Monday, July 16, 2007

Trimming Trees, Conning the Kids

This morning I trimmed trees. They needed trimming on the bottom because we couldn't mow the grass around them. Mary, Pregnant Mary, had trimmed 5 or 6 of them a few weeks ago. But we needed something quicker.

Dad sent up his electric chain-saw with Grandpa and Grandma when they came for a visit. So I got it out. It has a 14 inch cord. So I got out my super-duper long extension cord.

It was 25 feet too short to reach from the house.

So I hauled the 90 pound generator out into the yard. This is a Garage Logic moment. I'm probably not the first. But I think that I might be part of an elite group who have hauled an overly heavy gasoline generator around the yard to power an electric chain saw to trim trees.

After a few trees I went and got my hatchet. I have blisters from the hatchet now. But my back isn't as bad as it would have been had I continued with the generator/electric chainsaw combination.

I am going to be sore (I already am).

Now I'm too pooped out to haul the branches to the other side of the yard. I need a good con to get my kids to do it.

How about a fort?

The back yard got clean quicker than I could recover. All the kids hauled all the branches, even the heavy ones out to by the campfire ring.

"Dad, we got the wood out there. Can we build the fort now?"

"Dad, can we sleep in it over night?"

You have to love the barter system.

"Sure, let's just trim the main poles for the fort. Let's see, who wants to do that?"

Everyone did.

So everyone learned how to handle a hatchet.

We spun a bit of cord from the inner bark of the trees we had cut. But that was going to take too long. Matthew tried tying with bark strips. That could work. But I wanted it stronger.

So we got my jute twine and started framing the fort.

Now it got exciting. "Is it going to be a tipi, Dad?"

"Nope! We're going for a bush fort. Something nobody'd notice if we were in the woods." Of course, we weren't in the woods. And I wasn't out of the woods yet.

We used all of the brush and made a 16 foot by 12 foot fort. The girls had quickly designed 6 different rooms in the fort (One for Matthew, I guess).

They even brought out a used coffee can and a roll of toilet paper.

They eventually picked up all the scraps and made them part of the roof of the fort.

Now, all of the girls and John want to sleep out there tonight.

The weather is nice. Why not? The yard's picked up. All my brush is by the fire pit. I'm happy.

Except the sore back and blisters.

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