Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Paul Bunyan Goes to Work at the Quilters Cottage

The bigger they are the harder they fall...  That is how this story started.  The Quilters Cottage has two huge pine trees that suffered from pine disease and died.  It's too bad, because they were really beautiful trees.  Anyone who knows my husband knows that in a previous life, he was Paul Bunyan.  There's no tree to big or challenging for Randy!  He dropped the first tree between the evergreens, exactly where he wanted it, but the second tree proved to be a little more challenging.

Here's Randy (aka Paul Bunyan) sizing up his opponent.  The pine was BIG and twisted at the top.  The wind was from the south, so Randy was "pretty sure" it would drop in the ditch to the north...

 But, just to be sure, he parked his pick up far to the south.

Randy had me park the car to the north and stand on the edge of busy Highway 30 -- prepared to stop traffic in case the tree dropped in the highway.
 Before he started cutting, Randy sized it up again.  Because with that twist at the top, the tree could turn and fall where we didn't want it...
Our neighbor, to the immediate north, is Moores Portable Toilets.  If Randy was wrong, the tree could fall on the neighbors property and ruin a nice fence, couple of portable picnic tables and quite a few porta-potties...

And we want to be nice to the neighbor, cuz who know when we might need those porta-potties.

Okay, then, relatively sure that the tree would miss the porta-potties, Randy began his notch-cut.

(still not sure that it wouldn't fall in the highway)

It takes a big chainsaw to cut through a tree this size, and Randy had the right saw for the job.

But even with the biggest saw he had, Randy had to cut each side individually to cut clear through the tree.
Once he made the initial cut, about 3/4 through the tree, Randy cut above it to make a notch.  This is supposed to help guide the tree so that it falls the right direction, but of course, the wind continued to gust, so who knows....
On the backside of the tree was a large blight-blemish. Once Randy cut the notch, the bark along the blemish started to stretch. I could physically see the tree top start to turn and move. It was looking like the tree might twist and fall in the highway after all...

So Randy told me to get ready to clear the highway, and he made an emergency call to his good buddy, Randy Barry, who had an even better tool for the job...

Randy & Randy conferred about the project, while I stood in the highway...

With a little pressure from the payloader, the tree should fall on it's own...  Or does it need more help?

Yep! Even with the payloader giving it a little push, Randy needed to add a cut from the back side. This looked a little dangerous, but he couldn't hear me caution him with the ear protectors on.

CRASH!!!  The debris scattered as the tree crashed to the ground -- exactly where it was supposed to!  My work clearing the highway was over!  Phew!  That was a close one!


The two Randy's took some time to congratulate themselves on a job well done.

Randy Barry counted the rings on this historic tree.  As best he could count, the tree was over 85 years old.  He could see where the rings were close together during the depression.... 

The black areas are the disease that killed the tree.
But the job wasn't completely done yet.  Someone needed to clean up the fallen tree....

That's where I came in....  Now, I could have cut the wood and put it in a burn pile, but I had a more creative plan...

In a few short hours, I had a fun fort for the grand kids!

(and if you believe this ending, I have a fabulous barn I'd like you to invest in :-)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Look What's Quilting -- 11/1/12

Lisa Ulmer, Soldier pieced this modern quilt.  She found a quilting design online and asked us to load it for her quilt.  Spiral Squares was the perfect complement to this quilt.  When we got started, we didn't like the thread color, so we ordered in a new gray that was a perfect match.

Lisa pieced the quilt as a gift for her uncle.  Lucky guy.

The Hunt Begins

.Let the hunt begin!
On our way home from Quilt Market in Houston, Nancy Cook and I stopped in Wagoner Oklahoma at Crossroads Treasures.  We were in search of an iron chicken (seriously).  We never found our chicken, but owner Carol Hixon-Sherman helped us find these three treasures.

Now, you're probably wondering why we were looking for an iron chicken... 

That's a story for a future blog.....  Stay tuned!