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Honored Advisor

Clearing brush?

Posted a while ago that I was planning to clean up a little brushpile here in the backyard at Jenna's house today. This was a space between and behind my MIL's two nice chickenhouses, which Jenna used and we continue to use as woodsheds.

I guess it was about 20' x 50', mostly just overgrown weeds. A few scrubby small trees, a couple that I may leave as landscape shade. Some parts were nasty blackberry brambles, though. I have a few "battle scars" to show for my work, but they are worth it.

It will still take a couple more hours with the garden rake, Mike's chainsaw skills, and a crowbar to wreck away some lumber that is scabbed onto the smaller chickenhouse, to call this scrap of earth cleared. Still, I got a heaping good amount done, chopping with a brush ax and lopping with my shears.

Know exactly where the septic tank lid is now, and that tells me where some fenceposts can't go. Got to assess the little buildings a bit better, as they came more into view. Some repairs required, but nothing extreme.

I felt so good when I reached the point of dragging all the stuff I had chopped down and lopped off onto several piles. Mike says he will move them away next good outdoor day.

i know most of you do physical work daily. My family took almost every physical farm chore - even tractor driving - away from me about ten years ago.

It wasn't that I had screwed up or crashed or anything. I think they thought they were helping me...but, they were mistaken. Frankly, I have never confronted them about how and why this happened. Maybe it was the truly bad sunburn I got haying one Mother's Day, because that was the last time I remember doing field work. We hired a man to help with hog chores about then, too.

I guess I have just felt useless. Yes, the business stuff has to be done...I hate doing it, but I do it. It is funny how much a few hours ourdoors lifts my spirits, though.

i found myself thinking about how President Reagan always cleared brush when he got to go home to his ranch. Not that my job is anywhere near as demanding as his was then, but I can see why a reclaimed little spot feels like an afternoon well spent. You can see what you got done, how much is left to do, look forward to your next fresh set of blisters.

We will be able to keep this spot with the mower after Mike does his chainsaw magic. The wildflowers and asparagus are rescued from the encroaching wilderness now. I looked back out at it from the bathroom window after I showered off, and it just made me feel good inside.

So, here's my silly question du jour - What gives you that feeling?

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Senior Contributor

Re: Clearing brush?

Doing those kinds of things, garden work, mowing etc.

The predicted snow storm is now here and visibility is very poor and the snow is really coming down. All schools were closed two hours early today.  Just hope the ice doesn't come too as forecast. To outside work this winter.

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Clearing brush?

My winter time hobby is cutting trees and brush. My firends tell me I need to get a life! I find running the chain saw invigorating and good cold weather exercise. It is at least as good exercise as driving to town to the fitness center. And, it is easy to see progress doing projects such as yours. Be careful. I ended up needing surgery on my thumb from arthritis caused by a minor accident that involved a branch dropping from several feet up. My surgeon says it is good exercise but remember, you do not have the strength in your arms that you once had. .....Soyroy.  

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Senior Contributor

Re: Clearing brush?

One of our landlords and his wife cleared out under a grove of trees this summer.  They are in their 70's.  Amazing.  they would go out in the early morning and quit before noon.  So funny, you would see him out there with his lawnchair and he would be burning the stumps out of the scrub trees they cut down.  A good place for wildlife and the grandchildren to play.  I don't have much strength anymore with my surgeries and my sitting at a desk 8 hours a day.  I will drive tractor if I absolutley have to.  I haven't had to haul in corn for a few years.  I do get ornry once in a while and tear into something like you have done of course I pay for it! Working in my flowers and mowing lawn gives me a sense of accomplishment.  Wish I could figure out my sewing room and get it back in order.

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Clearing brush?

Not an answer to your question, but brought two experiences to mind.

During the first month of our marriage 30+ years ago, it was beautiful December day and I was home clearing brush and trees from around the old farm place.  I burned a lot in a barrel.  Went in the house to clean up for company coming that night.  Later looked out and the entire back yard, including poplar trees were on fire.  Too embarrassed to call the fire department I called hubby to come home quick (15 miles away)  and then I grabbed a scoop shovel.  He could see smoke miles away.  We got it put out ourselves with  a lot of hard work.  House smelled like smoke for days.

 

Years later son and I were cleaning up trees with a chain saw.  At one point the chain kicked, threw me on my back.  Must have briefly knocked me out as I remember laying flat on my back, chainsaw on the ground above my head and son looking down on me. I was thinking how lucky we were and how bad that could have been.   Never ran a chain saw again.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Clearing brush?

Roy, Mike cuts wood whenever it is cool enough to be comfortable in his protective chainsaw gear. He had a shin gouged pretty badly a couple of years back, so caved in to pressure from those of us who love him. The bill for the ER was $1300 for eight stitches, which really shocked us, too...that was with our insurance!

I still do a good number of pushups in Taekwondo training. I did about 2.5 hours of chopping and cutting, until I got everything down and dragged yesterday. Saved the raking for another day. Stopped on the way back home to train for an hour. No stiffness today, so I hope to get the raking up done this weekend.

Thanks for the cautionary reminders. Mike says my biggest problem has always been wanting to work too long.... Get overtired, which is when accidents happen...get overworked, which is what causes the aches and pains...get cranky, which runs away my help!

Yesterday was a really good example of how I try to work now. I picked this one small area, and stopped when it was cut back to what has to be done with the chainsaw and loader. Still have a small section of chain-link fence to pull down, too.

It really does feel good to clean up an eyesore. I hope Mike and I are still able to do this twenty years from now.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Clearing brush?

I have run most any farm equipment we own, driven the big farm trucks since I was twelve, and will not handle a chainsaw.

Fire is another thing I would say crosses over from respect to fear for me. May go back to burning off straw with my father as a kid.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Clearing brush?

I finally thought to ask Mike, as we were roding back to Carolina yesterday, why they never let me drive equipment anymore. He said, " We just didn't need you to...."

I am not sure whether that makes me feel better or worse, than if there was some concrete decision to set my help aside. If I had been a silent farming partner for thorty years, I woildn't have given it a thought. I spent way more time farming than he did, until he severed from the railroad in 1995.

Not sore at all today, fortunately. I have the taking and moving some rotten lumber to look forward to, next trip. Really exciting, huh?
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Senior Contributor

Re: Clearing brush?

I don't get to all the physical jobs that I once did partly due to my limitations but I do miss being out helping. Now our son and grandson help when they have time. DH grandfather helped years ago and then I became the only one available. He still laughs that I never could learn to drive a fence steeple in straight. I well remember pouring concrete mixed in a small mixer and the most difficult job of all was striking it off usually on the hottest day of the year.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Clearing brush?

Agree with you about not missin gconcrete finishing.  That one about ruined my back, when I was young! 

 

I had been SO dreadign starting income tax work, until I got that physical labor break yesterday...now, I have done all the organizational stuff in a couple of hours, printed the online statements I needed, etc. 

 

We STILL do not have all the 1099s I need, so I am emailing people, asking them to email me a copy.  I am not going to be sitting here, biting my nails like last year!

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