Delaware, April

April 7-12, twenty-ten

A quick visit to Delaware to clear some brush on the Bell estate before ‘the leaves popped-out,’ it was a ‘tender-green’ when I arrived.  April is a good time to ‘burn,’ the cover has been dormant all winter and its real dry this time of year – plus ‘controlled burns’ are very effective when dealing with thorny underbrush (briars, etc.), and it can be done safely.  I wanted to be there when/if the conditions were right for clearing, for me.

Same view before and after (or during), it was two or three days of work, a ‘hasty’ cover burn and then going in for the brush, crooked trees, and briars – it was a bunch of clipping, dragging, and piling.  I knew that Cliff had spent many days around doing similar things (at a similar age), he was always close in my thoughts – I think I even found his pace as I worked during the day’s.  It was special too to check and clear around the cedar where Gus and Blackjack still rest.

Just a bunch of time that might help us focus on the area, Cliff’s truck and tractor remained close at-hand and available to pitch-in, that was nice – just like I know Cliff would have done.

I worked out of the ‘Chuck-Wagon’ which was loaded with all my MAN tools and common beverage, I went through a case of spring-water, a few bottles of adult beverage, and it all tasted gooood… it was actually warm to hot there for a while, springtime.

We checked the tractor up real well (oil/water/grease) and then evened-out the field of corn-stalks before giving the farm a ‘buzz’ – it helps to ‘buzz’ the early grass and get it’s attention.

It might sound crazy but with a little extra time I pulled out the leaf blower opened all the doors and gave the barn a quick blast of wind and turbulence, all that stagnant dust came out the back door like smoke, get outta here…..

The piles of brush sat for two days, not long enough but with a little help and a few hours there was nothing but ash left, comfortable way to end a job – sittin on Cliff’s tailgate just watching those thorns burn.

And then the best part Sunday was a visit to Kyle’s.

It was an awesome meal Kyle, after three days in the brush I went back for seconds.

sometimes it takes a truck to get folks home after ‘viddles…

Thanks Patti for letting me hang out at your place, I was a little worried about it after kidding you about Jerry Springer for so long, but then I remembered – we didn’t have a midget in the family….. 🙂

Thanks for a great visit and the warm hospitality – we look forward to returning the favor.

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JP/Melissa visit

April 2-4, twenty-ten

atau r

I know that we are a long way from the ‘Dog-days of summer,’ but with Melissa and JP’s visit this weekend, we just might be working on the format to them. I’m doing better with the fly-rod too, – repetition,  evening and morning, a benefit that I hadn’t recognized earlier was that it provides a purpose to standing on the end of the dock and listening to nature while every one else is busy with their ‘purpose’ too (which is actually ‘keeping your feet-up here at the lake).  The casting is coming along and with the warmer weather the fish are beginning to surface at the Lake, I just might ‘get lucky’ soon.

During the visit Jp and I took turns with the Kayak, for me Kayaking provides a certain tranquility, and it just gets better all the time – our lake has a beaver family working in it too so its always nice to slip up on them….

Melissa and Kim kept Jackson busy retrieving various objects

I don’t think he wanted to leave, but ‘grand-dogs’ need to go home sometime too…..

Great start to the warmer weather of 2010.

Thanks for the visit guys,

“Ya’ll come back ‘you hear….”

Steurs Visit

March 27-29, twenty-ten

A last weekend of winter with a visit from the Steurs of Cincinnati, Will’s ‘spring-break.’   We had hoped that it would actually be ‘spring-like,’ but the weather had different ideas, for the most part it was windy and chilly…. so we adapted and took a couple short rides…

Jimmy, Will, and Nora (aka 'Dixie')

‘Dixie’ drove down for the weekend also, and showed us a nearby waterfall that she had visited while attending WCU, it was a nice walk on a not too bad of an afternoon – great idea.

'Polar-Bear' like plunge.....

On our return to the lake she and Will ‘egged’ each other on until they both went in the cool water for a very quick ‘Polar-bear’ Plunge – brrrr ‘chicken-skin,’ it didn’t matter how long they talked about it before jumping in – it was still cold…..

Lake Jocassee view

Walhalla Fish Hatchery

With more of the same weather (cool, windy, and mostly overcast) we found several breaks to take a ride and check out nearby Walhalla Fish Hatchery where rainbow trout are raised for the stocking of the mountain streams. It was interesting and soon we were back at the lake inventing things to do – summer’s easy for the kids.

But this time of year is a little more challenging, I found that if you ‘pull the plug’ on the TV set, they will wonder outside and invent their selves something to do (they actually did very well playing cards for a while) – thank goodness for BB guns and empty milk jugs – seemed to fill in their free time just fine.

Mike and I both found some breaks in the weather to kayak a little.

Somehow Mike and Beth always seem to provide some much needed (and heartfelt) laughs, its been a long winter and I needed them.  Even though the weather wasn’t the ‘spring’ weather we had hoped for, the company made it much warmer – thanks Mike and Beth for ‘seeing the winter out’ with us…