On Thursday, my bud Tammie and I set off to a friends farm to get more tree branches and vines to make more garden oblisques. I was a gorgeous sunny day and almost 70, a perfect day to be outside. We set off around 11am, got there, talked to my friends wife while she was walking around with two young sheep that she was caring for, and walked off into the woods. It was a perfect day to be out, mid 70's and sunny. We couldn't have picked it better.
We decided to hit the vines first, which were in the far back of their 14 acres, and started walking. I was carrying my fully loaded ALICE pack, just so I could get used to the weight, and she was carrying her saw and some drinks. We got to the spot we wanted, and before long, had a good sized pile of wound vines ready to haul out. We sat down for a few minutes and took a break, just sitting and talking a little while we spent more time just looking around and enjoying the scenery. We heard some deer walking off in the distance, and saw a hawk fly low within 50 feet of it. This is why I still love this place that I have known for my entire life. It's beautiful, peaceful, and quiet being so far from any roads and people. That hillside and all that property around it has always been my escape. I have many great memories there.
We talk quite a bit while we are gathering there, in between the long bouts of total silence while we work and enjoy the quiet. In my world of few friends, Tammie is one of the best I have ever known. Few people I have known understand what Lisa and I do here at home and what we want for the future. Tammie gets it because she wants the same things. I have never had another friend that I could talk to about living off grid, gardening, self sufficiency, and all the other endless topics that we chat about, all of my others think I'm insane, she doesn't. We talked about a lot of things there in the woods the same as we do when she comes to the house for coffee on random days when I am home. (which Lisa loves to joke about, saying we sit around and talk about our cramps and our feelings, LOL) It's somewhat funny to think that I met her through the online group she started, never imagining her place was 5 minutes away. I can truly say that in the 2 years since we met over an e-mail and a bucket of horseradish from our garden, she has become one of the best friends I have ever had. I have to thank her for that, it means more than she knows from someone who has not had very many.
We were able to find one spot that had vines as far as the eye could see, and gathered a LOT of vines to bring back, twisting them into rings like christmas wreaths to be easier to carry...which was a real bonus considering I was wearing that fully loaded pack already, lol. We both had two armloads, and headed for the truck so we could drop them off and get another drink since we had both already finished the large vitamin waters we carried in just 2 hours earlier. We tossed the vines in the truck, grabbed a quick drink, and set off once again to get branches for the legs. Luckily, there are plenty of piles of branches left from the loggers about halfway to where we gathered the vines. We picked through the piles, tossing out the straighter ones, cutting off the small branches, and tossed them in piles. After 3-4 areas of gathering, we bundled them up with some rope and decided to call it a day. We got them in the truck, headed home, then divided them up for her to head home to start more of her own projects. I was tired, hot, sweaty, and covered with scratches since I was silly enough to wear a sleeveless t-shirt. Remind me NOT to do that again!! My right shoulder looks like I was wrestling with a 6 foot raccoon.
I came in the house, got the dogs outside, grabbed a giant iced tea, and headed to the garage to start my own. I decided to go with a tripod design for my first rather than a 4 legged one like we watched Rick Pratt make for the video. I made this one around 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide, which went really quick. Wrapping the vines around it however, took a little more time. The vine I grabbed to wrap around the frame ended up being close to 20 feet long, and I didn't want to cut it quite yet. I started on the bottom of one leg, turning the frame instead of trying to wrap 20 feet of vine around it over and over. Yea....lol...not as easy as I thought. The vines are stiff and don't bend quite so easily. It took me about 20 minutes or more to get it wrapped around once from bottom to top. My plan for this one is to roll the vines at the top to make a sturdy wreath that will stand straight up, then wrap it around the frame again in the opposite direction back to the bottom. I had just started the wreath part when Lisa came home, and I stopped.
Lisa had quite a surprise for me when she got home, she had bought us a new mattress. WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!!! We've had that same one since before we moved in this house 11 years ago, and it was getting really uncomfortable and had springs starting to pop up so much that you could feel them. We were wayyyy overdue for this. They had told her it would be delivered on Thursday, and since I have NO patience, I asked her to call and see if I could just pick it up. Of course, the store doesn't even stock the mattresses, and their warehouse is in Cleveland. The best we could do was up the delivery date to Monday, so that will have to do. I hate paying for something and not having it in my hand right then. I hate waiting for something to be mailed, shipped, or delivered. It makes me crazy, lol. Ah well, at least I know it's on the way.
The weather here is starting to make me insane, even though I know it's the typical Ohio spring. 75 one day and 50 the next. Sunny one day, rain the next. Arrrgghhhhhhh. On Monday, Tammie and I were supposed to go film one of her blog videos of someone who plows with draft horses. The forecast on Friday called for rain and storms on Monday, so she cancelled for now, which was really disappointing. We were really looking forward to that one. She'll just have to talk to the people and re-schedule sometime when the weather is more stable.
While we were at the farm gathering the materials, the owner, who I have known most of my life, asked me if I was still out of work. He is bidding a job that he is pretty sure he has, clearing out a pretty large warehouse not far away, and would take 3-4 months. He wants to hire someone to oversee the demo crew, letting them in and locking up every day, while watching them and making sure no one gets hurt. Kind of a job supervisor/safety/security guy. I told him I would be VERY interested, thanked him for thinking of me, and told him I would be gladly waiting for the call. Keep your fingers crossed for me folks.
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