Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday Funny

When asked his name, River usually introduces himself as Captain America.

What's your name?

I'm Cap'ain 'Merica!

Good thing he's 4, because it's a lot easier to get away with introducing yourself as a super hero at that age than when you're an adult :)

River went as Captain America and Ocean was Spider Man for Halloween last year

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tree Work, Part 2

Saturday Mr M cut down the tree in the center of our driveway circle. It had a beetle infestation that was killing it, and since we're clearing out the parking area to build a car port we decided to take care of this tree along with the others.

We debated about cutting down a live tree, but it was the right decision- we discovered some rot in the center as well, so between the beetles and the interior rot, this tree only had a few more years anyway. Taking it down on our terms now eliminates the chance of it landing on our house or vehicles if it were to ever fall over on it's own sometime in the future.

rot caused by tree beetles

it fell right where we wanted it

Now that there's a gap in the canopy, there's a lot more sunlight coming through the trees in the morning, but we're willing to trade the lack of shade for not having a tree fall on the house.

In the last year we've taken down four trees (2 dead, 1 dying, 1 alive but dropping branches on vehicles) around the house and parking area, but we don't plan on doing any more, so we're now moving to the clean-up stage. I finished cleaning up the pine tree on Saturday, but we have the other three trees plus the branches from the tree by the shed still to clean up.

We're stacking the branches in a pile by the chicken coop, cutting the trunk sections into manageable sections, and making piles of those logs.

We'll rent a stump grinder to grind down the stumps in the parking area and carport area, a wood chipper to make mulch out of all the branches (we'll spread the mulch around the garden beds and the chicken coop area), and a log splitter to split all that wood. It's really unfortunate that we don't heat the house with wood, since we'll have all this wood to get rid of now. We'll probably list it on craigslist or something.

We'll also rent a Bobcat to clear and level the center of the parking area and the carport area. We rented one a few years ago when we brought in some gravel and widened the parking area. Once we prep the parking and carport areas, we'll then be ready to bring in some gravel, maybe pour a concrete pad for the carport, and then build the carport. We're hoping to get it built before the acorns start falling in the autumn (bringing more hail damage to our vehicles), but it'll really depend on how much time we have.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Weekly Mileage #60

love all the green!

This week I did pretty good at keeping to my schedule, which meant that the number of workouts increased, and I was more intentional with my time. Time blocking and alarms on my phone are keeping me from getting hung up on one task while ignoring other tasks that need to be taken care of.

However, I didn't ride my bike on Monday because I was still fighting a sore throat. It wasn't terrible, but enough to make me feel unmotivated to spend time on my bike.

I did ride my bike on Wednesday though, and I increased my speed, so it was a better workout than I've gotten in the past (which was one complaint I had about riding my bike).

Thursday we finally went for a hike, and the weather was perfect when we started- 70*, though it was 80* by the time we finished. Spring hikes are the best- we saw baby geese, turtles, polliwogs, lots of flowers, and a large tree chewed down by a beaver (multiple beavers?). We still can't find the beaver dam, but it's gotta be around there somewhere.

We played in the stream, which is always a hit with the kiddos. Ocean walked straight into the water at one point- he was ready to start splashing around. We decided we need to bring along our water sandals next time.

We also found this tree that was rotten in the center, so when it fell over, the bark just kind of bent.

Friday after we dropped Sunshine off at co-op, the boys and I attempted another hike, but it was a disaster. We walked about a quarter mile up the trail, and then I somehow managed to spray my hand with my bear spray (the clip that's supposed to keep this from happening had fallen out), and we had to head home so I could get cleaned up.

before the disaster

I was able to wipe the spray off at the car with baby wipes, but the oils were still there. When we got home I washed and washed and washed and washed with Dawn detergent to get the oils off, but they'd been sitting on my skin for about an hour, so I was only partially successful. Let's just say the next 18 hours were not pleasant and I've decided to carry just pepper spray unless we're in the back country. I've carried pepper spray since I was a teenager, and never set it off accidentally. I've carried bear spray for less than a year and have managed to set if off twice on accident (the first time wasn't direct skin contact).

Saturday I felt a lot better, but still not great, so I skipped my run, though I did haul some branches and logs from the pine tree we cut down awhile ago, so I did get some upper body work in at least.

Weekly Mileage
Wednesday- 5.00 miles on the bike
Thursday- 2.33 miles hiked
Friday-  .5 miles walked outside
    total- 7.83 miles

5 hikes towards #52hikechallenge
65.89 foot miles towards #365milechallenge
90.00 bike miles towards #365milechallenge

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sunday Funny

A while ago Ocean walked into the bathroom while River was standing in front of the toilet, peeing. I witnessed the event, and could almost see the light bulb turn on in Ocean's head.

Several times since then, I've caught him standing on the toilet seat and peeing.

This is completely reasonable in his mind, since he's not tall enough while standing on the ground. I think he'd be tall enough if he stood on the stool in front of the toilet, but that apparently is not the preferred option.

At least he shouldn't have a problem with the squat toilets when we go to China in a couple years when we pick up the child we'll be adopting.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Tree Work

I mentioned that we were hiring a tree company to do some work for us in this post, and last week they came out and cut down a tree and trimmed the dead branches off another tree. We didn't feel confident taking this one down as there was not a safe place to drop it, in any direction. The tree company took it down in sections, and it was interesting to watch how they did it as they didn't use a bucket truck- just ropes and other climbing gear.

the climber is just below the lowest branch, about halfway up

This tree is right where we want to put our car port, and since it died last summer we had a bit more incentive to get it taken down sooner rather than later. The wood was still sound, but it doesn't take long for dead trees to start deteriorating in our damp climate.

climber up waaaay higher than I would ever go

this tree was about 100' from the ground to the top

he went up the tree, cutting branches off as he went
they had this pulley mechanism to control the fall of the bigger branches and the trunk sections

branches all off

trunk mostly down 

all done

we'll get a mobil sawmill out to cut a mantel out of that tree trunk section in the middle of the picture-
we'll finally be able to finish our fireplace that I tore apart 6 or so years ago (it was too ugly to leave as it was)

we had them leave all the wood in place- we'll clear it up ourselves as we have time 

This tree has had some dead branches for a few years, and since they're over the garden shed, we wanted to get them removed before they fell on the shed. This was not something we could do ourselves, since it required more climbing and ropes and pulleys to control the fall of the branches.

dead branches

no more dead branches threatening the shed