Monday, August 17, 2015

This is what happens....

when I don't get to collect the eggs for a couple days. I haven't even counted them all. I took three dozen to work the other day to give to one of the rangers, I will take more this week and hope to give them away to a few more co-workers. I have some neighbors who I am sure could use some. I know, I know, I should sell them but I have a rule...I don't sell to neighbors and friends. I used to have a neighbor who would make me take money for them...I hated that.

Anyway, being home for 4 days a week, I have had a chance to crochet again.  I have always loved to crochet and used to do a lot of it when my kids were little and I was home. Now I have a lot of spare time at home and work (and they don't mind if I crochet as long as the shop looks good and is taken care of) so I have listed things on I don't really care if they all sell but I am having a lot of fun doing it again. I tend to jump from one project to another but that is part of the fun. Here is my etsy shop.
Right now I am working on some cute things for babies and should have them listed as soon as my safety eyes come in.
Other than that I am not doing a lot but Phil did get the pallet fence in the back yard rebuilt yesterday so the dogs will stop getting out now. I would go get a picture of it for you but it is trying to rain outside.
I have managed to get my little pond mostly cleaned out and a pump going in it to aerate the water but there are no fish in it now. I do have a few frogs that are living in it happily though.
Phil, Michelle and I did take another hike yesterday but had to do a smaller trail that was only a little over 2 miles because it was threatening to rain and actually did sprinkle big drops on us for about half the trail but that only helped to keep us cooler as it was about 95 F here yesterday.
So that's it, nothing exciting but I am keeping busy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Cliatt Creek Trail

Working at Mistletoe State Park is definitely a wonderful job for me, If I could get more than just the weekend for hours, it would be perfect. There isn't another place I would rather be at though. It is nice to be in a place where almost everyone is happy to be there and we don't normally have any problems and if there are problems, I always have someone to call to fix them. There is not a large number of staff but we do have two rangers, 3 housekeepers and a few maintenance men and the man who runs the kiosk on the weekends. I enjoy working with all of them. They like their jobs and it shows. My time, however, is spent stuck in the office/store. I see the beauty of the park out the windows and it is a beautiful park for Georgia. It isn't exactly like going up into the White Mountains of New Hampshire but it is beautiful for Georgia. We have a lot of hikers come to the park because the park has a good number of trails. The trails and the park can be seen on this map.

Mistletoe State Park Trail Map

 I tell people about the trails all the time but I am basically repeating what I have heard the rangers say about them. I have wanted to walk some of them myself but we have just been incredibly hot here lately and me walking a trail when it is over 100 degrees is not a smart thing to do. However, it had cooled down into the lower 90's lately and if you look on the map, Friday after work I did the upper loop of the Cliatt Creek trail  and the Canyon Loop by myself. I walked in the woods as a child in NH all the time but for some reason it is a lot scarier when you are older, fatter and not as healthy, ha ha, but I did make it in about a half hour and I was very, very hot by the time I was done. I felt good though. I really do need to get a lot more exercise and felt good that I had at least gotten started. But I wanted to do the larger part of the Cliatt Creek trail as it is the one I send people hiking on the most. So Phil and Michelle met me after work on Saturday so we could do that trail together.

It was so much more enjoyable with other people walking with me. We started on the trail behind the office, it then crosses the road and there is a steep downhill before it levels off some. I had Phil take pictures as we went along and these might be out of order but it doesn't really matter. A minimum is done as far as upkeep on the trails because they like to keep them as natural as possible, so large trees may be cut where the trail is but not a lot else is done to them. They are marked by paint "blazes" on the trees. The ones on the Cliatt Creek trail are painted with white blazes.

This first picture is a picture of the office from the side view, where the public restroom is. This is Michelle coming out of it after our long walk but the trail did start behind the office.

We didn't really think to take pictures until we were about half way down the trail and had gotten to the "creek". It is very, very low on water this time of year.

The only bench on the trail and I needed it!

Phil crossed the creek and took this picture from the other side. Anyone who wants to hike the Rock Dam trail has to cross the creek to get to it, which is obviously not too difficult this time of year. 

Leaving the creek. 

Birds nest in a tree.

Big caterpillar's nest.

Straight but uphill.

Those are all the pictures we took. We were glad to see the end of the trail but very happy we had hiked it. I am hoping we will get the chance to go next weekend after work as well and try one of the other trails.

Monday, August 3, 2015

So the Tree Fell

If you are on my facebook page, I know a few of you are, you know that a tree fell on my house on July 23rd. I never thought to come on here because I was in that "stress mode" where you don't know what you are going to do but you know you need help doing it. Michelle and I were home alone since it was a Thursday and Phil was working. A large oak in the back yard fell right on top of my bedroom, actually right over my head because I was sitting on my bed, playing with the mandolin. I knew a tree had hit the house but I didn't know where since it hadn't come through the ceiling. I just ran out in the livingroom screaming for Michelle and she ran up to me telling me she was there and fine. However, three of the dogs were in the back yard and I went to the window and saw all three of them but also saw the tree...or two trees as it turned out. There had always been a dead pine tree wrapped up in this oak but the oak was sturdy and not leaning any way so there was no reason it should have fallen except that trees just can't make good roots in this clay soil. This tree had no tap root and only had roots about 3 ft from the base (I know because it uprooted completely).

I called Phil. Michelle put it on facebook and scared an aunt who called my ex, Michelle's dad, who came racing over to find we were both fine. He left.
Phil called my brother who thought he knew someone with a chainsaw but the guy was still at work.
Meanwhile, our new little Jack Russell terrier and Echo our little black mixed dachshund, ran out of the broken fence in the back yard. The Jack Russell, Suzie, got away but Michelle caught Echo and brought her back.
While we were waiting for Phil the tree was steadily sliding into the roof more.

Phil showed up and I sent him back in my car to the store with a credit card to get a chain saw. Right after he got back with it, my brother showed up and before we even got the chainsaw started my brother's friend showed up- two more guys and another chainsaw.
So started the figuring on how to best get the tree off the roof. All 4 of the guys had worked logging or cutting trees before but none had ever cut one off a roof. It was decided that all branches that could be cut off without making the tree roll, had to be cut off to lighten the weight and keep it from sinking into the house more. They started with the lower branches in the first picture and then cut the top branches of the tree. I made Phil cut my fig tree down because the top branches were all mixed up in it and it was too dangerous to try to cut around the fig tree branches to get to the oak top branches. The fig tree will come back from the stump, they always do.
There was lots of brush, we had to pull out of their way...I haven't hauled brush since I was a kid..

They finally got all the top cut off and they took a chance and cut the bottom, and it rolled nicely off the roof...onto the fence...but sometimes you have to sacrifice things cause it is just too much work in 100 degree weather to worry about anything but getting the tree off the roof.

It looks bad but the only place where it came through the ceiling was in the closet. (My pond is under there though...somewhere). The stump stood right back up but somehow blew the chickens out of the way first.

Suzie came back just as the guys finished with the chainsaws. That was pretty wonderful since she had been gone 5 hours and I thought she was lost forever. She was completely wet so had been down to the lake swimming and she was scratched up a bit but otherwise fine.
Phil got up on the roof and tarped over it that night. He took the next day off and spent two days just cutting up the wood and getting it out of the back yard. He put some of the wood pieces upright in the spot where the fence is broken so we could still let the dogs out in the back yard without them getting out, until we can fix the fence. We bought wood and got wood from a friend (we had shingles and the friend had a few bundles too-different colors but who cares?) and Phil got up on the roof the third day and got the new wood put on and shingled.
You can see in the picture of the wood cut up where my duck house is behind it. That is no longer a pen with ducks in it but had my meat birds in it. The door on that pen had broken right off and the Buckeye rooster that were loose in the yard were basically going in and harassing the meat birds until the night before last one meat bird came out and got stuck in my little pond (which hadn't been totally cleaned out yet). I went out to save it and, of course, it splashed water all over me and tried to beat me to death with its wings....anyway, Phil got out there yesterday and made me a new door and pushed the house back up to the fencing and I was able to get out there last night and get the Buckeye roosters out of the meat bird pen again.
So, anyway, it was a long, rather horrible adventure, that none of us would like to repeat but we got it done with the help of family and friends and didn't have to hire anyone to do anything. Someone asked me had we "hired" someone to fix the roof yet...they don't know us too well apparently.