Monday, October 12, 2015

Yard Clean Up - Preparing for Winter and Preparing to Move

I spoke with a realtor and was told to clean up the yard to make it presentable.  In other words, make it look empty, sanitized, open.  Never mind that I had cords and cords worth of firewood rounds.  They weren't split, but they were cut to size.  Much of it was eucalyptus which burns nice and hot.  I also had oak plus other some other nicely burning wood.  There was also the scrap wood pile.  I did give some of that away so an acquaintance could build a shelter for her lamb.  I have about 3/4 of a cord of wood that we will use for the winter.  I'm sure if there's some wood in the shed the realtor won't have a fit about that. 
Last Friday morning I had a 30 yard dumpster delivered to the house.  When the guy delivered it he said that along with the rental price for the dumpster it's $50 a ton to dump it if it's mixed items but it's $60 to dump the entire 30 yard dumpster if it was all wood products.  All wood products it will be! I started filling the dumpster on Friday and decided that since I was going to save so much money by not having to pay the $50 a ton that I'd hire someone to come and help load it.  I have grandsons who could use extra money but they certainly don't work hard.  Boy and Girl were at school.  I called Labor Ready.  I used them many years ago and at that time the price was $15 an hour.  Now it's $20.99 per hour with a four hour minimum.  They sent someone over within the hour but he was only able to work for five hours.  Since I had to let him have a lunch break if he worked over 4, I knew I'd get 4 1/2 hour of work out of him.  We filled over 20 yards in that time.  OK, he filled 15 or 16 yards.  I filled the other 4 or 5, maybe.  I was home but also working from home that day, so I would do some office work and go out side for my break and load wood. I was able to get my eight hours of work in plus those few yards.  I felt pretty good about that.   
This same person came back yesterday morning and worked for another 3 hours.  I paid him cash rather than going through the labor company and he earned $15 an hour rather than the $10 the company gave him.  Saved me money and he got more.  The dumpster was completely filled with wood product and there's still more in the yard.  It is really frustrating to know that people want to buy a place that looks perfect and then they will just turn around and buy their own cords of wood.  Stupid.  Since he was here I picked up 15 bales of hay and had him stack it.  I had to show him how I wanted it since he'd never done that job before.  It's not hard as long as you can handle the 100-120 pound bales.  You just have to offset them when you stack so they don't fall over.   He was happy to learn a new skill and I didn't mind not having to deal with 3/4 ton of hay!

I'm off today for Columbus Day.  It's the last time the company is giving this  holiday.  Starting next year they are giving MLK Day instead.  Works for me! I'll take another holiday in January since I won't be with the company to get next October's holiday.  It was really nice to be off during the week and the grandkids were in school. 

Early this morning I had the dumpster picked up and emptied and then had it brought back.  I still have stuff in the barn that I am getting rid of.  It's cheaper to get rid of some of it and repurchase it used once we get to Colorado.  Boy has decided that he wants to earn money so as soon as he got home from school today he went outside to do yard work and fill the dumpster.  I went to check on him and he's not filling it right.  You have to start at one end and work your way to the other.  Otherwise it will be full of empty spaces, and we can use all the space there is.  You want to get paid, do it right.  It's a lesson he needs to learn now.  There are so many people who think that just because they show up they should be paid.  Or if they do the job but not right, they should be paid.  According to our labor laws they have to be paid whether they do the job right or not.  Show up, get paid.  He needs to learn to do it right. 

He gave me the excuse that he was just dumping it at the door end and once that area was full he was going to move it to where it was supposed to be.  No.  Do it right every time.  You never know when you are going to have to stop and I don't want a pile at the wrong end when you leave.  He had a little bit of attitude and told me that he was going to do it.  Then about 30 minutes later he came in the house.  Is it done?  No, I have a splinter.  See, you are stopping and you left it wrong.  Let's get the splinter out but if you don't have it done right you don't get paid.  Tough grandparent!

I moved the trailer into the front yard.  We are having company at the end of the month and one is allergic to cats.  This person usually sleeps in the trailer.  So I'll get it cleaned up for the company before it's sold. 

We are finally going to have a garage sale next weekend.  I've always had sets of everything, especially because of owning the bugout place, the travel trailer, and our house.  I'm selling the trailer because future spouse already has one.  Bugout place is on the market so it's empty of my stuff.  FS isn't quite as redundant as I am but we really could just pack a clothes bag (and the electric, with a hand crank, wheat grinder, and canning jars, and...we've got lots to bring!).  Is anyone going to buy any of this stuff?  I have no idea. 

I was given a five gallon can of linseed oil - over $100 worth.  Work was going to throw it away because it didn't have the right coding on it.  I don't know what I'll do with five gallons but I knew what I wanted 1/2 gallon for.  I put a nice coat of linseed oil on the oak floor in the dining room.  It's a 40 year old oak plank floor.  About twice a year I oil or wax it.  Linseed oil is perfect for it.  The rest of the year I wash it with a mop and Murphy's Oil Soap in a bucket of water.  It's certainly not the way I treat the finished wood floors in the rest of the house!  I have another 4 1/2 gallons of oil.  The wood furniture is going to get coated.  The floor is going to look great by the time the house is ready to sell! 

I picked the last of the persimmons from the tree.  The bees are desperate for food this year.  They normally go after the persimmons once they are bright orange and starting to soften, around Thanksgiving.  This time of year they are hard as a rock and green with a tint of light orange.  This past week the bees ate them all, except four!  I've never seen anything like it in the 15 years or so that I've had the persimmon tree. 

We still have pears and apples on the trees.  I wasn't going to can any more pears and I canned lots of apples.  I may can some pears anyway.  We had people over yesterday so I offered them pears.  Take as many as you want.  They took six.  Take apples as well.  They took four.  That's not what I meant.  Take 100! 



  1. All but two of our apple tree's died an the two that lived are iffy, the joys of not being a full time cabin resident when they needed water. It was an experiment to see what works and what doesn't. I think we planted them in too much sun, I'll try some shade spots next year. This year hasn't been a good year for canning, too many trips out of the country and under watering house sitters.

    But, what if it is today... well luckily we haven't used many items from food storage this year and have been adding store-bought items.

    When we got the cabin the pictures weren't very becoming but we can look past that sort of thing. A lot of people can't so I understand having to clean things up for the regular folk. We have been taking pictures of each season (inside and out) just in case we ever decide to sell (to hopefully get a larger property but pickings are slim as you know). There is actually a really nice property up by yours with a lot of land and trees but it's just not in the current plan.

    1. Starting next summer if you need things watered a little more often than you are at the cabin I'd be happy to oblige.

  2. Thank you for the rundown of your move. One of my fears is if we decide to move, what will be do with all of the items we have saved? What makes the cut list and what gets left behind?

  3. On one hand I am envious of your move: Colorado! God's Country! I love it. I did some of my archaeology studies at the 4 Corners....but if I had to move from this house and the 5 stuffed barns OMG! No I'll stay here and just visit other places. Sounds like you have things under wouldn't be the same for me...I'd get so distracted I'd never get anything done. Good for you!

  4. I am moving also come spring. Dr made a mistake with papers sent to SSI and got check stopped . What a wakeup call!! Although it looks as though I'll be able to fix this it really showed me where we are. I looked at all the cheap home possibilities and am buying a sailboat ~ we will live aboard. Found a marina in our school district and there is an area nearby where may be able to have a garden (unused small woods) . . . . Biggest problem? Cases of canning jars I must abandon. And we must go from canning to dehydrating everything. . . But~~ I can afford this option and we will forage more and barter more and be WAY more creative in our survival plans. But, on the water, I also see more options for us. Been reading "Voyaging on a Small Income" and like the solid advice and experience they offer. We will make it!!