Saturday, June 20, 2015

Progress in Paradise...

Progress in Paradise...  Debbie's still getting a little better each day.  Her appetite (which has been suppressed by the pain meds) is starting to kick back in.  We had pizza yesterday afternoon, which is by far the most substantial food she's had in two weeks.  Swelling and bruising is slowly getting better, but not fast enough for her :)

Yesterday morning a gaggle of neighbors (Tim D., Maria S., and a bunch of little S.'s) came out, and we all pulled mustard from our field.  Tim is running alfalfa and barley on our field, and one section – about a half acre – is more mustard than crop.  There's no way to get rid of that other than pulling it, all 10 bazillion plants.  We worked on that for a couple of hours yesterday, and about three hours this morning, and now its about 75% gone.  We've made giant piles of the pulled mustard, which we'll be hauling up to an old quarry a half mile away, to dry and be burned.  Monday morning we'll finish up the last of it.  Pulling mustard is pretty low on my list of fun things to do, but ... doing it in a group like this, in soil softened by irrigation, with lots of joshing and good conversation ... that makes it a lot more interesting.  I walked back in this morning with a stiff back, a serious thirst, and a big smile.  I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Yesterday morning, right after we finished pulling mustard, Ryan O. (our heating and air conditioning guy) showed up to reconnect our air conditioning compressor.  He had disconnected it last fall for us, so that I could dig a trench under it for water, network, and gas connections to the shed.  When he lit it off, there was the most lovely burst of cool, crisp air on our second floor.  It's been sweltering up there with our outdoor temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s.  Now it's just sitting there at 72°, and feeling ever so nice when I come in from outside.  Yay Ryan!

Not long after Ryan left, my new brush mower showed up.  This is a 20 HP beast that will chop through 6' tall brush and 2" diameter saplings.  I hook it to my ATV, which gives me a combo that I can get into just about anywhere.  The thing was a kit, naturally.  It took me about 3 hours to uncrate it, assemble it, fill it with oil and gas, and light it off.  The engine is electric start, and the thing lit off the very first time I cranked it.

There's a lot about a quarter mile north of our place that just sold early this year.  The new owners haven't built on it yet, so it's just two and a half acres of weeds.  Those weeds were taller than me – 6 or 7 feet tall in places – and some of them had 1" “trunks”.  I called the new owners and got permission to mow it down, and that's what I used to test out my new mower.  It worked like a champ!  I only managed to stall the mower once, in a particularly tall thicket of something that looks a bit like tumbleweeds.  The rest of it all went down effortlessly.  It was hot, dusty work, but otherwise not physically demanding.  Ninety minutes and the field was down.  Yay!

I'm not sure what I'm going to do today.  For now, I'm just going to sit and enjoy my apple juice and chair :)

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