Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chainsaw Massacre

Here is the story I promised. But first....let me show you how I easily reused an ugly heat vent cover.

I had saved the vent cover that was used before we started demo. I didn't save it with the intent to reuse it. I was actually going to bring it to Padnos with a bunch of other scrap metal to recycle. When I came across it while cleaning the garage, I put it aside knowing we have a very tight budget. And I've had a hard time finding covers to other vents because the ones that were in here before were a weird size and very ancient.
 Only recently did I finally get our sink cabinet in place.

 If you look carefully you can see the cutout at the bottom of the cabinet for the heat vent.

This is what the cover looked like before I scrubbed it and spray painted it. I had the spray paint on hand.
 Pretty gross, right?
And after.
 Here is the opening.
 And it fits perfectly. Now I just need to find a couple of screws to hold it in place.

 Sorry, poorly lit pictures.

Scott and I have been wanting to cut down some big, ugly pine trees in our yard. We decided now was as good of time as any. So we got out the chainsaw and went to work.

 These things are massive.
Here is a picture of Jayce standing next to one to give some perspective.

 We started with the biggest but easiest tree. We knew that no matter which direction it fell it would be okay. But we were aiming for it to fall away from the house.

Our neighbor even came over and gave us some tips and helped us a little.  He gave us an axe type thing that he said we could use as a wedge to persuade the tree to go the way we wanted. The tree was actually leaning the way we didn't want it to go. But Scott took a big divot out of the side we wanted it to fall to. Then he went to the other side and cut down towards the divot. Then he pounded in the wedge with a sledgehammer.

Our neighbor suggested he cut all the limbs off around the bottom so that he had more than one way to get out in case the tree fell a different way than planned. Good idea. We took his advice.

The tree went the way we expected and we felt successful. We were sweaty and tired and thought we would be done. But then we changed our mind and decided to cut down the second tree. Big mistake.
Here is tree number one after some branches have been removed.

 What you can't see in the picture up above with the two red X's is that the tree on the right has power lines running next to it.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

The second tree was also leaning the way we didn't want it to go. But no big deal, right? We were able to prevent the first one from falling the way it was destined. We could do it again!

Scott made the same cuts. We put in the wedge. We faced a few more challenges. If it fell the wrong way, it fell right on the power lines. It would also come very close to our neighbors newly built shed.

My stomach hurt. We kept inching our way. We wondered what was still holding it upright. We had practically cut all the way through. Then it creaked and went a couple inches the wrong way.

Oh. My. Goodness.

The only thing keeping it from falling were the wedges (yes, we added another one) we put in. We took a break. We discussed what we should do. I thought about throwing up.

Scott found a rope, climbed a ladder (not leaning on the tree at all), and tied a rope around a branch in the middle. We needed to get higher but that was as high as we could get. We needed help. But instead, we charged on ahead. Silly, silly us.

I stood out of reach of the tree with the rope in my hands as Scott hammered the wedge and chainsawed some more.

And then it happened. A big creak. He came running to me to help pull the rope. But it was no use. It did a little spin and fell smack dab on top of the power lines. I watched helplessly as it bounced on them once and came down again snapping the top of the power line pole that was out near the woods right off. Have you ever had one of those moments when an event in your life feels like a movie scene. It didn't feel real. But it was, sadly.

We went in and called Consumers Energy. They arrived within 15 minutes.
Here is a bunch of pictures from the event.

Scott was also battling hornets while trying to cut down this tree. We discovered the nest halfway through. Scott is not a fan of any kind of bee. Let's just say we weren't too worried about the hornets once the tree finally fell.

We found out later the wire was over 7,000 volts. This is what it was doing every time the tree brushed against the wire. The tree needed to be trimmed a long time ago. I guess we took care of that problem.

And of course it didn't just take out our power. It took out all the houses around us too. We had neighbors coming over to congregate and chat about our folly while the men worked to restore the power.

So embarrassing.
The power came back on....about four hours later.

So what we thought was saving us money will wind up costing us who knows how much in the end.

 The End.

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