Our Schedule

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Cleaning up Part 2 Plus NOMADS visitors

Cullman,   AL

We always love visitors so we were more than happy to receive a phone call a couple of weeks ago from a couple of NOMADS.   As a reminder we were once NOMADS.  (actually still are but inactive).  Not only were we Nomadic by living full time in an RV and traveling the country but we were members of  NOMADSumc.org.    This is a mission of the United Methodist Church.   It is folks who travel in their RVs to various parts of the country as volunteers doing rebuilds, improvements, etc at church campgrounds, colleges, retreat centers, churches and  community outreach.  They also do disaster relief.

To get back to my story..... we received a call from a couple we had not met that were traveling from Florida to Indiana and asked about using one of our RV sites on our property.   They were told about us from a mutual NOMADS friend.   We are always available to any NOMAD passing by this way, being less than 8 miles from Interstate 65.

Carolyn and Gene were leaving Florida early Sunday and expected to get to Cullman in the afternoon.   In the meantime our mutual friends Gary and Sharon called and asked if they could come to the house to visit with all of us.   YES INDEEDY.   They live about an hour away.

As we always do, when campers are expected we prepare a meal.  No one likes to cook following a long drive.    And we enjoy the company.    I had a salad bar, pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches and salsa and chips.  Sharon bought a fabulous chocolate pound cake.  Best I've ever had.  We all ate, then spent the next few hours talking, talking, talking.

Here is Gary:

And left to right is Gene, Carolyn and Sharon

And Carolyn and Genes RV parked at one of our sites.     Not a bad way to travel I say.

In my previous blog I told you about Len cleaning around the creek and came upon a large pile of refuse.   We knew it was too much for us to handle so I went on the  Home Advisor site.   I had used this service in finding the company that recently removed trees.   This time I searched for someone who would haul away trash.   Just like before, I got a call not long after the request.   Andy made an appointment to see us later the same day. 

We showed him what needed to be done.    He got in touch with another man and they both checked it out.    We were given a quote that we could live with. 

Last Friday the job was done.  Andy asked if there was anything else we needed hauled away.   Sure was.    We have an open shed where we have tossed metal fence posts we had removed that were everywhere on the property. Also some tin sheets, DirecTV dish, vacuum, fencing.   He gladly loaded them on his truck.    And most everything else that he could sell for scrap.

Today I swept it out.   We use this shed for the bucket, forks and bush hog when not being used on the tractor.

On to the big job.  First came this that the crew rented:

To clean up this and more:

Actually there was a lot of scrap metal mixed in.   Andy had a truck load by the time it was done.  He will get a few dollars for it as he waits until the costs go to a point where he is satisfied.

They cleaned out to the creek

Eventually the area was cleaner

As it looks now.

When done a lot of top soil was left.   Len will move the dirt to an area by the pond that is low and remains wet in rainy weather.   We will toss grass seed in both areas.   We still want to remove more trees and brush from in front on the creek.  In the above picture note the darker area beyond the trees in the foreground.   That is where the creek runs.

As I write Len is out doing one of his favorite things.   Bush hogging the tall grass in the back that has grown in the last few weeks.   Tomorrow it will be me mowing the grass again.   It's a cycle.  Mow, Rain, Sunshine, Mow, Rain, Sunshine, etc etc.  I mow sometimes twice a week.

Until next time.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Cleaning up.... no more surprises please.

Cullman, AL

As long time readers of my blog might remember, two years ago we started clearing the back portion of our property by removing brush and trees. 
This is part of what we found.

Not only small stuff but larger items also.

Two scrap metal collectors were glad to take away some items to make a bit of money.

The area now

We have a narrow creek that runs about 600 feet the entire length of one side of the property.   We have been slowly clearing out brush that block the view.   We knew there was another pile of debris in one area near the creek.   Had no idea how much.  This week we found out as Leonard started removing more trees and brush that had blocked the view.

When we moved here the brush came all the way up to next to this shed. We cleaned the area over the last couple of years now was the time to continue.   We did not see that trash that lay beyond.  Here he had just started to pull out some of it.

Some closer looks.

The creek lays just beyond this pile.

Leonard can not do much walking or any lifting but Praise the Lord with the help of his Inogen Portable Oxygen Concentrator he can still spend hours on his tractor.    It  helps.   Both his attitude and the yard.

We are not able to do anything more with this mess so we've hired a service to come this week to dispose of it.     I don't mind mowing and I don't mind weed-eating around the pond and along the creek but I don't want any more trashy surprises.

Until next time.

Friday, May 8, 2020

And the work continues

Cullman,  AL

Yes the work continues but it wasn't us doing the work.

When we bought the property there were lots of brush and trees that needed removing.   We did some.  We had a tree service do some.    That was two years ago.     We have realized that we are no longer able  to take down the bigger, nuisance, ugly trees that were planted as a barrier.

They were probably planted in the early years.   This house was built in 2001.  Chances are they were planted within a few years.    At the time they were planted they were staked.  The owners never removed the stakes and these fast growing trees wrapped around the stakes and the bottom of the stakes became entangled with roots.

Time of clear these away.

Yesterday was the day.    The tree service arrived in the morning and got right to work.

One man operated the Bobcat while the other the chain saw.

They filled the dump trailer 3 times

In total they took out 12 trees.

The stump grinder arrived in the afternoon.   He had ground stumps for us two years ago.  Business must be good as he had a new truck and a box trailer.    In a short period of time he had ground down the 12 trees just felled plus 13 stumps from trees we had removed.     We are amazed at how easy his job is.    All done by remote control.

After taking away the three full loads, the 2 man tree service crew returned to clean up the yard.  Leonard told them to just dump the branches and wood chips on to our burn pile.  We had burned the pile last week but have since built it up again with brush and smaller trees we had removed from the area near the creek.  They were a wonderful job cleaning up.

A few stakes were left.   We will have to dig down around them to get them out.  This was taken before the stumps were removed.

Before and after.

Looking from house toward the road and shop.   At one time the row of trees completely hid the house from the road.  We like looking out from the porch.   The trees hid our view of the field across the road.


The tree left standing is an apple tree.   The apples are really sour.  The deer don't mind.  The bush on the left is a fig tree.   We like the figs.  So do the bees and birds.


A row of trees ran along the side of the house to an open shed.  Hated mowing this area.


The tree on the right in both the before and after is a pear tree. We like these pears.  So do the deer.


Near the mower shed.   The tree in the middle was completely dead and brown.


Makes it easier for me to find the where the mower is kept!


One more project accomplished.  And we didn't have to lift a finger.   Well that's not quite right.  I had to write that check.

Until next time.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Trim and Fire

Cullman,   AL

This blog proves how exciting our life is now.   Several reasons we don't do much or go anywhere.   Feeling really old, COVID-19 and a few physical limitations. 

Last fall we continued our clearing away brush project.   So far this is a 3 year project.  Not done yet. At one time this cleared space was as thick with growth as the background.

We piled the brush with the eventual plan to burn.   Today there was no wind to speak of and hey, we can't go anywhere.   So why not.   I was concerned that no bunnies were living in this pile.  We had seen 3 a few weeks ago.   None ran out this time.  Guess they moved on.

My (ex) firefighter husband set the fire.

This always makes me nervous.   He likes to get as close as possible pushing brush into the flames.   I'm always afraid he will make an ash of himself.

As least he has the sense to take off his Inogen Portable oxygen concentrator when getting that close.

Most of the brush burned.  The rest is smothering.   We have cut a path into the woods along the small creek.   The trees and shrubs that Leonard dug up or knocked over will go on to the pile for future burning.

Last night I started trimming the shrubs that are on 3 sides of the house.   It was the first time I used electric hedge trimmers.    I was nervous as I am clumsy. I FALL A LOT.   Len told me not to worry as the thing shuts off automatically if I let go of the switch.   I was still a bit nervous.   Ok .... I had reason to be.   I tripped over a hose and I went down.   It did shut off.   But I have a deep cut on a finger from the rock I landed on.   I soaked three bandages.   I still have it wrapped up.  I was afraid I needed stitches but all appears fine 24 hours later.  Did I mention I have a habit of tripping over stuff?

So back at it today.  And no falling.    This is one side of the house, I will get to it tomorrow.

This is the side that is done.

One half of the front of the house is done.   The other half I will do tomorrow.   Can't believe how much easier an electric trimmer is than the lobbers I was using.     But they are probably a lot safer.

Until next time.