I’ve been really busy outside lately, but after getting back from Weston I’m working my ass off mowing the grass/mulching for the final time this year and clearing out a lot of brush that has gotten out of control the last several years.
The bushes have been growing for many years and eventually expanded their footprint along the driveway on both sides. It just got to be too much for my parents to handle.
The side I have been working on has about 20’ of a five-foot-wide area with Rose-of-Sharon bushes and sprouts I have taken out. The other side of the driveway is about double the length so there’s a lot more work to go. Removing these bushes will really cut back on the leaves but the yard is full of 50+ year-old oaks, maples, ginkgo, catalpa, elm, chokecherry, mulberry, and whatever other species there are growing.
There’s also various tree species that have grown to a large size inside the bushes, but I am leaving those to line the driveway. They will be thinned out for the health of the trees; I hate cutting trees down but forest health is also important. Getting this stuff cleared out and cleaned up will look better, but I’m more interested in getting air circulation and sunlight to help keep the yard dried out keep the wind and leaves moving on through. Plus I want to get better sight lines through the yard.
I did come up with an idea to save some manual cutting plus mulch leaves up. I left the smaller sprouts alone and only cut the bigger ones. Then I fired up the trusty $25 Lawn Mower and ran over the sprouts and leaves. It helped clear the area pretty quickly. It really needs a good sharpen.
I need to sharpen the chain saw again. I would have used it on the rest of the part I worked on but it’s just too dull. I’ll be getting it sharp and be using it on the rest of the job – I just don’t want to abuse my hands and shoulder like this again. It takes a long while to not hurt and the swelling to subside.
I guess that happens using loppers to clean it out. Some of the trunks took some real leverage to cut them out; good thing I am so strong! 🤣
I also did some work on the front gutter on the garage. It was a real pain in the ass. I’m working from a ladder, trying to attach the back of the leaf protector up high at the back of the gutter but the flashing is installed incorrectly and access to get the screw gun in where it needs to be has to be pried up with a bar. I figured it’d be much easier but nope…of course not.
I’m going to try to figure out a different way to do what needs to be done. I have a few ideas but I’m not sure what will work best. Waterproof is the big problem.
The trailer goes in for warranty work next week so I’ll be without it for a few weeks. That’s a bummer since the weather is still good for camping. Yeah the days are decent and the nights are cool, but that’s why there’s a furnace in it – to make the nights toasty.
I have not the dogs stay in the trailer and don’t really want to because of fleas and ticks. I don’t really want those things infesting my trailer. They sleep in their crates in the truck so they are out of the weather. I let them out in the morning and they are on a tie-out when in a campground.
I’ve been getting back into some cooking lately. It’s been good to get back into it more. It’s helping my diet and I am down about five pounds from a week or two ago.
Did a little cooking yesterday and today. Yesterday it was burritos with black beans and smoked cheddar. Eight made up and frozen so it’s like a package of store-bought burritos but cost me probably ⅓ the price of the pre-made frozen ones. Plus I know what is in them.
Today I whipped up chicken taco meat to make flautas tomorrow, when I will be adding double-smoked cheddar and salsa. After that I made up my chicken Italian sausage bow tie pasta dish, but with a twist.
Chicken Italian sausage is not readily available around here (I guess because it’s not steak) so I improvised. It turned out fantastic and is even probably a bit healthier. I bought plain ground chicken and added my own Italian seasonings and roasted garlic flakes plus a pinch of salt to pop the flavors. I browned in olive oil and added minced garlic, diced sun-dried tomatoes, and pepperoncini. I cooked the farafelle pasta to al dente, then pulled it out of the water with a spider and with a finished in the pan with the chicken. I added a few splashes of pasta water to thicken and simmered five minutes.
It turned out far above my expectations and was so easy. It was lighter than the sausage version and will be my new recipe going forward.
I still have another dessert recipe I want to make up this weekend – strawberry oat bars. I’m going to hopefully make at least a double batch and have enough “healthier” snacks for a while.
That’s it for this post. See you soon.