Archive for the ‘yard work’ Tag

06-15-2016 Journal – Fine Art & Good Luck!   2 comments

It’s been a hectic week for me. I’ve been working steadily for almost two months on sketches that have made me a little crazy. I’ve finished twelve so far with more coming. These are black & white lined sketches that are digitized as I complete them. I then use my computer software to add the colors of my choice.  Here is a 2X2 inch section of the first one I completed. I’m posting it for my sister so can see and understand just what the hell I’m doing. Here it is Deb.


It’s not much of an explanation but it’s the best I can do for now. I’ve titled this one “Confusion” and rightly so.

Now on to other things.  I had a really close call yesterday and I’m not sure why I’m not in a hospital today.  My guardian angel must have been working overtime.  I was cutting my grass on a fairly new Toro riding mower. Our property is somewhat hilly in spots and I always take a great deal of care when cutting there.  I guess no matter how careful you are accidents can still occur.


I was listening to my Ipod as I cut the grass and possibly was a little distracted by the music.  I somehow missed seeing a large rock partially buried in the ground and hidden by high grass. I struck that boulder with the blade going at it highest speed. The blade hit the rock, bent itself into a question mark shape, dug into the ground, and flipped the mower completely over. I was airborne for ten feet and thankfully landed on my fat ass and not on my thick skull.


I was dazed and confused to say the least. Minor damages to the mower and to me but some serious damage to the yard.  If I hadn’t been thrown off it could easily have landed on me and broken ever bone in my body.

As I rolled out of bed this morning I was bruised and sore in many places but nothing serious. Thanks to Toro for building a machine whose safeguards kicked in and shut down the engine as it tipped over.  Needless to say I’m glad to in one piece today.



07-17-2015 Journal–Flowers, Flowers & More!   Leave a comment

I just finished doing a lot of yard work and I’m exhausted.  With all of the rain we’ve been having the grass is growing faster than I can keep up. The compost pile is already four feet high and It’s only mid-July. It’ll be like Mt. Everest come October.

I thought I’d post a few new photo’s of our flowers around the garden and house. The colors are fantastic and as some flowers fade many others are just coming into bloom. The colors are nice to look at but the smells are incredible.

As you can see we have a few rather large zucchini’s already  to pick and within the week I’ll be collecting a basket full of jalapeños and hot banana peppers.  They should make some tasty and screaming hot jalapeño poppers in a few weeks.


My friendly skunk has been blocked from the garden by the new fence but continues hanging around.  I’ve been finding holes in the yard where he’s been digging for grubs.  It may be time for one more night of surveillance with my new rifle.  This guy has outlived his usefulness and I may have to lay some serious violence on him.  He’s slowly morphing from a friendly night visitor to a varmint.  Unfortunately for him varmints have a very short life span here.

This will be a shorter post than normal because the better-half and I have been invited to dinner this evening. Good food, good drink, and two grand kids to chase around for a while.  That has the makings of a great night.

Since I’m not allowed to leave the house until I’m presentable and smell good, I need to get busy. No matter what there are always rules to be followed or ignored. Such is life.

04-18-2015 Journal – Lawn Tractors & Cuss Words!   Leave a comment


I decided to do that one big job I had scheduled for today before I blogged anything.  That may have been a huge mistake.  I’ve been putting off doing some repair work to my lawn tractor that  still refuses to start.  I knew it would be a frustration for me because I hate doing things mechanical.  The only mechanical person in my entire  family was my late father who maintained a large float-glass factory for PPG for more than forty years.  He knew everything about machines and he taught me only enough to get me into trouble.  He also over the years taught me how to really and truly cuss.  I was never aware of how many cuss words could be strung together until I worked with him on a few of his projects.

Pop was a professional  cusser and damn proud of it.  I ‘m more like him than I care to admit and if  today was any example I may be better now than he was then.  This effing tractor is driving me insane.  I  was tempted today to just drive it out into the middle of the back yard, douse it with gasoline, and a have a freaking bonfire.


After I thought about it a while I decided that doing that would then turn into something else entirely. With my luck some A-Hole from the town might ride by, check to see if I had a burn permit, and then call the cops when they found out I didn’t.  Then the cops would have appeared and issued me a citation which would have sent me right over the edge. That combined with my pissed off attitude over this tractor would have assured me of a ride to the county jail for some sort of disorderly conduct charge.  I know for a fact I’d have used a lot of those good old cuss words my father taught me and then the cop would have cuffed me and dragged me away.


If all that had actually occurred it would have cost me a few hundred dollars in fines, a few hours in the jail, and a somewhat questionable relationship with the local police.  Then I would have come home and the real punishment would have started.  I’d have heard each and every one of my father’s favorite cuss words all over again from my petit but really loud better-half. Nothing on earth is worth sitting through that tirade.

With my common sense keeping me from a trip to the jail I ended up saving a few hundred dollars today.  Now if I take that money and hire a real mechanic to fix this damn tractor I just might break even. 

It’s funny how things just keep snowballing along whether we like it or not.

05-11-2014 Journal Entry–Red Wine and Smelly Compost   Leave a comment

I really seem to be getting readjusted to this warm Spring weather.  Yesterday was in the low seventies for the first time in almost seven months and I was loving it.  I actually wore a pair shorts for the first time and got a little tan on my legs and they were loving that. I’m still working on the garden but the yard work took precedence this week.  Being the dedicated and well trained slave that I am, I was able to make short work of the grass cutting.


Once that was finished I took on the semi-unpleasant task of organizing my compost pile.  Some of you have little or no idea what I’m referring to so let me explain.  It’s a gigantic pile of decomposing organic material collected by me over the last few years from yard clean-ups and grass clippings.  It’s smelly and disgusting but it’s what makes the garden grow as well as it does.  Each Fall I cover the garden with it and then plow it under. That gives most of the nutrients time to leech into the soil and reinvigorate it before Spring. Each summer’s garden uses up a great deal of the existing soil nutrients and they must be replaced.


It’s also very important to never plant the same plants in the same area two years in a row.  You’ve got to switch it up a little because individual plants requires different sets of nutrients to thrive.  In my experience that doesn’t always apply to herbs. They seem to grow well in just about any soil and require little of no fertilizer.  The only issue I’ve had with herbs is that some do poorly if planted near certain others.  Also, if you plant mints such as oregano, catnip, or spearmint too close together they cross pollinate and their specific scents become diluted.


Once the mowing and composting was completed I decided to do something I really enjoy which is set up my first batch of wine for 2014.  I decided to make a nice semi-sweet red wine out of Concord grapes.  I mixed the grape concentrate, acid blend, yeast nutrient, yeast energizer, and four and a half pounds of sugar into three and a half gallons of filtered water and set it aside.  I then set up what’s called a yeast starter.  It’s two packets of brewers yeast dissolved in luke-warm water with one cup of sugar. I let the yeast activate for a couple of hours before mixing it into the the fermenter with the grape concentrate.


Now it’s sit back for a week to let the yeast eat up all that good sugar and create the proper level of alcohol for the wine. Sometime in early August if all goes well I should have approximately sixteen bottles of a beautiful ruby red grape wine.


I normally prefer making fruit wines because getting the ingredients is much easier that coming up with a quantity of grapes.  Grapes are expensive and the processing of them into a usable form is time consuming and annoying. Using a simple grape concentrate is much more affordable and makes a better quality wine (in my opinion).  This batch will end up costing me approximately $2.00 a bottle including the cost of the bottle and cork. Not too bad for a small amount of work and a month or two of monitoring and tweaking the batch.  I’m already planning a second batch for this year if I can find someone nearby with a Mountain Ash tree.  The orange berries from that tree make a smooth and tasty white wine that is to die for. I’ll keep you posted.

04-13-2014 Journal Entry – Welcome to Spring   1 comment

Well, after five months  the snow is finally gone. Unfortunately the post-winter cleanup can now begin.  All of the snow and ice storms certainly  did their share of damage to the property this year.  One tree down, serious plant damage everywhere, and additional damage from the town’s snowplow. 

It seems we’re required to replace our mailbox almost every year and it’s starting to really piss me off. A nearby friend made the mistake of complaining to the town about the recklessness of their drivers and seeming lack of concern for all the damage they’ve been causing.  It took forever to find the right person to complain to and five minutes for that person to say quite simply, “move it a little further back from the road”.  It’s nice to know we have a freaking genius working for the road department.

I don’t understand why me and my hundreds of neighbors didn’t think of that dumb ass solution.  I may be forced to build a giant brick column with my mailbox sitting on top.  We’ll see how much the town likes replacing a blade or two on their gigantic and expensive snowplows after trying to knock down my brick megalith.  I’ll just politely tell them to “plow a little further from my effing mailbox”. 

All of my winter projects have been successfully completed and right on schedule for a change.  In another two weeks I’ll be able to begin my outside work setting up the garden and getting  the mowers and weed-whackers operational.  Finally a steady supply of fresh air and sunshine after almost five and a half months locked inside the house. 

I’m also looking forward to some beach time in the near future as well.  This was the first winter in a long time that the snow cover stayed almost all winter which meant no long wintery walks on the beach. 


Since my leg has healed completely and  I’m back on my workout routines maybe I can get that last ten pounds of ugly fat to disappear.  I’ve lost 35 lbs so far through a difficult winter with a minimum of outside activity.  I’m planning a very active schedule this summer with my camera and I traveling around this gorgeous state of ours.  One short trip to Texas in May and then I’ll have the rest of the summer to take pictures, work in the garden, and to sit on my deck and relax.

Goodbye and good riddance to Winter.

05-02-2013   Leave a comment

I’m lying here this morning and cursing the fact that Spring has apparently sprung.  These last few days of beautiful weather must have effected by mind and made me even more stupid than people say I am.  I’ve been completely caught up in the Spring Fever craziness and I’m paying the price for it today.

Yesterday was my first full day dedicated  totally to yard work and garden preparations.  I dearly love gardening but I made a rookie mistake and allowed myself to forget about the basics of working outside.  Full sunshine should never be ignored or forgotten, EVER.  I started my day by pulling out the rototiller and spent an hour turning over the soil in the garden to loosen it up before planting.  Then getting even more stupid I continued working by placing black landscape fabric over the garden frames and attaching it to the ground with large metal staples.  This fabric is cool because it eliminates weeding but still allows the rain water to soak through.  The sun was very hot but I was in the gardening zone, unfortunately.

I was still pumped about the day so I decided after finishing the fabric installation to fire up my riding mower and do a quick yard cleanup.  Now I’ve been in the sun without any lotion or hat for some four hours.  I was still feeling good so I kept on going by cutting the grass for the first time this year.

If you look up the word stupid in the dictionary you just might find my photograph there. I am the poster boy for stupid as reflected in my cherry red head, nose, cheeks, ears, and lips.  I took a shower before going to bed and I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t hear all the screaming.  I am an effing moron who looks like a French Fry.  I slopped at least a pint of lotion on my face and head hoping that it would help but it didn’t.  I probably won’t be able to shave in the morning or even smile.

After all of that I still had a great day.  Having been sick for the previous week really put me behind schedule on the garden work and unfortunately Mother Nature waits for no man.  Now I’m fully up to speed and back on schedule.  As soon as my face stops glowing I’ll be right back out there playing in the dirt and enjoying as much of the warm weather as I can.

I’d like to continue this posting but a cold shower and another bottle of lotion await.

04-17-2013   Leave a comment

My drywall frustration continued again today shortly after I started priming the ceiling.  I’m enough of a realist to understand that no matter how hard you try it’s almost impossible to do a remodeling  project in an old house that is just perfect.  I accepted that fact and decided early on I would deal with those problems as they occurred. Well, they did.

I purposely made the decision to for this to be a winter project and to take as much time as necessary to do it right.  From the first that freaking ceiling was a problem.  It wasn’t level and the room wasn’t square but I fixed each issue as best I could and proceeded on. In my heart I knew that no matter what there would be certain areas I could never get perfect.

As soon as I began painting today I discovered a new drywall rule of thumb.  Everything good is really bad and everything bad is really good. Every area that I was concerned with turned out perfect and the two areas I was worried the least about became the biggest problems. One area couldn’t be  properly fixed and will require additional repair work once the remainder of the room is completed. It’s just so damn frustrating.

Enough with the damn remodel.  I finally made my way outside and it was the most gorgeous day so far this month.  I managed to complete some of the yard cleanup, chatted with a neighbor or two, and cleared my head of remodeling issues.  After my better-half arrived home from work we sat down and began to plan the garden.  What and where we should plant, buying additional soil to fill the frames, and a possible expansion of the garden to allow her to plant thirty of forty of the larger species of sunflowers.  It was an hour well spent that will make this year’s garden preparation less of a challenge.

One of our neighbors stopped by and he really has a bad case of garden/spring fever.  Over the past few summers he and his wife created a basic home garden and discovered how much they enjoyed it. This year their two young daughters, ages five and seven, are becoming more involved.  The girls are are ready to jump into things immediately and  have already started a few seeds and can’t wait to get a little dirty with their mom and dad in the garden.   It should a great summer for all of us exchanging gardening tips and canning techniques.  I’m looking forward to my first visit from his girls to talk about our gardens.  They’re too cute to be believed.

My book reading goal was reached last night when I completed both my sci-fi and non-fiction novels.  I read well into the night and had a great time in the process.  Now I can finish the third book at my leisure and take a little time to properly enjoy it. 

Slowly but surely I’m making progress.

04-08-2013   2 comments

I can hardly believe that it’s sixty-five degrees here in Maine today this early in April. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and I find myself doing yard cleanup and loving it.  I didn’t put on a normal summer outfit like shorts and a t-shirt because I’m not a total idiot.  All you have to do is walk into a shaded area and you’ll realize almost immediately just how cold it still is.  I’m  dressed in long sleeves, jeans, and a light coat.  I’ve learned the hard way in past years when I dressed too lightly and ended up with a Spring cold that took forever to go away.  My better-half has been complaining for the last couple of days about her cough, runny nose, and scratchy throat.  I think she’s about to come down with something that I’m sure she’ll pass right along to me.  Isn’t true love wonderful? Just one fantastic perk after another.

We both felt the immediate need to rush out to one of the big box home improvement stores yesterday to begin our Spring spending spree.  It’s never too early  or too cold to begin loading up with seeds, plants, yard tools, and the occasional yard gnome.  We both realize it’s way too early in the season to start this nonsense but we can’ seem to stop ourselves. We apparently aren’t alone because the store was crowded with shoppers filling their carts with anything and everything imaginable.  I managed to escape the madness with an expenditure of just a few dollars less than a hundred.  Madness I tell you, just freaking madness.

After returning home my better-half immediately changed clothes, grabbed a rake, and began working furiously in the yard.  It would have been useless for me to try and stop her so I didn’t even make the attempt.  I found a really comfortable chair and placed it on the deck where I could watch. There’s nothing much better than loafing and watching someone else work. She’s got Spring Fever so bad she’s almost out of control and I won’t be the person who tries to slow her down. She can become dangerous when fooled with.

After raking for an hour she finally gave it up and returned to the deck where I’d been saving her a seat.  She lasted about thirty minutes longer than I thought she would. We enjoyed the sunshine for another hour and I do believe we got a pretty good start on our summer tans.  It eventfully became a little too chilly for comfort so we grabbed up the cat and returned to the house.  It was a nice start to better weather but we’re still a long way from actual warmth and real sunshine.

I’ll be returning to the woods later this week with camera in hand to begin my search for a few of those illusive creatures that escaped my notice last fall.  Patience usually pays off in these matters or so I’ve been told. I love being out with Mother Nature without two feet of snow slowing me down.  Another week and the snow will be history and the fun summer can begin.

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