Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tree Removal

 There it had stood for all the twelve years of our living at this address--a beautiful slim mountain ash (according to my husband) or white birch (according to me--but I don't know enough about trees to know who's right).  It didn't deserve to die.  I felt like a murderess.

This last winter had left several of its branches broken, including one that was too high to reach, even when using our highest ladder.  Also, a big low spot in our lawn had developed around its base, which made it difficult to mow the grass in that area.  So when Don asked if I thought we should just remove it, I said, "Okay."  Mind you, I had just got home from a nearly four hour walk to Provo and back and was not quite in my right mind, but my vote was the deciding one, so Don got out the skill saw and his bigger chain saw and went to work, lopping off limbs and then going into the trunk itself.  My job was to hold the rope taut so the tree wouldn't break in such a way as to damage the roof of our house nor knock Don off the ladder.  It came down just as we wished, and all that was left was the stump.

 We loaded all the branches into our utility trailer and cut up the top part of the trunk into logs for our wood pile.

That was on Thursday afternoon, April 25th.

I went out after dark and took a picture of the sad left-eye markings (like two half-faces, one above the other) dolefully looking at me with down-drooping mouths.

On Friday, Don cut a large circle of the sod into sections to be moved out until the stump could be removed.  On Saturday, he and I removed all the sod pieces and began digging down and cutting the roots.  A neighbor (Daylor Thompson) showed up with his shovel and helped us until lunch time.  We took an hour or so break and then finished up cutting all the big roots.  Don hooked the stump to his truck hitch using a chain.  He had me look carefully to see if it moved at all when he put the pressure on it, but it didn't.  So we dug and cut some more.  After awhile, the man in the red shirt (Kenneth) (whom we had never met) stopped and asked if we could use some help.  We tiredly agreed.  He had a bigger truck with a Geneva Rock logo on the side.  He said he had pulled out several stumps with his outfit.  We tried it with our chain, but it just broke a large bolt and bent a hook.  We decided to go ask Daylor if he had a larger chain.  I went over there and found that Daylor had a cable which he had used earlier this year to pull out his stump from a winter-damaged tree at his house.

Don had brought out our heavy duty chain, and they tried that first, but the result was that the stump tipped over and got some big gouges on the lower part, as you can see.  The next pull stripped a bunch of bark further up the stump.

After some deep discussion, they decided to wrap the cable around the roots section as well as the trunk.  A man walking from the store with his daughter, had stopped to watch, and I had brought them out a glass of lemonade.  We were all watching with baited breath, wondering what would happen next.

As you can see, it finally came out.  Don cut a lot of the roots off and Daylor and I removed more dirt from around it to decrease the heaviness.  Kenneth went back to his house to get a strong dolly, and we managed to roll the stump onto the dolly and wobblingly take it over to a city dumpster across the street by the park.  Fortuitously,  this had been left for a Springville city clean-up this weekend--one of those tender mercies you've heard about.
One of my neighbors saw me out shoveling dirt back into the hole and asked me if I was burying someone, as it looked like I was digging a grave.  Another told Don the next day that it looks like a meteor landed in our yard.  We are waiting till Monday to try to fill the area with enough dirt to make it more level and easier to mow.  
So now, here is what it looks like (from nearly the same point of view as the first photo, and during the same season of the year).   Was it worth it?    Well, I really do enjoy my view out my bedroom window where I can see more of the mountains now--but I still feel a little like a murderess.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Walk to Provo and Nearly Back Home Again

I went on a long walk yesterday on the fire road north to Provo.  Here are some of my favorite pictures:

 Please notice the beautifully green foothills,


              the two soaring hawks dancing above the clouds,

the tiny flowers nestled in the wild grass,

the new growth of lime-green leaves framing the sheer drop of the Three Sisters,


the look back at Sierra Bonita,

the fresh spring yard of someone who lives on 3rd South in Provo,

the intriguing rural gateway to farm sheds--it fronts busy urban State Street,

and the smiling happy walker.

Actually I wasn't smiling quite as much later; I was mostly limping most of the way home as my toes and knees were protesting all the miles.  A neighbor noticed me walking near the old Thorn construction property and swung around to come back and offer me a ride the rest of the way home.  I was delighted to accept.

When I got home, I found Don at the top of a tall tall TALL ladder, preparing to trim or cut down a tree in our front yard.  I spent the next couple of hours helping him to remove the tree.  Needless to say, I was feeling my age by the time we finished.

                                                 Still, it truly was a wondrous day.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

It is the day after the second Boston Marathon bomber was captured and taken to the hospital.  In one news article I read this morning, I found this quote: "The dilemma of evil is that even as it carries out its dark, sinister work, it always ends up strengthening good." Rev. Roberto Miranda at a prayer service in Boston

I was encouraged by these words, but began to think about the evil that all too frequently pervades our world.  I was caught up in the useless pondering on the "Why?".  Why would any human being do something so horrible to other humans?  Why would someone perpetrate such acts of violence on children, or the helpless elderly, or ANYONE?  I say "useless" because I can't think of an answer that would justify such evil acts, and it leaves me just aching inside.  Is Reverend Mirando right?  Do the evil acts in this world strengthen the good?  I hope so.  I hope something of value can be garnered from the pain and misery that evil brings with it--even if it's simply compassion or understanding a need for caution.  I think it does tend to make people want to reach out to those who are suffering. 

I find comfort in my trust in God.  I understand that He does not interfere with nor stop all inhumane actions.  His gift of agency leaves us with the need to learn to deal with evil and its consequences.  My trust is that He provides both mercy and justice when the world seems devoid of both.   Christ's atonement is of great power and virtue in helping us to find a "perfect brightness of hope" and to be able to care for those in need.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Changeable Weather

What a difference a day makes!  We went from short sleeves and sun to coats and snow almost literally overnight.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Less than the dust

 If only I were small enough--

 to swim in a sparkling dew drop dangling precariously from the petal of a pansy

to ride on the whisker of a wee gray mouse scurrying through long lush fieldgrass

to sit on a single dandelion umbrella and rise up and up and up and up

to stand on tiptoe and look close-up into the many-faceted eye of a fly

I was enjoying thinking about being almost miniscule and what things I would like to be able to do. Here's my challenge: What would you like to do, if only you were small enough?

Here is Michelle's answer:

If I were very, very small,
I would sit in a tulip and recall
 the things that fascinated me,
 like the whispering wind, and the buzzing of a bumblebee.
To dance in the wind with fairy wings,
and raise my voice to the babbling brook and sing.
But mostly what I love in this verse,
 is the fact that even though I am very, very, small-I feel god's presence in this universe.

Michelle Whitney

How fun. I would like to be in a structure that would protect me as I explored the inside of a body. I would ride through the thousands of miles of circulatory vessels. I would like to see a fertilized egg grow. I would like to see the white blood cells make their attack on pathogens.
Kirsten Weber

I would definitely have to say I would like to make SNOWANGELS in cake frosting!  I would be too small to be seen, and there for would not be mistaken for a bug;  HOWEVER, being eaten would be a definite risk.  I would have to be careful.  
P.S.  I guess that would definitely mean that it was not Snow Angels, but FROSTING Angels.  :) ;)
Cherranne Holm

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vacation with the Torgersens

What a great week I had at Oceanside with Jenae and Blake and Becky and Emily and Kaleb. These are some of my favorite shots.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Walk to Spanish Fork and Mapleton

It was a very gray day on Saturday when I walked from my house to Michelle's and then east to Mapleton and back home.

I was glad I had my camera with me.

This poem worked its way into my mind as I walked.


Quiet, softer glory gathers

when the world is gray—

soothing comforter that muffles

garish, hectic day.

Solemn, silent harmony

spreads over lonely space,

murmurs in receptive ear

whisperings of grace.

Becky Rosenlof
February 11, 2012