Monday, March 18, 2013

Chapter 135...New Log Splitter And Apple Picking

Hello everyone.  I'm so glad you stopped in.  I will be writing a story a few times a week for you to check out.  Please subscribe so you don't miss anything:)

Fall in the mountains is a wonderful time.  There is so much to do and enjoy outside.  As you know Mike and I love being outside.  So let me tell you about some of our new toys and the fun we had with them.

We finally decided to buy a log splitter.  With all the wood we have down around our property we should have enough for quite a few winters.  The hardest part is the logs being too thick to fit into the wood stove and Mike and I are just not up to using an axe for that much wood, lol. for our new toy.  We ordered from Lowe's and picked it up using the trailer.  We bought a Troy Built Log Splitter. Our Log Splitter

Here we go:)  We have a bunch of cut logs ready to go.  This is how it works.  You put one piece of wood into the holder and keep your hands out of the way.

Then you turn on the switch and the machine starts to push the blade.  It starts to cut through the center of the log.

And it is split.  Wow that is so much easier.

Our work station up top.  I think Mike likes his new toy although I have to admit it is pretty cool.  I do have a fascination with machinery:)

Now we have to get the logs down to the wood pile in front of the house.  We also have some logs to split so Mike loads up the split logs, his new toy, and he is ready to ride:)

Using the log splitter and stacking new logs.

We spent the rest of the day and the next few days cutting and splitting wood.

Now for another one if Mike's new toys.  He loves to use the binoculars to find the wild animals on our property.  The ones we had weren't very strong so we researched them online to find a better pair for him.  I think this should do it, lol.  They are made by Celestial.

We have also had a lot of fun apple picking.  We have about 100 apple trees on our property growing wild.  That is one good thing about the cows.  They eat the apples, digest them and seeds and a new tree if it doesn't get crushed before it grows to maturity:)  

We have had a great time with my stepdaughter and the grandkids picking apples.  Apple picking in the mountains is not like apple picking in a nice flat field.  If they fall out of the tree, the apples will roll, and roll, and roll down the mountain.   Ugh!!!

Here is Mike using the apple picker  to grab some high apples while my stepdaughter and her daughter hand pick the closer ones.  An apple picker, aka fruit picker, is a head with small claws and a small basket attached to a pole.  You reach up into the tree with the pole. use the claws to grab the fruit and pull until it falls into the padded basket.  Fruit Picker Head

The next weekend our grandson joined us for the fun.  We now have a new game.  One person uses the apple picker to knock apples out of the tree and the rest of us play catcher:)

Both my stepdaughter and I got enough apples to make a bunch of apple butter, applesauce, and apple pie filling.  Today I am still using the canned apples from last Fall.  The first batch I had to borrow my stepdaughter's apple peeler.  After that I decided to buy my own.  We will have so many apples each year that it seemed worthwhile.  I got mine from the local Farm Supply but my stepdaughter has this one.  Apple Peeler .  Let me tell you, if you have a lot of apples to peel get one of these.  It makes life so much easier. 

After we picked apples, Mike took our granddaughter for a ride on the tractor.  Then he dropped her off next to us and he got a fire started on our fire pile.

He sure does like to play with the fire piles and his tractor:)

The kids and I walked back up and around the back of the house.  What a beautiful day.

After two weekends of apple picking my stepdaughter had enough apples but I didn't want to waste any so one morning I grabbed my bucket and apple picker and started down the hill.  I spotted a tree from the side of the driveway and it looked like it had some good apples.  It was an easy tree to get to so that was a nice break.  I was able to get a 5 gallon bucket full of apples. it's time for the trek back "up" to the house.  On my way back up through the property I came across the bull.  Uh oh.  He saw the bucket in my hand and thought it was feed.  Not good.  I had to keep throwing apples at him until I made to our gate.  I guess I should be thankful I had food in the bucket, lol.

A few days after that Mike and I took a walk in the woods.  We like doing that.

And guess who we ran into, lol.

We have some really big trees down.  Now we just have to figure out how to get them closer to the house.  Our land is very steep in a lot of areas.  It's hard enough just to walk it.  I can't even think about pulling trees and then getting logs out.

Walked the border of our property that day.  It was sad to see our border line had no new tree growth but our bordering neighbors all have new trees growing.  The difference is they don't have any cows on their land so the new trees have a chance to grow.

And coming back around the front of the house.  Ah...home sweet home:)

After that I noticed Niki hurt herself.  Her back legs would collapse on her and I was very worried.  I took her to our Vet and he told me she had a herniated disc.  He said we have two choices.  One try bed rest and let her move as little as possible or take her to a specialist and she could have surgery.  Mike and I opted for bed rest and we would see how she progresses. 

I bought her a new bed that is made of a foam like egg crate.  It is supposed to be supportive for her body.  I think she likes it:)

Well that pretty much wrapped up our Fall.  After that we went to Florida for a few months and as you know, we are now back and ready to work.  

I hope you all enjoyed this story and I will post again on Saturday about our coming home fiasco.  Then each Monday I will write about our working adventures in the Mike and Lisa World.

Have a wonderful day:)


  1. The views are amazing! I hope Niki will recover without needing surgery! :)

    1. Hi Kat:)

      Thank you. She doesn't seem top be in pain so that is good:)

  2. Lisa...Love your pictures and just had to tell you about our Pug we had for years. Our Pug had a herniated disk too. Almost everyday he would drag himself down to our hog pen that had electric wire around it. We would watch him crawl under the bottom strand of hot wire and then raise his back up and get an electric shock. He'd give a yelp and then come running back to the house. Kept him moving all day. It was the craziest and smartest thing I've ever seen. I don't know how he figured out this would help him walk and run again but it did. He lived to a very old age with his self electric shock treatments!

    1. That is so cool. I think your pug was on to something:) I'm not sure if that would occur to Niki, lol.

  3. Lisa, as for getting the wood down out of the Woods, you need a cart/wagon. You can get one to pull behind the ATV or a bigger one for behind the tractor. Then just cut the trees up into logs right there up in the woods, & haul the logs back in the cart/wagon behind either Tractor or ATV.

    1. I have seen those but I'm afraid to go to some areas of our property even on the 4-wheeler. It is scary steep. Mike is more daring but not stupid, lol. I wish we could do that in more places:)

  4. I'm so happy to see the pictures of the place.....after all, it had been awhile, and I guess pretty soon, we'll be seeing the 2013 views too!

    Hope that Niki is doing better. I'm gonna guess that your Vet may have also suggested a diet, to help her drop some weight. Of course, you don't see "skinny" Pugs, but I'd guess that a little weight loss would help Niki's back too.

    Will the ATV tow the trailer with the firewood, or is it a bit risky doing that on those hills. What about using the front bucket on the tractor? With the 4-wheel drive, I'd guess you could get it just about everywhere on the property....or cut down a tree here or there, to get an access road to the downed trees. In a year or two, those trees you cut down, will be ready to be cut and split too. :-)

    Keep up the great pictures....

    1. We have already started working so more pictures will be posted each week if not more:)

      Believe it or not the vet never said to put Niki on a diet. Unfortunately all her inactivity has caused her to gain weight. I do have to cut her food.

      We sure do have some risky and scary areas on the property. The tractor is even scarier than the 4-wheeler. We may have to have our grader in one of these years to drag out some of the trees we can't get to. We still have plenty of trees that we can get to so that is good.

  5. I just have to say I love looking at your pictures, the land is so beautiful. I hope Niki is recovering well.


    1. Thank you so much fro writing in. That is sweet that you are wishing Niki well. She has improved but nit back to full recovery. I am very careful with her.

      Please continue to read my blog. I will be adding lots of pictures this spring and summer:)