Friday, October 26, 2012

25 October, 2012 - Garden Tilling, Tree Cutting, Ramp Building

My stepfather is improving with the physical therapy and while we've been hanging around we've found some things to do to occupy our time.

This is my mother on the ladder cleaning leaves out of the downspout in the rain gutter.  Scott is on his way up the ladder to help.

Scott noticed that the wood burning stove in the camper was empty so he decide to fill it up.  He did too!  I didn't get a photo of it when he was finished but he didn't stop until you couldn't shove any more wood into it. 

My stepfather started working up the garden (tilling under the stuff left over after the harvest) before he had his stroke.  I finished it off last Sunday.  He has a Craftsmen rear tine tiller so I got to try it out.  It's a smaller one and was barely adequate for the job.  The primary problem was that the ground was hard so when it was running the tines in reverse it didn't have enough power and when you switched the tines to forward rotation I couldn't hold it back. 

I finally got the job finished but it was a workout for me and the tiller.  I had to stop once and reset the governor spring.  I was sincerely missing my Troy-Built Horse model.

After a meeting at the hospital with the doctors and nursing staff we decided to build a ramp to make it easier for my stepfather to get in and out of the house after he came home. I extended the flat landing area to make it easier to open the front door while using a walker.  I also raised the level up to just under the door.

They had some left-over lumber on hand so I drew up some plans, made a bill of materials and headed for the lumber yard.  Approximately $250.00 later I returned with a loaded truck and went to work. 

Scott helped whenever he had a chance so the job only took twice as long as it should have due to endless searches for my hammer or the square or nails/screws or a pencil or ...

But we finally got it finished and Scott tested it out.

There were some dead trees that needed to be taken down so I started on the easy one first.  I had a rally nasty surprise waiting inside the hollow trunk!  A squirrel carried a rock inside the hollow portion and I hit it with the chain.  I saw sparks flying but by then it was too late.  It nearly ruined a brand new chain. 

They didn't have a saw large enough to cut through the big tree.  I have one with a  24 inch bar but it's in Montana so we bought a Poulan Pro with a 20 inch bar.  It's not my Stihl but it was enough to get the job done.  I tried to get a skip chain for it but they didn't have them here.  I guess I'll stock up on chains when I get back to MT.

I took off one lower limb first.  I was going to take off the other fork as well but the wind was blowing very hard so I just cut down the tree with the bigger limb attached.

I wanted a good, deep notch because the tree had a lot of weight on that side.  (A good recipe for a barber chair.)

It's down, no cars crushed, no smashed signs, no power lines down, and no one hurt.  I call that successful!  Now it's time for clean-up. 

Susan helped with stacking the wood and clean-up.  We piled the wood near the street with "free" sign on it.  A couple of days later it was gone ... hopefully to heat someone's home.

My mother stomping down the small limbs to make room for more in the bed of the truck.  (Have I mentioned that she's in her 70's?)

No comments:

Post a Comment