We had 64 bags of leaves this year. 64! 15 of those were 39-gallon trash bags, and the rest were 30-gallon bags. Between Jen being sick and pregnant, she wasn't able to help much. She deadheaded and raked a bit, but most of it was me and the leaves; first on the weekend, and then each weekday morning. This is not my favorite aspect of being a homeowner. Last year our neighbors had offered to let us use their truck to get the leaves to the city's drop off center. This year, we thought we'd take them up on the offer, as well as help them with their leaves. Between their Avalanche, Jen's Maxima, and my Mazda 3, it took 3 convoy trips to drop off all the leaves. I had already been feeling a bit sick, but by the end of that, I was shot. I consigned the rest of my yardwork to the upcoming long weekend and played Batman and worked on my cookbook for the rest of the day.
Part of last weekend's yard festivities was dealing with the massive chunk of one of our cottonwoods that broke during the heavy snows we had recently. It was hanging up in the tree like a widowmaker, and I was going to have to rake underneath it in heavy winds. So Jen and I set about bringing the big boy down. We took one of Jen's 3-pound hand weights, tied a long rope to it and fruitlessly hurled it at the branch trying to hook it. After a break and some restrategizing, we finally got the limb hooked and we stood a long ways away and furiously tried to get the limb to fall. Seems like it would have taken more than a stiff wind to fell this puppy. Jen and I hauled away on it and finally got it to fall. It came down with many other chunks of tree that I now have to figure out what to do with. Supposedly cottonwood makes for lousy firewood. It doesn't cure well and puts out a lot of smoke. Great.
So next weekend starts with turkey and then dives into a steady amount of work: decorating, cookbookery, and daunting piles of yardwork. I will need a vacation from this vacation.