posted on Wednesday
Yup. Got me my cactus fork.
Got me my little hatchet.
And today, the juniper nursery and I gave each other a nervous hairy eyeball and faced off.
I like my little hatchet. Buh-bye, little trees!
Of course, I feel guilty. I always feel guilty, cutting trees. But in this case, they’re all clustered together so tightly that it’s not healthy anyway–I don’t see that growth pattern anywhere else in this area and I wonder if that land wasn’t disturbed somehow in the past.
And in this case, they’re right in the middle of my agility area, which is a vaguely L-shaped patch of mud and grama grass (now shorn of prickly pear) in the south pasture area, already formed around several large stands of juniper and pinon.
So…yeah. It’s me, my hatchet, and the juniper nursery. Besides, I’ll pick out some of the larger ones to stay around–appropriately spaced, too. I want to leave this gorgeous, fragile high desert land as healthy as possible (which is why DuncanHorse is currently closed in his paddock and not running loose on the wet, erosion-prone soil). The baby trees are already serving another purpose: dragged to the head of forming gullies, where they’ll slow the run-off.
When it comes to this sort of project, I tend to over-do it. For one thing, I’m using tools that mean something to me. This hatchet was my grandfather’s, and is older than I am. (And I swear I checked the handle before I started work. Really I did.) So working with it means more than just being out on the land, out in the quiet…out in my zen zone. It means thinking about my grandfather…thinking about the places and spaces in which I’ve used this hatchet over the years.
Besides. With me, it’s always just one…more…leetle…tree…
So maybe it’s a good thing that the hatchet head came flying off in mid-stroke. It’s certainly a good thing that I ducked the flying hatchet head.
Anyway, I got plenty done, but I didn’t over do it, and Yes! I still have a reflex or two left!
Anyone here have any favorite old hand-me downs?
(I was going to ask “anyone have any favorite old tools?” but a scared little voice in my head popped up and said, “No! Don’t do it!” and indeed, that seems wise after the back-scene responses I got to “cactus fork,” to which I can only say OW OW OW OW. You silly people.)
My mom and dads mantle chime clock given to them by my uncle, so everyone is remembered in the clock. I love hearing it strike and hate it when it needs repair. Fortunately I found a place that has clocks and fixes them. If I even have to evacuate the clock goes in the car right after the dog.
I love your mantle! (Or is it mantel… I’m always confused.)
My elbows winced reading this. (Both have tendonitis, probably from overdoing something or other…)
When I moved into this place, my folks gave me their old classic WeedEater, a model that came out, I think, in the 1970s. Still works like a charm. However, for heavier brush, I purchased a roaring gas engine trimmer in the fall. Vrrrooooom! 🙂
Peggy, we had one of those clocks! It never worked, though…it had wooden parts that kept it from being fixable. It was pretty much treasured anyway, though, so I know what you mean! Yours sounds wonderful…
Oh, Kristen, I hear you! I have a weedwhacker and a hard time using it because of my back/RSI issues. But once upon a time I cleared several acres of secondary growth with the BEST weedwhacker ever, kept the farm edges tamed–gas powered, saw blade tool…that thing was totally Tool Time…MORE POWER!
I *still* regret giving it up when circumstances required.
Actually one of my favorite things from long ago is the Revere ware double boiler. The pot itself was just the right size for the old wood cook stove. Lift the lid out and put the pot in the hole with a quart or so of water. As soon as the water comes to a rolling boil and drop in 3 heaping spoons of coffee and set it on the back of the stove to keep warm.
I still have the pot and have used it mainly for cooking rice, so it has been in more or less continuous use for about 65 years.
The hand saws I inherited along with the stanley planes are in my shop, seldom used these days. The axe that nearly severed my thumb when I was 11 years old is probably somewhere in my brothers barn.
Actually my favorite thing by way of tools was my dad’s pocket knife that someone stole many years ago. It was the same knife that saved his life out in the woods in Idaho, and no he didn’t fight a hungry bear with it.
I have some family tools, though the wonderful pair of pliers my mother made (yes, made!) was stolen after she moved up here. I still have the hammer and saw I was given at age seven (58 years ago) and a bit and brace that may have been my grandfather’s. My iron skillets are from childhood (from my grandfather’s hardware store.) A hatchet (not sure where it is.
I have my great-grandfather’s (or was it my great-great’s?) shaving mug and brush. The mug itself is very pretty. I should take a picture of it some day and post it on my blog… 🙂
One nice thing about using your grandfather’s hand axe–even though you get a new handle, it will still be the same axe. Be sure the wedge is driven firmly home when you replace that handle (although I am sure you did!).
The weird thing is, it’s still using the same handle and now it’s fine. That is, I decided to tap it back down and see about adding a screw to it. It tapped down very snugly and in fact wouldn’t even go down all the way, and now is quite tight.
I’m keeping an eye on it, of course…
Soon we may meet Mr. Mini-Mattock, and finding a handle for that one is turning out to be another story altogether.