Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I have two drafts saved on this blog - two things I have written about in the past few days but still want to "tweak" them.  They have to do with corn, and soybeans, and tse tse flies, and sterilizing the tse tse flies.  And Dengue Fever.  And Sleeping Sickness.  Maybe mosquitos, as well?  Hmmm...

Ha!  Stay tuned, I guess.

For this evening, I will simply describe the day of a homeowner of a 120-year old farmhouse, and its surrounding acreage.

The Paint the House saga continues.  We began painting the exterior of our house back in unseasonably-cool June, and we continued on into July.  We hit a wall, however, in August, and add to that my Cape Cod Runaway, and suffice to say, we still have some scraping and painting to get done.  My goal is to have it done before the leaves fall (and they are beginning to!), so that the neighbors might ooh and ah over our new house colors.  (From cream and burgundy trim, to Atlantic blue with white trim.  And yes - the burgundy-to-white is taking up a lot of time and attention, thank you very much.)  One can't really see our house in the summer because of all our trees.  But in autumn, all privacy is lost!  I sure don't want to have a bi-colored house popping into the midst.   I want this HUGE task completed.

It was so nice and cool last night and again this morning, I hauled out a ladder and scampered up to paint the windows on the west side of our house.  Window trim, window trim...such a delicate nonsense.  This morning I had started on yet another window, when all of the 120-year old glazing began falling to the ground.  What the heck?!!

One step forward, two steps back.

I called that Spouse o' Mine:  "What is that stuff called that holds the window pane in the frame?!"  "Window glazing."  And our conversation proceeded, where I go to purchase, how I apply, how long, blah-de-blah-de-blah.

My attention span, that of a gnat's, immediate went from the phone call to him, to that ridiculous mountain of cedar tree remnants out in the pasture.  Ughhhhhhh.  This is such a long diatribe.

I hate cedar trees.  They stink, they make me sneeze and make my throat itch, my hands break out in itchy bumps if I touch them, they attract (so I've read) over-wintering ticks, and apple blights, and so on and so on...

We have too many on our property.  This weekend I was out attempting to mend some fence line, but there was a huge cedar blocking my attempts.  Cedars either A) Grow where planted (this is a problem, in that that Spouse o' Mine planted a windbreak of them a few years back, or B) Grow where birds sit on fence lines and poop whatever cedar things they have ingested, and UP! there grows a cedar tree.  Both A and B are lose/lose in my books.

That Spouse o' Mine wandered out to my meager attempts to mend fence, and we agreed: the cedar had to go.  Yippee!  And double yippee!  He was happy to do it.  Saints be praised.

But wait.  Not so fast.  Let me backtrack, to  three weeks ago.  I had asked a neighbor of ours, an older, semi-retired farmer type, if the next time he had his plow hooked up to his tractor, (meaning anytime in the next twelve months), would he mind plowing me a swath of land on our small acreage?  (I'm talking 50 yards - maybe two laps with the tractor.)  And true to his kindness, our neighbor was out only a few days later, plowing up the strip of land.  So kind!  And he took no money: "We're neighbors.  That's what neighbors do," he stated VERY matter-of-factly.  (So fast-forward to this week, when we cut down a century-old elm, and he asked for the wood for winter: YES!  Please take it. That's what neighbors do.  {Even though I had pegged those logs for seating around a future fire pit.  Oh, well.})

Leap forward again to the cedar felling.  Where did the limbs and trimming go?  No, no.  Not onto the flatbed trailer which would then be driven to the far end of the property, near the creek, where we have already established a "burn pile".  The cedar tree and all its itchiness landed right onto the strip of freshly-plowed earth.  Where I intend to plant my two-year old lavender plants.

Sheesh.  Sometimes in marriage, it's easier and better just to LET IT GO.

So this morning, after my window glazing postponement, I hitched up the flatbed, and spent three hours picking up and hauling, and dumping cedar remnants.

By 12:00 noon, I had done my house painting and my cedar transport, and was back indoors, calling the rancher neighbors and researching fence: welded fence, woven wire, and all things in-between.

That's next on the agenda.



Louise Plummer said...

Have you finished the tree counting?

twebsterarmstrong said...

I have counted all the trees in our yard. I have to wait till this fall to do the woods, after the poison ivy abates. Stay tuned...

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