In between summer and fall there was a window of good working weather, when it wasn't too hot or too wet or too cold, so I figured I'd better get off my butt and get some of this years projects done around here.
There was a tree I dug a hole for and planted back in 1994, it had contracted some malady and had to go. I needed to remove it's mate a few years ago as well, after catching the same whatever it got. Myself and those two trees shared a lot of seasons out here and I hated to see them go. Although I find I get use to them not being there pretty quickly, just one less thing to mow around.
Once I got it started the old tractor made short work of the tree, pushing it over then chained it up and packed off in one big piece, off to the old dead tree bone-yard.
Worst part was filling the hole back in by hand, sorting out the grass clods left behind, then raking it out and planting grass-seed. It all grew back within weeks and now you can hardly tell there was ever a tree there.
Plus I got an ATV load of firewood for next season.
Not all my projects involve tearing trees out by the roots, or molestation by chainsaw.
September brings the apples and plums in the orchard which in turn attracts the local nuisance bear. I don't half mind it getting some apples, but they got to break branches, claw-up the trees and if possible, knock them flat on the ground.
I forget how many times I've had to do this over the years, but the best fix for a flattened tree is to attach the winch cable on the S10 work truck, bringing the affected fruit trees back to vertical, and adding a suitable prop-stick to keep it there. Not long after the tree is able to stand on its own, it will be time for the bear again.
I had been making noises about climbing up to sand and refinish the eaves on the main building for a number of years, but I always managed to come up with some excuse not too. Either it was too wet, too hot, or it was too cold, or I just plain didn't feel like it, or some lame-ass excuse. I recall a year or two back I got started one day and ran into a wasp nest (it was probably just one wasp I saw), so I decided to wait until Fall when they were all asleep for the season, then I think I forgot about it, or it got too cold or too wet or some thing or other.
But I had procrastinated long enough, as the eaves were showing the 25 years of weathering and action needed to be taken. I had it figured that it was not going to cost me anything to do, as I had bought a supply of sanding discs a few years ago when I threatened to it the last time, plus I still had a can of the $89 a gallon finish I slop on after left over from a previous short-lived splurge of activity on another project a month or two ago.
So I got myself rigged up with a probably not WCB approved scaffolding and went to work with the electric sander. Its a messy awful job and you get cedar dust clogging most every orifice.
I had not been up there since I slopped on the finish in 1995, and I didn't have to sand along too far when I discovered that bats were living just above the eaves under the corrugated metal roofing (I had wondered where the bats lived actually). Much to my surprise, when you least expect it of course, several at a time would flap out at me as I sanded along in a big cloud of dust, nearly scaring me right off the scaffold. I'd just recover from that fright then another 3 or 4 would flap out in my face and I'd just about fall off all over again.
The link between the two log buildings has an extra gable end or three, I had to throw a climbing rope over the roof, tying it to the ride-on mower parked back there on the lawn, with the other end wrapped around a porch rail on this side. I left enough slack so I could put a wrap around my waist or most often just hang on to it with one hand and sand up there without too much fear of sliding off the slippery metal roofing, which gets even harder to stand on after you've been sanding up there and feels like your wearing roller-skates.
If skidding off the roof is not enough, the odd wasp-nest made it interesting as well, and being tied on with the rope made it difficult to run away when I saw one as you just end up back where you started, so I took up a big can of brake cleaner to keep handy, so I could attempt to shoot my way out of any trouble in that regard. But after all the orifice choking dust, shoot-outs with wasp colonies, and friggin bats in my face, I was glad to have all the front eaves sanded with two coats of finish applied.
Hopefully next year I can work up enough courage to go around and do the eaves on the other side of the house.
Seeing I was on a roll, and still had some feel-like-it left in me, I decided to keep working down the list.The hot-tub has been exposed to the elements out on the front deck since 2001. I had probably sanded it all down once already years ago but it was showing its age and needed to be torn out and pretty much re-built from the ground up. Actually, I almost started this project at the end of last season, but I think it must have got too wet or cold, or maybe I saw a bee, and decided to put it off until spring.
Spring had come and gone long ago, but I had everything I needed around here for the job, providing I could find it, and I still had a half gallon of finish left over from the eaves, so I figured this project was only going to cost me a little tractor fuel and a whole pile of work and aggravation on my part.
I chained a beam to the tractor bucket to reach over the deck to pop the tub out of there.
I hauled over a pile of old wide boards I had been saving to make a door out of actually, but figured they would work just fine for the tub project. Of course everything including the old boards needed to be sanded down first, creating more orifice clogging clouds of sawdust.
The weather held and it didn't get too hot, or cold or started to rain and I managed to complete the hot tub enclosure and supporting under-structure on time, and on budget more or less.
So came the day to 'pop' it back in there.
Its always a relief when things fit close enough, just like the engineer had hoped.
And one of my favorite days of the year...