Are you curious?
Does that concern you a little?
I was once told by a reader that he knew I must be safe and free from injuries because I haven't written anything on my blog lately? About right now he is thinking, "What did she do now?"
I am happy to report that there were no injuries. I will pre-empt this story with the fact that it can get a little hard to get people to work with you when you have continuously hurt yourself. Seems they have a few doubts about their own safety.
Can you believe that?
I have made a few decisions this year.
1. Life is too short to duck under tree branches.
I started trimming all the trees in my yard.
2. Life is too short to drag one hose from spigot to spigot.
I now have a long hose attached to each spigot around our place.
3. I will not plant anything unless it is edible.
This started a whole new way to look at my yard.
The south side of our house was lacking in the landscaping department. A Rose of Sharon and two Crepe Myrtles were planted by one of the many previous owners. They were so close to the foundation that they were hitting the eve on the house. We had tried to get rid of the Crepe Myrtles before by chopping them down with an axe. Only to have them grow back in a smaller, crazier version of their previous selves.
One of these Crepe Myrtles was in a location that made it quite a hazard during the winter.
During the winter months, when we have below freezing temperatures, we shut the water off to the barn.
I have proven more than once that I can freeze the pipes in the barn.
So, always one to learn my lessons, we shut the water off. The shut off to the barn is up by the house on the south side. It is located between one of these Crepe Myrtles and an Indian Hawthorne. Well, when I chopped it down with the axe, I thought my troubles were over. That was until it grew back. It grew back in a clump that was about 2 feet tall and solid. It was a mess of branches.
So, in the dark, on more than one occasion, when you lean over to reach the shut off valve under the shrub, on the way to stand back up, you would bump the Crepe Myrtle with your rear, this would throw you forward face first into the shrub. This is not a pleasant experience in the dark and the cold. It is already bad enough that you are reaching your hand down into a hole in the dark.
This unpleasant experience has happened to all of us so many times that it sort of became a bargaining chip in the list of chores to do.
"Okay, if you shut the water off, I will do ________?"
I have wanted to tackle this area for quite a while but, as I stated, this is where the water line runs from the house to the barn.
I am not a fan of repairing water lines.
Never one to back away from a challenge, I finally scraped up enough courage to tackle this area.
We had brought in a lot of dirt when we first bought our house, and it was very sandy soil. We put a lot of this soil around the house, so I thought I might try something a little risky. Going with the theme of only planting things that we can eat, I bought three Blueberry plants to plant over on that side. They prefer sandy soil, my soil is clay, except on this side. For some reason, in my mind, we could just get these trees pulled out, and plant the Blueberry plants and be done. Piece of cake, right?
It took three days. Not of continuous work, thank the Lord, but it was a nice chunk of my time.
It started one afternoon when I told my full-timer to grab some gloves and help me rip this tree out of the ground before the Man in Charge got home for the day. Mind you, it was 5:00 in the evening and he normally pulls in at about 5:30. We head out to the garage to grab the chain and I can't find it anywhere. I mean, it was gone. We looked all over the place. In the barns. In all of these storage containers...everywhere. I was beginning to get very mad. My help was asking all sort of questions. Like, "Maybe he hid it from you?" or "Maybe he put it in his truck, so you couldn't use it?"
I could tell that she was looking for a way out of this project.
There is no telling how much time we wasted, when I looked down and saw it right by the door on the floor.
We grabbed it and a couple of shovels and threw them in the back of the truck and around to the other side of the house we went. We hooked the chain up to the truck and the other end to the tree, and with a quick pull in reverse, part of it came out. Then we hooked it up again and easily pulled the other side out. The Crepe Myrtles were less cooperative. We hooked the chain up, and when we gave it a tug, the chain would just slip up and off.
This was very annoying.
We tried a couple of times, but to no avail. We were also running out of time. A quick glance at my watch and I knew that we only had minutes to get our things picked up and get out of there before we were caught red-handed. We grabbed the branches and piled them up, then we grabbed the chain and ran to throw it in the bed of the truck. As we both piled into the truck and shut our doors, guess who pulled into the drive.
I threw it in drive, and we pulled out and around in the opposite direction. We have a circular drive and basically we were driving on opposite sides of the house. Then we ran inside and were trying to wash our hands and gather ourselves. Just as I caught my breath, I opened the blinds to see where he was and in looking in one direction, he came from the opposite side. Jumping and trying not to scream, I pulled the blinds shut and tried to get a grip on myself.
Now I should explain that I don't think he cares if I yank some trees out of the ground. I don't think he minds if I use the chain. For the most part, I don't think that he has an opinion. Sometimes, I just don't like having to explain myself. I wasn't excited about the job that I had to do. The last thing that I wanted to do was have a big discussion about it.
Well, as he came in, his first complaint was the fact that I drove in the yard. I was just like, "Oh, the yard, right? Let's talk about the yard." At which point he pointed out that the tree that I had yanked out had not gone unnoticed.
Well, this is what I was left with...
It took us three hours to dig and chop all of these roots out, but it was worth it. We planted three Blueberry Plants. One is more like a tree and two are like shrubs. We will see how they do, but for now, they look great.
We even added a couple of steps to make getting to the shut off valve for the barn a lot easier, and a lot less hazardous.