Wagnerhof Saturday, August 2, 2014
“Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet…” whether you like them or not! (G.M. Hopkins and me)
I’m writing today to show myself that we are, indeed, making progress. I’m afraid it will feel a little disingenuous to claim such a thing since I’m still in my pajamas at 1045 am. But it’s Saturday, hubby is at work, and, doggone it, they’re my pretty new pajamas. The first non-hand-me-down pair I’ve had in years.
So, despite the mile-long to-do and shopping lists which we edit daily, R. and I are working on our new country place, accomplishing things just like my dear friend V. reminds me it must be done: this thing, then the next.
Yesterday and the day before, I forced myself into action against the rubbish piles. After donning the black LaCrosse rubber boots my mother so kindly passed along to me, I waded into the weeds and pulled old lumber scraps, wadded up poultry netting, dead sweatshirts, rotting pallets and a full-size Ford standard length truck bedliner out of the area between the driveway and the property-line fence. Then I started on the trash heap next to the overhead shop door. I need to buy more heavy duty trash bags before we call out the junk haulers. The final piece of that clearing was a bunch of drywall scraps that had been piled next to the shop for some time… a year or three? Hard to say. That all got shoveled into the wheelbarrow and dumped in the brambles to molder somewhere where it won’t hurt the building. Have I mentioned that I don’t like the way sweat feels when it rolls out of your hair, down your temple and into your eye?
Yesterday I started in on the rubbish heap that is to become our vegetable garden plot. The tomato vines are doing alright now, planted as they are in sawdust piles shot through with trash, and blossoms are plentiful. They got a late start, so we will probably have to tent them in plastic as the weather cools, in order to give them a chance to actually produce fruit. So, the rubbish heap was full of more lumber scraps in various states of soundness and/or decay, a parted-out side chair, plywood, an interior hollow door with the skin falling off, and a hunk of chip-board attached to pieces of chicken wire and lengths of 2×6’s. I sorted it into “keep for scrap lumber” and “gross” piles. The pile I am getting pretty excited about digging into is the one behind the garage: there are pier blocks and some landscape edging, as well as a bunch more lumber scraps visible. There will be useful refuse here, I’m sure.
In non-rubbish news, Rick continues work on my laundry area in the near, formerly disgusting corner of the shop. Dad came up last week to help him frame up the walls & ceiling. I muck-mopped the floor. The washing machine is hooked back up now, on the relatively clean floor. This is a happy development, as when they were framing, the wash machine drain got knocked loose somewhere in the crawlspace and I did last weekend’s laundry on the front deck in my washtub. Still happy using my collapsible clothesline, as electricity is expensive. I enjoy the manual meditation of the hanging up and taking down. Do join me in thanking God for the gift of summer, folks.
This morning I did some research online regarding cottonwood tree diseases and infestations. We to have some beetle or blight playing in our groves, which is causing the leaves to develop brown spots and/or lacy holes and fall from the trees prematurely. It could be aphids too, I guess. Anyone have a great idea how to spray 3 acres of 30- to 70-foot-tall cottonwood trees with insecticidal soap?! Me neither.
There is brush to clear. The tractor guy is coming to mow the pasture and front & back yards of the mobile home this coming week. But the brushy areas are not mow-worthy. I priced goat-powered brush clearing services and despite the fact that they are surely worth the price, they are not in our price range ($2-$3k/ week). Thinking to rent a walk-behind brush hog mower for a couple of days and see how much we can get done.
There is more to cover. I will save the fences, decks, porch covers, windows and livestock treatments for another post, another Saturday. Tonight’s date is blueberry picking just a mile down. It would be awesome to not have to purchase any frozen berries at the store this winter.
Till next time, I leave you with the amazing pump-house hydrangea in its current state of loveliness: