Sunday, November 23, 2008

Falling into despair

Here at the "Oasis in the Woods", I like to think of us as optimistic people. But I do live in a dream world at times. I am the optimistic one seeing my glass as always half full. The Saint is the pessimistic one seeing his glass as always half empty! I guess we kind of balance each other out though. Living with a pessimist has taught me one thing. The Bad comes with the Good...
The Good being those beautiful leaves we saw in our trees this fall.
The Good continues into the woods. Trees filling the ground with a fresh new blanket of leaves to keep the weeds to a minimum. They are like a new carpet below my Frolicking Friends feet!
Our front woods look so peaceful with the new leaves all spread about as if a professional had carefully placed each one.
Now the Bad side of all this Good. Those leaves do not stay in the woods and tend to become a problem for us to deal with...
A Gas blower solves the problem on the left side of our driveway. Can you tell I was standing at the opposite end of the driveway when I snapped this shot. That is a long driveway to walk so you get the lazy view with the second shot. You will see why I got lazy as we proceed.
Then we have to deal with the right side of the driveway...
A gas blower takes care of that problem as well.
Now we move into the backyard. We find more problems.
A mulching mower and this problem is solved!
I am hungry and would like to roast a hot dog. Where is the fire pit?
A Gas blower later, we find the fire pit!
It would be nice to sit and eat my hot dog while I take a break right about now. All that blowing has me tired and hungry but I cannot seem to find the patio furniture!
Nothing a Gas Blower cannot solve!
Where is the pathway to the patio and shed? It has vanished like magic.
Vanished only for a little while as the magic is within the Gas Blower!

Now back to the front where we need to work our Good magic over the Bad.

Ah, once again the mulching mower to the rescue! Ah, the Good. But wait, look up and what do I see, the Bad as I spot more leaves ready to fall so we can start this process all over again.
This fun game of Blow, Mulch and Rake continues until late December when all the oak leaves decide to come on down!

The beauty of the fall color is only a memory and now I am FALLING INTO DESPAIR, In the Garden...


  1. It looks like those leaves will keep you very busy. I know my neighbors say bad things about me, as I do not touch a rake until the last leaf falls. It must be nice for a gardener to have so much room, and to have your own woodland.

  2. Lots of trees,lots of leaves and lots of work.
    Gotta love it anyway!!
    Wanted to thank you again for finding and sending the links to NJ bloggers. You're so very thoughtful.

  3. Skeeter, and I thought I had a big yard to rake! Good thing you have that gas blower, but I can see that this is going to be an on-going job for quite a while.
    I raked for awhile on Friday, but I don't know if my energy will hold up for the whole lawn:)
    I think those beautiful woods of yours make up for the "bad," though!

  4. What fun fall is. We have some leaves still on our trees too, but we decided to be done with the battle since we have snow on the ground too. At least you have plenty of free mulch.... Now if we could just talk those leaves into staying in all the right places, we'd be all set. I am thankful that I only have a driveway to worry about right now. Umm, I suppose all that walking that goes with leaf blowing is good exercise too? We just have to look on the bright side to keep ourselves cheerful because sad an depressed is a dark place I hope to never go to again!

  5. That's a lot of leaves. I used to live in the middle of the woods and know the battle you fight! But, doesn't your estate look lovely after all that work...hope it was a good hot dog...loaded with chili, onions, relish, mustard, ketchup....


  6. Hi Skeeter, we really should get one of these gas blowers, too fun to wait until spring to get the rest of what has blown around, up. It's matted like a bad hair-doo!

  7. Gas blowers sure make that fall chore easier. Isn't it amazing how fast things can look right again? :)

  8. We have the same good, bad & ugly here. I have a giant mulcher to keep the leaves off of the fescue, and we've attacked them twice already this season.~~Dee

  9. Oh, Skeeter, we feel your pain--in the back, in the legs, in the shoulders--after lugging that gas blower around. Fun seeing your yard, though! Maybe one of these days we'll see ours again . . .

  10. Wow Skeeter--that's alot of work! But oh how I would love to live in such a beautiful place like you have. In the garden would be heaven to me! :)

  11. Hi Skeeter, what a beautiful spot you have, leaves and all. I know well the benefits of the gas blower when we lived on an acre of woods in the other TN house. We could not begin to rake all the leaves off the huge lawn that we inherited there. Our neighbor gave us good advice the first fall there when he told us to buy the biggest blower we could find. We did, a back pack type that would lift me off the ground if I pointed the nozzle straight down! HA We bought a giant mulcher machine too and it made the gardens zing with that leaf mulch. I do miss it but it was a lot of work too, like you say.

  12. Les, The Saint thinks we should wait until they all fall as well but we have so many that it would be a real mess to deal with if we waited. They would get all over the cars and in the house with just going to and from the car shed which is away from the house. I do enjoy the front woods as they call in the wildlife...

    Patsi, I will pass along your Thanks to Tina as she is out and about today! She is a thoughtful soul. Yep, the leaves are a lot of work but good exercise and we love our woods...

    Rose, It is an ongoing task for us but this year I have taken on a new leaf, (Pun intended, ha) The Saint and I are doing this together and only working on it once a week and today will be this weeks timing. Last year I was out there with a blower or rake or mower every other day and it about killed me body. Arms, elbow, shoulders and back did not like all that work so this year, I am being a bit better about my slight OCD issue. We do love those woods and the privacy they give us...

    Cinji, It is cold down here but no snow and doubt we will have any as we are so far south. I would rather deal with the leaves then snow any day. I remember shoveling snow and with my aging and aching body, I dont think snow shoveling would be too fun for me these days. But building a snowman would be fun. Who doesn’t like building a cute snowman? My mulching mower mulches so well that the clippings stay on the grass as fertilizer! And we keep leaves in the area of the front and back that I like to refer to as the Natural landscaped areas of the yard. The long finger shaped willow oak leaves are the ones that like to blow all over the yard. I usually get a bale or two of pine straw and sprinkle it over the leaves and then they stay where they are to stay. But I dont do that until they all fall which is usually in late Dec so a few more weeks to go with the willow oaks. Depression can be an ugly thing. I am glad you are well and on the track moving forward!

    Cameron, Of course I take my hotdogs with the works! It is a battle with leaves and wildlife living in the woods but we love our woods so much that it is well worth the efforts we put forth to keep the yard groomed. I just wish we did not have to deal with acorns and sweet gum balls then life would not be so bad in the tree department...

    Dawn, you are so funny! We actually have two gas and one electric blowers. The Saint and I joke about our dueling blowers during times when we are both going at it the same time. I am sure the neighbors love that song we sing but with us going at it together, we finish the job in half the noisy time...

    PG, The blowers are great compared to a rake! When the Saint and I go at it together, we complete the task in about 2 hours or so! With rakes, it would take all day and be very painful to the bodys! I do like a neat look to my yard and the leaves lying there just dont look good to me. They belong under the trees in the woods...

    Dee, I have run the mulching mower about 4 times on the grass and today, we get to make that number a 5 as we head out to the yard again. Hey, I should have named this posting the Good the Bad and the Ugly! Think Clint Eastwood would have noticed? lol...

  13. Cosmo, That morning I woke up and looked out the window and I could start to feel the pain! Arggg, I yelled at the Saint to come look out the window. Then I said, "Guess what we are doing today honey" He was like, "Oh Boy". lol...

    Meadowview, We do love our woodsy setting that we call home but it does take a lot of work to keep it up! The wildlife, privacy and fresh air make up for all the hard work though...

    Frances, You could have taken flight to the moon some time with that blower! lol We have two gas and one electric blowers and the mower. The mower does not have a bag so the mulch stays on the grass to fertilize it. The Red Rider mower blows them more so then mulch so we usually dont mess with the riding mower during leaf season. It amazes me as to where all the mulch goes with tons of leaves you do not see any mulch on the ground! Look at the pictures of the grass, no mower bag and all leaves still on the ground just in tiny pieces! Magic I tell ya. We do get a payoff by living in the woods with wildlife, privacy and beauty so we just moan a bit and keep on a moving. But I don’t see us doing all this work 10 years from now…

  14. Skeeter,

    We have the same problem here...lots of trees lots of leaves! What to do with them all is the big question mark! You can roll in them only so often before you say..."Hey the grownups need to mulch and clean these up!" Have fun! The yard looks great by the way!


  15. Yeah, but what great exercise and together time! (I just say that cause I am not the one having to do it, since all of ours is woods hehehe)

  16. Good Morning All,
    Skeeter I love the pics with all the leaves. It all looks so restful. It's a lot of work but necessary I know. I've had to use the gas blower a lot in N.C.
    Is that one of your myrtles in the last pic.? So red, so beautiful.
    I hope all are enjoying this beautiful day.

  17. Slight OCD??!! LOL, funny Skeeter. The good side of the issue is that you get to enjoy the beauty of it all. :)

  18. Gail, thanks, we are lucky that we have the woods to blow the leaves into: front, back and side! But those woods are what cause this issue. lol So we dont have to go the bag them up route. Thank goodness for small wonders. I see out the window our neighbor blowing his leaves today so soon we will be making more noise on the block. Wonder if other neighbors will join in with their blowers. Lol Good thing it is too cold to have windows open or we would be making someone angry with all this noise...

    Jilly, the exercise is good but the together time is pretty much him going one way and me the other while me telling him what to do. So not a pretty sight. lol Then in the evening we are fighting over who gets the most of the sofa! I usually end up in the recliner and let him have the sofa but then he has to share it with a cat or two. tee hee...

    Lola, it is the myrtle and the one in the driveway island. I was next door pet sitting and taking pics of their new kitten and when I came back up our driveway, I saw that view and just had to snap the camera! The morning fog was lifting and the sun was shining through to make a pretty picture. It is a lot of work doing leaf removal but pretty much the last of hard work in the yard for the year so I should not complain too much as I have all winter long to recuperate from all the back breaking work but the elbows suffer the most and that pain does not seem to go away these days...

    Jean, I knew you would catch that one... tee hee. The Saint says I have OCD but I beg to differ. I just like a nice neat look to my surroundings. Next door drives me nuts with broken down cars, weeds, bent trampolines and dead trees lying in the yard... argggg thank goodness our other neighbors are neat…

  19. Skeeter, I was just cruising through again & noticed something on one of the trees. I enlarged---saw a ghoul tree face----would like to know where you found that one? I have a glowing face on my one tree in the back yard. Just would like to get one for each season. I also have a x-mas tree to put up for appropriate time. I think they are so cute.

  20. I found that post fascinating, following the gas blower was fun....seeing the pathways etc appearing......
    I have a mulching mower....great aren't they?

  21. Ooooo! Your crepe has GREAT fall color! Glad you got all those memories cleaned up. I must say, I have never used a blower but might give it a try.

  22. Patsi, Glad I could help. Skeeter told me you had commented about it and I forgot to acknowledge above. I am back, but still a bit sick. Hope all are having a great weekend!

  23. You get a lot of bang for the buck from that blower! I love your fire pit; hopefully I will have another one by Christmas. We had one at our previous home and used it 12 months a year!

  24. I just came in from raking up leaves. TONS of them. I too have many oak trees, so they will be next. I found a snake in the leaves! Now I know why you have to keep them raked up!

  25. Lola, it is a bit ghoulish but not a Halloween face but just strange old man looking face :) I have no idea where I got the thing. I have a bunch of them scattered about the woods and yard. The first one i purchased was pricy but I found the others later when they caught on and more stores started to carry them cheaper. I have seen them for every season but we only have the old man looking ones...

    Cheryl, It was fun seeing the before and after shots but not much fun making it all happen for you to enjoy! lol. I do love my mulching mowers and blowers! Could not live at this house without them...

    Tina, Blowers are so much better on my back then the rake. We have sooooo much to deal with in this yard. No two of the myrtles were the same color! I had orange, yellow and red and all sorts of neat shades to see. I did not think to snap pic of each of them with different colors, that would have made a nice posting but oh well, maybe next year. Glad you had a good time and made it back safe. I do hope you get back to 100% and soon...

    Nola, that fire pit just kind of came to mind one day. I grabbed a shovel and started digging and then ran to store for stones and by afternoon, I had a fire burning! We dont use it that often as we have a sunroom that stays bug free and climate controlled. It faces the woods so we feel like we are outside. But we do enjoy the fire pit when we have company. We should use it more then we do...

    Brenda, we were at it again today also! Yard looks so nice once again but still more to fall so we will be at it again soon. Last week when we were in the yard we found a small earth snake. They are about the size of an earthworm and cute as can be and harmless. We made sure it was out of the way of the mowers and blowers. We also found a snake skin under the house. Not too crazy about that find as I wonder did he shed the skin before or after we replaced all the vents to the house…

  26. haha funny post.

    The bad in my yard is the snow covering the fallen leaves. Now that is a problem a blower or mower can not solve. I just have to hope for some warm days so I can fire up my mower and fallow your lead.

    Beautiful woods and I see those ferns are still looking good.

  27. Dan, snow is a bigger issue then I would like to tackle! When we lived in Snowy Colorado, we lived in an apartment so we did not have to deal with snow issues. Getting my camaro up a hill after a snowy night at the company Christmas party was a memorable experience though. lol. Car was sliding back down the hill. Saint had on a suit and slick shoes while I had on a dress and heels! We knew we would never make it up that hill and would die from freezing to death in that car! It is funny now but was a bit scary at the time. We finally spun enough ice off the road to make it up the hill. We learned that when it starts to snow in Colorado, to immediately get home!

    The ferns are now a bit brown but still holding their shape. I will leave them where they are for now...

  28. Oy, WHAT a job! You'll have to get into business selling those leaves as mulch to other gardeners :)

  29. My mom use to have a mustang so I know what a challenge a small rear wheel drive car can be in the winter. I would image it would have been freaky going backwards on a hill.

    This time a year when the snow just starts to fall the news crews always set up at the top of hills. Then they broadcast it on the evening news, it is always entertaining.

    I find winter much more enjoyable now since getting a snow blower last season. We have a long shared drive between our house and the neighbors. The snow used to have to be pushed straight down by hand and on heavy snow falls I had to shovel it into a wheelbarrow and wheel it down. Not fun and I am glade I never have to do it again!

  30. Wow Skeeter, thats a lotta leaves! We deal with our leaves every week here, otherwise they get to thick for mulching. Last year we didn't get to them for a couple of weeks, and it was more than twice the work getting them cleaned up the second week. We find it much easier to keep up with them, but either way it's very time-consuming and very tiring.

    Ours are mostly down now - looks like you've still got quite a lot of leaves on the trees still waiting to fall.

  31. Skeeter, I hope you had some red wine to go with that hot dog. Something robust. Anyway, I'm glad that you have found your balance in life. Too much of a good thing (or bad) steers us in the wrong direction. Kinda like tires or wheels out of alignment. Hmm. I need to print these words out and put them on the fridge door. Otherwise, I'll be looking at some spare tires in the near future, and they won't be in the neighbor's yard!

  32. Blossom, Hey maybe I could advertize Cheap Mulch for Pick Up! Then people would clean up my yard and pay me for it! lol...

    Dan, it was oh so scary trying to get up that hill. We had been to the party so it was the wee hours of the morning and no one around to help us. We could not walk up the hill to get our 4-wheel drive Bronco to assist us as we had on those dress shoes! It is so funny now looking back though. Snow blower would be the way to go! I like my power tools! lol...

    Garden Girl, That is my motto also, get them as they fall or the mulcher will not work properly and may become damaged. The Saint thinks we should just let them all fall then get them up. Ha, I dont think so! I read an article in the paper today saying you should not let the leaves lay on the grass too long or they can disease the grass. Even in winter the grass needs fresh air and water. We probably have one more major cleaning to do then the usual get those finger shaped willow oaks leaves up until mid to late Dec. They hang on forever it seems and they require the rake as they are too small to chop up in the mulcher...

    Walk2Write, I actually had the wine just before bed time. Seems to help me sleep and takes the aches and pains away also! I dont like the dry stuff so am mixing it with clear bubbly to make a popular drink in Germany. This way, I can get it down. My mom said for me to think of it as medicine and just take it as is. Arggg, I usually listen to my parent’s advice but in this case, NOT going to as dry gets my tongue all numb! Yuck. We roasted a hot dog yesterday while the Saint was burning at the burn pit. He was burning up the pine tree that we cut down last spring to build the mower shed. Not much wood in the woodshed but lots to be burn outside. Pine wood and house fireplaces don’t mix. My kitties sitting in my lap will keep me warm this winter though and the wine will surly help as well.... :)

  33. I think I need one of those Tina! It looks like a big help in lots of ways. Your property is lovely by the way.

  34. Thanks for popping in Kathleen! Gas blowers are the best and I could not live without one in the fall...

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!