Friday, March 1, 2013

Clearing! And The Countdown To Delivery

The mess of tree tops on our lot had a solution. Meet the chipper.

 I became way too involved with this bad boy. It will handle any tree limbs up to six inches in diameter.  That's pretty big.

 We also had the Three Amigos. Well, two cousins and their friend. BLBaby Boy, our nephew and their friend were persuaded (and paid $10/hr plus meals) to provide the labor. (Bad picture of them, but ladies, they're all cuties and two are unattached!) Of course, we needed some obstacles to straightforward work. The chipper was rented for 24 hours, BLHubby took off two days from work and after about three hours the belt broke. It was hauled back to the rental yard where they replaced the belt but some other little cog needed to be fixed and the part wouldn't be there until the next day. The boys worked the chainsaw and stacked stuff up but we quit early. Next day, chipper is ready but BLBabyBoy and BLNephew have to work at their "real" jobs. Their sweet friend came and we all chipped wood until dark. I don't think I've been so tired and sore ever. We had the chipper until noon the next day (the rental company was great about making up the time) so we came out and finished most the next morning. The Three Amigos arrived to help, too.  With their help we had several piles like this:

 And a lot of these:

 On Saturday, BLHubbs and I started burning the bigger logs. We had hoped that the house  mover would be able to bring the house in on the Monday (it was Presidents Day) so we had to get at least the front area cleared of obstacles so the house could move on in. A darling enterprising man approached BLHubby with a proposal for him to clean up the area with his tractor. Deals were made:

 Buddy the Tractor Driver was heaven sent. $40 per hour was a bargain. He piled most of the wood onto the existing fire and made another big pile at the opposite end of the property that we will burn at our leisure. Buddy is a prodigy with a tractor. Remember I said that many of the trees were hollow? One of them had a wild bee hive!
There were only a few bees. (Thankfully) I'm not convinced they were domesticated bees. The few critters I saw looked less round than the honey bees I've seen. The comb that fell out didn't feel like bees wax but was  "papery". I didn't put my hand inside the hive to check out all of it but I don't think there was honey in it. Sadly, it's a goner. So are those stumps. We hired another local boy who came with a huge machine on the back of his truck and ground those huge stumps into dust. The stumps now look like this.
I didn't get out there with my camera for the process but when all were ground it looked like we had been invaded by R.O.U.S.'s
Never fear, Buddy the Tractor Driver spent two more hours yesterday smoothing things out and we have a clear lot!
He really is a tractor driving genius. Just in time. The house mover has inspected the site and thinks we can move the house on this Sunday or Monday. It will be in the wee hours of the morning but hopefully I can get some pictures of the trip.

Where are we cost wise? We had labor (the Amigos), Chipper rental, a new chainsaw and chainsaw blades and sharpening (we sharpened several blades a couple of times at our local True Value), stump grinding and Buddy the Tractor Man - grand total was $1679.  Not bad for removing over 25 trees. Only problem, it wasn't budgeted, so I'm looking for some savings elsewhere. I think BLHubby and I will be hanging our own siding.  So far we've spent $11,674 plus land. We still don't have a house but we're ready!

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