I’m Baaaaa-aaack…Mostly.

One Small Section of Debris

Alert the Media!  I’m back!  Mostly. 

Yeah, I know I’ve been gone nine days, and believe me, I have missed this blog more than you could imagine!  If I tried to tell you everything that has conspired against me to keep me from posting here, you probably wouldn’t believe it.  Suffice it to say, we have been inundated with problems around this place, and Mark’s five-day Thanksgiving vacation turned into five days of toil and trouble for both of us.  But we have survived, and even though the end isn’t here yet, it IS in sight.

Just as a quick recap of part of the problems, we had a huge tree die overnight, practically, and that started it all.  Our yard is filled with giant laurel oaks, old and majestic…and apparently dying of Sudden Oak Death.  Yes, folks, there really is something known among arborists as SOD.  After a long summer and early fall filled with unplanned for expenses such as transmissions falling apart, and flywheels literally breaking into pieces (both cars involved), we found we were down $7,000, and had tightened our belt to the max.  Thus, we were faced with a serious problem when the largest oak in our yard turned brown over the course of about 3 days.  From lush green, to completely dead brown, on a tree species that is evergreen.  Within weeks, it was brittle and dropping branches on our roof.  It had to come down.  Sadly, we couldn’t afford our regular tree guy, so we went with a cheaper solution that involved what turned out to be a less than professional company cutting down both of our biggest trees (since a second one was dying, too) and a smaller tree.  They were supposed to do it all in one day, leaving us the logs, but clearing away all debris and the first 10 feet of the massive (we’re talking over 4′ across) base of the tree.  Five days later, these awful people have buried our yard under debris, logs too big to move, and piles of sawdust 3′ deep.  Then they got mad because yet another piece of THEIR equipment stopped working, and they walked off…leaving our entire yard looking like the picture above, which is only a fraction of the mess we have to deal with.  (The side yard has 3 times the wood and debris in it.  This pile merely blocks the driveway!)  I didn’t take a picture of the biggest slabs, but the one on the top of the pile in the photo is right at 4 feet in itself, and it is nowhere near the biggest one.

You cannot imagine the mess we have been left with, and working every day right along side of them (and now on our own) has barely made a dent in it.  I finally got them back over here to cut the massive segments into smaller pieces that Mark can handle with his own chain saw, and the rest of the clean up is on us. 

Soooooooo…many lessons learned here, the biggest one being, one cannot keep up an active blog…or any other form of an active LIFE…whilst one is stuffing barrels full of tree trimmings from a pile approximately the size of an airplane hangar, and dollying logs to the back 40 to stack out of the way.  The sound of chain saws is burned into my brain, and the smell of oak sawdust will probably never be out of my nostrils.  GAH!!!!

On the other hand, I no longer have to worry about a tree falling through my roof.  Or at least not THIS tree.  There are still all the others around the yard……………..

Now back to blogging on a daily basis.  I hopeBut first, I have to tend to a small fire ring wherein I’m burning that airplane hangar sized pile of twigs, one little handful at a time.

6 thoughts on “I’m Baaaaa-aaack…Mostly.

  1. Oh wow! Look at that mess! I told my Grams about the Oak tree problem you were having and she said you could sell it for firewood and get most, if not all your money back. Hickory and Oak you could sell for $100 a rick. Glad your house is safe!!


  2. We are keeping most of the wood for our own fireplace. We have two log racks 8′ tall and 10′ feet long. But Mark will definitely bundle split firewood for sale, and put a sign on our corner. (We are the corner house). It’s just the huge enormous unbelievable job of cutting it all up. That pictures was taken the first day (out of FIVE) and represents maybe a tenth of what we are dealing with, believe it or not. I should really post more pictures, but I quit taking them early on, as I was so upset. We are on almost half an acre, and our entire side yard looks like that picture, only worse.


  3. Your own version of hurricane Sandy. Sounds terrible — looks terrible. What is this SOD, and is it going to move north? That would really be devastating around here.


    • Sue, apparently Sudden Oak Death is popping up in various locales around the country, including California and Florida, but I don’t know where else. Our tree was fine one week and by the next weekend, it was completely dead and brown from top to bottom. And within weeks, the limbs became so brittle, they were breaking off right and left. It overhung our entire house and had to come down, but our other unplanned for expenses over the last few months left us with very limited funding, hence the decision to go with the unknown low bidder. They DID get the tree down without damaging our house, but because it was a verbal contract, when they said they were done, we had little recourse against them. If you Google SOD you can find out if there is anything in your area, but from what I gather, there is quite a bit of disagreement on what is causing it. We had borer beetles, but they could have moved in after the death. It can be a combination of insects, fungus and stress on the tree from drought our age. Our trees were very old and we had a year long drought in 2011. So best guess, it was a combination of things, but we will never know for sure.


  4. Marcia,the picture made my mouth gap open. Wow !
    I was going to ask you to sponsor a garden get together, at your lovely yard.
    guess not now.
    I was going to borrow some money for Christmas shopping so I could buy you a nice gift. Guess not now.
    My friend, I’ll stay out of your way,while you clean that mess.
    Big hugs. 🙂


  5. Hey, Felix! Oh, yeah, I’d be the perfect person for a garden tour. SNORT! My backyard is still in disaster mode from neglect during the last months of the summer, and now the front is a lumber yard. Believe me, this picture is NOTHING to what we are dealing with. But you can go into debt and buy me a Christmas gift if you like…I’m in the market for log-splitter! hahahahahaha


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