Sunday, October 23, 2011


Last week I took 5 vacation days from work and did things that I don't get paid to do.  For me that = a vacation!

What did we do?  The Family and I went out to Washington State to work on our house/property - Wagmore Farm.

Our goals for the week:  Continue brush clearing and figure out what our options are for the house.

The house stuff took up tons of time (which I'll talk about in another post), and we logged ~2.5 days of brush clearing/land maintenance.  Here are some pics from our brush clearing days:

Thankfully we had uncharacteristically gorgeous weather. 
Only a small bit of drizzle the whole week!

Our goal was to clear the brush & "unauthorized" trees 
that were growing along the drive.  
The lovely maples need room to grow!

And I had a personal goal:  
To get rid of the freakishly overgrown juniper bushes.  

They're blocking my view of the fields!  

The Husband calls them "Bunnytown" as they're likely to be harboring hosta-eating, Cardi-vexing little vermin.

Here's me at the beginning of project juniper.
Happy with my loppers.  
I dove right in! (And have the bruised-up legs to prove it!)

Then I reached the heart of Bunnytown.
My loppers and I were overwhelmed.
In my lopper-addled state I pictured a very large excavator.
It was a sign.  This was a job for heavy equipment.

I made it about 1/4 of the way through these awful bushes before I gave up.
I was able to clear ~ 30 feet of junipers. 
In the process I uncovered a basketball, 
some trash (including a Little Debbie snackcake wrapper),
and an old section of fence.  Hmm - I wonder what else is in there?!?

That same day we also burned the brush that The Husband and my dad cut down in September.  It was all very dry and went up very quickly!  Burning brush is a fun and rewarding endeavor!

Then I started to work on other brush like little locust trees, and blackberry bushes, and hawthorns.  Junipers didn't seem so bad after all.  Thankfully by that time it was getting dark and time to go home.

I finally came up with a glove combination that thwarted even the thorniest bushes:

Extended-length (midway up forearm) leather and heavy canvas gardening gloves
plus thick cowhide leather gloves.  
Yes, my hands were sweaty and I had impaired use of my fingers 
BUT I had no scratches/pokes that day!

The next day I decided to burn the brush we'd cut the day before.  The Husband and my dad were not optimistic.  "The brush is too green" they said.

What they didn't realize:  I have a hidden talent for brush burning!

Here's me and my brush pile.  
Secretly I enjoyed it!  
Good bye and good riddance blackberries and hawthorns!  
(Insert evil laugh here)

Even though the brush I was burning was newly cut, I found an art to selecting things that would burn hot and/or quickly - and balancing this with the stuff that was slower to catch/burn.

I spent the day loading piles like this into the truck:

Come with me, my lovelies...
Over the course of the day I moved and burned approx.
4 times this much brush.

Yes, I spent nearly all of the daylight hours loading brush into the back of the pickup, unloading it, burning it, then going back for more.  

My abandoned burn pile.
I wanted to burn more, but The Husband said I didn't have enough time.

The finished product.
Compare to the first picture.
Unfortunately we didn't have time to finish it all...
Maybe in January?

Though most of the week was work (ok, pretty much all of it) - we did manage to squeeze in a bit of fun.  On Saturday night we had a "campout" with some friends in the house.  Our first time ever spending the night there.  Since there's no furniture, heat, or hot water in the house right now, staying there counts as camping in my book.  It was a lot fun, and great to just spend some time on the property.


  1. I love the new look of the drive way. The trees really stand out now that they are not part of the brush crowd.

  2. So, when do you hope to move in?

  3. I tried to post last night from my iPhone, but haven't mastered that yet. The drive looks wonderful. Wagmore will be a country estate. When does Pete get his tractor?

  4. You mean taking 5 days off to work on other projects isn't everyone's definition of a vacation? Just as taking the same amount of time off - or more - to drive hundreds of miles to a dog show where you win no money also isn't a vacation. I'm shocked!
    The place looks great. I'm jealous - even knowing how hard you are working on it.

  5. Holy crap - it doesn't even look like the same place!!! I can't wait to see how Wagmore morphs into the home of your dreams.

  6. Ron - not sure about when we'll move. A lot of things to figure out first.

    Penni - no tractor for The Husband yet. Those things are expensive! Also, we found a place we can rent a tractor by the for a reasonable price. That might have to do for a while.

  7. Killing blackberries and junipers: two of my favorite hobbies. Or is that one? And they burn very well even when green. Even when *growing* which is another excellent reason for getting rid of the unsightly fire hazards.

    So, about January. Can we make it a date? I can borrow Rip for the four days of Rose City shows? If I show him I can put him in Bred-by so he won't be in the same class with his brother Hiro.


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