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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Since taking down those large trees (and I still haven’t managed to move some of the larger wedges of wood out of my yard), I have been taking smaller equipment – hand saws and extension saws to trees.

I cut down the redbud I planted just outside my bedroom window 8 years ago.  It has gotten so big it is encroaching on the evergreen bush and is resting on my roof.  Not good for the roof or keeping pests at bay.  Low hanging limbs and those branches that aren’t facing skyward are also getting he ax (or the saw) and already I have noticed increased sun to my veggie garden.

I am trying to be careful not to add too much sun to the windows in the house, and so I am being very careful and selective in my cuttings.  The reason I love all the trees on the South side of my house is that during the summer it acts as a natural shade and keeps my house cooler.  During the winter, when the leaves are off the tree, the sun shines in the windows and helps to heat the house.

When I moved here the patio was full shade.  Now it is full sun.  I guess I will eventually need to buy a patio table with a big umbrella.  I guess there are worse things to have to worry about.

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Trees Down

Several large trees were cut down yesterday.  What a relief!  They were potential hazards to my house and garage.  There is still much clean-up to do and wood to be moved either to the wood racks or someplace out of the way to be cut for firewood next time I get my hands on a chainsaw.

Tree #1

Before

After (the stump with the plants on it)

Believe it or not, only one tomato plan was harmed when this fell.  The raised bed itself looks like it will require a bit of fixing.  I hauled quite a bit of wood, and am now even using a “chunk” as a table (see photo above bottom right.)

The one downside of taking down one of the large trees is that it was where my laundry line was attached.  Wet clothes in the washer and no where to hang them…

Tree #2

Before

After – the great leaning tree is gone!

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Yesterday was a magnificent 76 degrees out at its high. Blue skies and just incredible for playing hooky. Unfortunately, I was not able to do that (although I know of others who did!)

Last night it rained. This morning, almost magically, everything looks so much greener outside. The lawn (even though it is still covered with leaves and gumballs) looks green, the iris and daylilies have joined the daffodils popping through the earth toward the sun. Even the mum plants are producing little green leaves.

The sky is a beautiful blue and it is another incredible day outside… and I am hoping to be able to enjoy a little of it later today.

Everywhere it is GREEN – and I love it.

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Three weeks out with the flu, a week and a half well, than another week and a half sick with a nasty cold. I feel like I have spent much of this year in bed or on the couch.

I’m awake again, and have noticed it has gotten nice outside. The weather has been in the 50’s for a few days, and today it is raining lightly. I stepped outside for a few minutes and just breathed in the smell of spring. I just LOVE that scent.

I would very much like to be outside raking up the gum balls (hundreds – no thousands of them!) and the leaves that fell after my last clean-up in the fall – even in the light rain. I have discovered the daffodils popping up around my yard, and think about clearing away the leaves and mulching so that the green of the stems and eventually the yellow flower will be the clear star of the yard. I’m awake and moving and getting work done in the office, but my energy is still not 100%. This yard work will have to wait.

On Saturday I have a friend coming over to help me tile my laundry room (with leftover tile that was given to me), and will probably post a “How To” blog on tiling. I have finally finished painting the laundry room (I started before the flu hit), and pulled up almost all of the current flooring – several layers thick. It will be nice to put the room back together and actually be able to do laundry again. Last week I took all my laundry to a friends house to use her machines since my laundry room had been completely out of commission for over a month and I had already resorted to buying more “essentials.”

Enjoy the spring!

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They’re Heeeere!

Yes, the seeds I planted earlier this month have finally started breaking through the soil in the potting flats in my sunroom. Now, there are many more seeds left to “pop,” but this sign of plant life always makes me happy. 🙂

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I spent much of Saturday cleaning carpets throughout my house. After the Friday fiasco, I decided I just needed to bite the bullet and rent a steam cleaner for the day and clean the carpets that had been “effected.” While I had the cleaner, I decided to shampoo all of the carpets in my house – and, well, there went most of my Saturday.

One hint, I did find industrial carpet shampoo that said it worked with residential steam cleaners in the cleaning products aisle at my local box home improvement store. There was twice as much product for almost half as much money as the name brand solutions sold next to the steam cleaners. I think it worked better than the other cleaners as well… so consider checking out the cleaning supplies aisles if you need carpet shampoo.

While at the home improvement store I also purchased tomato seeds. I still haven’t had a chance to plant these yet. I need to move some of my house plants to another room so I can make way for the seed starting trays I am recycling from last year (and get away from my computer long enough to do it.) Last year I started my seeds on January 15th and the year before it was only a week later than that – so I am behind on this planting.

I’ve calmed down a bit since my rant last week – but I did turn up my thermostat from 52 degrees to 58 degrees (still a very reasonable temperature), and I am feeling much more comfortable. And, in an attempt to clean out my laundry room so I can empty, paint the walls and tile the floors – hopefully very soon – I washed the rest of my laundry and took it all to the laundry mat to dry early Sunday morning.

I still skip a flush (or two) when I can, I don’t need to commute to work, so my driving is limited, I try and grow what food I can, and I am trying to be as aware as I can about how my actions impact the planet – but I am going to try and be less austere about it.

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I have tried for nearly a full year to do without a dryer. I have frozen fingers and waited six weeks for a dry day to dry my laundry outside. I have had underthings hanging all over my laundry room and sun room to try and keep my carbon footprint low, but today I have had it.

First off, my toilet overflowed… (yes, here it is appropriate to say “gross!”) and I didn’t realize this for several hours (Ewww!). During these lapsed hours the “overflow” saturated a good chunk of my bedroom carpeting. It took EVERY towel in the house to sop up the bathroom floor and affected carpeting. I ran a load of laundry but it is WET outside, and cold and neither of these two things look to be changing soon. I broke down and did not only a load of wet icky towels, but also a load of jeans, swear shirts and pants. Then, I headed to the laundry mat.

I also cranked my heat to 70, hoping that the heat (without the humidifier) would help dry the carpet. I am roasting – way too hot in here – trying to fix this problem.

I tried… and I am weak. I throw up my hands and say “that’s enough!” I want to live in the land of the indulgent again. Screw the environment! I don’t have children… I don’t care if there is a planet for them to live on once I drop dead.

It’s almost 4:30 – I think I will fix myself a drink and try to forget this day.

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