Saturday, September 12, 2009

Labor Day weekend - another work / fun party

I managed to take some extra days off over the Labor Day weekend and decided this would be a good time to go out and clear some more of the driveway. After all, we only have 1200 feet to clear. :) Todd and his family went out along with me and Ann. They stayed in a tent...we stayed in the RV. It's a little cooler now that we are getting a little rain so the AC in the RV got things nice and chilly inside. We actually turned off the generator, switched the fridge over to propane and opened up the windows. I slept pretty well once "Shadow", our black lab, settled down. He was on alert the whole time. If we were outside, his nose was to the ground 'popping'. I had to keep him on a leash because he would get a scent and take off. We cleared out a lot of dead trees and only a few living mesquite trees that were small or almost dead. It's been so dry that many of the trees might actually be pulling everything down to their roots because there just isn't any ground water. Things were so nice in the RV and the kids and women all went inside and put on a DVD for the kids to watch. It was a good time. We cooked hot dogs over the fire, cooked pork roast in a dutch oven and one evening, we roasted marshmallows and made s'mores. Zoe didn't want one, she just wanted a marshmallow. We all looked at her a little funny. I think she had never had one. Once she tried it, she ate it up. For just camping out a couple of days, we had enough food for several more. I'm continually surprised how well the fridge in the RV works. The freezer...freezes and the fridge keeps things cold...even on propane! I love it. I guess that proves I'm simply getting old. Todd and I got a lot of work done. We cleared about 300 more feet of trees. Now we need to work on getting the cactus out and bring in more road base. It's hard work, but really therapeutic. Ever heard of "jumping cactus"? I don't know what it's really called but this stuff is bad. I remember always getting into it when I was a boy scout. It's the cactus that just keeps on giving. It doesn't take much. You barely brush against it and then you have cactus needles in you the size of a tiny hair for days to come. Duct tape comes in handy here. Also a good sharp knife blade scraped across your skin can get some of them out. Neat huh? NOT! We also took the time to put up a mailbox. It's official, we have an address. Yeah! I took an old 4x4 fence post and used it for the mailbox post. I think it turned out ok. Doesn't look new. That's what I was aiming for. The women decided that they would go back into town and take the pets and kids with them and stay the night in our house and let Todd and I have some alone time with each other. I really appreciated the time. It's not that often that we get the chance to just hang out and visit. So, we loaded up Todd's van, kissed our wives goodbye and saw them off. We saw a small rattlesnake but didn't have a chance to kill it. I hesitate to just kill for the sake of killing. Now I'll have to be on the look out. I won't hesitate if I have to defend myself. This one wasn't interested, he looked at me and went down a hole. We saw more cotton tail rabbits and we also saw a really odd looking beetle. I have no idea what kind it was but It looked rather scary so I killed it. I know...I know...but it could have been poisonous, right? Josh took time to pose for a picture with 'Papa'. A section of trees were all bent over, up-rooted and scorched white. Not a leaf on any of them. Some of them broken off 20 feet up. I have no idea what did it but it was a little weird to walk up on a section of trees like that. What could have done it? How could something turn the trees white like that? Heat? The ground wasn't touched. It looked like something big came crashing through the woods, but only a small section was affected. I guess this will remain a mystery.