brock, Jimmy and Adrianna they are all picked up and stacked, waiting for another flowerbed.  I wasn’t joking about how many, here are the two piles we picked up.

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So the goal last week was to get the lot cleaned up before the remains of Hurricane Hermine came through Mid Missouri on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.  We picked up most of the fencing, posts, scrap steel, all that fun stuff that comes along with tearing down a fence.  On Wednesday, it was my responsibility to pick up all those rocks I told you about, remember?  Well I filled up our little trailer (not so little, it is 5′ x 8′) and was heavy enough the 4 wheeler didn’t want to go very fast and took them to a storage location except for 5 of them that I could not pick up because they were soooo heavy.  Then I decided to pick up brush that had been thrown in there and partially burned as well as the remains of the old shed.  There was some lumber with nails in it and wanted to get it out before the tractor found those nails in its tires.  I got two loads of brush out of the lot and took it to another brush pile to burn so I lit that pile and it burned for about 28 hours straight!  Burning posts takes a while to do.  Jimmy got home a little late and helped me load the rocks on the trailer and move them to the pile.  Then him and his brother went to hook the brush hog up to the tractor.  I thought they would go straight to the lot and mow it off, but NOPE, that is not the way it happened.  He drove it straight to the shed because the brush hog had a flat tire.  Anyone else have this problem with the farm equipment?  Well, he aired it up but it was almost dark by that time so he said he would do it Thursday night.  Yea, whatever, did you listen to the weather forecast?  I know they are right only about 50% of the time but I just knew they would be right this time.  As it turned out, it didn’t start raining until he had finished mowing the lot on Thursday night and only a small shower at that.  Thank you God for answering my prayers!  Anyway, the lot looks great from the road but when Jimmy was standing on the patio Friday morning, he called me outside to look at something.  There is a brush pile you can see from our patio but not the road, He wants it gone because it doesn’t look nice down there.  Now who is being picky about the yard? 

I don’t know if you can see the brush pile in the tree line or not with this picture but that is the one he is complaining about.  Guess I will be burning brush on Monday.

Oh, I got the mailbox painted too, but not decorated yet, I thought I had a humming bird on one of my Cricuit cartridges but I don’t so I am looking for one.  Anybody know which cartridge has the humming bird on it?  Thanks.

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On this farm, we always have a list of fall projects to do, mainly because I don’t want to be out there sweating my hiney off in the hot, humid summer months except I always end up out there because I love to be outside.

We have been talking about tearing down a fence in front of the house that used to be a pig/goat/whatever was in the barn lot for a couple of years now and it was always low on the priority list (way below building flower beds or cutting down dead trees or watching it rain all fall and ruining all our fall project plans).  Well we started doing this on August 29th.  These corner and wooden posts had to be in the ground over 4 feet and they were not so much fun to remove, but wait I am getting ahead of myself.  Back up and regroup.

So we started on this project August 29th (happy birthday to you hubby).  The lot had woven wire and barbed wire across the top.  If you have ever had hogs in a lot, you know how much dirt they can move with their cute (??) little snouts so the woven wire is usually buried, at least the bottom two strands are.  And of course you have to have a clip at the bottom to keep those critters in the lot.  Please tell me you other farm girls out there know what I am talking about!  So Jimmy gave me the task of pulling all the clips off (which I had been working on a little this summer) but I wasn’t strong enough to get the woven wire out of the dirt.  He comes and with a little strong jerk here it comes, right out of that dirt.  I know he was laughing at my weakness but I couldn’t catch him and call him out on it.  Humhp!  So he cuts the woven wire off the wooden posts or pulls the steeples out. 

Then out comes the tractor and he knows how he is going to pull the posts out.  You see it involves  me hooking up a chain around the posts and over a tire (don’t ask me, this is his gig) and he pulls it out.  You know what?  It worked just like it was supposed to except on one, when the tire slipped to the side and went flying, he thought it was kind of funny after he yelled at me for a minute.  I didn’t think it was so funny but was glad I was on the other side of the chain and the tire didn’t come after me. 

On Tuesday night August 31st, we finished pulling all the wooden posts and now have most of the fence gone, just have to pull a few more steel posts and work on cleaning it up.  Oh yeah, that is the thing, when we cleared off where the barn was, there were tons of big rocks and guess where they went, yep, right next to the fence and in the lot. 

This is just a small sample of the rocks to be picked up

 I will be picking up rocks until the snow flies at least I am sure and for several summers to come.  Oh well, at least I like rocks and will have to figure out something to do with them.  I think I need to build another flowergarden and a water feature, I have always wanted a water feature and would love to incorporate some of the rocks that held the house and barn from his grandparents into this feature,  What do you think?  Can I talk him into it?  At this point he is saying no to another flowerbed but we will see.  It is close to a water source and I could if I played my cards right, build a little recurculating stream back to the pitcher pump that is already close.  How cool would that be to have?  Now I really have to work on plans and persuasion (pray for me, PLEASE!!).  One of the things we had down there was a mailbox from Jimmy’s grandparents.  Grandpa got fed up with people knocking down his mailbox and used a steel wheel for the base and a solid steel pipe (I think ; it was heavy enough when we picked it up) with the mail box on top.  I am sure it would not pass the US postal service’s recommendations now but this was built almost 30 years ago.  This is the same mailbox that housed the baby robins this spring so we have to keep it right??  Anyway, we moved it to a flowerbed in the yard and I am planning on painting, decorating and planting honeysuckle around it and hopefully we will have baby robins again next spring

Before we moved it to the flowerbed or decorated it. Man was it heavy!

So all the fence is down, the posts are removed, all the material is moved away from the lot, moved some of it to a scrap pile and the rest is stored in the shed (or back of it ) for future use or in the brush pile to be burned.  All of this took about an hour and a half to clean up with the four wheeler and trailer.  Thanks to my Dad for finding this little trailer that is just the right size for hauling stuff around the farm but not too big for the four wheeler to pull.  I can’t tell you how sore my arms are from pulling fence, moving posts, pulling brush so we can get to the fence, you know…

Stuff we will recycle from the lot, you didn't think I would throw it away did you?

There was a shed in the lot at one time and when we quit using it, it started falling down, the roof has been on the ground for several years and the dogs have had a wonderful time chasing bunnies under it and scaring them half to death with their barking under that tin roof.  So on Monday September 6th, Jimmy decided to tackle it (I had a meeting at Church so didn’t help him).  He got it all picked up except two main beams (well they are actually 4 x 4 posts that served as the main beams of this shed) so he is planning to finish that up and then start brush hogging the weeds while I pick up rocks. 

The beams and last piece of tin from the shed

The goal is to brush hog it then disk it up and seed it this winter so it will be part of the yard this spring and we will be mowing. it as well. 

One more thing to cross off the fall project list, now we have to work on other things (like removing the fuel tanks that are no longer used and were last used by Jimmy’s grandfather probably 40 or 50 years ago!).  Why does the list continue to grow??  We have several huge piles of brush to burn before winter, want to clean up the fencerow that runs parallel to the road and the one that runs along the south tree line in our yard. 

Hope your fall project list shrinks as winter approaches and you get as much accomplished as you wish to or your body allows you to do.

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