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Friday, October 30, 2020

Assistant to the Lumberjack

Steveio was on a roll today.  His goal is to remove seven junky box elder trees from growing around the cement slab foundation in our backyard. He calls them "weed trees". He would like to use the slab in the future to build a cute Little Red Barn for a garden shed. 

He figures that the sooner he gets the trees out of there, the better it will be. It will be easier to remove or burn out the stumps. If any of these half rotten trees were to blow over during the winter, their roots could pull up and damage the cement slab that's already there.

So far he has cut down five of them with the chainsaw and most of them are rotten on the inside.  So he was right in getting them down out of the way. 

Today he had the last two to get rid of. The only problem is, exactly where they would drop is where he has two beautiful trees that are growing up nicely. One is a ornamental crabapple tree and the other one is a nice black walnut tree. So his problem was how to guide them down without harming the nice trees, as they land on the ground. 

So that is why he had called upon his Assistant to the Lumberjack-- (ME).  It was up to me to sit behind the steering wheel of our Saturn SUV with a rope attached to the hitch.  This is why:

See these two angled trees in the picture? The two with the Red Arrows? Those are the two that he wanted to take down.

The two trees with the yellow arrows are the good ones that he wants to preserve and not get damaged during the process.

They are leaning far over to the right and he wants them to drop closer down to the left in a straightforward position. So that's why he needed me to drive to the far left with a rope on the hitch as they were going down...

He got everything ready and got the big thick rope into place. Now it was my turn to help out, while he carefully cut the trees from behind.  The Saturn (and me) would be far far away to the left when this all happened. 

This was my view point from the Saturn in the front driver seat. He would tell me when I should ease the throttle carefully and help pull the tree over, as it slowly was cut away to reach the ground. He uses the hinging technique with wedges instead of a straight drop. Much safer, and a more careful process to land the tree onto the ground.


Well, actually  timber   .....It just eased gently to the ground. 

First one down, and the rope technique did the trick! It didn't damage anything and landed exactly where he wanted it to go.  He said he knew it would.   See?  No where near me or the Saturn. 

Soon the second tree was safely down and he was able to take care of cutting it all up into pieces this afternoon. We have two nice piles of wood now for the neighbor, and Steve has removed all seven trees from around the cement slab.

He will probably spend the winter 
drawing up Little Red Barn plans...


Our next project today was to permanently make sure that our fireplace is closed off that nobody will ever want to try to attempt to build a fire from inside. Both the building inspector and our insurance company wanted to be assured that it was taken care of. Because we closed off the chimney from the top on the outside on Monday, we needed to make it obvious to anyone in the future that it could no longer be used.  We already knew the fireplace from the inside had been closed off years ago by the previous owners / renters. There was a firm metal structure covering the entire flue as well as a bunch of insulation above that, blocking it off.  We checked that out before we even bought the house.  

We went one step further to add a second metal barrier with words of warning written onto the sheet of aluminum. 

Steve cut it to size, to fit the flue exactly. It was now double layered to prevent any heat losses, as well as warning anyone that it is permanently closed. 

He was able to maneuver around and get the metal up into place and attached to the sides of the brick walls, as well as the other metal flat surface.  Good and secure.  Then he sealed it all around with adhesive and a thick bead of mortar caulk.

I aimed the camera up to take this pic to send to our insurance agent.  There is no doubt that the chimney is closed off, and now sealed around all of the edges.  No more drafts or heat loss. 

We will plan sometime later to add an electric fireplace, or a vent free natural gas one like we had in our home in Chilton.  But that will come later, much later, as the budget allows. For now, we will keep the existing fireplace doors in place.  They aren't too pretty, but they will suffice.

Steve cleaned up his mess, and I told him that to a woman, this is a turn on, to see a man who is washing windows. Well, glass fireplace doors, but who cares... it's glass and he is washing them!  LOL   That's my guy! 

He slid the newly repaired glass fireplace screen back in front of the doors.  I am glad we were able to fix it and keep it as part of our livingroom decor.  Someone looks pretty satisfied that he did a good job. The King of his Castle.


I started a little project today myself, because I needed to take care of something that has been bothering me. When we put the ceiling up in the she shed entryway, we used new pine V-groove boards. It is also known as "Car-siding". Because it was new wooden boards, the knots were not fully dried out. Even with a coat of primer and two coats of paint, the knots have bled through over the last 12 months.

Here are the unsightly knots that make big tan blotches all over on the ceiling in the entryway of the she shed. I think it looks terrible and it was time to do something about it. 

When I first noticed them, I first thought they were roof leaks, oh my!  But no, they are just bleeding through from the knots as they dry out. 

Good Old Google Research to the rescue. I read where people that have been doing a lot of shiplap wood planks, and lately have noticed the same thing.  Especially when using fresh new wood. They said the best stuff to use is this Zinsser shellac spray primer. Not the water-based stuff, not the brush on stuff, not the Kilz brand, it has to be this one. They said it's the only stuff that really works. So I will give it a try.

It was a warm enough day to open up the doors and windows to have adequate ventilation to use this product. It's very stinky!

Wow, look at this! This is just with the primer on and I haven't even painted yet. What a difference.  Maybe tomorrow I will get out my paint bucket and little roller.

Today I was finishing up weaving the final section of this wool rug. It was a different pattern I was trying out and I really like the way it was coming along.  While Steve was stacking wood outside, I stayed cozy and warm inside weaving in my She Shed. 

(I unrolled it a bit to see the pattern in the pic)

This is a very thick rug of wool fabric from men's suit coats. Recycling at its finest. I just have to add the tag and hem up the ends and it will be ready to list in my Etsy online store for for sale.


Finnegan is doing much better. It's been 4 days now since his tooth extraction. I think he's playing us and faking to take advantage of the situation. He has moved on from wanting things like cheap hot dogs and shredded chicken to more expensive things like bratwurst and shaved deli ham. The flakes of grilled salmon was good for two days but he decided that even that wasn't good enough. He's thinking that the raw tenderloin that we used to give him his pills in is more to his liking. No way Jose.

He is talking Binney (in the pink scarf) into begging for the "good stuff" instead of plain ole dog food.  They are conspiring against us, I am sure.  We just took two hamburgers off the grill, and they seem to think that the burgers were for them!!  Look at those faces!!

I think it's time to start weaning him back to soft canned dog food, and then the dry kibble that he is used to, and stop tempting him with all of these treats. He is finally eating better now that his antibiotics are done. I think they were making him nauseous and made the food taste funny?  Either that, or the little stinker is taking advantage of us. And I think he knows it!

Huh? Who? Me?

Somehow, he knows I am typing about him right now, doesn't he? Dogs are pretty smart creatures.

1 comment:

  1. Nice to have the decent weather to do some outside chores. It's cool and blustery here - I don't think winter is far behind.

    Glad to hear Finney is doing better. Those fur babies, they sure know how to play us!


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