A few interesting things today

While doing my rounds, I noticed something about the storm damage to one of our elms that I hadn’t before. I simply didn’t stop to look, since it’s still to wet and snowy to start cleaning the damage up, until today while doing my morning rounds.

This branch here isn’t just broken.

It’s broken off completely. The only reason it’s not on the ground is because it fell on another little branch that’s holding it up!

The girls and I had to make a trip into the city today, and while driving around, we saw so many damaged trees. Some were large ones that basically split apart at their turns, as heavy branches on different sides broke off in different directions.

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Finally getting rain – and, ouch

Things have been hot for the past few days, and will continue to be hot for the next while. It’s not even noon as I write this, and we’re already at 25C, with a “real feel” of 29C. We’ve also had a lot of thunderstorm warnings, but aside from one quick pass, they have been missing us. We have, however, been getting some decent rain. I haven’t heard locally, yet, but the municipality next to ours announced their burn ban has finally been lifted. I expect ours is, too.

This afternoon, we’re supposed to get temperatures of 29C (feeling like 36C) and thunderstorms through the evening. If rain is all we get again, I’ll be quite happy.

The grape vines are quite appreciating the moisture.

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It’s official… sort of

As of today, it is now official.

We are a two vehicle household.

Sort of.

I was able to register my mother’s car in my name, but it’s still her car. This means that, if she needs help to get to an appointment or go grocery shopping, I can use her car, instead of her struggling to climb up into our van. I will make sure to use it once in a while, just because it’s not good for vehicles to sit around. Today, I plan to take it in for a car wash! 😀

But I am getting ahead of myself.

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Vehicular Milestone

You know, the outside cats make going outside quite entertaining!  Check out Beep Beep!

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Earlier, when I was walking around the yard, she followed me, insisting on attention, until I finally picked her up and carried her the rest of the way.

Later, as I brought the van into the yard, cats and kits scattered all over the place.  Beep Beep went up the tree.  When I came near, she started rolling around so much, she almost fell off!

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Oh, what a day! :-D

How the day was going to go was a bit up in the air, to be decided after we picked up our van.  It ended up being a much longer day, but we got the bulk of our monthly shop in, after all.

In order to get the van home, my younger daughter and husband had to come along.  Now, my mother’s car isn’t a compact car, by any means, but my husband tops 6 ft.  Even with the seat back as far as it could go, he had to fold himself in.  He was basically wearing the car!!  Continue reading

Clean up: firepit area, gate and fence line start

This evening, I decided to be methodical about clearing the west yard trees, and get right into the fence line.

It was a lot more work than I expected!

This is what it looked like when I left it last time.

I didn’t get photos from this angle today, but if you look behind the dead trees I cut down, that’s the area I focused on.

I had not really intended to start on the fence line on this side yet, but the mess was starting to get to me.

I am using the row of elm trees as my guide line for clearing the fence.  Anything between where those trees are and the fence line will be taken out.  This will leave a walkable path to access the fence.

I started at the gate post and made a discovery.

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There’s two of them.

From what I can figure out, as the older gate post started to become unstable, a second post as added, and new and old were tied together with a loop of barbed wire.

It was most likely a temporary fix that ended up a permanent one.

The problem is…

Both posts are rotten and broken at the bottom.

The hedge that had grown into the fence was pretty much the only thing holding it up.

I don’t really want to replace this fence.  I’d rather take it out completely.  I am wanting to install new fencing that will include both driveways, instead.  So for now, this old fence will remain for as long as it holds up.

As I worked down the line, I also discovered that there’s not just two gate posts, but two fences!  Somewhere along the way, the old barbed wire fence got a mesh wire fence added with it.  Then other cable type wire was also added, along the bottom.  You can see part of it at the bottom of one of the gate posts, above.

This made clearing away the lilacs more challenging, because it was woven through both the barbed and mesh wire.  For many of them, I had to cut them at least twice, so I could get the pieces out of the fence.

A surprising amount of the lilac was already dead.  Most of the living lilac is on the other side of the fence.  Which I will leave for now.  It’s keeping the fence from falling over.

In the end, it took me almost two hours to clear barely 8 feet of fence line!

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I’m also clearing in between and around the lilac and caragana that is in line with the row of elm trees.  That included taking down a dead lilac that was a thick as a tree!

I’m going to have to change up when I work in the yard.  We’re getting heat wave weather warnings for the next week.  I like to do the work in the afternoon or evening, but the hottest part of the day tends to be around 5pm.  It’s almost 9pm as I write this, and we’re still at 25C, with a “feels like 29C”.  I’m going to have to start working on this stuff in the morning, instead, when it’s cooler, because by afternoon, it’s supposed to reach 29C, and feel like 34C, but be only 18C in the morning.

I am not a morning person. 😀

Well, if I’m driving my daughter to her shifts that start at 8 or 9am anyway, it will work out for me to do yard work when I get back in the morning, instead of after I pick her up at 4 or 5pm.

She has a road test booked in September.  She’ll be able to drive herself to work, if we don’t need the van for something else.

It is becoming increasingly clear we are going to need a second vehicle for the girls.  That and our utter dependency on having a vehicle makes me extra paranoid about having only one.  It’s not like there are any buses we could use instead, or anything is close enough to walk to!  We went about a month not driving our van until we had the money to replace the fuel pump, to avoid causing more damage (which our mechanic really appreciated), and that was enough for us!

At least we’ve finally reached a point where we are caught up.  As of this month, we have no expenses left related to our move.  Yay!  It only took us 9 months. :-/  Starting next month, we can start diverting money to a contingency fund to pay for things like getting the trees cleared from the power lines and roof in the fall, or towards getting a second bathroom installed.  Or unexpected emergencies, like the van breaking down!

The problem is, there are SO many things that need work around the house and yard, it will be hard to prioritize.  We had hoped to get the second bathroom installed this summer.  It’s high on the priority list, but clearing the trees became the higher priority since… well… we’d really like to NOT have our roof damaged or have branches knock out our power lines.

Little by little, it’ll get done.

The Re-Farmer