The Colorado Handsaw Massacre

One very good way to deal with frustration is with a pruning saw. The second day after the snowpocalypse of September 9 or 8 or whatever it was, I went out to the back yard — the dog’s yard — to see that essentially half my neighbor’s nasty Chinese elm had fallen onto the vintage clothesline pole.

Summer snow is heavy and when most of it lands in five hours on fully leafed trees? Ha.

I examined it as well as I could in 14 inches of snow and decided I had no clue and went back in the house. After all, I had about a gazillion other branches to deal with all along the alley.

In the fullness of time I was able to look at the mess and I saw it was way above my skill level and I walked away again. Frustrated.

But I went back. And I started sawing off branches and pulling stuff down that I could pull down safely. Every afternoon since, I’ve worked on that damned tree. I figured it was in my power to clean up a lot of the mess and make the yard safe for the dogs to play in and for me to clean up. It’s a lowly aspiration, but it’s mine.

My ally in the battle against the tree, frustration and hopelessness is this little guy.

So far we’ve accomplished a lot. I’m tying stuff up in bundles for the trash to take, all but two branches that are too big.

I’ve called a guy who’s coming tomorrow to give me an estimate on the BIG job and to check the roof of my garage.

Space, the Backyard Frontier and Quotidian Update

I made more progress on the space in my yard yesterday. My neighbor texted me in the morning to ask if I wanted their left over flagstone pavers. That’s what I dreamed of for my yard, but no way could I have afforded them. The “fixed” in “fixed income” doesn’t necessarily mean “repaired.” (ha ha ha) She had already loaded their wheel barrow. We brought them in and laid them down. We’ll be doing it again today.

I plan to take the flagstones to the raised bed. The flagstones are really beautiful and I’m so happy. Left of them is a small flower bed that I’ll extend next year. The walkway will be bordered by vegetables on the right and flowers on the left. This will be a dig-proof area in my yard without diminishing the dog’s freedom of racing around. It’s their space, too.

I’ve been keeping Bear quiet for the past several days and she’s moving around better. I’ve gotten Teddy to leave her alone when he wants to play rough (Aussies are smart). I’ve noticed that her right “elbow” seems to be turned outward and a friend who came by yesterday noticed Bear’s shoulder “doesn’t feel right.” It doesn’t, but I have no idea what that means.

I called my local vet yesterday and was told their X-ray machine is broken. I got an appointment next Monday when (this is cute) “Our X-ray machine will be better.” I guess people who talk about animal health all the time… I took the appointment, but then called the vet in Alamosa (same vets, bigger operation) and got an appointment for Thursday. Apparently their X-ray machine is feeling all right.

I wanted to say how much I appreciate this blogging community. C-19 has so altered the idea of “community,” perhaps expanding our idea of it. It’s difficult to say. I know that for me, though I’m not exactly on “lock down,” my perspective on, or relationship to, this activity has changed. This has always been a place for me to express my thoughts (duh Martha, news flash) but it’s evolved into conversations and I value them very much. ❤ When I haven’t had time to read, I feel the loss. “What’s going on with everyone?”

People (I don’t know who they are but I hear about them) talk about “globalization,” and maybe they’re talking about the idea of a global economy, a major part of globalization, but there is also this. People all over the world are meeting each other on blogging platforms and sharing ideas. It’s still a thing of wonder to me that my China book came about because a businessman from India, whom I’ll never meet in real life but enjoy “talking” with here, went to Guangzhou. A woman in Indiana woke me up to the possible seriousness of Bear’s lameness. A woman in Idaho runs in the mountains with her dogs and has the kinds of adventures I understand. A woman in Australia really SHOULD show up here for a cuppa’ but… A woman in Switzerland with whom I’ve been “talking” for nearly a decade now whose humor and courage impress me very much and whose beautiful photos make me yearn to return to CH and also make me happy it’s still there. I don’t want to write an interminably long post here, and I could. My list of valued conversations is very long. I treasure all these conversations very much.


Once upon a time, four 1/2 years ago, when I first moved here, I looked at the yard and thought, “Wow. All I have to do is mow it!” I’d been living on a 1/4 acre of rock riddled land in the Cuyamaca Mountains of California and to cut the weeds/foxtails, I had to use a weed-eater. My new, green Colorado lawn seemed like Heaven well, in Heaven.

I’d forgotten. Twenty years before I’d had a lawn. I’d even planted the damned thing with seed! and then we got a lawn mower and I mowed it and I…

hated it. Hated that job. Looking at the emerald splendor of my new Colorado lawn, I forgot all about that until the first time I hitched up my (electric) mower and went at my front yard. Strong feelings of hating it rose to the surface, and as I criss-crossed the relatively small surface I yelled, “I hate this. I HATE it. I HATE IT.”

I gotta’ get out there before it gets too hot which is tomorrow when it’s supposed to hit 90.

It’s All New to Me, Quotidian Tedium Volume 35

Having lived for 30 years in a place without real seasons the business of NOT leaving things outside 12 months a year is a little tough for me to catch onto. I remember being mildly shocked to see my neighbor in San Diego had her washer hooked up to the electricity on her patio, but you know, honestly, that’s smart. The clothesline was RIGHT there. Most of us have washers and dryers side by side, right? Yesterday I decided I’d better tackle my “California” yard…

Every day I’m a neophyte. Yesterday my neophyte experience was taking the wagon attachment (which was pretty tricky to build) off my WorxAero cart and installing the snow plow attachment. The snowplow attachment is the main reason I bought this thing, but it’s a good wheelbarrow, a good dolly, a useful wagon, and, I hope, a good snowplow. My driveway is long and a pretty big job for me. I can’t count on random people coming by wanting me to hire them to shovel the snow. Last year I got lucky a couple of times, but… It could also be helpful if I find I have to shovel myself out of the alley…

Building the wagon attachment was complicated enough that I dreaded taking it off.


Wagon Attachment

BUT I learned (neophyte) that you only build it once. It comes off in seconds.

The snowplow attachment, which should have been simple enough to build, came missing two lock nuts. The directions are all pictures which isn’t that informative when you have bolts of different sizes, so in the process of building it, I switched out all the bolts once. I was lucky and found the right size lock nuts in my little nut kit (read all the entendres there, please). The plow goes on and off really easy — but if I haven’t got the plow at the right height for me, I’ll be disassembling it and moving the bolts some cold winter day.

Just when you thought this blog post couldn’t get more boring, the other thing I did yesterday was shovel (yes) the leaves off my driveway. A snow shovel is the best tool for getting leaves off concrete and into a plastic bag. HOWEVER… I also used my WorxAerocart to mulch a couple flower beds with some of the leaves.

November is a beautiful month where I live. Clear sunny days, no leaves on the trees, cold nights, comfortable daytime temps. So in spite of the frustrations caused by the missing nuts (read into that if you want) and the fact that my hip hurt a lot, it was great being out in the beautiful day and I’m glad my yard is ready for winter.