Sunday, July 12, 2009

Transitions, changes, evolutions....

Well, for a while there I thought it would be easy to start doing regular postings again, but what I call the "f & b world" (for flesh and blood) keeps getting in the way. The bottom line discovery I'm making is that I'm living as two now 24/7; I'm no longer a 9 to 5 bachelor with a lot of time to stare at the computer screen. And between the move, settling in here at the rental and working on the property, we're busy. I have these few hours this morning as we wait for the dump to open at 1 PM. I can do laundry and write. It's a luxury. I find that I plenty of interesting things to share but less time to share them.

The hours of the dump figure into today's plans because when it's open is when we can fill the car with the brush we're clearing off the property and take it to the yard- waste bin at the dump. (Here they call it a "convenience center.") The property is 2.5 acres total. About half that acreage will remain a neat-but-natural looking woodland. The driveway will meander through it to the house, which will be visible in the distance through the trees. The photo above shows Steve with his brand new toy, a weed-whacker with a serious, rotating saw blade at the end, that he's just finished using to clear about a quarter of the property of warm-season growth. He cuts it all down, then I cut it further into car-sized pieces and drive it to the dump as the car fills up. Made just three trips yesterday--the stuff compacts. (The clearing for the house is in the distance above Steve's left shoulder.)

Here's the the exact same view taken just before the weed-whacker magic:

Quite a difference, no? In that picture, the gray area in the lower right corner is the driveway. We'll be working on the other side of that over the next few days.

All the work in these pictures took about 4 hours, in the early morning, before the heat of the day sets in. We must suit up up for the job--the first innocent walk we took through all that brush in sandals and shorts we both came home one giant chigger welt, and I found a tick on me. So we put on clothes with legs and sleeves--long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and we tuck the cuffs of our pants into our socks and then tape them together so nothing can get in. We sweat a lot as a result, even before the heat sets in. But that discomfort is a hundred times better than 20 chigger bites. (We hear there are also snakes in those woods, but so far we haven't seen any. Steve will drop his weed-whacker and go running for the next county if he does.)

So there you have it, the latest chapter in our grand adventure. I will try to be more regular but can make no promises. Just rest assured I'm not stopping this blog. I have way too much fun with it and enjoy your company too much. I'm still around. I even have a couple of things ready for Food Friday!


Zoey and Me said...

That is a big difference. We put in a long drive here and the only real inconvenience to that is the mailbox has to be on the street so in bad weather we have to take the car down the access drive to get the mail. How soon before the builder starts pouring the foundation?

Mim said...

Now that's serious brush clearing you are doing. I'm with you on the long sleeved long pants for outdoor work. Here we do that,albeit so hot, for the poison we'd rather not get!
Less time on the computer, more actual physical work, is what happens here all the time, everyday.
Hope you build in afternoon coffee breaks or tea time, as we have taken to doing. Makes the labour more tolerable.

Jeff said...

With the economy in the tank, I've been taking on more chores at home myself rather than parceling out to the local craftsmen. Although I don't have the acreage you do, there's something about gettin' down in the dirt that's good for the spirits.

Just don't overdo it - the body will punish the overzealous. And tell Steve the more area he clears, the more he'll have to continue to clear!

Good luck Ralph - and do keep up the writing!

- J.

michele said...

A couple of comments:
1. The 'research' says that couples who retire at the same time have a smoother transition to retirement. I retired a year before John. Loved every minute of my time home alone and was much annoyed when he was also home during the day. Did I need to report my coming and goings? Did I need to include him in my activities? It was all too much and I was grumpy. He, of course, had no clue what was going on. Two years out we are finally settling into our respective routines and I don't want to kill him. I kept telling myself this is normal; it takes time. Your transition may be smoother because you are both changing home location, which is a big deal. I wish you a smoother transition being together 24/7.
2. Steve may have taken off his protective gear for the picture. But just in case he didn't. He needs goggles to protect his eyes and ear protectors. It's likely he's going to be doing this weed/brush trimming a lot. Snakes are nothing compared to potential eye and ear damage.

Ralph said...

Wow--so many commwents I never knew about! Z&M: we'll have the same situation with the mailbox--we'll have to drive to it in bad weather.

Mim: We can only stand the heat until about 11:30 and then we call it a day and do the rest of the day's business. We take water breaks.

Jeff: Yeah, I start slwojg down at about the 2-hour mark. My body is pretty loud when it speaks, for which I'm grateful.

Michele: the transition so far has been amazingly smooth. There was just ine day a while back when Steve didn't have anything to do and the TV was ion at 8 AM. That's a no-no for me and a sure sign that Steve was settling in to veg. That's when we spent the money on the brush cutter and got to work. Not to worry, he does wear the goggles (though they cut down on visibility)--but not the earphones. It's niot much louder than a lawn-mower...