Finally, finally, we have a break in the weather that coincides with Paul being home and available! Today turned out to be the perfect day for building a brush pile and burning all the downed limbs from our January ice storm.
Boy, howdy, it's a big pile. Paul and his brother's young nephew-in-law have been at it all day. There are still greens on the ground under the big fir, but all the limbs are cut and either burning or smoldering right now, depending on where in the pile they lay. The pile is much larger than I expected, which really brings home just how massive a mess that storm made of our county. I'd read that county road crews would be working on clearing all the limbs and brush from the sides of the main roads through the end of the month, and if my daily commute to and from Olympia for work is any indication, they have a long way to go yet. Highway 99, which runs north and south from Tumwater straight into the middle of Tenino (and then southeast toward I-5), had some road work done last year that ended up narrowing the driving lanes as the shoulders were widened, presumably for the hundreds of bicyclists who travel through. Well, all the limbs that fell, especially up and over Chein Hill, outside of Tenino (the scene of a massacre, supposedly, back in the 1800s), are cut right at the white line, so that if you're not really paying attention, you might find the side of your car scratched as you traverse the narrow driving lane. It's especially hairy if you happen to be passing someone coming the other direction at the same time. (Not speaking from personal experience or anything...and no, that's not a scratch on my windshield.) :)
We have so many projects to catch up on this year. I'm busy scheming about a bunch of decorating/remodeling projects around the house, and while we don't have any huge interior plans in the works this year (save maybe for some painting), we have many for our outdoor spaces. We will be tearing down our crumbling, oversized well pump house and replacing it (not a cost we want to undertake, but it must be done), gathering up all the broken concrete lining every flower bed, the driveway and the raised garden beds and getting rid of it all (if you're local, contact me if you need fill!), and - in the next month - building brand new raised garden beds in preparation for a smaller but hopefully more productive and easily managed vegetable garden. (I plan to repurpose a metal hogwire trellis from flower gardening in the front to pea and bean growing in the veggie garden, and also plan to try growing potatoes in a cage. Wonder how that will work?) I'll be sure to document all of that here...but if you'd like a visual peek into where my brain is at, you can peruse my ever-growing Pinterest board. We're also planning a memorial garden in the backyard for our twins, but I'll likely document that on our other blog. There are some maintenance projects that must be done, too, including tightening up the insulation under the house, correcting some wacky porch roofing issues left by previous homeowners, and hopefully replacing some of our old metal-framed windows, too.
So much to think about...but for now, I'll focus on the little things, like laundry (ick!), housecleaning (super ick!) and getting pour-on Ivomec on the other half of our cattle herd (Sheila and boys won't hold still!).