My One Summer Butterfly

November 20, 2013 at 1:24 am (Butterflies, Day to Day, Flowers, Nature, Nurse News, Phone Camera, Random Images, Summer, Thank You, Wasting Time In General) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Hello and thank you to all my new friends and followers! I’m not sure what has changed in these last few days but I am glad for the chance to expand my world and to become a part of someone else’s. Maybe all those storms that blew through the middle of America shook up the airwaves somehow and blew out the dust of our random lives and we all ended up in fresh spots to wait out the winter that’s looming ahead. Maybe it’s just a fluke.

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Either way, here we all are and it’s good. Now on to my picture story: All those wild flowers in front of the house, that everyone else calls weeds, and I only managed to attract this one, big, beautiful, patterned butterfly. And he was late to boot. Showed up in August/Sept. But look at that photo. It’s nice, right? Perfect American image. Not planned, I swear. We keep the flag up all the time, and I was taking pictures too fast to frame this on purpose, because he kept flying around and landing anywhere that was  away from me and my phone. Oh yeah, did I mention that picture was taken with my phone?? Just a smidge more bragging on the G4 even if I have to do it myself. Here are some more pictures of that butterfly below. All the flowers are gone now and it’s too cold for flyers. I’m just gonna start posting all my pictures as fast as I can without any central theme. Maybe I will just start at the first one and run down the line. I know I’ve said this before, but this time, this time, I swear I mean it. My time is really tight now because my new job is trying to kill me with paperwork. Nursing at it’s finest I swear. And I suppose I really really have to go back to school. As usual I find myself to be the least educated person in the crowd. Again. I swear, I keep saying I swear, and FYI for the kiddies out there: School NEVER ends. Love it. Tolerate it. Keep at it. You will be a student forever. Even when you work you still have to keep plugging away at the next big thing.  Or little thing. It doesn’t matter. Forward roll. Oh Geez. As usual, I have run off the thought track and I wanted to, needed to, get some sleep tonight. Like I was saying, about the pictures, I can’t even remember why I took some of these or if I had any idea of what to write, so this should actually be kind of fun. Random. Just like me and my life and my personal beliefs. We live in a random world and I am good with that. Now, what was I talking about again? Butterflies. And flowers. Later.

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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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Stevie #7 Mosquito Attack!

June 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm (Day to Day, Flowers, For Stevie, Stevie Pics, Summer Break, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

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The white flower with purple veins. I asked her to go take another picture but with my phone and she said NO.

MOM! You don’t even know how long it took to get that picture! Like, 20 shots and then she was getting attacked by bugs and mosquitoes the whole time. BUT she persevered. And now you may enjoy the fruits of all her hard labor. This was also right before the big storm. And it was a big storm actually. We didn’t lose power (although it did its best to flicker and threaten) and we did not flood (although that water was rising and pooling dangerously close to the top of our foundation), but it was windy and the sky was green and the rain poured down from every direction. We also had hail chips at one point. Not balls. These were shaped like small potato chips. Stevie said they looked like small icy flowers.  Because of course she kept running outside to make sure it was still “really” raining. She’s a free spirit. Dancing in the rain. She called it “temperature control”. I don’t know.

Anyway, I have some various pictures to put up later, but it’s a work day. Awww. Major sad face. So I have to shower blah blah and go. On a plus note, the village people (haha) are here laying the sod. It’s actually just one guy. And according to Stevie, he’s cute! So far it looks good. Nice and dark green without weeds in it. Apparently it has to be watered. A lot. I know the BF will be all over that this weekend, so that’s one less thing I have to. Also, more are storms a’ comin’ I hear. Free water!! I hope work is fast and quiet as I always do. I am off tomorrow and the weekend so I can really get some pictures and words up here. I mean, if you have to stay inside anyway, spend the time with me. You can’t go out or you’ll get electrocuted! We had real reports of lightening strikes and tornadoes last night so it’s best if you just curl up with the internet and call it an evening.

FYI follow up note: The sod guy was cute. Too bad I am in the invisible stage of my attractiveness/attention portion of life. Too old for the young hotties and too young for the old settlers. Although in this day and age I am too young all around. Those old guys are always going for the young ones too. Gotta go for real now. Time waits for no man. Plus the oven timer is beeping me off. Later.

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We interrupt this program

July 3, 2011 at 9:20 am (Day to Day, Motorcycle News, Wasting Study Time Posts, Weather) (, , , , , , , , )

Due to weather and my inability to not help people when they need it. It’s annoying to be sure. But hey, karma right? And what did I really lose anyway? A so-so buzz, computer access, TV watching, laundry folding and the brain numbing joy of sitting on my couch or on my back patio staring at that big white wall.

More heavy storms rolled in again on the first, and that 100 degree weather the news people were predicting finally made it over here yesterday. It was nap-inducingly hot. But I stayed cool with my motorcycle riding. Finally. The BF got a new bike and he’s making me go out so I can get “practice” and be “more comfortable”. I have to say, it’s fun, but stressful. I’m pretty nervous with traffic and I need to work on my stop-start skills. I need to be faster off the line so I don’t get squashed.

And is it just me, or does there seem to be a news story everyday of some poor slob getting killed on his/her motorcycle by a truck?? I wear a helmet but I’m not sure I will fair any better just because my brain isn’t physically all over the street. The word is you don’t think about the bad stuff. Pay attention and don’t do anything stupid. It’s seriously like learning how to drive all over. I need to re-train myself on how to “see” the road. I think I am taking today off.

Plus, two of my schoolmates took their big test and passed! So happy for them. A little bit jealous. A little bit scared. A little bit guilty and anxious. We all want to pass. So I really should be studying. How often do I type those exact words in one of these rambles? I should get paid for it and I would be rich.

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Well it’s not real original but…

June 9, 2011 at 9:30 am (Day to Day, Heat, Pictures, Weather) (, , , , , , )

YOWZA!! That’s HOT!  101.3 degrees F at 2PM on 6/7, here in the ChicagoLand area. That’s pretty high for us. In June. ZERO to 100, that’s how we roll out here. Wednesday was a little cooler (only got to 98 so no one cares too much about that) but today—Thursday, it’s back down to 65. And it’s storming again. Raining and flooding. The usual. I have to go to school now, so I’ll be outside breathing in all of that good pneumonia atmosphere. My chest is NEVER going to feel better.

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Rest the brain, rest the body. Running will have to wait a few more days.

June 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm (Day to Day, Heat, Home Improvement, Pictures, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Sunny and hot followed by dark and violent. The day is just oppressive as hell until it suddenly isn’t. The Earth is surely trying to tell us something. Spinning wildly and throwing storms all over its surface. Tossing more limbs into my world anyway. Luckily most of the big ones are gone now. The winds are going to have to try a bit harder and go for a whole tree, although I’d appreciate it if they all just stayed where they belong. Anyway, this was after our walk in the woods. Temp dropped about 25 degrees, wind picked up, sky went dark and kind of green, and the rain poured down. Sideways, actually. It was bizarre. But it was fast. The camera didn’t even really capture how menacing the sky looked. The auto focus kept lightening up the pictures. I don’t have the right equipment for the really threatening storms. I can only catch my views from under a shelter. It was nice after though. Humid still, but cooler. Just getting us ready for yesterday.

The thing we learned from this last week of rainfall is that our gutters are crap. They are full of so much junk that water can’t even collect in them, it just pours over the top and makes a nice waterfall around the perimeter of the house. And I had steel, mesh guards over the tops. They were being slowly destroyed, one by one, due to the basketball hoop in the driveway. Seems the roof and gutters are easier to hit with the basketball then the net. The house and garage looked like they were missing teeth.

Thanks to another day of heat and boredom, we decided to take all the guards down and clean the gutters, finally. Should have done it about five storms ago, but it’s such a pain and I can’t reach them without a ladder, and isn’t that really a man’s job?? It is.

Before I get a nasty comment here, let me just clarify that by “we”, I mean, the BF. He, and he alone, did the actual gutter cleaning. Climbing up and down, hands in the muck, removing the soggy, stinky, rotting leaves and whatever the hell else sits in there and blocks the drainage. He even had to dismantle one of the downspouts to get it unclogged. But they do all flow so nicely now. So thank you. I do appreciate all the hard work you do. And we didn’t spend any money! That’s a good weekend project right?!?  Now I can hardly wait for the next rainfall!

I did do some stuff to help. I did accessory things, like move the garbage can closer and hand him the hose to flush out the small debris. I think I even moved a ladder at one point. Don’t judge. I am sick. I can’t breathe remember?  Besides, I also pulled my dead daffodil and wildflower plants out. I raked the dirt and fixed the border so we can put something prettier there. What I like to call my “wildflower” area in front of the house, most everybody else calls weeds. Things grow in that spot so well, that they just look weedy.

At any rate, we accomplished a lot and the front of the house doesn’t look like like derelicts live there anymore. It’s plain, but we can add some pizzazz next weekend. That’s when we’ll spend some money. Timbers, rocks, flowers…I have pics of all the “before’s” and I’ll get the “after’s”. You know I will. And hopefully, I seem to be getting a little more consistent posting lately, so hold onto your hats people, it’s going to be a crazy summer! I guess it’s not as exciting as some things, but this site is free and you can feel better about your house by comparing it to mine!

I need to get some “going out in public” clothes on before my kids get here. My son has another doctor appointment today to make sure he’s cured and can participate in the last two weeks of “school”. Which is basically field trips every day. He’s going to Springfield tomorrow. It’s the whole history-Constitution-Land of Lincoln thing. Very exciting. Hopefully he’ll take good pics and you can see it too!

I’ve got a few other ideas to spice up this site and get it flowing faster. More pictures, less words. Here’s a few small teasers: “Benches. 2011.” “Stevie Shadows.” “Target Summer Fun.” “Nerf Guns.” “Stink Bug.” Oh yeah. It will be as thrilling as it sounds. Until 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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We interrupt this program for another appearance by Mother Nature

August 10, 2010 at 12:42 pm (Day to Day, Exercise, Home Improvement, P90X, School News, Tree Trouble) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

That Bitch!!

When I left a few days ago, happy, P90X’d on day 30, I was recovering from Core Synergistics. I am actually still sore but who has time to think about it when the natural world gives you so much more to do! Let me explain.

I have trees. Big trees. They keep falling down. Not the whole tree, just parts of the tree. Limbs crack and break and then lay across the yard or the fence or the neighbors garage or her house…it keeps happening. Every single time it storms I worry. Every single time a tree part falls on my neighbors house it is the calmest, clearest, least windy day EVER! Every. Single. Time. I leave, the tree is fine. I come home, BOOM, it’s laying on something. Then I have to get tools (now the BF and I have to get tools) and we cut it up and drag it to the nice wood/limb/branch pile I have going in my backyard. I’ve posted pictures of it. I’ll post again in case you don’t believe me. It’s ridiculous now because every time I get it mostly cleaned up, nice and neatly stacked for continued ease of  disposal, more falls and the pile grows. It’s a joke to the neighbors now.

The far left side and the far right side wood piled up is the old stuff. Everything in the middle is from yesterday.It doesn't look like alot I guess in this pic, but trust, its all tangled and gnarly and high.

This time I really got a surprise. MN (Mother Nature) decided to shake things up by NOT felling the tree limb I was actually worried about but a completely different one that I never even considered! Tricky! I should have known. I took pics of this tree. Foam was coming out of the bottom. I do not know what that means in tree life, but it’s probably not good.  Got pics of that too.

So anyway, this real dangerous, heavy, stretched out limb just hangs over my neighbors house looking menacing every day and extra scary in storms. The birds don’t care. The squirrels don’t care. They just keep adding weight to it, running up and down, just doing their thing. I panic thinking it will fall. It’s huge. It’s old. It has NO chance in hell of missing her house and landing neatly in between on the driveway. It’s just that kind of tree. But it’s expensive to remove this kind of tree. Thousand dollar or more type money, which I don’t have. So we wait, and hope, and cringe every time the wind blows, but so far so good.

And oh yeah, there is also another limb that goes off it in the other direction, over my house, that looks fine. No worries. We noticed on Saturday when we got back from motorcycle class that it was dangling its leaves on the roof. Brushing ever so slightly like it was caressing the house. We tell ourselves, well we’ll have to get up there and trim those back. Not me…the BF…he’s much better at that sort of thing…plus it could start interfering with the satellite dish! Oh my! Can’t mess up the TV! He’s off on Monday (yesterday) so we can do it then.

So Saturday is class—sitting, talking, learning, then leaving. Expect to arrive early on Sunday and be prepared to ride the whole time! Ok. After class we take the kids clothes shopping for school, have a nice dinner and chill in the evening. Everyone’s happy! No P90, no other exercise except the brain stuff earlier.

Sunday 7 am. Off to class. Riding riding riding. It’s fun. It’s stressful. I feel worked out. 5 hours on a machine I have never set foot across in my life. And I get to control it and ride it and shift it and stop it…it’s too much fun! Not for everyone though. We did lose some people on the riding portion. 3 out of 12 had to go. As deemed by the instructors. Dropping the bike more than once or stalling it over and over in traffic, or actually flipping off of it, it did happen, right next to me, is pretty much instant exit. So needless to say, I was burning some stress calories and actual cals pushing that bike around. But I survived it and actually had a pretty good time. I am by no means ready for the road. I could drive it fine and turn it and stop it and all that, but I had some trouble with the quick, up and down shift (I think my boots were too fat and I couldn’t get my toe under the gear lever smoothly every time) and apparently I go WAY too slow for the other people! I’ll admit I was putt-putting it, but I shouldn’t be the leader. I need to follow someone else to gain speed! It’s not my fault!

After we got home, the kids are going to hang with their dad and he shows up to get them and notices that lovely, dangling, brushing, tree branch is now sitting on the damn roof solid. Crap. Seriously?? It must have cracked at a seam overnight (no storms, no wind) and laid itself gently to rest on the roof. Nice. So what is the afternoon like now? Up on the roof, the BF, not me, cutting branches and getting the limb up and off, then call someone to remove the rest because it is heavy and big and probably too much for us. Accomplished. The BF managed to use a handsaw to remove enough of the branches that it is up about 6 inches and if it continues to lean it will just rest back on the roof and not cause any major damage. It did crinkle the nice furnace exhaust pipe thing that our friend Jeff put up last fall but thank fully that was easily straightened.

If you look close you can see the crack. The left side is the main trunk to the ground, go across the limb to the dead knob and it's right underneath like a gash in the side. Just enough to bring it down. But not too much that it crashes on to the roof.

Here’s another question. Why, after all these years, have I never purchased a chain saw? I have needed one almost every spring and summer since I moved into this house. That money spent would have proven itself worthy over and over again. Well, we own one now. A big, nasty, loud, long-bladed monster tree cutter. A few inches short of the commercial kind. I’m not spending 500 dollars on one, but I can handle 200. After removing enough and watching it basically lean right back on over to the roof and then calling some tree services and getting a quote for 1000 dollars (WTF?? Seriously?? We already took half that shit off and it’s practically stand-up accessible) Then for another $1300, he’ll take off that other limb that is super-giant, super-heavy, and hanging so far over the neighbors house that it could be considered a whole tree all by itself. Really? Only 300 extra dollars to take off the giant limb as opposed to the half cut one? I was nice and didn’t say anything. What a rip. They have a bucket! I guess that’s what we pay for. Either that or he just didn’t want to do it so he throws out a ridiculous number hoping we would laugh and tell him to move along.

So I get the idea that since it’s obviously just going to lean back on the roof, we can go get a chainsaw and hack that sucker off ourselves. We can get it on the roof and just hope we can cut it back enough it will swing and miss the house when it goes all down. Ha! Lofty goals on Sunday night! Monday morning. Different story when my shaky ass is standing on the roof, on that treacherous angle, trying to hold limbs and not fall to my death on chainsaw chips and debris. I REALLY underestimated my ability to stand on a roof with confidence and move around. I was constantly afraid of falling off, therefore I was afraid to move too much and therefore not much help in the removal process. The longer I was up there I felt a little better, but those slippery chips were too much for me. Bright ideas look 100 times better from the ground looking up.

I have to give every kind of respect for people that can work on a roof with no problem. That is an awesome balance thing and confidence and surefootedness that I do not have! Your job is tough and scary and I can see why people pay you the money to do it.

Once the BF and I realized there was no way we could do it ourselves, because of my chicken-shitness and his lack of reach over the house and up to the limb, we decided to use the trim, wait, let the tree limb lay back on the house, trim, wait, lay, etc…method of removal. It might take awhile but the lower the limb comes down, the easier it is to remove. The person we finally got to take a look and remove it for us said that method is not going to work and is not really smart. He’s a 20 year tree guy and he has removed stuff for us before. He’s back in the biz after hurting himself some years ago, and ready to take on some small jobs! Ha! Small jobs! That’s what he considers it. I don’t care because he’s cutting us a really good deal and he knows what he’s doing. He hopped onto the roof to look at the tree like he was walking on the flat ground. Jealous!

Anyway, so there it sits now, about three feet off the roof, maybe four. Alot of the weight is off and if it starts lowering, our tree guy said just leave it. Don’t be fussing with it anymore. But, again, I have a giant pile of branches and limbs and leaves and sticks and junk in my yard. So this week is cutting and stacking neatly to make room for all the rest that is about to come. This might be the most yet! Seriously. I just thought about it this minute. We are going to have basically a tree’s worth of trunk and limbs in the yard. I really got to wrap this up and get outside. Those lazy kids of mine are still sleeping and I’m wasting hours typing and we have some work to do. I’m going to need some bribery options to really light a fire under their asses. I’d like to get all of what we presently have cut up today if possible. That’s prob going to save us alot of time and pain down the road. Especially if it starts storming like its supposed to.

Ugh! I may skip P90X again today. I was going to sneak it in (I have missed 3 days already!!) and I’m feeling nervous and agitated, but this might have to take precedence. Ugh! Kenpo too. It’s fun. I don’t HAVE to do it. It’s my choice. It’s voluntary but I feel guilty. I don’t even know why! It’s ridiculous the things that go thru my head. I’ll try to do it later. I swear. It’s not like I’m going to turn into a lump of fat in 4 days. But still…I also have the stress of this cycle class, the test is next weekend. I have to read the book. I have my real school starting the next week and I have to read that material. I have no money. All my savings money is going to stop a tree from poking through my roof. I have laundry and house stuff, and frankly I’m feeling a bit queasy right now thinking about it all. I let myself stress way too much about things I can’t even control. AND things that aren’t even going to happen for 2 weeks! (I’m thinking school. I’m trying to tell myself I need to make it fun like I did when I first started. I love it. I’m afraid of failure. But I love it. Nursing is the best job in the world and I just have to get through. I think I need some BF support tonight. Help!! Thanks honey!! I love you. Sorry for being a baby. Love you!) I feel like an old lady shaking her fist to the sky cursing the powers that be. Ugh!

Enough of the whining. Stop thinking. Start doing. Alright. The tree limb is still high and mighty for now. The crack is still cracky but not split all the way through. I will get dressed, cut limbs, exercise, figure out the money situation for the week and do laundry until it doesn’t matter. I will read and absorb and take it one little day at a time. Hour here. Hour there.

If you are still reading this, WOW!, and thank you. It’s like listening in to someone’s therapy. I hope to never look at it again! The internet is a great big toilet bowl of random crazy and I just laid a big old load down! Feels better! And you helped wipe! Alright, eeww, that’s probably enough there.

We need a picture of calm. A picture of soothing. I don’t know what I have, butt, I’ll find something.

Oh man. The hilarity never stops around here. I think it’s bad when you have to add a whole new category to your site, dedicated to tree trouble because it just keeps happening. Ugh! The picture below is much better. I found it trolling for something to illustrate all this text.

Just breath and relax:

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July 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm (Pictures) (, , , , , )

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Storms are rolling in…

July 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm (Day to Day, Exercise, P90X, School News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

And it is dark at 4 o’clock. I posted yesterday morning but I never did come back. I apologize to all those breathless to read more about my long, boring, days of summer until school starts again…it’s a me thing.

I did complete Day 22 and Day 23. That would be some chest and back–so misleading–when it’s just endless push-ups and pull-ups and ab exercises–and Plyo, the jump stuff. I managed to half-ass my way thru that too today. I have a theory on my lack of energy and it’s not pretty. Reading the books that come with the program (P90X–got it in there for ya’ Amanda) They talk about the diet, eating healthy, I get that. They also talk about eating enough. Yes, eating more than you want to because you are burning the cals and you need the food to help you make it thru the workouts. I thought that was a load of crap. I have plenty of food stored in me that I should be able to go for many more days without any extra. But I might be wrong. Hardheaded. It’s all written. I read it. Didn’t believe it.

Here’s the unpretty part: (Turn away if you are squeamish, it’s about to get too personal) This is my first period, menstrual cycle, whatever you want to call it, while doing this program, and since I am a bit older than I’d like to be, things can be fast, slow, heavy, light, if you get my drift, AND I was trying to burn up the cals with some double workouts (got one tonight) and some leaner eating–by which I mean NONE. No food. Just some fruit and a chicken breast with some steamed beans…like literally, I cut my cals by three-fourths. Well, lo and behold, I can’t get up and once I do, I can’t do the exercises. I can’t get the same intensity because I have no energy. Like none. It’s strange. No food in, lots of draining body fluids (sweat and other things, sorry) and I am dogging it. My booty is not lifting, as much as sagging, around the living room trying to keep up with the gang on the TV.

But I think I got it now. I’ll increase the food or at least go back to my normal diet. Normal, healthy, low-fat, no-dairy, diet, I mean. Of course.

I’m excited though because I weighed yesterday too. I am trying to do it about every two weeks. Nothing drastic. Slow and steady. It’s good. I am down 5.5 lbs in 27 days. It is not noticeable on me whatsoever. It’s just the way I’m shaped I guess. And I’m not starving myself or starving at all. My appetite is less lately. Although that could also be because it’s 90+ degrees every day now and that kills any urge to eat or move or breathe.  But I don’t care anyway because it’s for the long haul and I don’t have alot of years left to be getting down to little old lady size. Gotta do it now.

Last night we did dinner with the family. Pizza–so good. Tried to eat the smallest, crustiest pieces I could, as slow as I could. I even had dessert. Key Lime pie. Not my fav but it was ok.

Here is a fun fact for you: One eighth of that pie had 450 calories. I wasn’t cutting so I tried to get a small piece, but isn’t that alot??  I thought so. Sometimes all that labeling is evil.

So hopefully I will go to the gym again tonight and run my miles…do I even dare try the 55 mins.? I don’t know. I’m scared thinking about it. Have to do something as my sister Amanda and my friend Beth are trying to kill me in the next two days. Garage sale tomorrow, nice and early, all day and an hour away…I have to get up sooooo early and I don’t even get any of the money!

Then Friday is my cardio-fitness-trainer-tag-a-long workout with Beth. Again with the early. 7 am. People are crazy. Who can exercise that early? I’m really not an early morning kind of girl for doing stuff. Any stuff. I like to lay and drink coffee until my eyes open better. I am already overly worried about my school schedule and I still have three weeks! I’ll be getting up early for sure, but it’s mostly moving the kids around and putting on clothes. Then driving in the car. The nursing part is not nearly as hard as balancing on half a ball for a minute holding dumbbells and jumping 50 times. Or sitting at a garage sale in the sweltering sun bargaining down my sissy’s belongings, praying for death or at least a big rainstorm. (Just kidding…I’m sure it will be fine. And fun!)

Anyway…I’ll wrap it up for today. It’s longer than I thought, as always. I can’t even shut up typing! And the sky has cleared. I’m going to go back outside and finish sitting in my chair, looking at the backyard. We have hummingbirds!

There’s some pictures around because I took them and it looks better than just all words. I may be back. (She says mysteriously) Later.

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