Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Yard Maintenance Helper

Mmmmmm this is pretty yummy!

Not bad over here either.

Oh, Hi There........

As I turned into our driveway this afternoon and looked up at the house I saw this beautiful young deer "grazing" in our front lawn. I sat and watched for a while from a distance then decided to see how close I could get. I was able to drive the truck up to about 50 feet away from him before he started to walk away. My wife was inside the house watching and taking pictures. This deer is the first one we have seen on the property in the daytime. We have seen a few at night and have seen many tracks in the mornings and have seen the damage they have done at night also. As they prepare for winter I guess they are "bulking up" eating everything they can find including our fruit trees. So far they have broken two trees and the wooden stakes they were tied to. I guess I will have to put wire cages around the rest of the trees to protect them. The deer are beautiful and we truly feel blessed to have them "visit" us.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Getting some landscaping done......

We have been here a little more than a year now and it seems to us we should have more done than we do, but we have to remember just how long winter lasted. We thought it would never end. Summer has been a nice reprieve although the wind has been a little hard to cope with at times. We have planted 75 evergreen saplings along the sides of the property, approximately 200 arborvita , 18 assorted fruit trees, 1 flowering plum tree, 1 Norway maple, a couple of rose bushes and an oak tree to remind us of the really nice town we came from, Thousand Oaks. Graces' garden has corn, tomatoes, string beans, peppers, bell peppers, squash, onions, watermellon, and assorted herbs. At the entrance to the property we have around 100 lavender plants that we are starting to border with rock and fill in with pine straw. The front lawn is coming in nicely and we will put in a rear lawn next year. We have not put in the irrigation system yet so it takes us about 2-2 1/2 hours each day to water all of this. Irrigation system is on the agenda next year as well as a greenhouse and a surprise guest cottage/retreat.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Spring is Here At Last

What a long winter we had. Sure glad that is behind us. According to the records, this was the second most snowfall in Spokane's history. I guess it was a good test for us. The last month was probably the hardest, as our friends and family back in California were telling us how it was in the 70s and 80s and we were still getting snow. As you can see in the pictures, we have added a couple more tractors to the "farm". The little yellow "bumble bee" as Grace likes to call it has been a real workhorse in keeping all of the weeds and wild grass mowed down. I have done the entire 5 acres 2 times already. What a neat find, $50 and all I had to do was rebuild the carburetor and add a new battery. The Craftsman with the snow blade on front has been relegated to the job of carting around the water barrel for watering the 150-200 trees and shrubs we planted, and the weed sprayer for killing off the noxious weeds. It runs like a champ and moved a lot of snow for us. The newest addition to the stable is the Kubota L2800. We bought it with a loader, box blade, rear snow blade and a blanket harrow. I have been using the Kubota quite a bit leveling the property where the builder left mounds and where the "varmints" keep making mounds. This tractor has a hydrostatic (automatic) transmission and is as easy to drive as a car. This will be a lifesaver for snow removal next year and I won't have to be out on the Craftsman all day or rely on my neighbor Jim to dig me out. I am working again, at a auto salvage yard right down the street. I am their counter sales person. It has been challenging learning the computer systems but I am now pretty confident/competent with what I do. The guys I work with are good guys and very helpful, a pleasant work environment.

The last picture is a shot of the enemy I am constantly fighting on the property. He is constantly bringing in reinforcements and I fear I am losing the battle. I will keep up the good fight.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

How Long til Spring?

While we have really enjoyed all of the snow here in Spokane, we are ready for spring. Should be only 30 to 60 days away (the weather part, not the season). I have gotten very proficient with the snow shovel and my neat little snow plow. I can honestly say that driving the little snow plow is a lot of fun. The only time it was not fun was when a county snow plow came down the road out front and buried the approach to our driveway with 2 feet of heavy ice and our little tractor could not get through it. We were in effect blocked in or in my wife's case she was blocked out as she was at our daughters helping her recuperate from surgery on her broken wrist. I was eventually able to break through and clear it all (only took 4 hours). I have been spending quite a bit of time in my shop (The Man Cave) working on the little trailer, the garden tractors and doing some woodworking. I keep the shop at about 42 degrees so the vehicles don't have to be winterized. I am acclimatizing rather well, most of the time I am not even wearing a jacket although I look pretty bundled up in the pictures. (as with all of the pictures, click on them for a larger view)