So Much For Posting Every Day In September

September 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm (Birds, Day to Day, Driving To Work, For Jeff the BF, Heat, Maxima, Motorcycle News, Summer, Tree Trouble, Wasting Time In General, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

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This is my hummingbird friend that hung out with me all day yesterday. We have 4! This particular one kept sitting on the wire right over my head. It would even fly up to me when I would go in the house and then come back out. It looks like he/she is trying to wave or give me a hug. I have more and better shots. I took about 100+ pictures. I have no life. Well, I have a life, but no car. It’s being worked on, yet again. Nissan is NOT kidding when they say, “If your brake and battery lights come on at the same time, get it to a shop asap.” Lights came on; next day, no start. It’s the alternator. Thank you internet. We kind of already knew before the mechanic told us, so, it’s good and bad. Sometimes it’s beneficial to have that whole world of info at your fingertips. It doesn’t help us fix it or pay for it, but we were armed with knowledge! Knowledge is power! Anyway, I have to go to work now. The BF drove his motorcycle so I could take his car. The Maxima is supposed to be done today, but I am out of time. I will have to get it in the AM. And it’s hot hot hot. An attempt at record breaking heat is supposed to occur today, for September, in our area. It’s windy too. A smallish branch has already fallen from one of our last two trees standing. Let this be the end of trouble for this week. Everyone be careful out there.

Watch for motorcycles!!

Thank you!

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Quick Switch Mushroom Pic With Tree Trunk On The Side

June 28, 2013 at 12:19 am (Day to Day, Heat, Mushrooms, Nature, Posts In Pictures, Summer, Summer Break, The Grass, Tree Trouble, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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I got down and dirty to get this pic for you. And now I have about 100 more all sprouting up in various parts of the grass. I guess it’s the new, fresh sod, baking under the extreme, sudden heat, showered by bursts of sporadic, torrential downpours and then steaming in the resulting, sweltering humidity, every few hours. The last few days have been severe weather alert central over here in the Midwest/Chicago area. In fact we have another one tonight. I actually have 4 weather advisories on my phone at this moment. More thunderstorms and flash flooding on the way with damaging winds and hail until 3 am now, according to the last alert that I just received twenty seconds ago. Free rain is good. More tree limbs down is bad. However, I was spared these last few times. Well, that’s not true. I did have another branch break off and fall into the yard about one minute after the storm showed up. No. That’s not exactly true either. What actually happened was, that we got the alert at 5:55 pm for 6 pm. At 6 pm the wind started blowing, fast and sudden just like the alert said. Gusts to 70mph is what the alert said. Damaging to trees and roofs. Find shelter in low lying buildings. Blah blah. The sky darkened. The trees swayed ominously. Another fierce wind, a loud crack, BOOM. We were standing in the backyard and watched the tree bend, heard the break, and observed a substantial limb slowly slip from the tree, cartwheel onto the neighbors power line, hang there for one, treacherous, breathless, millisecond, then topple over and onto the neighbors garage roof, where it slid very sloppily off the front, catching the gutter on the way down to the ground, where it landed on the neighbor’s driveway, intact and with a loud thud. The gutter was bent but not broken. As soon as the rain let up enough so that we could see to move, I sent my son out to hoist that limb into our yard and bend the gutter back up straight. And that’s how it ended up where it still currently sits. I am tired, tired, I say, of moving tree limbs all around our backyard. It can sit. This is the limb:

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So naturally, I was complaining, and all geared up to bemoan fate and nature and all that, until I took a little drive out into the world to go get dinner. This is what happened to our neighbors down the street:

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Need a better angle?

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Yep. They win. I won’t complain any more about my backyard being the resting place for dying and destitute, wayward branches. At least I can pick them up. This was at 8pm. By 11pm, it was gone. All of it. Every stick, every branch, every limb. Right down to the base of the trunk. Gone. The earth was back in place and the ground was flat. No damage to the house either as far as I can tell. All hail the master of tree removal. I don’t know who did it for them but I am beyond impressed. Three hours, and you can’t even tell anything happened that night. And speaking of night, it’s getting late. Again. I need to end this. Despite the title, this was not quick. Or even a switch. Some bad weather, a picture of something that grows out of the ground, eh, whataya gonna do? One day something really post worthy is going to happen, and, I don’t know. I guess I’ll post it. Maybe I’ll write a story. Or a poem. I have them scattered around this site, ya know, very unorganized like. It’s a search thing. But until then, you get this. And this needs to find a way to end this. Like a band-aid. Quick and painless. Later.

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Day Off (Yesterday) With The Kids

June 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm (Day to Day, Employed Posts!, Flowers, For Jeff the BF, For Stevie, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Tree Trouble, Wasting Time In General, Weather) (, , , , , , , , )

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Imagine how many pictures I can take of nature type things. Now multiply by 2. My daughter and me taking pictures all day?? Oh yea. There’s a lot. A. LOT. Just waiting for their moment to shine via the internet. Plus storm debris from the nasty little burst we had roll through here yesterday at exactly 6pm. Gotta go to work right now though. I mean, I have to work some of these days or the BF is going to kill me. And I will be off again for the next 2. (Sorry honey–I’ll call in a bit to explain!! Don’t be mad!!) But, I have to do CPR Re-Cert, so it’s still like work. That’s a lot of italics in a short post. I better go. More later.

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Breaking News! ANOTHER Tree Branch Falls In My Yard On A Windy Day!

May 30, 2013 at 11:40 am (Day to Day, Tree Trouble, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , )

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Shocking, right?! Imagine that. Another tree branch cluttering up my yard.  Not to insult nature or anything, but this limb was already dangling. It’s been hanging on, by the skin of its splintery teeth, figuratively speaking, for about 2 weeks now. So it’s not like we needed hurricane winds to knock it down. Just a nice, steady, flow of air, blowing every few minutes through the high up branches, with the occasional bursty gust. We’ve been on fall watch every day. You know: Look up when you go out. Check the wind. Check the rip. Don’t stand under it. Blah blah blah. The way you do when branches are a constant and real threat in your daily life. You would think, by now, no more branches could fall. But, same as me, you would be wrong. Apparently there is always one more branch that needs to make a home on my lawn. It was my own fault, anyway, yet again. I dared to move, and remove, some of the previous limbs and branches from the grass on my day off, Tuesday. I had the nerve to try and “clean” the yard so that the neighbors don’t call the debris police and complain. Those trees were probably standing there thinking, “Psshh. Look at this stupid girl. Dum Dum. She likes to move sticks? Watch this little trick.” And here it is. One more for my collection. Nice try universe. I am not impressed. Only one? Really? Please, tree. I am a professional, serious collector. This limb didn’t even make a loud noise when it hit the ground. I mean, I heard it, but it’s not like I ran to go see what happened. It’s not even worth my time to go out there and move it. So there. Now that I have sufficiently pissed off, and smited, the powers-that-be, and probably just jinxed the rest of my day, I guess, maybe, I will go outside, and move my present from the gods. I mean, I have children to think about; I will offer thanks, and wait for the lightning to strike.

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I Suppose I Could Have Gone With Flood Flowers As A Less Creepy Alternative

April 22, 2013 at 1:35 am (Blood Pressure, Day to Day, Flowers, For Stevie, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Stevie Pics, Tree Trouble, Wasting Time In General, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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The rain is over. The water is as high as it can get in this area now, with all the rivers cresting and reaching their flood points on Saturday and Sunday. The water should start receding and retreating, back into its proper channels, to lie in wait for the next big storm to arrive, and let it loose once again from its muddy shores. Poetic huh?

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Reality check. We sit high on the block so we never have a lot of standing water, but my flower bed does get full and floats the timbers onto the sidewalk and onto the driveway. I just put them back in place over and over until the rain stops. Small problem. However, I might have created a bigger problem with my car when I drove through all that stupid water the other night, although I am desperately hoping not, because now it’s making a weird sucking or blowing noise near the engine, I think, that sounds like a fan, or a motor that’s constantly spinning, or something that is trying to suck or blow air under the metal box that is covering the actual engine. It almost sounds like a hose is disconnected, and creating extra wind noise, kind of like a vacuum does when the suction isn’t right, or when you’ve sucked up something that doesn’t quite fit in the tubes and it’s blocking the path to the debris chamber. At any rate, I need to get my tired, lazy bum self, up, yet again, and haul my ass, and the money drain, over to the repair shop for a quick, “Hey, can you listen to this and tell me how much it’s going to cost to fix?” early in the morning. Staying up and posting this is not helping my anxiety or bad feelings about this newest problem with the car. And I haven’t even gotten around to telling you the last few problems that have already occurred. I’ve hinted. I’ve teased. I have pictures to illustrate. But work, and time, are conspiring against me. There’s too much of one and not enough of the other. I even took more dangerous pictures on the expressway, in the rain, to add to my current backlog of exciting and entertaining, but foolish and irresponsible, life story posts.

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I’m tired. I have a headache. I just took my blood pressure pill and I should go to bed. Because I am old. To beef up this posting I am including a few more pictures from the rain. They aren’t really good, but now I can file them under “used”. I will caption them up here: 1. The sky looking like crap to the North. 2. The muddy puddle, in the back lot, of our stick  inventory. 3. Some of the really wet sticks, that used to be brown, but now look red, for some reason, hiding a bunny. (That one is a bonus, like one of those puzzle pictures.) See if you can spot the rabbit! Brain games! Later.

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I Call It: Sitting On Patio With Coffee, Before Work, First Of The Year. Subtitle: Spring In Repose.

April 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm (Day to Day, Flowers, Tree Trouble, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

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It’s Monday. It’s 67 degrees. It’s very windy. (Like, very windy. So much so, that I layed the basketball hoop-thing down because it was creaking and swaying quite loudly while I was sipping my coffee.) Also, one of my tree trunk branches seem to be rubbing in the high wind and making that “limb-falling” sound I have grown to know and dread every time I hear it outside of a Forest Preserve or designated woody area allocated to our world for walking and enjoying nature in its most natural of habitats, the places where all the trees can gather and hang together and lean and fall on each other, or the leafy ground, as they wish. NOT my backyard. Please! Can I get one fresh, new spring day without any tree droppings? Can I get an Amen? Hallelujah people. I am willing all the “high-air” objects to stay there today. Amen.

That’s a picture of the sky facing forward from my chair. Obviously you can’t see the fast clouds moving, but they are. And those are my daffodils. Right on time. In case I never said it before, except that I say it EVERY year, daffodils are my favorite flower. The most faithful of flowers. Hope and trust and loyalty. If a person could be a flower, I guess I would be a daffodil. We share the same qualities if you go by the “meanings of things”. Plus, they are so pretty. Or just shy of pretty…huh? Huh? See what I did there? And they sometimes smell good. Just like me. Yes, I said sometimes.

I have to go. Shower and work. The BF gets to be off because he got a flat tire. Lucky!  But if you are reading this (when you really should be outside, though…come on people, it is gorgeous! Go out, then come back in and finish this) and you want to comment or send me your favorite flower with a meaning or just a quick word, I would love to hear it! Something to look at later tonight when I get home. And if you are really fancy and high-tech, you can send a pic. That would be cool! Alright, have a good one out there today. Stay on the ground and don’t let this wind carry you away! Later!

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Happy March 32nd!

April 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm (Birthday Wishes, Day to Day, For Jeff the BF, Holiday, Spring Break, Tree Trouble, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Just kidding. There is no snow. What a jokester I am. I actually took current, up-to-date, real-time pictures of the backyard and that table, to show you what the outside really looks like right at this moment.  5 pm Central time. Midwest America. It’s not warm today. (We only get the stuttering sixties at this point in the year.) It’s back in the 40’s again and it feels cold. But it’s sunny. Warning! The pictures below are uncut and unedited (for time) and are not very pretty. The yard is a sticks and stumps mess like a graveyard for bark parts or the lost world of tree limbs and branches.  And all that sunshine blazing down is just lighting up the debris like a Christmas tree. Look here! Crap attack! You will NEVER be free of the Park Forest Tree! That may be a little dramatic, but you really have to live here to know why that is so scary. And true. Read back a bit on this site or just click over on the right there to “Tree Trouble” and you can see what I am talking about. I dare say I may have had an above average amount of bad luck in the breaking/cracking/ falling down department of tree instant removal and upheaval. They like to fall in my backyard. And they like to fall slowly. One piece at a time. Every few months or so. We started out with 3 very large 50 year old trees with many many branches limbs sticks and leaves. Now we have 2 tall “trunks”, at best, that still give me a run for the money when the wind blows too hard. They barely have proper branches on them anymore. Maybe a few limbs, that are very high up and thin, but that still sway on a windy day like drunk gymnasts trying to land on the roof of the house if they could only get the right arc. It’s ridiculous and my own private natural ghost story. The Tale of The Malevolent Maple Tree! The Evil Box Elder! The Horror of the Hackberry! The Horror of the Hackberry is right. That’s the tree ID that is presently lounging around all over the backyard in various shapes and sizes, providing a fine winter home for all kinds of bunnies and squirrels and skunks and probably opossums and racoons. I think those last two actually live up in the tree, but I can’t be sure and I do not have time to check. I see I have gone on and on like I always do and this was supposed to be quick and fast and funny. April Fool joke and all that.

Anyway my original point was to mention that I had been looking back at some of my earlier postings (4 years in March!) and I was pretty funny if I do say so myself. Go ahead and read some vintage posts if you have some time. You will not be disappointed. I also noticed that I had written about the BF’s birthday at that time and even posted about wrapping his present in the Jewel Foods sales paper. Which is what I did again this year! I thought I was so clever. Turns out I am clever. And I have been for at least 4 years, maybe more! Ha. I took a new present pic:

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It’s like a birthday/posting/cheap present wrapping flashback. Now, the BF is on his way and we are going to dinner and celebrating the big 4-0 one day early. Presents and cake when we get back. Yes. I made a cake. He doesn’t even know! It’s his fav I think, at least of the cakes that I make. It’s the “Better Than Sex” cake that I also mentioned many years ago. That cake was only presented in a written description posting. This year I have pictures of the process and the results. That cake weighed 10 pounds I think. I will weigh this one before we cut it and let you know. Ok. Better go.

Thank you to all my new friends and followers! I appreciate the time it takes to find or stumble on something new, give it a few minutes to sink in and then actually do the work to “like” and “follow”. I mostly “like” back and “follow” when I get here. Which as you have seen from these last 2 days is like, once every 2 months. So sad. And I like hearing my own voice and seeing my own words. I think that is also pretty obvious if you have spent even one minute of time reading just one of my posts. They get “wordy”.

Ok. Really now. Here’s the real-time pics of today. Enjoy the evening and I’ll be back. I see some long spring days ahead of me, typing deep into the dark warm nights. Later.

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Desolation Row

August 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm (Day to Day, Employed Posts!, Motorcycle News, Road Trip, Tree Trouble, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , )

Another one and a half months goes by…and here we are again.

That pic above is from the BF’s 2 week, cross country, gorgeous scenery, motorcycle trip I had previously written about, oh say, 4 or 5 months ago. (And perfectly illustrates the vast emptiness that can be found here in this rolling, hilly, disaster of a website as well.) He planned it, funded it, took the vacation time, rode it,  and came back home. And I didn’t post a word about it. I had such big plans: tracking him across the country,  mapping out the route on a day by day basis, posting all the cool pics he sent back…but no. I am a bad GF. Besides completely ignoring this site, I barely even went ON the computer, much less the internet for fun. I checked money and paid bills. Thank goodness for a system that allows you to pay anything instantly and at the very last minute. The checks I actually have to mail now,  are always soooo late. I stink at maintaining the high level of entertainment and info all NONE of you expect.  Oh yes. I see my numbers. I see my site visits. ZERO. But that’s cool. Nothing to see here anyway folks.  Let’s just keep moving along.

Maybe another day…maybe in a few more hours…if I stay up really late and use my time to be productive instead of sitting on the couch watching Sex and the City reruns over and over. That’s another picture from the trip that I really like. Lots of loose ends. Raw material. Big sky. It’s solid and unstable at the same time.  Like this site. Like it’s owner. And now I’ve discovered this fab new game called Coin Dozer and Coin Dozer-World Tour that I can play on my smart phone. (See how I added that “smart” thing in there?, to ironically point out that I am participating in the polar opposite of anything that would be considered “smart”.) I am done for. I have sunk so low that I cannot even be bothered to form words (sorry Words with Friends–you are too hard on my few last functioning brain cells) or draw even the simplest of pictures (stick men, bow your heads in shame, Draw Something is also too difficult for my slowly atrophying brain to handle at this time), only you, Coin Dozer, are the thing keeping my mind from total mush. Like a bad melon. Drop coins on tray. Coins push forward. Coins barely move. Coins drop into prize area. Coins drop off side gutter. Get more coins. That’s it. Drop and roll. Nothing to it. I use up all my coins and I quit the game. When I come back in a few hours, I magically have more coins! I drop them all on the tray and quit again. So easy. So effortless. No stress. Takes about 5 minutes. I can switch back and forth between the two games (I hear that’s what some people do) but I prefer to just drop them all in one big load and come back later. I’m sure that’s a metaphor for something, but I am not going there. I’ve typed too much today already. Picture moment.

Anyway. This was just a quick hey and how ya doing until I can somehow get back on track with life. Again. It’s not bad, it’s just busy. And if I haven’t said it enough in the last 6 months, the shift I work sucks for social time. My schedule blows but I’m learning to adapt. Slowly. But things have been happening. I got a raise. The difference is literally in change…you know…cents. But it’s more. And I accrued 2 whole days of sick time if I need it! Nice. I never call off, but you never know. Winter is a coming. And I have managed to lose a nonfluctuating, solid, thirty pounds now, with a high/low weight differential of about 33-35 pounds total. And I have somehow managed to keep it all off. Even when I actually have time to eat food. Healthier choices, blah blah blah. I really need to add that exercise thing in again. Then I can really put up some numbers. But that kind of talk is for another time and place. BF vacation insert. Oregon. At the ocean. Just lounging.

Besides me, the kids are gearing up for school again. The boy is already back. Freshman year. Started Monday. Jumped right in. Full day with football practice for 3 hours after that. And then every day this week. And every day next week. And so on until football season is over. Adjustment. But he’s such a cool kid I know he can handle it all.  The girl is on reprieve until next week. I do need to get her up and out of this house though because we need school supplies and some pants. Notebooks and jeans, notebooks and jeans, notebooks and jeans……Yeah! Notebooks and jeans! That’s a Target commercial. In case you were wondering what that was all about. High fives if you totally sang it in your head. Bonus if you sang it out loud!

I really need to finish here.

Since my last post even more crap happened that I have pics of, and words for, but no motivation to put into action.

A second water main break, two weeks after the first one, in my front yard. It’s just dirt now with a patch of grass.

Some fence damage from another, separate, tree limb throwing itself to its death on the same stormy day. It landed in the neighbors driveway. Rude.

Another tree in my back yard decided it had enough of all that “standing” and “staying rooted to the ground” type nonsense, and forced me to take her down professionally before she split herself in two and took out the neighbors garage and house and the main power lines to the block.

Now I have an entire 50 years and 60 feet of tree laying all over my grass.

And I paid $1500 for the privilege of helping out this lazy tree!

Gratuitous product placement. That’s one big chainsaw!

In action.

Debris.

Parameters. At least it all fit in the yard.

We had some real ugly weather around here too. And I posted nothing! Everyone who knows me, knows I love talking about that weather! 100+ degrees! Tornados! Microbursts! Scary ass lightning! I had a car break down. Stevie got trapped in a safety belt. The kids went on vacation. Madison, Wisconsin. Benches. Bugs. Birds. Racoons. Skunks. Opossums. Football. A car museum. The list goes on and on. Without looking at all the pictures I can’t even remember what we did, what I’ve already talked about and what I’ve missed. I will sum up safely with, probably not much. It’s all preview and hints and expectation. No substance. No meat. Speaking of meat, I really really really need to finish this “quick” post, because I also have to go “shopping” shopping too. Down to the last rolls of TP and some spoiled milk. I want to make a nice dinner tonight and possibly drink some wine. Dream big! Besides I think I have more coins I could be dropping. Here are some more pictures. Without comment. They really don’t need anything else.

Thanks for hanging. Now get out there and do anything else besides staring at your computer reading fluff pieces like this. Life is too short! 11 AM! I have got to go! Here is another random pic from the big trip! It’s a monument! Later!

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4 hours on a Friday afternoon

August 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm (Day to Day, News, Pictures, Tree Trouble) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

(To take down a tree. Four hours on a Tuesday just to write about it. Sheesh.)

Programming note: Sorry it took so long to get this up. I am sure all 15 of you have been waiting and wondering, “where the hell is her tree story??” Well, I’ve kind of been busy with extra things I decided to pile on right at the end of my summer. Like motorcycling, school obsessing, and complete body overhauling. I can sum all that up later. But here’s the gripping tale, in it’s entirety and original text with fabulous pictures. Ready, set, go:

Who needs Yoga X when you can stand outside and sweat from heat and stress. I didn’t do jack shit except be nervous about the tree man, he’s awesome! His name is Ken and me and the neighbors all agree that he’s our hero! He makes it look waaaay too easy.  That’s him in the tree.

Let me re-cap our situation: Tree tipped onto the house.

Cut cut cut, with a handsaw. It’s all we could do last Sunday.

It was about 6 inches off the roof and then resting back on it by Monday morning. We bought a chainsaw and tried to do it ourselves. HA. HA. HA.

The roof is steeper and the branch is higher off the roof than I anticipated so…I was no help. We needed a professional.

That’s from the front. Just thought I’d throw it in there for perspective. The tree is still mostly intact. And here’s just one more picture of the crack that cost me all my money. Damn trees.

And this is Friday. It was about 3 o’clock when he started. About 95° with little breeze and the sun was beating down and the branches were getting thinner and thinner. We were hot on the ground. I was standing, obviously, taking pictures, and Ken was in the tree and his 2 friends were providing the muscle and assistance  to get each piece from the sky to the ground. I really have to say thanks to them too, because without them it would not have been possible to do anything. So this pic is already after he took off the one over the house. He basically hopped onto the roof and chainsawed off a couple of feet that he could reach by hand, then climbed the tree, hung out over the roof, tied it off and chopped it down in bite size chunks. There is NO WAY we would have EVER been able to do even that. The heat must have gotten to us because we were crazy for thinking it. Trees are big and scary tall! After he scaled back up the main trunk he chopped chopped off the bothersome “smaller” limbs. You can see some of them jutting off the one limb he is LAYING on.

That’s my second favorite picture. Yeah. Look close. Do you see a blue line? No? Well it’s there, and it’s the only thing holding him to the tree besides his feet on the branch with the spikey hold in his boots. But you can only reach so far over before you have to basically lay across the limb, stretch it out, grab the chainsaw that hanging off a loop on your pants and start, wield and cut with ONE hand. Zip and done. That’s what it looks like from my perspective. He was like a squirrel just moving from branch to branch and making cuts like he was painting a big picture. I took so many pictures with the camera so I hope he doesn’t mind, but it was pretty exciting. Once you get comfortable with the man in the trees and everyone is kind of gelled and working together, it was really moving along. Ken also brought his truck and chipper rig that was parked in front of the house. I got pics of that too. It’s a scary, dangerous, machine. And like my neighbor said, this tree process draws people to the site like a car accident. But they mostly slow down and keep moving.

Well that’s the top. And this is from the side. Every time he cut one branch going up it looked like 2 more were right behind. One over the driveway, one over the house, one hanging over the yard…OH! there’s another one straight up. They’re all loose looking and flappy. But he just keeps climbing. Climbing and cutting. Dropping them, every single one, perfectly in between our houses. Precision targeting. Not one of the limbs touched the house or the wires or the fence or even the gutters. It’s an art form.

That’s from the front because you can see how high he really is. I thought it was an interesting view that you would like too. The tree is, was, tall. Tapered. Flimsy to me. I’m not crawling up there. Ken is in the middle of the picture. In the tree. Directly above the peak of the house. Here’s another look.

Look at all that blue sky! This is the pan out on my fav shot of the day. The one below these words. Ken finished with all the dangling limbs, all the ones that were kind of sticking out in all directions. Then he’s getting ready to drop the final top piece and prepare to work his way down. He’s just standing up there in the tree. Looking so casual. Literally on one leg, one boot spike technically, with the other one crossed over like he’s just chilling at the bar. You can’t beat this kind of cool. He was actually tying ropes and sweating like crazy, but you would never know it from his relaxed posture. (And, just from an arty viewpoint, I think that the colors of the sky and his clothes and safety gear, boots, not to mention the chainsaw, really bring the whole picture together).

OK, let me speed things up. He’s on the way down now. Shimmy, rope, tie off, ready, cut, hang, drop, untie, repeat.

So, as far as I can tell: Go up. Cut everything in your path. Then once you are at the tippy top, start cutting above you and go back down. Makes sense when you see a professional do it. This might be kind of boring to see I guess, but if you’ve had something like a giant, 50 year old tree taken down piece by heavy piece, it’s overly interesting and strangely satisfying. The worry is pretty much gone for his safety because he obviously knows what he’s doing (been doing it for over 20 years) and he makes tree “walking” look like he’s walking around the yard. Then you forget (not really) that he’s up there and then he’s done. Back on the ground and cutting the last huge piece.

Oooh! You can see some chips flying! That final piece was the size of a love-seat.

This is another picture of the last piece with real chainsaw action, just because. If I could carve wood I would have made it into a sofa seat.  We wouldn’t have been able to move it but that’s besides the point. We could have rolled it. How nice it would be to sit in our tree chair on a warm summer night and look up at our tree trunk. No that’s ok. Cut it up please! Thank you. Our chainsaw cannot handle the diameter, which I measured just for you.  33 inches at it’s widest point. Here’s the pic:

Looks good and smells good too. It has a weird open-guts-tree smell. Fresh like in the rain but woodsy and sandy and barky all at the same time. That description doesn’t exactly sound enticing but it’s not bad. We’re all out there smelling the tree. Intervention!

So now we can really move fast with the cleanup process. This is the pile of logs that were laying around.

These are all the branches. I tried to get a good view with lots of debris so you could get a feel for what four hours of tree cutting can really get you.

I am so grateful that the guys cleaned up almost everything. What we had left was alot. Plus, Ken wanted to use the new chipper. And in my need to help and start moving the big backyard pieces to the tree holding area we have now, I sustained my first real working injury. Crap. I was scared too. Right after I picked up one of the bigger pieces, which I lift stuff all the time so I didn’t even think about it, my right middle finger felt immediately numb and fat. It was black and blue and looked seriously pinched and just injured. It was hot and painful, and looked really bad. I’ll admit I got a bit worried. And of course the BF, who is always warning me not to do stupid shit because I don’t have the best insurance, walks up at that moment. I iced it and hoped for the best. And I stopped doing anything. The nurse next door took a look and said it will prob turn a nice black and blue color, but since my circulation was fine, I should just ice and rest it. Man, this forty year old body is killing me! It’s been some days now and it is ok. KNOCK ON WOOD. It never turned real nasty and it seems to have gone back to mostly normal. It’s a weird browny color but I can use it so I’m not complaining. I was even able to finish my motorcycle class using my bum hand. Right hand throttle ya know! FUN! No hand pictures though…they would have been good right after but I never even thought of it! Anyway, this is the chipper below.

Notice the chips flying out the chute end. Nasty going in. Shreds coming out. Makes that movie Fargo seem extra creepy when you have a wood chipper sitting right in front of your house and you see what it can do to tree limbs that are as big as a human leg. Here’s a few more pics from a different angle.

I like that picture because it kind of shows the effort it takes to heave those branches in. Throw and let go. You do not want to be holding onto the branch when the blades grab it. It sucks it in so fast that even standing there watching it over and over you can’t believe it’s so quick. One more for good luck.

I like this one because you can see inside the truck. It was empty when we started. And it’s not nearly full when we were done. Well, when they were done. I was pretty far away actually. Walking around taking pictures. This was before my finger got a boo boo.

And finally, the finished product! Now I have two trees with one trunk, going straight up, looking like they are doing a booty bump. I was joking around that with my luck there will be a terrible lightning storm that night that will hit the first one and take out the second one in a domino effect. Money well spent.

This is post cleanup. The BF and the boy chainsawed what we had left and stacked it all in the holding pile. I cleaned up the small stuff.

And here we are. Right back to where we started from at the beginning of summer. It’s like gaining weight. All plus more. It is obviously my destiny to be the keeper of the trees. Or at least their parts.

That’s everything nicely stacked. Here’s an individual pic of the big logs just cause I like the way they look. All that used to be in the air. Isn’t that amazing?!? I know. It’s been a long day and the kids want to go out and fish for a little while. They have been very understanding in my need to share with my fans.

If anyone needs any wood?? Camping? Fireplace? Carving? Just to have a piece of the story? It’s always here. And anytime I dare to try and get rid of it all, nature provides me with more! It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I was just thinking that even if I had no trees in the yard, cut to the ground, I bet branches from other areas would start showing up, like from the wind. Or tornados would bring them right to me. Well, that’s hopefully too crazy. Incidentally, it’s been dry as a bone around here all last week. Looked like rain. They said it might. Never did. About one hour after Ken was done and cleaned up and everything was in for the night, it stormed. There was thunder. There was lightning. The wind blew. The rain fell. The earth was clean. And it hasn’t rained again since. I’m not trying to say anything in particular. It just seems strange.

This is the last picture. My newly shorn tree posing for the camera. I should make it the first cause it’s so pretty. This is also the end of the story. Thanks for hanging all the way through. Later.

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Friday the 13th

August 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm (Books, Day to Day, Exercise, P90X, School News, Tree Trouble) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

That was a fast week. We’ve been baking out here in the Midwest for the last few. I’m breaking on the P90x for today. I was up too late with the kids watching meteors. Shooting stars all over the sky. We were out at about 2:30 a.m. and seeing them pretty regularly. So fast. It was clear and dark, even with the other house lights around. It’s worth it to stay up because there’s just so much beyond our little world and the kids need to see for themselves. It’s hard to understand the vastness of space from books and tv until you see a flash and streak of light across the sky and know that we are in the middle of a moving universe.

But I feel loopy enough. I caught back up with my days. 31 for Core and 32 for Kenpo. I was feeling worn out and lumpy and had to push play and push through. I am thisclose to real, off-the-knee pushups. That Core dvd is killer. I don’t know if it’s because of the recovery week that my arm muscles feel stronger or because they just are. Either way, I was feeling good. Then I Kenpo’d in some tight running pants and my belly was looking kind of flabby. I could let it all hang or suck it in whenever I’m standing. Sometimes you just want to push it out and let it go! That’s when I knew I had to take the pics again. So I did. You really need to see the progress from Day 0 to Day 30 to Day 60 to Day90. I was skeptical, as usual, because I have no intention of ever letting anyone see these pictures. I hate looking at them. But I did and I do see some changes. Subtle. A little less hang here, a little more indent there. An actual horizontal dividing line on my upper arm from the muscle area and the fat area. I’m hoping for bone show but I’m not there yet. At least you can see that there is something underneath all that skin besides fat and cellulite! Yay!

But the pictures were not enough to make me put the Yoga in and get sweaty. I wanted to take a nice long shower and get dressed. I had alot of house things to do and school stuff to finish. Speaking of, I have all my books now for fall! Very exciting. After yesterdays workout I took the kids for the final school shopping blitz. Supplies, clothes, books (mine), and backpacks! Done done done. I have heard over the years that kids get more expensive as they get older but I didn’t believe that either. Well, it’s true. It’s not crazy expensive, but it’s not dollar-store-bargain-bin.

Well I just got word my tree is about to come down in 45 minutes so I have to go get some money to pay the people. And I have to read that damn motorcycle book again and answer the back questions. I have a test to take tomorrow if I want to get my license. Step 1 of 2. Then I have to pass the drive test. Nail bites!

Alright enough. I really have to go. I’m going to make myself sick worrying all over again. I should lay off the coffee. I think it’s giving me the shakes. I’ll be back. With pics. Later.

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