Monday, May 07, 2007

Seasonal Changes

We're finally getting some spring weather here!
As a homeowner, the changing seasons always bring a huge pile of seasonal chores. We've been busy switching snow shovels for gardening tools. The snowblower is now replaced by 2 mowers and the rototiller. The vegetable peelings in the compost can, that we keep by our back porch all winter, have been rotated into our compost pile.

Spring raking, in northern MN, can be tricky; timing is EVERYTHING! The time between the ground being dry enough to rake and the time when the new grass is 6 inches high, and must be mowed, can be as short as 2 days. Last weekend our window of opportunity arrived.

We have a HUGE yard, and have never been able to hand rake the entire lawn before mowing season overtakes us....until 2 years ago. We bought a high-wheeled, rear bagging mower. Then we bought a power rake blade for our old mower, and lowered the wheels. Now, I run the power rake mower, which rakes and chops the leaves and dead grass. L follows with the bagger mower and sucks up all the debris. We raked our whole yard in 3 1/2 hours!

We finished in the nick of time. The following day, we had 30 mph winds, followed by a couple of days of sprinkly rain. We didn't get enough rain to alleviate our drought conditions, but we got enough to green things up. I live in fear that some idiot will throw a lit cigarette out their car window, or burn their yard waste, and burn us all out in a matter of minutes! Our trees are just starting to bud. Soon we'll have a canopy of green which will obliterate our neighbor's junky yard for the summer.

I also did a quick inspection tour of our home's exterior. There was only one spot where the caulk had pulled away during the winter. I managed to get a new coat of caulk applied before the rain started. None of our fresh paint peeled!! Whooohoooo!! It looks like the new primer did the trick!

Spring also brings a host of indoor chores as well.
I've been busy washing our winter jackets, packing them away for the summer, and unpacking the summer outerwear. I've packed away our sweaters, replacing them with shorts, T-shirts, and tank tops.

I've also been thoroughly drying our winter boots, before packing them away. The Peet boot dryer, pictured above, has been my best friend for the past 10 years! If you have kids that love to wade through the snow, this item is a blessing! Our doorside rug is now sporting tennis shoes and sandals, instead of klunky boots.

Hairry has successfully completed his annual trip to the vet for heartworm meds. 20 years ago, heartworm was only a threat in southern MN. In 2 short years, our county has gone from 2 reported cases of heartworm to 72 cases! If you're a dog owner, PLEASE check with your vet about the existence of this horrible disease in your area!

Now that we've completed the imperative spring chores, we can move on to our list of summer projects. This list is so long that it will require a post of its own. If I'm AWOL from blogging, you'll know where I am....slaving away in the yard or garage.


At 5/07/2007 4:58 PM, Blogger Hammer said...

I've been mowing over and mulching the leaves. all the neighbors leaves blow into my yard so it's like trying to empty the ocean with a plastic bucket.

At 5/07/2007 5:37 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Hammer, maybe I should be grateful that my neighbor never mows his lawn? The leaves get stuck in his long grass and don't blow over here. ;)

At 5/07/2007 6:55 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

Our backyard is fully fenced. The leaves that fall in don't go away, but we also don't get any leaves from other yards.

Heart worm is nasty. I'm glad Hairry has his meds.

Good luck getting your work done. If you want a quick break I just posted some pictures. There's a link to Flickr where all of the set is.

At 5/07/2007 8:20 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

That's some neat trick, seeing as how you're still posting from AUSTRALIA!!
The Inn you're staying in was torn down about 10 years ago Asshat.

At 5/07/2007 8:25 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Squirl, we'd LOVE to fence in our backyard! If we have time, we're going to start fencing in the corner by our neighbor's this year. This will, at least, keep their junk from spilling into our yard. :(

At 5/07/2007 8:39 PM, Blogger Gardenia said...

Wow! Compared to my striving here, you guys seem to have conquered the world! At least your section. It really sounds like you have a beautiful place. Here's to wonderful gadgets - they make the difference between working your brains out (other things) and getting the job done efficiently, don't they?

My poor mother up in Wyo - has been going back and forth between snowstorms and 80 degree weather. They've just had a horrible one. We've settled into pretty warm - but not too - yet. Lots of humidity - yesterday was not good.

Ahhhhhhhh - summer - we've all blogged a winter away.

At 5/07/2007 8:50 PM, Blogger Sonja said...

What are these "seasons" you speak of? ;)
Actually, we have seasons and the chores to go along with them down here, too. It's just that I never pack away the tank tops and flip flops...

At 5/07/2007 9:16 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Gardenia, we've got a LOT of striving to do yet! After 20 years we've almost got the front yard landscaped the way we want it. Our back yard gets put on the back burner year after year....
I'll be posting pictures of our mess in the near future.
We've been alternating between 30F and 70F too. We just haven't been getting much precipitation. :(

Sonja, you're just jealous because I have the cool klunky boots! ;)

At 5/07/2007 9:38 PM, Blogger SME said...

Heh heh heh - no yard, no spring yardwork! There are some advantages to living downtown...

I do think you jumped the gun stowing away winter clothes. The weather's so wonky, it's shorts one day and mittens the next. :(

At 5/08/2007 7:00 AM, Blogger tweetey29 said...

I think I have a good feeling of which neighbors you are talking about. An exboyfirends of mines sister and better half if I am right. LOL... They are awful with there stuff. I dont blame you for fencing in. Our trees are starting to bloom. I love them because they give plenty of shade but I hate all the leaves that need to be raked in the fall. You should have seen the curb last fall. They have this leaf blower that comes by in the fall its picks up your leafs like the garbage man does here. Its really neat. Anyway take your time blogging if you need to do something out in the garage we all understand. LOL... This weekend I am going to go and get the girls some shorts from either the thrift shop or someplace. Not new this year except for Bris b-day in three weeks. Well alright enough here. Will catch you later. N.

At 5/08/2007 7:45 AM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Ugh! Thanks for the reminder. We have power washing, sanding, painting, trimming, and pond and garage cleaning to do, plus clean out rooms and attic to have a yard sale. Then there's also all the end of semester grading both M & I have to do, plus clean the house which hasn't seen a thorough cleaning in a month. M wants to go work on the Habitat house again this weekend, so I guess we'll successfully avoid all the work our own house needs for yet another week.

At 5/08/2007 10:40 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

I understand the AWOL thing for sure!!

those boot driers are great. I still have mine down here in sunny southern TX. Not sure why though?

You have a great summer, and I'll be back to catch up in the Fall.

At 5/08/2007 2:51 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

SME, it's not like you've EVER done any yard work! I seem to recall you saying:"It's not MY yard." ;)

I told the guys they'd have to tough it up and wear a sweatshirt with their summer jackets if it gets cold.

Tweets, OMG, which one of those 2 losers did you date?! They're MY age!
Henry now owns the sister's property. He put a new double-wide on it a couple of years ago. John inherited his Mom's house when she died.

VV, that's about as long as our list. Right now we're trying to straighten up the house...we have company coming this weekend...YIKES!

Ryan, the boot dryer works great for drying sweat out of boots and shoes too.
Have a GREAT wedding!
You'd BETTER be back in the fall!!

Vest, the ONLY reason to shoot a human being is to defend another human life. I don't consider you dangerous...just annoying.
I deal with difficult old farts all day at work. What's one more?

At 5/08/2007 3:28 PM, Blogger tweetey29 said...

I was talking about Henry. I dated Wesley. Lorraines brother.

At 5/08/2007 4:25 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Tweets, WHEW, that makes me feel better.;) I forgot about the HUGE family she has.

At 5/08/2007 5:07 PM, Blogger Shawn said...

You might be slaving away in the house and yard...but I sort of suspect that you half enjoy doing it. Just a thought.

I'm glad you're finally getting some of the nice weather up your way.

At 5/08/2007 5:36 PM, Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

Oh boy, even though I live in an apartment, there are a ton of "spring cleaning" chores that I should do. They have been piling up for 2 years. :-P How do you stay motivated?

At 5/08/2007 6:20 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Shawn, you're sorta right. I enjoy the results, but I hate the process.

It's 80F today. That's going overboard!

Notta, I don't stay motivated. I usually let it pile up until it drives me insane. Then I tackle it all in a day. Then I get mad at myself for letting it get out of hand in the first place.

At 5/08/2007 7:40 PM, Blogger Jay said...

I can't believe you have a boot dryer!

My grandfather would love you.

At 5/08/2007 8:02 PM, Blogger 9 11 01 said...

Nope, not much of a yard person...that's your department! ;)

Come spring, some women are worried about fitting into their're boot-drying. ;D

At 5/08/2007 8:03 PM, Blogger 9 11 01 said...

Argh. That was ME, Richard forgot to sign out again. And I can't post as "other".

At 5/09/2007 6:21 AM, Blogger Pam said...

Hi tshsmom - I just popped over from Cherie's blog to take a peek at your blog and since you are a fellow Minnesotan, well, I couldn't leave without saying "hi." It just wouldn't be very Minnesota Nice of me not to, would it?

Spring is glorious here, isn't it? I just wish it would slow down a bit in the temp department -- I'd like to enjoy some 70s and low humidity before just jumping right into today's predicted mid 80s.

At 5/09/2007 10:08 AM, Blogger tweetey29 said...

Yes they have a huge family. Ten kids. Well nine now. The oldest boy passed away about 3 years ago or so now. He was drunk and got hit riding his bike home or something like that. It was in the paper.

At 5/09/2007 12:53 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Ah, yes, the spring yard work. The problem around here is the grit they throw down in the winter on the roads all of a sudden covers everything once the snow melts. Yards are full of it, you track it everywhere, and it makes it so dusty inside and out.

At 5/09/2007 2:31 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Jay, there's nothing better than putting on a pair of nice warmed boots first thing in the morning!

SME, I haven't needed a bikini for 30 years now. I already caught my man! ;) No diamonds for this chick on Mother's Day either.
Are you having ANOTHER identity problem?!

Pam, WELCOME, fellow "club" member! ;)
You're from MN? COOL! Are you from the wet half, or the dry half?
Yeah, we didn't get ANY spring this year, did we? It went from 30F to 80F. I was looking forward to a bunch of 50-60F days. :(

WC, that's one of the few advantages of living by a state highway...we have a big ditch between the road and our property. All that grit washes into the ditch. You can't rake that shit up!


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