November 21 - 23, 2013

Spent a couple days with the boys out in the country. I was expecting it to be quite cold in the foothills since it was so cold in Portland... it wasn't! It was warmer (yet, not warm exactly)!

It was pretty frosty and cold in Portland. LOL

Mt Hood from the Clackamas overpass.

It was pretty out, about 50 degrees with a slight breeze.

Boys were feeling pretty frisky and frolicking about.

While I was outside, a couple fellas were walking up the road. Both had backpacks, fairly large ones, and one had a small brown dog. They said hello and seemed friendly enough.
I thought it was a little odd for people to be backpacking up the road. But, who am I to judge?
So they continued on and about 5 minutes later the two are headed back the other other way. Again, thought that was fairly odd.
The younger guy (white male, mid-late 20's, dark hair and short beard) wouldn't even look in my direction... kept staring ahead.
The older one (white male, mid-50's, salt & pepper hair and short beard), started walking past and then stopped and came back. The younger one is still not looking my direction although he does stop walking.
The older one asks about the property across the street saying he saw it for sale awhile ago and was wanting to buy it when his social security settlement comes in. Also said they have friends up the road.
Told him I didn't know what was going on with the property but that it isn't for sale anymore that I was aware of. Then I (stupidly) told him that I thought the bank owned it, but wasn't sure.
So the duo and their dog take off towards the town and bid me a good day.
A few things came to mind... 1. backpacking up my road is just odd; 2. that house has not been for sale for more than a year; 3. He seemed to be in very good health considering he is waiting for a SS settlement; 4. That one guy would not look my direction; 5. In the 5 minutes they were gone, there is no neighbor close enough for them to have gone to "visit".
I called the Sheriff's office and told them about the encounter because I think they were up to no good.

I just puttered around for the afternoon, moving tools and stuff out of the front porch. Then, night started to fall and there was the brightest star just over the tops of the trees in the southern sky.

Next morning, I was greeted by a very nice sunrise starting to peek through the trees.

So, I got busy and cleaned the longest part of the front porch up and did some sealing where there were air leaks. It actually took several hours just to do that one side. Oh and I put some removable "film" on that one window. This side is now ready for a new coat of paint.

This side is not! LOL

So that night, I gave the boys a treat and put peanut butter inside thier bones to amuse them for awhile. LOL

Waste not, want not! LOL

And then the two got up on the couch to watch some tube before bedtime.

Unlike our first night there, Cody woke me up about every two hours wanting to go outside... so, I would let them out and he would go lay in the grass. Sigh. Of course, now I am cold because... well... it's cold out in the middle of the night! So every two hours, I got 1.5 hours of sleep. I was not happy.

I guess we left around 9am and came back to the town house. I grabbed a comforter that I had meant to take with me to the country and stop at David's to have him wash it for me in his big washer. And off I went to his place. We watched the cartoon movie "Planes"... very cute movie. Then, while the comforter was still washing, I left and did my grocery shopping and came back. So, I got to see about half of a movie called "2 Guns".. also very good. Then the comforter was dry and I came back home.

Parked the car in the garage, unloaded groceries, gathered up empty bird feeders and filled those again. Now, I'm done.

October 13 & 14, 2013

I came out to the farm yesterday to start working on a flowerbed for the bulbs that had arrived and the three root plants. I had already brought out most of what I would need to do it a couple days ago so I could get the boys in the car for this trip.

I had forgotten that I would have to move the cement pilings out of the way first. So, I dug those out and moved them out of the way.

Got the bed constructed, pulled out the grass first, filled it with dirt and then it was getting cold outside so I decided to do the bulbs part on the 14th. The flower bed is 12' x 2' and has varying depths. It will ultimately be twice that long.

The boys were completely unimpressed by all my work.LOL

Cody Luke

Let the boys out for their last "break" for the night and moon was looking so crisp, I decided I needed a picture of it! LOL

After it warmed up this morning to a balmy 49 degrees, I took my bulbs, plants, and diagram for planting outside and started planting. There was a bird somewhere close by that was squawking like crazy.... I'm sure it was alerting all its friends that "brunch was being served"! LOL
On the potential menu: Alpine Rosy Bells, Blue Grape Hyacinths, Early Stardrift, Giant Daffodils, Beauty Dutch Iris, Mountain Bells, Tulips, King Edward Tulips, Giant Crocus, Mixed Daffodils, Chocolate Vine, Pink Mist Scabiosa and Butterfly Blue Scabiosa.

SO, after I got everything planted and put more dirt on top of it all... I added some screen over the top and two window grate like things and put bricks on them to keep them in place. Brunch indeed! LOL

October 5, 2013

Started out this morning with the boys, picked up David and headed to the farm for some light work that I wanted to do. Plus, the boys hadn't been for a ride for awhile, so I thought it would be good for them.

The yard needed mowing, but wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.

David took care of the mowing as well as the back yard, up towards the hill and along the fence. Then, prepared a place to move the pile of wood to. That part of the effort was abandoned until later. The wood is wet and heavy and neither of us took a weight belt or brace.

While he was doing that I gave the house, main floor, a good vacuuming and did some other stuff in the house that I wanted to get done. So we were done in a couple hours, packed up the boys and a ton of stuff I wanted to get washed and left. Stopped and got fast food, ate at his house and then the boys and I left and came home.

Oh... my weed is doing very well!

Click hereto go to the other house!

September 9, 2013

Just a few plant pictures.

First of all, when we went to the farm, this plant was growing. I have no idea what it is. I presume it is a weed, but I looked at several weed identifying sites and didn't find it. Kinda looks soft like a Lambs Ear, but not a Lambs Ear. I don't remember if I actually touched it or not.

If anyone knows what it is, please let me know! I decided to let it grow and see if it flowers or just what it does. I like it! ha

I was surprised to see this little crocus growing... it's not crocus season!

Hens and Chicks bloomed too. The first pic is from June 29.. not much going on with it. It seems to be happy, though, since it sent out those flower stalks.

This is the first "September Charm" Anemone that Debbie gave me. I was afraid that it had died when I moved it, but June 29 it was blooming, so I have hope it will thrive again in its new location.

And the last pics. The Clematis David gave me (taken June 29) and the Honeysuckle that has been out there since forever (taken July 12). The boys have damaged the Clematis trying to get under and around it for some place cool to be outside. I will have to do something to get them some shade and protect my Clematis.

August 31, 2013

Since the weather was going to be cooperative for a few days (if the weather man is right, anyhow LOL), I decided that today would be the day to paint the West side of the farmhouse. David graciously offered to help me out (again) and be the one to be up on the ladder to do the peak. So, off we went to the farm and started getting ready to paint.

Here's where we started. David did ladder work and I started on the bottom with a roller and paintbrush.

Two and a half hours later, the wall was done. The rougher wood needs another coat but this will do for now. The paint wasn't soaking in like I thought it would since most of it was bare nekkid wood from the pressure washing. As it was, we used about 3 maybe a little more of the 5 gallons of paint. The paint already has primer in it so we didn't have to worry about doing that too.

Decided not to paint the window frames today. The boards really should be replaced, so that will wait for a different day. But, when they do get finished, they will be dark brown and the window casements will be white. Just probably not this year.

Also painted the left corner of the front porch skirt.

At about noon when we finished with the painting, it was already into the low 80's and that sun beating on a person gets pretty toasty. I'm sure David's arm is not going to be completely happy after having to use that sprayer for 2.5 hours! It's a bit on the heavy side with paint in it. But it worked very well. Good purchase, I think.

So, while David cleaned up the sprayer equipment, I picked up and put away everything else, locked doors and turned off lights, so we could leave. He put the pressure washer in my car (I need it at the other house) and we headed back to town.

Dropped David at his house and I toddled on home, too.

Wouldn't have been a bad travel home, except someone in the area of Johnson Creek and I205 northbound decided to park his/her car on the little grassy knoll between the North and Southbound lanes, on it's top! How terrifying for the person/people in that car! It had traffic pretty snarled up for about a mile. I hope whoever was in that car will be okay. Whatever additional vehicles, tow trucks and ambulances had been there were gone by the time I got there and the left lane was open again (the highway sign said the left lane was closed), but there was a State Trooper there standing by with the vehicle.

Now I am home and once again clean! So, I will maybe start on tomorrow's project at the Portland house tonight when it cools down some.

August 18, 2013

Boy, what a day! David went to the farm with me to help me out with my list of crap to get done before Winter gets here. Now, it may seem that I am not doing anything because there is no photographic proof of me actually working. LOL I assure you I work hard, too!

While I started putting the new pressure washer together, David took off with the Ariens to get the front mowed and (I thought) the yard within the fence mowed. Well, turns out he mowed the front, mowed a bit to the East, worked his way West and mowed the "hill" that I have been nervous about mowing, then he mowed down to the "swamp barn" and cleared that up down there, and mowed half of the yard within the fence! I, personally, think that its fun to buzz around cutting down the tall grass. David allowed as how he was impressed with the abilities of the mower that I bought, even though he had to "unstuck" it a couple of times, but he wouldn't put it in the "fun" category! LOL Too many things to watch out for when the grass gets tall... otherwise it might be fun! LOL

David on the Ariens

You might remember how the wall looked before I started with the pressure washing, but just in case.... this is what I started with:

So, while David was mowing his heart out (and had to get it unstuck a couple times), I commenced to finishing the construction of the pressure washer and starting the washing of the wall. Worked really great, too! I am very pleased with my pressure washer purchase. Although, I was covered in water and lead paint chips and had to stop occasionally to wipe my glasses off! LOL
I did get the ladder up and I was able to get the work done to just above where the upstairs window starts. I am really not a fan of heights but, I was going to go for it as long as there was someone at the bottom in case I fell. The pressure washer has some really good force behind it and a couple of times when I pulled the trigger, it threatened to knock me off the ladder. So, I was kinda dragging my feet about going farther up. I would have done it, but, I admit it... I'm a wimp, sometimes. But, my inborn ego often circumvents my ability to actually verbally ask for help sometimes. LOL

Gallantry not withstanding, David, knowing my limitations, scurried up the extended ladder, without being asked, and did the "peak" part as much as would come off, from the window bottom to the top. I am grateful that he did that because I really, really didn't want to do it.

At the point that David came further down the ladder to finish the side of the wall on the opposite side of the fence, I jumped on the Ariens and finished the mowing of the fenced yard. Finally, that wall was done as much as would come off. Whew! The wood, to me, looks like it is cedar. I would love to just leave it natural if I could get all the white paint off it.

And, the mowing was completed. Again, whew! Even more than I had planned on getting done! He would have done more, but things are dry and a blade hitting a rock could cause a spark a fire.... so, he decided not to do more than what he had done. I am SO grateful that he did all he did with getting that grass cut back.

He did say that while he was mowing, he noticed at least 5 very well-fed field mice running towards the house and instructed that I should always mow away from the house so they run into the orchard area instead! LOL Bring 'em on... I've got plenty of poison for them to eat IN the house! LOL

So, while he was taking a much deserved short break... I got out the weed eater and long extension cord and started weed eating around the house. Not long after I started, he came out and took over with the weed eating at the back of the house. I am quite certain that he was taking pity on me in my sweaty, paint chip covered, condition! LMAO

While he was weed eating, I happened to notice this abandoned nest (glad it is abandoned! LOL):

And, while I was chopping down the berry brambles amongst the grass... I noticed that we disturbed this grasshopper... I think it is a grasshopper... I've only seen them green, not in desert camo! LOL

The weed eating was the last task that we did. It was only about 100pm but we were both getting tired and it was getting hot/humid out working in the sun. I, personally, was noticing a brand new muscle in my upper right arm near the shoulder that was starting to ache pretty good. LOL Not to mention the the muscles in my bad hand (and my good hand) that was starting to make itself known. I am sure that David's bad shoulder is probably feeling some work being done also. But, of course, he would never complain like I do.

That area by the house being cut down looked OH so much better.

We left about 1pm... I was tired, it was getting hot and I think we were both ready to leave.

While we were there, some new neighbors, who bought George's house up the road, stopped by to ask/tell about an incident that had happened at their place. They had been off fishing but the husband's mother was at the home working in the garden when a shot rang out and came within 2' of hitting her!!! Apparently, there are parties going on at the property across from the farm... which is a foreclosed property. That's just scary.

David suggested they get a hold of the bank and inform them of what is going on at THE BANK'S property and that they should remedy the situation.

They said they went and took a look and there is evidence of partying and a large fire pit being used... not good with all the dry foliage, etc. Pisses me off. I have no first hand knowledge of anything, so there is little I could report to authorities. But, I am thinking that perhaps more overnight stays are in order... I will deal with the jerks myself or call 911 at the first sight or sound. (oh, relax, I'll call 911 first and then go over) LOL

Well, that's about it for today. I am tired, my muscles are tired and I'm sure that my best bud is also tired!

Note to all: Cherish your true friends, I know I do.

July 21, 2013

The boys and I headed out to the farm around 0815AM, stopped for gas (price went up to $3.83 a gallon! That's obscene), and toddled on. The traffic going my way was fairly light, but the ones that were on the road were exceptionally obnoxious.I was glad to get out of the mainstream. LOL

So, got the boys in the house, it was already clear skies and warming up at the farm quickly at 0915AM.

Got the pressure washer out of the garage first and rolled it to the yard so I could put the spark plug in it and try it out. Well, while rolling along, I noticed that a tire looked wobbly. Upon closer inspection, the tire has separated from the rim. sigh. Finally got the spark plug in, after removing one apparatus off the machine so the ratchet could actually ratchet. Put it all back together and decided to paint instead! LOL

So, first I tried out the new color I bought for the shakes on the porch. I decided I liked it much better than that purpley-brown that the "experts" thought was nice and so I started painting the shakes.

Got the shakes finished and decided to use up what was left of the light brown in the gallon can on the front skirt. I hoped I would be able to get that all done, but there is a 2' x 3' section left unpainted. I didn't want to wrestle around the 5 gallon drum today of the addition light brown, so I did what I could and moved on.

It was actually getting hard to paint because the sun was drying everything out and making the paint really thick and a pain to deal with. I was glad to stop. Besides, the wasps were letting me know that they were not pleased! LOL

I wanted to spray weeds/berry brush, but I couldn't get the sprayer to operate, so I will do that next time.

It was now about noon time, I was getting hungry and the boys were staying in the house because there was no shade for them to stay outside. So, I hooked up the pressure washer to the hose, turned the water on, and it fired right up. YAY!! Took a little bit for the water coming out to actually have much pressure but once it did, it was good. SO, unhooked that stuff, watered my plants, turned the water off, put the washer in the garage and locked everything up. Put the boys in the car and off we went back to Portland.

The way home we took the back way figuring the way we came in had probably significantly populated with traffic. I believe that was right because the bridge that connects the two routs was totally gridlocked! We happily ventured our way to Oregon City and the freeway... leaving that mess behind! LOL

We are now back home, boys are asleep on their beds in the dining room and I'm going to get the paint off me very shortly and then just putz around here the rest of they day. OH, and when we got home, I backed my car into my now tidy garage! Woo Hoo! LMAO

Oh... the picture... I bet you'd like to see the picture of the farm house! Wow, was jabbering so much that I almost forgot! LMAO

Before and After:

July 7 and 8, 2013

Headed out to the farm fairly early on Sunday with the boys, planning to stay a couple nights and get started on painting the house. Actually, get started on prepping the house to be painted.

The area was up in the clouds and had some pretty good misting going on.

I intended on getting the front of the house prepped and painted before leaving on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, the pressure washer decided not to work after about 20 minutes. So, I called David to borrow his sander, which he brought out with extra sandpaper. I spent the rest of Sunday sanding the wall. But I did have to take a break during the heat of the day when all the wasps came out. So I didn't get completely done.

While I was waiting for David to arrive, I decided I might as well get this area of yard cleaned up of sticks and things that I didn't want to use the lawnmower on.

Got it cleaned up and mowed later on. Much better! Still a couple things to cut down to the ground that I need my bigger lopers to deal with. But, it's mostly clear now.

Monday morning we were back in the mist.

The boys were enjoying the coolness of the morning.

When the mist let up, I finished with the sanding and started painting. I did have to take some bee breaks as it heated up when the sun came out. Wasps and Bumblebees didn't appear to be at all happy with the new paint job going on on their house... ingrates. LOL I was growing tired of the painting expedition and was still a little sore from all the sanding work... as well as lack of sleep... so I didn't get finished.

I am not going to sand or paint this wall. It's just too much and too tall for me to deal with it. I am going to have to find a local house painter and have them do it instead.

June 22, 2013

I went out to the farm, without my boys, to get the lawn mowed during the one day this week it was not supposed to be wet outside. It wouldn't take very long to mow if I didn't have to mow around this and that. Plus, moved 2 piles of weeds/grass over to the corner so they can become one with nature.

The Clematis was doing very well.


Vent was still up, that's a good thing!

I'll put up the rest of the 3rd row and I think put a little fence in the top, after I get the ground cover out of there and put more dirt in.

When Randy was mowing he pushed some vines over to the swamp area. There is more solid ground there than I thought. It got so overgrown, was hard to tell where the pond starts but those areas are about 8' farther of solid ground! Always good to know!

June 15, 2013

The boys and I went out to the farm today. The boys were, of course, elated that they got to go somewhere. LOL
I had my list of things to get done so I got started right away. Decided to do the house vent first.

But, first I was going to have to do some weed eating. What a mess! LOL

I haven't finished with the vent thing. I needed to get different nails and/or charge my screwdriver thingy so I can use screws to attach the frame that will go around the vent. It will look good when I finish it next week.

So, I turned my attention to the yard. Ugh! There were plenty of bees in the area, especially when a light cloud cover was coming over... de ja vu... LOL... but mostly were bumble bees that were interested mostly in the water that had gathered on the blue tarp. My weed-eating seemed quite annoying to a snake, a small lizard, and a big lizard as they skittered off to avoid dying! LOL While I was trying to knock down grass and very healthy weeds/stickers, it occurred to me that I no longer know what I am going to do with this patch of yard since plan A and plan B have both fallen through, through no fault of my own.

So, once I got that blue tarp up and the rest of the weeds down... I did nothing else until I decide what I'm going to do and get the supplies to do it. Not pretty, but looks much better without the blue tarp, don't ya think! LMAO I think I am going to let it go back to being just grass, finish the retaining walls and make a path around to get to my flowers. I think I can drive the Ariens up and over the walkway, so that will work out fine. Still might put the little firepit in the middle of the yard so I can sit out there on a cool, starry night and stay warm! LOL

During an indoor break, I looked up at the little Rhode part that I cut off of the dead larger plant and put in water a week and a half ago... darned thing has made roots! Cool!

I also did some spraying of weeds while I was there. Was going to mow the yard, but the seat on the mower is wet because I conveniently parked it directly under a roof leak in the garage. I had bought it a cover but neglected to put it on the last two times I was out there... then it rained several days so the seat was still pretty wet and I didn't want to sit on it. So, it now has a bonnet on it and I will mow next week when I go out there. Doesn't seem like I got much done at all but I think, in reality, I did. Oh, plus I twisted my ankle in a hole by the garage and being on my feet so much was becoming a real pain... so... after 4.5 hours there, we left and came home to Portland.

June 14, 2013

Ran out to the farm to do a couple things today while it wasn't raining. First thing I noticed is that there were no bees swarming the house. YAY!

Second thing I noticed was that a Tiger Lily had bloomed! Pretty

The next thing I noticed was that Randy had been out and did the mowing, cut back the blackberries and moved my vine piles. Double YAY!!

Now, I just have to do the "finish" work around the house and dump gallons of vine killer on the remaining Blackberry vines.

Put garbage can and recycling container in the yard and then opened the door to the front porch.

Yup, still there. sigh.

Unfortunately, I neglected to put the shop vac in the car so, I employed this antique broom to gather up the bees. It works very well on indoor/outdoor carpet and cement and that sort of thing. I suspect, in the day, it was used for dirt floors!

So, I scooped up 4 dustpan's worth of bees and there is probably one more worth of bees under the little antique stove.

Left the farm and headed to town, ran a couple errands, had lunch with Mom and got my Red, White and Blue flower bowl she bought for me, came home and did very little around here, so far. LOL

Tomorrow, since its supposed to be nice out, I think I will go back out there and put my outside vent on, mow the yard inside the fence, dump poison on the vines, weed eat around the house where the mower couldn't get to and come home. Maybe I will take the boys with me.

June 9, 2013

David and I arrived at the farm... no humming was heard and no bees were engulfing the corner of the house... I breathed easier.

We got out and went over to the corner expecting to see dead little bee bodies on the ground... or on the roof, but there were none to be seen. There was powder up by the Point of Entry. But no dead bees anywhere. We were baffled.

Then, David opened the door to the front porch.

Oh dear!

Oh my!

More under there.


Okay, we now know where several went to die. But, I can assure you there were WAY more than this in the swarm! The rest must be dead inside the area between the roof and the ceiling... I'm actually okay with that... as long as they are dead and I'm pretty sure based on the previous pictures... they are dead. Whew!

David got up the ladder and filled in the gaps with that spray filler stuff and then secured the board back on. We took a walk around the house and filled in some other area's that could be entry ways. There are really too many to try to get them all. But, many are now closed to further bee breach.

I gathered up all my gardening tools, my cell phone and my allergy meds.
Gathered up the garbage and recycling and put that out for pick up on Thursday.
On the 7th, before I skittered out of there. I had done quite a bit. So, when I go back out there on Thursday, will try to finish this gardening stuff up and vacuum up the dead bee bodies. Then, next day I go out, I will finish the "sealing" of the front porch since so many bees ended up in there... clearly, I have missed a spot! LOL That will be rectified.

This tire and flower used to be on the perpendicular fence. It will stay here now.

Lilac got a good trim back but I am leaving that part to eventually provide shade for Cody because he likes to lay down in that corner.

That grass will be pulled out and/or weed eated, yard fabric laid down and secured, then the Clematis will be allowed to grow along that entire area and up the fence. I will put a retaining wall here too, but may not be this year.

The house will look pretty cozy when it gets painted. The body of the house and the skirt around the front porch will be a medium tan, the trim a creamy white, and the cedar shakes on the front porch will be a much darker version of the color of the roof.

Be it ever so humble....

June 6 and 7, 2013

Got out to the farm on the 6th around 10am, I think. It was already starting to get warm out and I knew I had a ton of weeding etal to do. I decided to concentrate all my efforts this trip on the tiny little patch on the south east front side of the house.

After hours of digging and cutting and pulling, the front fence line was clear again. The grass on the other side of the fence still needs to be cut with the weed-eater.

There we go! Much better. Two of my tire planters ended up empty because I couldn't find the flowers I had planted in them. (They have transplants from over by the lilac tree in them now).

Looking better. I still need to finish my retaining wall, too. Once the wall is complete and the rubber mulch and more dirt is added, the idea is you won't be able to see the tires at all. They make good planters, hold moisture in during the summer heat and keep the roots from freezing in the Winter.

At the corner. The rose bush had died as did the Rhode that was planted over there. A tall plant with purple flowers was blooming and the Clematis on the left was growing very well and has tons of buds getting ready to bloom. But, I was getting tired and sore from all that work in the front so I decided to save that side for the next day. LOL

While I was working, I kept hearing "thunk, thunk, thunk" against metal across the street. I finally saw there was something on the barn roof across the road but I had to zoom in with the camera to see what it actually was. Just a Flicker!

I felt a little guilty for giving up when there was still about 3 hours of sunlight. But, the sun was finally setting and it was beautiful, promising tomorrow would be another beautiful day.

And, it was a beautiful morning on the 7th!

Cody was loving it! Goofy boy! It was still pretty cool out and the grass had dew on it so he was lovin' life. LOL

I was actually getting a lot done the morning of the 7th. But, I have no pictures of my labors. As cloud cover was coming in, the air was getting very humid.
When the bees started swarming the southwest corner and west side of the house.... I got us out of there, came back to Portland, and called a Bee Exterminator. He went out the same day and I am happy to say, the whole swarm and any other bees that want to go in the corner of the roof... should be dead this morning.

David will go with me Sunday to reattach the board and do some sealing around the house.

All the little gold flecks in the picture are bees, hard to see them. The pictures don't do the event any justice. Just multiply the gold flecks by at least 3x and that is what I saw. (No, didn't take the time to really set up a good picture, I was in a hurry to leave)!

The lady at the bee company said it sounded like a small swarm based on my description to her. *faint*

Amazing they would chose this house to invade instead of the vacant barn, work shop, and house across the street, where they could have a great time without being bothered. One the other hand, they ran me away from the house, so I guess they don't need to take habitation by others into consideration. Nasty creatures.

And, if you're wondering... I am rethinking the whole floral addition idea for the farm. Flowers = bees. LOL

From across the street... it was an ominous sight in person.

All the little gold flecks you can see from border to border in the picture, are bees. As I said, you're only seeing about a 1/3 of what I saw.

So ended my 2 days at the farm. I am almost tempted to run out there this afternoon and see if there are any bees coming and going. But it's only "almost" not a certainty that I will go look. LOL

June 3, 2013

Got out to the farm around noonish I think. The lawn was still about 8" tall as well as the parking areas. Back yard was still about 18 - 24" tall. So, I ate my lunch and took the weed eater out to the garage so I could mow down the grass so I could open the garage door without so much difficulty.

Checked the battery tender, it said it was charged! YAY!!

Got on, stuck the key in and it fired right up!

Okay, that is a lie. Sigh. It didn't start at all. I got so frustrated because I read many reviews on this thing before I bought it and saw NOTHING negative, all was positive. Yet, I am unable to start my machine.

So, checked connections... looked fine to me. Consulted the instruction manual again... yep, did all that stuff. Still nothing.

Defeated, I returned to the house and tried to call Bob and Ramona since they live close and there was no answer. Called Joe and Joy next and they were home and came over to check it out.

Joe checked this and that and deemed all was fine. But, it still didn't start! LOL Turns out that it was operator error... yes, those that know me well can attest to the fact that occasionally machines get the better of me... I didn't understand the pictures on the lever and it was the opposite of what I thought it was. Made that little adjustment and it finally started.

Joe backed it out and tried out this and that on the bigger parking area and then had me drive it and mow. Then, they left and I finished the parking area.

Now, it was time to face the backyard so I could figure the best way to get to the gate for the front yard.

Hmmmm... no, I think I will go down the old road (now overgrown, of course) and then scoot along the bottom of the hill to the gate. Yeah, that should be good.

Only made it a short way. I was not mowing, just driving because the grass is too tall to see what may be in it and I really didn't want to break the mower my first time out.

So, off I went to what I thought would be a safe route and the more level route to get to where I wanted to get to. But, probably 15' from the upper gate, I got stuck. Damn!! Wouldn't go forward, wouldn't go backward... just stuck. SO, had to turn it off and get off.

Push from the front, rock it, yeah, that's the ticket. No, it wasn't the ticket. sigh. Pull and rock it from the back.. nope, back to the front. Push and rock, push and rock, push and rock... FINALLY... dislodged from whatever it was stuck on. Whew! I gotta tell you that little thing is friggin' heavy trying to push it up a slight incline! Plus it was about 80 degrees out.

Yes, I also know that Joe and Joy would have come back, but it was kind of embarassing and my stubborn streak wouldn't let me accept defeat again. I couldn't get my car in there to pull the little buggar out either... so, was muscle power. I got myself into it, I would get myself out of it. For that matter, I'm sure David would have come and got me unstuck too, but I wasn't going to call ANYBODY! LOL (Incidentally, I am now regretting that decision! LMAO)

Even though I was unstuck, I could actually only go forward from where I was so, I did that. It's pretty steep but the little Ariens chugged right along and I didn't go fast! LOL

Got to the bottom, hung a left and then realized that I was actually a little high on the slope for traversing, had to back up and make another go at it.

Got stuck, temporarily again, wondered if I would be brave enough to make it to the big gate to the yard. Those things can tip over! I did not want to end up in the berry brambles or the pond with a riding mower on top of me.

Managed to get unstuck without having to manhandle the mower like before. Thank goodness! And, I made it to the gate at a quick pace.

Mowed what I could of the yard, the rest would have to be weed-eater action.

Now, I had to face that hill again and the slope to get to the road. *gulp* I took a smoke break and decided what would be my best plan of action, was still sitting on the mower, fired it up... oh... it was hot out and my behind was getting tired of being in one place, my skin was sticking to the seat since I had shorts on, so I lifted one butt cheek to re-situate... and that mower started choking out! It's a safety feature so that numbskulls who feel then need to get off the mower while it is in gear/running.. it kills the engine. Apparently, you have to sit in one place, squarely on the seat and never move! sheesh.

SO, I decided to mow my way back up, in the same tracks I had just made when I drove down. No, I did not get stuck! LOL

Looking back down the hill after mowing. I came up rather quickly, so it didn't catch as much as it would have had I gone more slowly.

This was where I got stuck on a rock on the way down.

Mowed path to the upper gate

Did all the weed-eating around the fence and stuff that I didn't want to mow over with the rider since I couldn't see what was there for sure.

It was now 530pm and I put the mower away, put everything away, and decided I best head back to town because my allergies were kicking in and, frankly, I was starting to hurt from wrestling the mower around.

Before leaving, I took a new picture of the vacant wasp nest in the shed.

When I arrived home, there was a box on the front porch. Inside was a frog statue, frog coin purse, and frog Christmas ornament! How adorable!! Thank you Sherry! I needed that after my day! Love them all! The tall frog, I think is going to live with the tall cactus.

I believe I will still have the mower guy come out and mow the back yard so I can see the hilly terrain better before I decide if I'm going to try to keep it mowed. Currently, I am thinking no! LOL But, I may change my mind later.

Now, it is past time to get cleaned up and likely do nothing the rest of the night.

May 16, 2013

I got out to the farm about 845am, the earliest the delivery would be was probably 9 or 930am. So the boys and I settled in a bit for the wait.

As you may or may not know... waiting and being patient is not really one of my long suits. LOL

So, a little after 9am, I was on the phone to the Home Depot, to ascertain if they knew when it would actually be delivered. I learned at the time of my call, it was being loaded on the truck.

About 20 minutes later, the driver called to say he was on the way and should be there in 30 or 40 minutes. (he was coming from the Oregon City store and not the store where I actually did the purchase).

The clouds broke and the sun came out... several times. So, to amuse myself and keep my little brain occupied, I decided to see what might be blooming. There's a big surprise, right? LOL

This bunny was just outside the fence by the honeysuckle...

When I tried to get closer, it decided to leave. Spoil sport. LOL

The boys wandered the yard...

The lawn was filling up with little buttercups...

Cody was just being goofy...

The creeping Lamium had beautiful pink flowers on it...

Hens and chicks were doing fine...

Lady's Mantle is getting many small yellow flowers...

Tiger Lillie's are getting ready to bloom in a few weeks...

Whatever I put in here is getting yellow flowers on it. Boy, I have a LOT of weeding to do...

The lilacs were clearly unimpressed by the poison I fed them twice last year...

Same with the Trumpet vine...

As well as this viney bush that was HUGE for years and years and years...

Found this big hole in the ground with the tunnel pointed directly at the house... hope its a rabbit hole... I don't think skunks tunnel...

Finally the truck arrived at about 1030am...

He noticed the garage door was already open, so he went ahead and pushed it in there for me and then left...

Safely locked up and tucked away, ready for drier days...

Stock photo.. I couldn't get a good one in the garage... cute huh? LOL That looks like a cup holder/can holder on the back fender...

So that was today's farm adventure. A little wildlife, a little plant life, a little sun, a little clouds, domestic beasts and my new tractor... so, we left and came back to Portland so I can work on the cover for the "vent" under the house... yes, still smells skunky in the house.

May 4, 2013

The day went very well. It got warm fast while we were working, though. The nice little breeze was turning fairly strong gusty instead!

First thing on the agenda was to get the battery back into the ATV and see if it would start. Getting the battery in and hooked up was kind of a pain but it did get accomplished, unfortunately, the ATV engine would not turn over. Thought it was going to a couple times, but no.

I was hoping to use it to just pull the lilacs that fell over out of the yard, but that wasn't going to happen so David cut it up into more manageable pieces and we hauled those out of the yard.

All Gone!

The yellow rose and the rhody didn't survive the winter... neither shows even the tiniest sign of life. But, everything else seemed to be okay.

Next time I go out, I will pull up that blue tarp, try to even the ground a bit and cover it with black plastic instead.

Next was the tree in the back that broke off a few months ago and get it trimmed back so when the mowing guy comes, it won't be in the way or a danger to his equipment.

Then it was time to face the running water issue. Per my brother's recommendations before calling a plumber, first thing was to remove the board in front of the opening, shine a light in to see what could be seen and hope to not see any beady eyes looking back at us! LOL

So, David removed the board, which was only laying up against the house, so it wasn't hard! LOL

He got hit with the first breath of skunk. LOL I didn't smell it very bad right away, but it was definitely there.

Couldn't really see very far into the underneath of the house and couldn't see back to the bathroom area. But, while he was looking underneath, I went to the back porch and turned on the knob that turns the water on to the outside spigot. The purpose was to see if there was any noticeable leaks that would make the "running water" noise. There were none that he could see from there. So, we went into the house and opened the trap door. That was a major effort in itself and that time, I got the full blast of skunk smell since I was going to be the flashlight and looker person. Was quite unpleasant! Nearly lost my lunch. And, there was no leakage seen, this is where you can view the bathroom underneath.
Closed that door and I was coughing so much had to go outside for air. LOL Oh, and I saw no beady eyes there either.

Still perplexed, we walked around the outside of the house to see if there was any water escaping anywhere.. there wasn't. So, David walked out to the old pump house, just in case it had anything to do with it. Sure enough, there was the sound of water rushing into the old well! So, I went back to the house and turned off the inline knob that I had turned on... the noise in the old pump house stopped.

Geez Louise! You would think that when they did the new well they would have capped off the old one, which, if they did, the cap came off. I will be calling the guy in the next couple days to find out why they didn't and have them come out and do it so I can use the outside water again.

So, David solved that mystery! Way to go and thanks again! :)

Since the house was smelling so much better (to me) having that board off the crawl space hole, we decided to put the screen back across it and block it up to keep ventilation under there. I will make a new screen for it and only block it off during the months of wet and freezing temps.

So, we were both hot and tired so we didn't venture into the old forest to clear the path of the two trees that fell over. That will happen later.
Packed everything up, locked up and left.

Since I was a passenger, it was kind of nice to be able to gawk around instead of having to pay attention! LOL

Tried to get a shot of Mt Hood, but you can barely see it. It's that white thing in the middle of the picture and has clouds gravitating to the tip of it.

Mt Hood

And, along the river drive, the Clackamas River was looking very pretty!

Clackamas River

We stopped at the McDonald's drive through and I bought us some lunch, took it to his house and ate. Gave him a haircut for his troubles today and I toddled off to my house.

Upon arrival, the boys greeted me at the front door, happy to see their Mom came back! LOL

Looked out the back slider and noted a problem. At first I thought the boys did it, but with the gusty wind from the East and it being on the east side of my house... I decided the wind did it.


No casualties were noted as far as the cacti were concerned, but I have a mess to clean up, many pots with dirt in them were on that rack and a pottery planter broke. Oh well, could always have been worse. LOL

May 2, 2013

Couldn't have asked for a prettier day for working outside. It was gorgeous! Warm with a nice little breeze occasionally. (Which was most welcome as it got warmer outside)! LOL
It was about 63 deg in the house, which, when I walked in seemed quite cold. However, it was a welcome relief from the sun when I took a couple breaks! Felt GOOD! Outside thermometer said it was 84 deg by 1pm.

Things didn't look much different since the last time I came up and weed-eated. At least it didn't look much taller! And it seemed decidedly drier.

So, I put the lawnmower on it's tallest setting, I think it is 4", and off I went. I was amazed at how well that Poulan Pro was doing mowing that grass down, especially since I had to use it in the "mulch" mode because I couldn't find the thing that goes on the side so grass shoots out the side. Had my doubts that it would be a very easy day, but that mower was really plowing through. It even plowed through the grass that I didn't weed eat in the corner of the lot! Had to tip the deck up a few times, to let the mulch out so it wouldn't kill the mower, but was not a big issue. The "after" picture:


The Iris had two blooms on it this time. Pretty and dark purple. Amazingly, the tall one above the existing bloom... actually almost completely bloomed by the time I left!

close up

Well, by the time I finished the yard... the battery for the key ignition was dead. I was sad to see that because I wanted to use it more! LOL

So, I looked at my parking strip and the rest of the parking strip and decided that was just more weed-eating than I wanted to do. I had already spent more than an hour doing the yard. That yard is much bigger than I remember it being! LOL

Parking areas:

So, I emptied the rest of the gas from my gas can into the mower... with fierce determination, I pulled on that pull thingy to start it manually about 4 times and it started!!! Oh my!! I was thrilled! Okay, maybe not thrilled that I managed to start it that way, but I was happy! LMAO So, off I went again!
Parking after:

When I moved my car to mow under where it sits, I noticed that there was blossoms from the Lilac that had fallen over. I guess it just really doesn't want to die... although the big dead parts need to be hauled out of there.

Bless it's little Lilac heart!

Since it was doing so well with that knee-high tall grass... I turned my attention to the side back yard. I needed to get that tall grass down for a job to do on Saturday. Ugh!

Since there was still gas in the mower and it was doing so well in the other tall grass, I decided to just mow until it was empty. Didn't take that long! LOL

I was going to have to do the rest with the weed eater to get up to the outside water and the house, so, it wasn't a major thing that the mower was out of gas.

Got out the cord and weed eater and got to work. Found the old screen that used to be in the crawl hole to the house (it had been boarded up because skunks had been getting through the screen). But I got the area cleaned out and that was my goal.

No, I have no intention of getting under that house but I want to use a flashlight and look under there to see if I can see a water leak... if there is a water leak.

So, having accomplished that goal and found two old hoses buried in the grass, I finished that section and called it good.

When I was getting ready to leave, the sun shining warmly, a slight cool breeze blowing and I looked up to see a beautiful sight. I will miss it when those trees, most of them, are gone. But they are beautiful now. So much lush green against the crisp blue sky. It's gorgeous.


The only thing that could have made it better is if the honeysuckle was in bloom. It smells so nice when the sun is beating on it! This mound of green is the honeysuckle. There used to be a Black Walnut tree in the center of that mound, but it had to be taken down, it was pretty old, and Dad had it made into a china hutch for me many years ago. But, the Honeysuckle survives! LOLMbr<

So, in closing, this is the property... when I get the house painted, it will look better, but I think I left it looking pretty nice today! LOL

April 27, 2013

Oh UGH! I am amazingly tired just from using the weed-eater for 2.5 hours! I so wish my hot tub was up and running!! LOL

I knew the grass was still going to be tall... so I wasn't disappointed! LOL

Parking Strip West Side

North front yard East front Side

This beautiful Iris was in bloom, with many more to come from the looks of it! They are around Bronte's grave. (Dad's beloved pup and companion for many years). I accidentally knocked the one bloom off the plant with the cord of the Toro (weed-eater) but there will be more.


So.. with Toro in hand, I got plugged in and down to business! That grass is SO thick and lush that the Toro was even having some difficulty... of course, normal people would not be weed-eating an entire yard, but a lawn mower would definitely not survive trying to mow that tall grass. It is very healthy!

I think there is much to be said for not picking up ones grass remains and letting them go back to and nourish the earth! Most of it is very lush and soft but other parts are the thicker clumps. It has never been fertilized and all that crap that city folk do, has never been less than 3" tall when cut, and the mowings have never been picked up and tossed out. Yet, it stays very very healthy. Hmmmmm.... should tell a person something! No chemicals needed!!!

The part that was directly in front of the house was the part that had the most thicker clumps in it and was putting the Toro through a workout. So, after a short while, I gave it and me a break. The boys were not at all happy that their cool, tall grass was being mowed down.

I had actually tried to start the Super Model weed eater, but I couldn't get it started and it was making me tired trying to get that gas engine to turn over, so I abandoned the idea. An apparently stupid purchase for me to have made. sigh.

So, anyway, I worked and worked at it and finally got almost to the end of it all for the West side of the house... and then I ran out of "string"... of course, I had neglected to purchase more before going out. LOL But there is just a tiny piece in the far corner that didn't get cut, so I will live with that until I get more string (tomorrow) and go back out later this week.

I got out the battery operated weed-eater hoping it would have enough juice to finish the right side of the front yard and the parking strip... but, it just didn't. Worthless piece of equipment for out there. It did cut the more sparse stuff and a couple clumps but only a couple feet of the parking strip before it was drained... how pathetic is that? LOL

Having accomplished all I could with what I had, there was nothing more to do with the lawn issue.

Against my better judgement, I decided to see how the backyard and those wretched blackberries were doing. They are all growing great! sigh.

The berries are greening up and growing very well at the back of the shed.

And the ones I poisoned last Fall and cut down this Spring... are showing signs of life! How friggin' special is that??? LOL

Packed everything back in the car, put the boys in and we left. I will take my lawnmower and the Toro (with more string) out on Tuesday to drop it off. Then take the boys out on Wednesday night or Thursday morning with me and do the mowing of the fenced yard and work on those blackberries. It's supposed to be nice for a few days, so we will spend a few days out there. IF, and that is a big IF, I get those things under control, I will start on prepping the house for a new coat of paint.

April 15, 2013
And a Happy Tax Day to you all! Hope you got yours in on time!

I had to meet someone out at the farm in the afternoon so I packed up the boys and some food, etc and decided we would spend the night out there since I also had a morning appt there.

I knew that the grass would be tall, my grass at the Portland house is tall, but it was taller than I thought it would be. egads! Didn't seem to bother Cody though, I think he like the wet and cold grass. LOL

With the exception of that tall and very tough grass directly in front of the house, I think the lawnmower will handle the rest of it. But, it is just so wet right now. I did try to use the battery operated weed eater to get that tallest stuff down, but it didn't go very far before the battery was dead. I tried!

And, I still need to move this eyesore out of the way.

Drug home some of the bulbs/plants that I had moved to the farm in pots. They will be planted at the Portland house until I am ready to do landscaping at the farm. There are more to bring back, I'll get those on the next trip.

I was happy to see that these plants were growing quite well out there. My friend Debbie had given them to me.

Well, that is about it. I went back out on the 16th to cut more grass, but it was just too wet and tall, so I left.

March 25, 2013

Started out the morning, just as it was getting light out, opening the back door at the Portland house and taking in an ample breath of cool morning and fresh mowed lawn. I love the smell of a fresh mowed lawn! Unfortunately, it doesn't like me so much and I retreated to get some otc allergy meds. LOL I guess I really didn't think that out too thoroughly before taking that snort of grass pollen! I decided to drink my coffee inside the house waiting for the otc to kick in.

So, around 9am, grabbed the boys, some pruning tools, and my lunch (Turkey, bacon, and Havarti cheese on a toasted onion bagel)... toss them all in the car and off we went.

Unfortunately, there was some kind of accident or other police action going on on my route to the freeway and all traffic was being diverted. I couldn't tell what was going on, maybe a vehicle hit the tree in front of the kid's center at the intersection I use. Anyway, I had to follow Trimet through neighborhoods to try to get back where we all wanted to be. The numbskull in front of me didn't understand the concept of getting turning left into the center turning lane and merging. What a moron... oh... that's right, it looked like she was on her cellphone.

Finally made it to the freeway heading south. There was hardly any traffic, it was moving along really well for a Monday morning and not hardly any trucks either. Beautiful!

Carver Curves was pretty and fairly quiet too. Amazingly, the truck I was behind actually pulled over to the side to let traffic get around him. I always appreciate that. So, the rest of the drive to Estacada was pretty uneventful.

I saw this guy on the highway and thought it would be a good number to have!

I didn't make any stops, just cruised on by the town.

Headed up the hill.

Turned on to my road.

Let the boys out and put my lunch in the fridge. Looked at the grass... I know where I will be when my mower gets back! LOL

Cody barked and cried for about 30 minutes when I left them in the yard to do my work. They don't like Puppy Prison when their Mom is on the opposite side of the fence. Poor boys!

So, I grabbed all the pruning tools, double set of gloves, and, camera, of course, and headed over to see what I was going to be doing. *faint*

When I started cutting and pulling, two Stellars Jay's flew into the area to watch and scold me. I tried to get a picture of them, but they were too far away and by the time I zoomed in enough, they left! LOL
I only see Scrub Jays at the Portland house so that was a treat to see them. Noisy birds! Good lungs!

Worked until about noon. The day was warming up and since I was wearing sweats, it was really getting warm while I was working. I was grateful every time a breeze blew through! But since I was getting hungry and could hear that turkey sandwich calling my name... I abandoned my work effort and went back in the house. I got a lot of it cleared and the pile of vines grew taller!LOL

After lunch, (the boys got the last two bites of my sandwich), beggars that they are (I know, my fault). I went back out for more slave labor. I could see the old wooden ladder under the brush but couldn't pull that monster out without cutting everything around it first.

That metal piece is part of the ladder.

There it is! YAY!!! Boy, it was heavy!

Continued cutting, but it was going slow because the ground took a pretty steep downward turn from the top. Made it hard to cut and pull stuff out. Some of those vines, a lot of those vines, were about 10 - 15 feet long and wrapping around to the back side of the shed. I was pulling on a few of them and they would suddenly give way and I nearly landed on my keester more than once! LOL

Since it was getting warm out, I kept pushing the sleeves up on my sweatshirt and now my right arm looks like it was attacked by a gang of angry marauding kittens! Left one suffered also, but mostly the right one. Ouchie. (No picture LOL).

My lofty idea of wanting to get it all done today was quickly fading as the clouds started coming in and the humidity level would go up. So, I finished just that one side and called it a day. I had been at it since 1015am with a 15 min lunch break and it was now almost 2pm... enough is enough! I am no longer a Spring Chicken with unending energy. *shock* I have finally admitted to myself that I have limits. Sigh.

I looked down and saw this pretty woolly bear catepillar. I'm not sure how he managed to not get stomped on by me, but I'm glad he/she did. I like them.

Put everything back in the car, including the boys, and headed for home. I was just starting to feel the effects of all that cutting and pulling and not really enjoying it. Not to mention my battered arms. LOL

The trip home was good, even the freeway wasn't too bad. A few idiots, as usual, who shouldn't have a driver's license or a car.
Some days, the trek back home feels like a 1000 miles of driving! LOL

I will probably sleep pretty well tonight. My muscles are all feeling a little on the fatigued side. I am really happy that my chiropractor appt is Wednesday. That will help. A massage would really help! LOL

That's it for my day, hope you all had a good one!

March 9, 2013

What a beautiful day in the country! Couldn't have asked for better, more temperate weather and the trees were so green and beautiful against the blue sky. Slight breeze blew by occasionally. It was really perfect!

The boys would have really loved it had there been any trees left in the yard to lay under... so, Cody stayed in the house and was not happy, but at least, he was cooler. Luke stayed outside in the sun so he could keep watch on what I was doing or where I was. At least Luke doesn't have the down fur that Cody does so it wasn't as bad for him.

Well, first thing I discovered is that I needed slightly skinnier pieces of pipe for the gate posts. Go figure. Then, I pondered and decided that the wood siding that fell off the garage would need to go back up before I could start with the gate.

So I put the piece back on the garage that was going to potentially be directly affected and set up the gates in a "propped up" fashion so I could get a visual on what I wanted to do since I was having to change my plans.

Then I did a little digging and moved the gate around several times until I got it where I thought it would work the best... there we go... that's the spot!

So, I got the two gate pieces secured in place for now. The only real problem is that the bar in the center of the gates. It has metal pegs that are supposed to slide into the "holder" on the one fence to "lock" them together... except the two pegs are not lined up to any degree where you could use them both at the same time. It was quite perplexing, not sure why Dad made it that way. Oh well, suppose he had a reason at the time he did it! LOL

Then I put the two pieces of siding back on the garage, not an easy task for one person. And, amazingly, found the other two missing pieces that had fallen off some time ago! So I brushed them off and put those up too. It's not beautiful, but is currently functional.

Then, I grabbed my last No Trespassing sign and hung that on my new blockade! LOL

Added the final touch of a very long chain around the middle to reinforce the sign that had been posted... and GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY... I was done with my chore for the day! LOL

Stopped at David's and dropped some stuff off, let the boys out for a potty break and visited for a little while and then packed up the boys and came home.

Had thought of several things on the way home that I should get to while the weather is still nice out... but now that I've been sitting around doing this, I've sort of lost the mood so I am going to go soak and get cleaned up instead! LOL Gotta love retirement mentality! LOL

February 2, 2013

Oh the trials and tribulations of life. Tis never ending... some siding fell of the side off the garage and the outside wall of one of the add-on rooms had started popping off. I left the siding off, but tacked the wall back up.

The boys were okay with being out there, but since the Insurance agency made me cut down all the trees close by, there was no shade for them to stay cool in while I was outside working and they have to stay inside the fence because I don't trust them! LOL

So, Cody yowled for a while when I disappeared out of their sight and then retired to the house where he could stay cool (he has all that down fur) and Luke patiently waited by the fence for me to come back where he could see me. My boys! Gotta love 'em. It was actually in the low 70's up there so it was quite nice for working... not so much if you're wearing a full length fur coat though! LOL

Okay, on with the day!

This was the pile from a couple weeks ago when I started cutting down berry vines by the shed and then noticed the berry vines on the power line to the shed. The vines didn't go away. sigh

And, this is where I will begin today's adventure. You can see the power line coming from the upper right of the photo and then disappearing about the center of the photo.

I got started and worked at cutting, pulling, tugging, piling, and, yes, cussing for about 4.5 hours pretty steadily. Took two cigarette breaks and then back at it. Finally made my way through to what seemed to be the actual offender that was engulfing the power line. Actually, it was that nasty tree and the berry vines.

Got all that cut down and off the line, including some smaller branches from the tree that were laying on the line. I did manage to actually touch that line (with my hand and with the loper) a couple time and suffered no jolts of electricity, so I don't see what the big deal was.
I did, however, take care not to tug on anything too hard that was looping over it as I didn't want it to unhook anywhere and cause me to receive a jolt or, heaven forbid, start a fire. Mostly I cut on one side by the line and then cut and pulled from the other side.

So, after all my hard labor... the new pile of brambles didn't seem, to me, to fully illustrate how much work I did! Although, if you take into consideration that I smooshed the pile down a few times, maybe it does. I thought it would be bigger. LOL

This little fellow had seen better days and was hidden under all the brambles with the dozen tires and a automobile seat! LOL

I also saw this little piece of a plate. I don't know what it is, but maybe my friend, Thelma, can identify and age it for me. Who knows what all might be in that ground!


After I cleared the line of the vines and tree branches so they weren't dragging it down, I walked a little ways up to see how the orchard was looking. Sigh. It definitely needs some serious work as well as eradication of berry vines.

And there is plenty of work to be completed around the shed so I can treat the wood. Now that the one mess is gone and the stuff that was under the berry vines at the shed are gone.. the rest could be done with that fancy fan-dangled shrub cutter I bought last year. I will probably call on a friend to help me with that and with getting the battery into the ATV and showing me how to properly drive that darned thing. Ummm... David??? LOL

Clearly the wildlife had been in the area, the tracks were noticeable as well as their trails. So I wandered down behind the house to see if their "bed" area appeared slept in recently. Sigh. To my dismay, I saw this brick red piece of metal that usually would not be found on the ground. My heart literally sank... actually, I think it stuck in my throat. Either way my heart went... I just felt sick in my tummy. Still do.

It must have been really really windy out there since the last time I was out ... I'm pretty certain that the cap that was on the ground, came from the steep peak by the chimney. I'm telling ya... some days I could just scream! But, fact is, that piece has to be put back on until I know if my other plans are going to work out. No choice here. It will happen with or without help next time I go out there.

So, as I was leaving... walking back out to go in the front gate... I noticed that there were tire track impressions in the grass that go to the shed area and the entire property really. I found this to be very disturbing since I knew it wasn't my vehicle that made those impressions and I have not authorized anyone to be on the property. I also noticed that my "NO trespassing" signs were no longer on the fence by the house. I found that also disturbing, although, if there had been high winds, perhaps they blew into the next county. So, I made a make-shift "barricade" by the newly piled brambles.

So, I packed up the stuff to go back to the Portland house and loaded the boys into the car.. literally! Cody, with his bad hind leg, sometimes has trouble jumping into the back of the car, so I help him in. Luke, who has no problems with his legs, decided that he could not get in the car without help, too. LOL Stinker! And, we drove down the road to the end of the property. Other than the part of the fence that needs to be fixed (propped back up), I noted that all but ONE of the signs that David and I had posted on my fence were gone... non existent. So, I will get more signs and put those up again. sigh

David, pal, buddy, friend of mine... I need help at your earliest convenience and weather permitting... please!!!! OH... and that nasty thorn tree by the shed is coming down... bring the chainsaw! LOL

There have been several times during my life that I really wish that I had children... this was definitely one of those times.

January 22, 2013

Decided to go out and check on the farm. It's too cold to do much outside, so "checking" is about all that I did!

When I left my Portland house, the weather was cold, very slight breeze, ground was frozen but roads were fine. Then, as I approached Clackamas the roadsides and trees got whiter. By the time I got near the Estacada exit, it looked like it had snowed the night before.

I205 near Hwy 224 exit

By the time I got to Eagle Creek it wasn't bad at all

Hwy 224 at Eagle Creek

The farm, east of Estacada, showed very little signs of ice/frost and the ground didn't even crunch under my feet!

side yard

I first noticed that the other half of the old Lilac had uprooted and broken off. The first half had broken off before Christmas. How sad to see it laying there. That Lilac was at least 45 yrs old probably closer to 50 years old.

The other half

Checked around the inside of the main floor of the house and it was all fine. The temp read 48 inside and 47 outside! brrrrr. So, since all was well in there, I locked the door and looked around outside for more fallen trees.

First I checked on the power line that has the vines on it (the one that PGE does NOT provide cleaning services for). It didn't look any different so it will wait till it warms up and I can get the berry vines off.

I did notice that the huge pile of berry vines that I had cut down last time I was out there was moved to a place other than where I had left it. The pile, on the left side of the picture, which would compress with time a little bit, used to be twice that size and was up by the short white wall. I presume that the deer or elk performed that feat to make their trail accessible again. I'm sure they also didn't enjoy the rippled metal sheets that I left on the ground. VERY noisy when walked on!

The next photos are just trees that have grown up that Dad planted. Not sure when they were planted though but they must be 10+ years old now.

This mashed down grass shows the trails that the deer and elk have made. Usually they rest/sleep down behind the house. It's kind of hard to determine the trails in the picture.

So, I drove down the length of the property and saw that several parts of the fence have been broken by wildlife or just died with age. Not surprising, just more work for me. Then, I left and went back to Milwaukie to have lunch with Mom.

Hwy 224 westbound

Kitchen and Living room

Downstairs Bedroom

Attic and Storage rooms

Laundry room

Upstairs Bedrooms

Yard 2012

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