One day last January, after some fierce rains raised the level of the small pond, I decided to retrieve the small aluminum boat we had seen tucked away in the trees in the corner of it. I had checked it out from the yard and noticed it was floating- finally -and wanted to get it before the next bout of showers.
It was the end of the day and I was already dirty from yard work, so I got a paddle and pushed my way through the brush and trees and found it. It was indeed floating although it did have 2-3 inches of water and leaves in it. As I untied it and got in both the dogs came crashing along and with tails wagging looked longingly at me in the craft. They jumped in to join me as Randy appeared and said he wanted to come along. So he got in and the fun began.
Cappy wasn’t happy as Randy pushed us further out so he leaped back onto the shore. I started paddling and Randy wondered if he should bail. Now– there were two containers in the boat: a dog bowl and a black plastic container. He started to bail (with the black container that turned out to be a planter with a large drainage hole in the bottom). Cappy started swimming out me meet us and Marble found a frog-or maybe a lizard-but whatever it was it decided to run around in the leaves and water and Marble (all 80 pounds of him) started chasing it from side to side. Cappy reached us and Randy got busy trying to pull Cappy back into the boat that was rocking awesomely. THEN we noticed that the water in the boat was getting deeper. “BAIL” I cried, “PADDLE” Randy calmly said, Marble bounced from side to side and Cappy just bounced.
We made it to safety without getting fully drenched. Lots of drama to travel about 30 ft never more that 5 feet off the shore! Turns out the drain plug was missing from the boat :0 . Oh, and the max capacity for the boat was 2 people or 325 pounds. I am not going to tell you what I weigh, but consider that we had 120+ pounds of dog alone.
What did I do for International Women’s Day? Well….
We had to go and rescue a bale of hay from the woods at the edge of the upper pasture because Mr. H-, who tilled my small garden, said we should use hay over a year old instead of the new bale we had Mr. B-, who cuts the pasture for hay, leave for us.
I wanted to ride with Randy when he did this, but there was no place to ride on the tractor. So he told me to go ahead and drive it!! We switched out the front end loader with the bale spear(one wicked looking attachment) that we found while clearing the crape myrtles.
And off I went on the Massey Ferguson 471. After chugging up to the pasture, I followed Randy’s hand signals, speared the bale (a 6-ft diam HUGE bale, mind you), raised it up, and transported it down to the blueberries for mulch. I have to admit I wouldn’t want to do it every day because the tractor is one rough ride, but what a thrill!
Now you would think that since we live in the “pine belt” that we would have mostly pine trees. Au contraire my friends. We do have a number of beautiful pines, but just about as many huge magnolias and oaks, and lots others.
In fact, one of the fun games we have been playing since actually buying Green Acres has been “name that tree”.
The previously mentioned ones were relatively easy (although I am still not clear on all the different TYPES of oaks we have). We could tell the satsumas, fig and plum as well as the pecans and crepe myrtles. One of my brothers came to visit and identified a lot of them. Some neighbors told us about “cowcumber” magnolias. Then came the mystery trees.
This was one of the first that seemed to stump even the locals until one of the friendly WST Coop electric workers stopped by to see why our second electric meter wasn’t reading remotely anymore. He clued us in that it was a Tung oil tree. Seems there used to be Tung oil plantations all over southern LA and MS until a major freeze many years ago. He also showed us which trees were Maypop trees and even a casaba worm tree.
I had this one pegged as a ligustrum of some kind, but my cousin recently informed me that it is actually a Sweet Olive tree. It is an awesome heirloom fragrant type of tree.
Once we cleared out behind the shed, this one came to light. I still don’t know what is. It looks like willow bark and leaves, but willows usually send out lots of suckers and this one did not have any, so I am holding off on a final judgement. If anyone has ideas, we are all ears.
I found this one [OUCH] just a few weeks ago while Randy was working on the electric panel at the shop and thought I was seeing things. Google came through for me when I typed in “tree with massive thorns”. It was the first hit! You are looking at a Honey Locust tree.
So we went into Hattiesburg yesterday to pick up my new lawn tractor. It is a cool Cub Cadet XT3 with lots of power for the hills and slopes I have to cut. I got a brief walk-thru on the controls; we loaded it up, and trailered it back home. With a lawn that actually needed cutting a week ago I wasted no time.
I changed into old clothes, got my hearing protection and anti-vibe gloves, climbed aboard and started the engine. Boy it was loud but sounded great. I lowered the cutting deck and engaged the PTO and….nothing L I made a few passes in the back yard but the blades just would not spin. I stopped and restarted and this time the blades worked-yeah! I cut the back yard then the blades stopped again. I had to keep toggling the PTO (power take off) button to keep the blades cutting. I got about a quarter of the yard cut and Randy figured out the problem…I didn’t weigh enough !!!!! Oh yeah—you heard right. [Sounds of fireworks going off and lots of clapping] Evidently, the seat has a cutoff sensor that is meant to stop the blades and then the motor if you leave the seat without the Cub stopped and the parking break set. Every time I leaned too far forward, hit a bump, or twisted in my seat the blades quit. While it helped to know what was wrong, it was also frustrating because the top of the front yard was really bumpy and I had to go really slow.
Randy made an adjustment to the seat sensor today and I did some finishing work around the blueberries and muscadines, but he still wants to talk to the dealership. As he told them yesterday, he is not going to get a bigger wife just so that she can mow the yard-LOL
Never a dull moment here—lots of quiet ones—but never dull.
Wow-it seems like just yesterday I was taking down Christmas decorations and now it’s Lent already. Mardi Gras passed like a blur and that was without taking in any parades or major parties.
It turns out January and February are prime times to prune around here. Really nice since the weather is mostly cool and mild. This would not be fun in the summer. Randy did all of the heavy pruning: the satsumas, crape myrtles, and the muscadines. We did my beautiful big fig together and I even got the chance to use the FJ and brush grubbers to pull out trees by myself one day when he was working on getting his part of the electrical done to the shop. We did one of the big oaks and he even got out a HUGE chunk of poison ivy without a major outbreak. More clearing around the house and potting shed and all of a sudden I have another giant burn pile to get through.
We finally got some advice on the big house. Three contractors have given us advice and it was all the same-build new. One of them actually worked up a plan to repair the foundation, but the cost was up there. When you factor in a new roof, redoing the plumbing and electric, and adding a carport and garage—it just makes more sense to start from scratch.
We are planning to build a new house right in front of the current one. It makes better use of the land and we can continue to use the kitchen in the big house for now. Randy got some software and made use of his drafting knowledge, combined that with some advice from my mom (who has designed a few of her own homes with great success), and we have a pretty neat home plan. Just a little finishing and we hope to send it out to contractors for bids soon.
Randy also spent most of February getting the electrical in his shop set up. When his part was done, WST Coop (our electrical provider) sent a “local” crew to put a new pole in place of the older one. The crew was so local (all six cherry picker trucks of them) that we they broke a water line in the yard, one of them was going to “run home” to get some pvc parts to fix it. Randy had the parts so it was all good. Then a few days later the “imported” crew from Slidell came to run the underground part from the pole to the shop building. Then today, the final crew came to connect everything and Randy is probably the happiest kid in town. Now he can use his table saw, welder, grinder, etc, etc, etc. But not just yet…
Got a call from Hattiesburg this afternoon and my new riding lawn tractor arrived at the dealer. Just in time. The grass really started to grow a few weeks ago and I even had to get out the push mower to do around the house just to trim things up a bit. I couldn’t do a lot of the yard though-a girl has to have time to fish J