We have so much going on that sometimes we forget to pause and show the progress that we have made, so I thought I would write an update on the wood house and yard progress and adventures.
Britton spent the good part of three days inside the wood house getting rid of all the personal belongings of the previous owner. It was so strange how the house was left: like a time capsule dating back to fall 2001. Dishes were still in the sink, bed in the bedroom, hangers in the closet, and lots and lots and lots of old movies, tapes and books. I tried to salvage a few of the books, but many of them were toast.
A few books I have salvaged
They had either been chewed (and/or peed) on by the rats, had lizard eggs in them, had ended up in a pile of bat guano or were just completely grimy and gross…especially for Britton because he was inside the nastiness.
The kitchen was/is by far the worst. The rats had made their homes in the dead fridge and stove that we had disposed of earlier, but they had also made holes into the drywall too. We tried rat traps, but they (or the ants) just simply ate the bait. Kitty has helped a little with the rat problem, but we will probably just have to pull off all the drywall and wood boards anywhere we know they are living.
As Britton was working inside (with mask, gloves and bottles of bleach) he said it was just disgusting. Once as he was tossing all the junk into one of the big black plastic contractors’ bags, he pulled what he thought was another handful of books and things and looked down to see a mummified rat in his hands. Yuck!!
So I couldn’t argue too much with him when he said he just wanted to throw nearly everything away and start fresh.
About ten bags of trash were hauled out
We have also made some good progress on the yard. Since we have the motivation to plant our new fruit trees and plants, we have to clear out more of the jungle below. I generally work with the pruners and Britton with the machete, trimmer and saws. We have cleared a path all the way down to the edge of the property and have a small path into the lower part of the ravine too. We have planted about half of the trees so far.
Side of hill (mostly) cleared and planted
Making progress beyond the gate a ways
We also made a huge discovery (at least to us).
We thought we had lost the piña mango tree to all the growth, but as we were clearing away the jungle we came across another cement block that we had used to remind us where we had planted things. We found that what we had thought was the corazón was actually the piña mango and that THIS tree was our corazón! It has grown a lot more than the mango in the two years since we planted it. We were so happy to find it! It was like finding hidden treasure.
Corazón tree is about 5 feet tall now!
We both enjoy being out in the yard, though I still haven’t learned my lesson about suiting up with pants and shoes as Britton does. I don’t think I’ve worn long pants since I’ve left Colorado and I don’t really want to. We’ll see how many ant piles I have to step in before that changes
Ant pile in an old tree stump
I also had an attack of sorts in the jungle. I heard a bee buzzing around my head as I chopped vines and small trees with the loppers. Then I felt the tell-tale bumping through my hat. The bee was warning me to leave! I didn’t want to yell and make a big deal out of it so I just ran off, but the bee kept bumping me. I threw off the hat to try and confuse the bee. Britton looked up from what he was doing and looked at me like I was crazy. “What is wrong with you!?” All I could muster was “Get it!” and I tried to get around Britton, but I got caught in the trip-wire vines and slipped smack! flat on my face. I just laid there for a few minutes until perplexed Britton finally figured out what had me all mussed up. The guard bee then started buzzing into Britton so we decided to call it a day at that point. The slip and the bumps were more than we needed. We didn’t need a killer bee stinging attack too!
Most of the time, however, our yard work is peaceful and enjoyable. We go out when there is a bit of cloud cover and listen to music. Kitty often sits with us and watches out for rats and lizards. Really, we love it here, adventures and all.