I’m not sure all fathers would agree, but I think Frank thought his Father’s Day was pretty darn okay. The sun was shining (finally!) and we spent most of the day outside working in the new garden. After we could barely move from exhaustion, we soaked off the grime in the whirlpool tub and then went out to eat, but I still think he had the most fun working outside.

P6150005.jpgWhat we did out there barely shows, but we moved the edge of the forest back a few more feet. We were cutting down some pine trees today, and the chips/mulch it makes is very different from the deciduous trees we’d previously been doing. It smelled different too, of course, and I think the sappiness in it contributed to our first jam.

Yup, Frank got to take much of the chipper apart to clear it out. Every time we’ve rented one of these machines, we usually spent half the time we had it clearing out the jams, so we’ve been very impressed with how long we’d been able to keep it running without jamming it. But all good things must come to an end, I guess.

Besides the sticky pine, Frank had also run some really old rotten stuff through it as well, and that’s what actually clogged it up really bad. It only took him about 20 minutes to clear it, though, and it ran great for a couple of hours after, so we are still in love with our chipper.

P6150010.jpgI mostly ran the chipper itself, hauling the limbs from where he cut the trees and running them through. That sure is hard work. I think I filled up six or seven wheelbarrow loads of chips, and for now, I’m just piling them up on the back edge of the potato patch. The compost bin we put out there is already full, and I want to do something to keep the brush from coming back until we build the raised beds, so I’m hoping these wood chip piles will help that.

P6150008.jpgHe also managed to get the weed whacker thingie going with the horizontal saw blade. (I think he got that for Father’s Day last year?) It took five or six attempts before it worked well, and then he really went to town with it, cutting off all the five and six inch stumps that he’d left when he cut the trees down originally in the part we’ve already cleared. The little lawn tractor kept getting hung up on them, so we haven’t been able to bring it in to this area yet, and I bet we are close now to being able to do that.

One of the cute things we found out there is an old tee-pee sort of thing made with branches that Jeremy had built when he was 8 or 9 years old, I think. It’s probably not more than a hundred feet from what was the edge of the woods, but I bet it felt secluded and far away to a little boy. I found a couple of books and a stuffed animal stored in there for safekeeping. Very cute.

The weather forecast is calling for three sunny days in a row. I bet we are out here for every one of them.

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