The wife has always been a City Mouse, born and raised in one of the Midwest’s larger metro areas. Even though I grew up in a much, much smaller town, that label mostly applies to me as well. Yeah, I attended square dances and some couples drove tractors to our Prom, but that wasn’t really my scene. My childhood was spent hunting ducks through an 8-bit video game system, not out in the blinds on a cold, blustery morning.
Further, I detest yard work. Our suburban sidewalks at the last house got edged once a year whether they needed it or not – meaning our lawn always looked like an unkept 1970’s centerfold. It certainly didn’t help that we were surrounded by retired folks who enjoyed mowing three times a week. Those people need to find a hobby.
So it came as a surprise to our friends and family when we started telling them we wanted to “Move to the Country”.
Quick Aside: Joanna hates it when I say we did that. She refuses to move to “The Country”. Even though she’s probably right as we’re only four miles out of our little town, and ten minutes to the nearest Target, I still like to exasperate her. Please assist me when you have the chance.
Now that we’re in our new place, you’ll probably read a little about our adventures transforming this beautiful BeeGees-era decorated house into our home. Jo will share campaigns from her war against gallons of pink paint and floral wallpaper, while I focus on some more manly endeavors… like following orders to move a hutch into and out of all five corners in our square dining room (yep, do the math on that one).
I can only imagine some of these updates will be hilarious since I personally have no idea what I’m doing… and I’ll be running a chainsaw while doing it.
Today, let’s take a quick peak into the woods around our house. My woods. Our woods. In The Country.
Nice, right? Someday I’ll give you the full tour, but the back 40 is certainly laid out well with a mix of different mature trees. It’s not overgrown and there are plenty of natural trails thanks to the roughly 1 billion deer living back there not paying rent.
However, one problem jumped out right away when we had our first visit with the realtor…
See all that Ivy in the trees? Ugh.
Sure it looks pretty, especially as we’re sliding into winter and the rest of the trees are now bare.
But this stuff is nasty for a few reasons. First, it can choke out your tree and kill it off. The vines eat right through the bark. We have two where this has already occurred and I need to bring them down. Second, the weight of the invading vines and leaves put a tremendous strain on the tree’s root structure. Add the weight of a lot of ice on top of shrieking winter winds and you have the potential for a very serious problem.
Sorry, but these babies have to go. Let’s gather some tools. (I honestly thought long and hard about the chainsaw, but I guess my smarts took over so I wouldn’t damage the tree. A reciprocating saw probably would’ve been perfect, and I tried justifying to myself why I needed to go buy that additional power tool, but decided I wouldn’t have another foreseeable use for it).
Pretty simple job. The problem is most people don’t know it needs to be done until it’s too late.
Find a convenient place at least a few inches off the ground and make two cuts into the vines.
Then knock that chunk out of there, starving the vine into submission. A hammer is helpful here as the vine has the latch strength of a 1 year old around your leg while cooking dinner.
After a good long while the vines slowly die off. You can then pull them down.
My only regret is I didn’t think to take the opportunity to wear my Cheetah loincloth and go swinging.
Try doing that in your HOA.
Out here? In the woods? My woods? In The Country? Perfectly fine.
So that’s one outdoorsy task crossed off my huge (and growing) list. Hopefully this little bit of work ensures Sweetey Petey will only hear the pitter-patter of Rudolph’s hooves above his head, and not a massive oak tree crashing through the roof.
Question of the Day: Do you have an HOA? What’s the stupidest rule they’ve enacted?