Clean up: around the outhouse and moving the debris pile

Ah, what a perfect day to work outside! This morning, it was cool enough that I actually wore…


…long sleeves!


The goal was to move the debris pile from where I’m clearing in the old wood pile to the area behind the outhouse. Which meant I first had to clear around the outhouse.

Here is how it looked before I started.

I did minimal clearing around here previously, when I was prepping to start on the old wood pile; just enough that I could reach a fallen tree. This is next to the patch of poison ivy that got revealed in the process.

Yes, there is some poison ivy spread into this area, too, though not anywhere near as much.

I had started clearing this side last year, but only enough to be able to access into the south side of the spruce grove, including the path I used to reach the trail cam. I left most of what was near the outhouse for this year.

That old toilet is the one I found when cleaning the junk pile near the garage. I intend to eventually bring all 5 toilets I’ve found so far into this area. I plan to clean them, decorate them somehow (mosaics, maybe?) and turn them into planters. ๐Ÿ˜€

The back of the outhouse has wire to keep the critters out of the pit, but obviously, some critters were able to push it aside and get under the outhouse. Not any time recently, though.

I have to make sure to keep the back of the outhouse, and access to the pit, clear.

While doing a quick rake at this side of the outhouse, I uncovered these pipes. They should be for the gasses in the pit to escape outside, rather than up the hole and into the outhouse. I don’t see anything else that could be a gas release, so I’m just going to assume that’s what they are until I learn otherwise. ๐Ÿ˜‰

When clearing trees last year, I often had to struggle to choose which trees to take down, and which to keep.

I had no such issues today.

Anything close to the outhouse was taken down, so all those little poplars came down. There were also some Saskatoon bushes and other little things that I cut away, too. The Saskatoon bushes I found all looked quite sickly.

In the process, I also uncovered large branches and more dead trees, hidden under years of dead grass and leaves.

There were two trees growing close to each other. A maple and an elm. Do I leave them? Take one down? If I take one down, which should it be?

An easy decision.

The elm was healthy. The maple was mostly dead. The maple came down. It turned out to have a single healthy branch on it. The rest was either already dead, or just had a few little green sprigs here and there.

Once things were clear, I moved the debris pile over. I found an old, bent up aluminum shovel in the garage – I think it was actually a snow shovel – that I was able to use to fill the wheelbarrow.

Here is how the area looks now.

As I make more progress on the old wood pile, I will continue to add the debris I rake up to this area.

The difference is even more dramatic on this side.

I’ve deliberately left some smaller branches and sticks behind in a small pile, near where there are stumps that I need to trim down to ground level when I am next working on this area. There is an oak tree with a bush growing beside it that I will be clearing. Any oaks I find, I plan to clear around them. Most of the poplar will be cleared away, but I will definitely keep some of them. Hopefully, I will find Saskatoon bushes that look healthy enough to keep, too.

The back of the outside, views from the opposite side as the first picture. Aside from pushing the wire back over the opening some critter had made, I kept things a bit away from the back. I can’t tell how much of that wire is buried by the grass and weeds, but even if it extends into where I’m leaving the debris pile, it will be loose enough that the wire should easily pull up to access the pit.

One thing I am starting to notice as I work on the yard this year – what little work I’ve been able to do, compared to last year; my stamina has gone down dramatically. I am not well. I’m not sick, either. I just feel that something is… off. After the scare we had with my husband, maybe I’m being over cautious. I should go to the doctor, as a precaution, but any time I think of it I get frustrated, because I know it’s going to be a fight, all the way. My husband and I have the same doctor. He’s a sweet man with a wonderful, gentle manner. He knows his stuff. But he also has the same preconceived notions and biases so many doctors have right now. I know it’s going to be a battle to be taken seriously, and not be pressured to take drugs or get sent for unnecessary tests because I’m old, fat and female, while the reason I’m there gets forgotten. Similar biases kept my husband from proper treatment for years, before he deteriorated to the point of going on disability. We both have long experience with this. It’s one of the downsides of the move. After years of searching, I had finally found a good doctor. Now that we’re here, there just aren’t a lot of options, unless I start going to towns further away. Frankly, I’d rather skip it entirely.

I think this time, I’ll make sure my husband is in the appointment with me (we can even book our appointments one right after the other, too). I know having a male present will change how I’m treated.

The fact that I even have to think of that adds to my frustration, too.

Ah, well. It is what it is.

We’ll deal.

The Re-Farmer

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