Coping: Easter Weekend in the Garden

A number of readers have suggested that we skip the daily sojourn into economics and instead put up an “all Elaine” website.

Not a bad idea, but she’s very self conscious.  Except she did permit me to take one snap of her “Daisy-Mae” look while she was working on the garden…

Now that we have the centerfold out of the way, the real story is about using a weed burning torch to clean up the garden.

Just to the right of Elaine’s shovel  on the far side of the fence, you can see the neat “fire line” I laid out around the garden this year.

There’s one little yaw-sawg to it…where it takes a detour around the prickly pear cactus.  Otherwise, it looks mostly like this:

The idea is that if you burn out a foot, or two, then when you mow, there’s no having to go back with the weedeater which is a PITA because the nylon string gets all twisted up in the wire mesh and it’s gruesome rewinding the infernal string trimmer.

I did want to mention there are plenty of things to get one of these $20 marvels and keep it with its own 20-pound dedicated propane tank.

When needed, our tank is bungied onto the hand truck (another must have survival tool regardless of home size) and it’s ready for action.

Whether it’s because of a “fire department family” or that time when “the major” and I about set a church yard on fire with a runaway campfire, or maybe it’s because there’s a little pyromaniac in all of us…this is a he-man, heap-o-fun tool.

It also makes turning a fallow garden into a new home for the greenhouse refugees (who have threatened a lawsuit if we didn’t get them into the outside ground) a matter of child’s play.

The steps are simple:

Find a morning a day or three after a good rain when applying the torch to a test patch doesn’t burn up the whole forest.  This is done carefully in  the summer.

Many rural counties – like ours – have burn bans on in the summertime – but it’s worth reading the fine print.

In our county rumor has it that the “burn ban” is directed at rural people who still burn their trash.  There seem to be exceptions for “cooking fires” and “agricultural fires” even when burn bans are on.

I don’t know how a jury would think of burning fence lines, but it’s a much safer environmental approach that glysophate.

And speaking of burning things:  As a result of doing LOTS of work on the homestead this year, we have some pretty decent little burn piles going.

The two closest to the house are reasonable – we don’t expect anything higher than a five-foot flame off them.

But on the back 12 there are (let me count…) four or five cut up tall pines which I dug a burning ditch for.  They could be pretty interesting this fall, but right now they are still too wet to burn.

There’s never a shortage of stuff to burn in the Outback.  A couple of weeks back, neighbor Coy up the road had a “mini tornado” come through that wrecked their guest cabin.  So we haven’t seen hide not hair of them for a while.

We have a large oak that’s down – and while it’s fun to go out and play with a chain saw when you’re in the 20-50 age group, something happens around age 55.  Using a chainsaw being something approaching work, not play.

By the time you start closing in on age 69, it’s just another damn irritation to be dealt with.

Starting a good rural “agricultural fire” is pretty simple and you only need three ingredients to burn most anything:

  • A Bic lighter.
  • A fresh 20-pound jug of propane hooked up to your burner.
  • And a 5-gallon jug of diesel which is liberally applied to whatever might be damp, need a helping hand, or you just was to see what the pyromaniacs get so excited about.

Trust me, having come close to a runaway fire or two, there’s nothing to the pyro nut’s point of view.  As you are scraping dirt down for all you’re worth to get a line around a burning patch of grass, about the only thing going through your head is “Was the burn ban on?” and “Oh, shit, what does out homeowners policy cover if I’ve screwed the pooch on this burn…

Eventually, it all works out in the end…only question was whose end it would be.

Next trip into town, I will put the burner bottle in the truck and reload.  There’s nothing quite so much fund and mastering the proper use of fire because for some things (like welding) there are no substitutes.

Easter Dinner

We hope you and your family had a fine time.

The plan was to cook a big a store-bought big corned beef.

But the reality of the “sell by date”” dictated chicken instead.  So I spent some time figuring up how to make a curried chicken for a change and it was pretty good over ride with some raisins in it and such..

As Life would have it,  my lube, oil, and filter at the doctor’s comes up this week.

And that corned beef – with extra pickling spices and a boatload of additional cloves and garlic…well, just the kind of prep I need.

Ever try leftover corned beef cubed up with a couple of Yukon Gold’s and two eggs over easy on top with ketchup?  Yum.  Glass of whole milk?  Sure!  Then diet for 24 hours and see if the veins have been sold off for drilling rights…

Just the thing to have the day before the blood draw…  I know the Doc’s gonna keep steering me toward statins.  I tell him thanks, but let’s keep it natural till knife time.  So far, that’s been a good policy:  Meds for extremes of pain or infections, snake bite, or whatever.  Otherwise, the daily baby aspirin and HZTZ for blood pressure…fair trade-off that so I can stick with high octane coffee….

See how conflicted we’ve all become on this medical stuff?

Write when you get rich,

13 thoughts on “Coping: Easter Weekend in the Garden”

  1. Mr. Ure, You do know self sufficient women are a premium these days.Men dont want women who “twerk”
    their big butts they want a woman who can check under their own hood of a car.Fix a homemade meal and have an intelligent conversation.

    Those women are sadly disappearing.See how lucky you are?

    • As a man, I have no problem with a woman who can and will twerk just for me, though preferably with a normal sized female butt. It indicates some comfort with her own body and mine. I do value loyalty very highly though.

      If she can’t change spark plugs or do a valve job, I’ll handle those things and she can watch and learn. I don’t do housework well, other than serious maintenance, plumbing, wiring and framing. A real woman is very good at the womanly arts and open to learning other things. Some things are just not done well by men, or are entirely beyond our capabilities.

      We are complementary, and I rejoice in that.

      Regarding fence lines, where I am you are supposed to inform the local VFD before burning anything. Of course, this is often honored in the breach, and the responsibility is always on the individual. If/when I get the urge, I’d bring along a pickup or tractor with trailer to hold the propane tank AND the 50 gallon water tank, pump, and hose. Wildland fire is not to be trifled with.

      For real fun, go to Burning Man! For those with the calling, it’s worth it.

  2. So we sold when you did and now we have a pile of cash-what do we do with it? (seriously) We are in a very similar situation to you. Married, no kids at home, semi retired, house paid for, no debt. I know the provisos-“this is not investment advice” Suggestions-maybe in a future article?

  3. not bad goerge…not bad at all….ur wife that is…im only 38 but shes a ‘hottie’…and as us uncouth guys would say…”i’d (fill-in) her in a heartbeat!!” and also would say…..her ‘flotation’ devices are excellent too!! ;-)
    (and also bets a tall amerciano this never gets posted!)

  4. A walk in the garden with March 20th deceased Rockefeller and living mr. Rothschild
    Deceased Rockefeller :how you doing mister mr. Rothschild,
    Deceased Rockefeller: yeah this is me Rockefeller yeah I’m in calling you up here from United States I took over Trump’s body and I’m going to continue the New World Order plans for the future
    It was pretty hard pushing him out of his body with the trunk that is but I wanted to really get close to his family and oversee all his personal things that he was doing before I did push him out so that his wife wouldn’t be too startled and including his daughter and son-in-law and the rest but I did make some remarkable discoveries about him while I was out there floating around as a free spirit
    And while I was out here floating around I watch you too mr. Rothschild and I am really not too surprised
    Wwe will not have to make contact anytime soon because I’m going to go ahead and make good what our 21 members have agreed upon
    so mr. Rothschild take a deep breath and relax yes I’m your grasshopper ,watch what I do for the next 3 months mr. Rothschild

  5. over the past 30 years, I and my hubby have changed roles numerous times – all depending upon at what point in time one of our jobs was more travel intensive/work intensive. We were fortunate in that both of our schedules didn’t always overlap.

    When I was working 7 days a week, 14 hours a day, and throw in some business travel in there as well, he stepped in and did the grocery shopping, laundry, basic housework, paying the bills, car maintenance, home maintenance and cooking meals,etc.

    When his work demanded his 24/7, my schedule usually was easing up a bit, and I stepped in and did everything listed above, and more.

    And then there were numerous times where both schedules did overlap, and we divided up the responsibilities.

    We have been together 30 years (my 3rd, his 2nd) – and we still like and love each other, and spend just about every weekend together now (he still works full time, I had to retire to to medical conditions). We see ourselves as a team going for the same goal and end line. And as a team, we work together, sometimes changing/altering the rules and roles as needed or required. There has never once been a “designated” role or person for a ‘certain’ job/chore. It is all shared. Because we are in this together.

  6. When I had my 5+ acres in FL I bought one of those devices you mention; lotsa fun when you crank it up to the “flamethrower” setting!

  7. Hello, George,
    I remember last year when a man using one of those torches to clear a gravel driveway of crawling vine-type weeds caught several trees on fire and almost burned the house next door (across the street from us). I had to not only call the fire department, but also counter the ‘explanations’ of the relatives of this man, who came out to say it was an ‘electrical’ fire to try to defend him. The fire burned the electrical wires, not the other way around. Proper application of common table salt would have saved everyone a lot of time and trouble. BTW, your significant other seems to be ‘channeling’ Blythe Danner (‘Meet the Parents’ films, ‘Paul’).

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