Monday, April 23, 2007

Dead vile weed

It looks like I got the BIG one. The yellow rectangular area surrounds what should have been LUSH GREEN poison ivy foliage all over the top of this dead tree. In a post last year I made mention about the vine being about as thick as an elephant's leg. A couple of weeks ago I cut through that vine with my chainsaw and a few others with an axe. (You need to click on the picture to see the larger image with yellow rectangle and red arrows)

Some day soon I intend to cut down both trees that are pointed to with red arrows. Not sure how to handle the trunk that has poison ivy all over it but the other won't be difficult. They are both cherry trees so I will see about having a friend mill them for lumber.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Idol chat

Yo, dawg, check it out...

1. Melinda Doolittle was fantastic last night.
2. I don't like any of the guys, nor LeKisha.
3. I hope it comes down to Jordin Sparks and Melinda.
4. Simon wasn't very harsh last night, except for his critique of Sanjaya, which was well deserved...the kid WAS "utterly horrendous".
5. Randy needs to speak like a normal human.
6. Paula doesn't like to say anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

Your additions?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Followup to vile weed!

The city is installing sewer lines in my neighborhood and they just finished my street. Since today is Friday the guys were quitting early. I asked one guy if they could use their equipment to scrape off the rest of my backyard, and showed him my scab covered red arms. No problem, he said.

It took 1 guy about an hour and he cleared the rest of the backyard and the side. He pushed down trees, scraped off brush and weeds, and even pulled out some old stumps. I was so impressed with that hour's work because he completely cleared an area that was about 20 times bigger than what I did by hand in 3 hours, and it's about down to the bare dirt !!

It is a little muddy, so next week he is going to smooth things out with a different machine, on a light work day. Will probably take him 10 minutes. If I can plant some grass seed after that it will be wonderful. Using those big machines, there's no way that guy would come into contact with the vile weed.

This is all the way down the side of my driveway (the length of my property), which was completely overgrown and one could not even walk without fear of snakes, briars, and the vile weed.

Under and behind the green leaved maple tree I had cleared an area about 30 by 30, but not down to the dirt like this.

Now it is clear down to the dirt all the way to the back corner.

Looking from the back corner back up the driveway. This view would have been impossible because the weeds were over my head. Note that the dirt is rutted, but will be smoother next week.

And finally looking from the same spot but toward the house. A HUGE area cleared (3 times what I did by hand) in just a few minutes.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Vile WEED !

OK, I got my annual poison ivy rash !! I didn't SEE any growing where I was working but it sure saw me. I read that if you wash thoroughly within 4 hours of exposure then you should not get a breakout. Well, I did ! I must be really sensitive to it.

Out in my backyard there is an area that is not landscaped and full of natural growth. Last year I cleared a pretty good sized area and just mowed over it each time I cut the grass. Now that looks just fine but I want to clear the whole thing. A couple of weeks ago a tree fell in the area I wanted to clean up, so it was more work than I had planned on. The tree brought down a lot of vines (and some of that must be the vile weed). So I've spent an hour here and there working on clearing the weeds and cutting up the tree.

Here is about 36 feet of tree, cut into 6 foot sections and placed by a trailer. Should make good firewood for next year.

Armed with chainsaw, rakes, and metal blade on the string trimmer I cleared out a pretty sizeable section yesterday. It isn't quite done but close. You can see where the tree came from and I want to remove that stump and everything to the left. The distance between the two trees is about 15 feet and the newly cleared area is about 30x30 feet.

The burn pile is large and the picture doesn't do it justice. It is about 10 feet in diameter and over my head. See all the dark green stuff in the background? That's what the newly cleared area looked like.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Kitchen

My kitchen is mostly straight out of the early 1970s. Over the years I have replaced all of the "harvest gold" appliances but the floor is an ugly vinyl that is supposed to look like bricks, the countertops are speckled and pieces have fallen off, and the cabinets were rather dark.

On a previous trip my mom painted the kitchen and I made the bistro corner afterward. That was phase 1. On her most recent trip, for a few weeks, she took on the task of painting the kitchen cabinets (phase 2). Phase 3 will be to redo the flooring and phase 4 will be to redo the countertops.

The kitchen is "L" shaped. This is the left side and note that the cabinet doors had already been removed.

This is the center and notice that there is a trash compactor that I never use. It is to be removed. You can clearly see how dark the cabinets are.

And this is the right.

This is the left side and note that the cabinet doors have already been reinstalled. All the hinges and handles are new chrome.

This is the center and notice that the trash compactor is gone. I have purchased a cabinet to go in that space, however, it is a close match but not an exact match. I will make a modification to make the new cabinet a pull-out garbage and recycling bin, and make a new door. Then it will look right and can be installed and painted.

Finally the right side.

Pretty dramatic difference, don't you think? I have a couple of other things to do to finish this phase 2.
1. Modify the new cabinet and install it.
2. Build a pull-out spice rack for the narrow cabinet to the left of the dishwasher.
3. Build a dish rack that will go over the microwave.
None of these are particularly difficult...they just take time.