Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Just a really wonderful weekend

Do you ever have one of those weekends that, once it's over, takes you a few days to recover from? That's what this last weekend was like for me. So many different things happened in such a short period of time, I feel a little muddled in the head. But it's a good muddled - one that comes from getting a lot done.

First, we had a knock on our door Saturday morning. Our neighbor, Ed, from down the road had come up to give us his opinion on taking down some Douglas Fir trees on our property. You may not have noticed, but our property is heavily wooded. Over the years, specific trees have been removed here and there by former owners of our house, but we had yet to feel the need to take any down. Until this year. My garden plots have recently begun to suffer from a lack of light due to a couple of trees directly to the south. Ed was an Oregon logger for 20 years and was a great guy to help us out. When he came up on Saturday, we thought he was only there to give his advice, but after providing that, with a sparkle in his eye, he went off to get his tools. Little did I know when I woke up that morning that we'd be tree-felling by 10:30am! And, whoa, have you ever seen that big of a chainsaw blade?:

The whole process was fascinating to me. He made his first cut:

Then he visually lined up where he wanted the tree to land:

Next, he made a "watermelon wedge" cut:

Followed by a bit more cutting:

Now it's time for the wedges. They get hammered in with the back of the axe:

Since this tree was coming down right along the fence line to the barn, I made sure all the animals were inside and safe....er...except for Beau:

That stinker literally became an immovable object and I was unable to convince him (there's no forcing a donkey if he doesn't wanna) to go into the barn. So, I just had to trust that he'd run away, if and when the time came. I was not happy about it, but he was juuuuust fine:

It's starting to go:



Darn if Ed didn't drop that tree precisely where he said he was going to:

And, yes, Beau ran:

This one's going to take a while to clean up:

Then it was time for limbing:

Simple tools of the trade (I counted between 35 and 40 lines on the stump):

Since the tree was now down, I let the more cooperative members of my herd out of the barn. Kai llama was fascinated with the whole scene:

And the goats are loving all the fir branches I'm now hanging from the goat run fence:

He's a good guy, our neighbor, Ed.

For payment, all he asked for was a bottle of this. I find I'm still learning about the country way of life:

Ed is also the one I told you about yesterday who sold me my new, little trailer over the weekend, too:

In other weekend news... George, our new barn cat, met Roxy, our farm pup. This picture was taken just before the fur started to fly:

We went to our local farm and feed store's big annual sale. Among other items, I stocked up on numerous new hoof picks. Chester was unimpressed:

After everything else that happened, I still had time to meet a new neighbor up the road:

Meet Dancer. She's a four year-old mini mare and absolutely adorable. I hope to be able to spend more time with her when the weather dries up a bit:

And finally...Valentine's Day brought me 2 dozen beautiful red roses and a gorgeous white egg from my new Leghorn hen, Skippy:

Tell me, will the excitement never stop around here? :-)


  1. Sounds like a perfect weekend! I'm alway amazed to watch people who are really skilled at what they do... no matter what it is; they always make it look so easy;

    By the way... Kai prostrate in the bucket picture made me smile several times today as I thought of it :)

  2. Lovely Valentine's Day, and I was highly amused by Ed's complete and utter lack of chainsaw safety gear; you can tell he was a professional logger! :) Impressive blade!

  3. That's my kind of weekend. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  4. WOW looks like a busy but great weekend. Beau, what a guy...I know the donkeys at the DSC sometimes are so nosy and get in the way all the time, they aren't afraid of anything. Dancer is just the cutest little creature I have ever seen. Omg, she is adorable.

  5. Fascinating!!! I've watched on Discovery how professionals fell trees..Isn't that interesting..its almost like an art..they know exactly where to cut and wedge for it to land where they want it too..I think thats pretty cool!!
    Looks like a lot going on there..and it'll get busier now with spring coming too..Have fun..I'll keep reading for all the news updates!!

  6. Reading about your life and adventures on Critter Farm just make me smile. I'm living an alternate life through your posts. Never a farm girl always a visitor but it sure is fun. Thanks for another smile. The Olde Bagg, Linda

  7. I've been watching a show called Ax Men on the History Channel; and other than that, I've never seen a blade that long.
    How great that he did that for you!
    What a great place you have. Glad it was such a wonderful weekend. Hope this weekend is just as nice for you all! :)

  8. Wow, what a wonderful weekend! I love Ed! What a great guy. And, Beau cracked me up. I have tried moving a pony and, it's no joke, if they want to plant all four legs on the ground, there isn't a thing you can do about it.

    I just found out this past weekend that the designer who is making "The Dress" has a miniature horse she rescued a few years ago. She brings him to her studio every once in a while and leaves her in the backyard. She's quite the celebrity by all accounts and some of my designers clients will only come in to see her, if her horse is there. *smile* Not me, of course....

    I think it's a sign that Skippy is feeling relaxed and at home if she delivered such a beautiful egg on V Day.

    All good stuff. (Heard about the snow...sorry about that...hope it's gone now).


  9. That is a busy weekend! What an awesome neighbour Ed is :D He's a good guy to have around.

  10. Yay for great neighbor Ed! Thanks for sharing your awesome weekend. LOL love that naughty boy Beau - I'll bet he was pretty funny running away.

    Ann in WI

  11. I think some of my relatives might be related to Beau . . .

    You mean, Roxy and George didn't hit it off just right? Hmmm . . . I'll be interested to see how that works itself out.

  12. I wish we had our own personal lumberjack. I don't think I know anyone who loves and appreciates her eggs more than you.

    I forgot to add this to the post you left on my blog but Goatgirl at Beyond the Sidewalks (http://lifebeyondthesidewalks.blogspot.com/) has the most beautiful goats I have ever seen...she is just down the road from you at Gig Harbor WA if you find yourself looking for a Nigerian ewe.....

  13. Sounds like a fun and productive weekend. I've never heard of "Pendleton" before. Is it whiskey? Scotch? How cool that your chickens give you roses & eggs! Ha!

  14. Ewe?!?, I meant doe - what was I thinking.....

  15. Ed and Beau both get a great big homemade cardboard star with gold foil glued on from me for being so dang brave! Yikes. Couldn't Ed at least think about some eye protection? Maybe Beau is attracted to the color ORANGE! Something to do with those carrot coins. Dancer, in my pocket she would go. Glad you had a wonderful, busy, Valentine, Skippy Egg kinda weekend Danni!

  16. Hi JaneK!! Start to finish, it took Ed less than 15 minutes to bring that tree down - he is very adept at what he does. I've had more than a few people come to me since the "Kai in a bucket" post to tell me how much it cracks them up still just to think about it. Is it possible her funny personality is getting bigger every day? :-)

    Hey Knatolee - your comment made me laugh - I hadn't even NOTICED the lack of protective gear on Ed, I was so focused on the lack of protective gear on Beau! lol In Ed's defense, though, I did see that he had neon green foam earplugs in his ears. :-)

    Hi Linda (7MSN) - It was awesome. :-)

    Hey Tina - Kai llama is more the nosy one, Beau in this case just didn't want to go in the barn, he saw me put Chester and Kai in there and decided he wasn't having any of that. At the time, it was pretty stressful for me, but as you can see, it all worked out. :-)

    Howdy Diane :-) - It was so much fun to watch Ed do his work. And you could tell he was totally loving what he was doing. Yup, spring is going to be a busy, busy outdoor time!

    Linda in New Mexico: You leave such WONDERFUL comments! They always make me feel so good (thank you). And your profile pic continues to crack me up every. single. time. :-)

    Hey Linda G - A group of our local loggers are on that show Ax Men!! If you ever see reference to Pihl Logging - that's our group! We've got sweatshirts and stuff at our local hardware store. :-)

    Ohmygosh, Carolynn, Dancer is such a doll! She has the tiniest little feet and would follow me around everywhere. When I bent down to pet her, she'd nuzzle my face. Sighhhh. Maybe you can get your picture taken in "The Dress" with the mini by your side...that would be adorable!
    (Snow's gone now, but it's supposed to be back tomorrow) :-)

    Hiiii Tracy - Ed has come through for us on a number of occasions. He really is a great guy - and ALWAYS smiling!

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  18. Now that's a busy weekend. Umm... no. I have never seen a chainsaw blade that big. Whoa.

    And you're absolutely right - it's something you just don't know until you try - there's no forcing a donkey if he doesn't wanna. Isn't it amazing?

    Congrats on your new trailer!!! :) Remember what you said about no forcing? Don't forget. :) ;) You should have seen us when we first tried to get Bernard into the trailer to go visit 7MSN. Getting him into the trailer coming home was much easier once we realized he wasn't getting in until he wanted to. :D

  19. Hey Ann in WI - Beau *was* naughty!! And I told him so, but he was very firm in his belief that it was better for him to be outside of that barn. :-)

    Denny1600 - Your comment made me laugh! And regarding George and Roxy - their relationship is going to need to have a few kinks worked out. lol

    Hey Chai Chai! Not only am I familiar with Wendy at Life Beyond the Sidewalks, she is one of two people (the other is Marigold the goat's mom) who convinced me that I needed to get goats! Originally, I was supposed to get my wethers from her, but then her does didn't get pregnant...
    Her goats are incredibly beautiful, aren't they?
    My own personal lumberjack - wow, I do like the sound of that. Now, if you lived closer, I'd totally share him with you. ;-)

    Hi Farmer Jen - I hadn't heard of Pendleton before either. The label says it's a "Blended Canadian Whiskey" but it's distillery is right here in Hood River, Oregon! It's Ed's favorite! :-)
    Haaaa about the chickens giving me roses. They *are* incredibly thoughtful, don't you think?

    Rural Rambler - I *love* that you're making homemade projects for Ed and Beau - that's totally the kind of thing I would do, too! Funny about the orange attracting Beau...you kind of made me think there... :-)
    Oh goodness, Dancer is a little honey! She may not fit into your pocket, but she'd totally fit in the backseat of your car. Her feet are sooooo small....and her ears....even tinier! :-)

  20. That little mini mare made my heart go pitter patter.
    And thank you Chai Chai and Danni for your kind words....and by the way Danni, the does are pregnant.
    Just sayin'

  21. i could use ed around here. are the girls getting along yet?

  22. That's a lot of excitement for one day! I love the moss covered trees near your barn ~ how pretty!

    I too was impressed that your leghorn hen not only gave you an egg but TWO DOZEN roses?! She must REALLY love you...

  23. I could really get into that kind of weekend myself!! I am literally aching to get outside and start piddling in my garden. We've had our first couple of days of sun and I don't like to be teased! Is there such a thing as Spring Fever in February?

    Everytime I visit your blog I find myself needing more animals ;)

  24. Wow! What a weekend! You have awesome neighbors, both Ed and the mini! Too bad Roxie and George can't be friends. Maybe they will at least learn to respect each other if not become friends. And I had no idea that goats ate evergreen branches! Really??? I thought it was a myth that goats would eat anything!

  25. Everytime I look at your blog I feel the need to bring another animal in my life. Now I need a "Dancer". I just love your farm!!

  26. neat job of the tree- I had no idea it was so huge until I read further down the post and saw the photo!
    I love how we trade things in the country - I trade eggs for avocados :)

  27. I, too, am absolutely amazed at the skill of an Oregon woodsman. We've had a couple trees removed from our property when we were building our polebarn and, oh my, it was fascinating to watch those giant timbers fall in with the precision of the man behind the chainsaw!

  28. oh it's so great to have a wonderful new neighbor! And I find the Ed's of the world are usually quite nice!! Lovely new little critter neighbor as well! What a great time had by all!!


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