Friday, October 28, 2011

What I Did On My Day Off

"Do You Like Your Present?"

.....On the balance, it beats pure-dee hell outta my past. As it turned out, that wasn't Tam's question; I stumbled home right past a very fine leaf vacuum sitting in the garage. Bright red it is, too -- I must'a been tired.

When I awoke, it was later Wednesday, I had a rare midweek day off, and there was rain and rumors of rain all around, but none on us yet. I threw clothes on, grabbed up the device (electrically-powered it is, even) and went vac-ing leaves.

Tam was out pretty quick to catch up and explain the collection bag has a strap and ought to be slung from it, lest it rip out upon the ground. The thing makes rapid work of piles of leaves, like nothing you ever saw, though it's not very fond of twigs or wet leaves.

It will also, I eventually discovered, inhale leaves off the flowerbeds. Great, right? Mostly. See, the collection bag is a coarse weave; this means that though the clever widget sucks up dirt, too, it then sprays it right back out, finely divided, all over you, the house, whatever. Mustn't waste dirt!

So, oh well, I vaccumed the outside wall of the house with my little shop-type vac, went inside and poured the contents of my neti pot through my sinuses twice (still a little muddy on the second potful!), went back out and cleaned out the gutters (manually, they were packed tight with leaves), then washed the clothes I was wearing twice; first time through, the rise water was deep charcoal gray.

But dang! --We've got more leaves up than ever before at this time of year, and quicker, too. I'm sold; I'll just have to rake the flowerbeds. It's good exercise, you know.


JohnMXL said...

I've had an electric leaf blower / vacuum / shredder for some time and it works about as well as yours - especially the bit about twigs and wet leaves.

I've about convinced myself to purchase a slightly larger gasoline powered unit when this one finally draws its last vacuum...dragging a heavy gauge extension cord around my yard is getting tiresome, plus I think it would be more efficient to convert the hydrocarbons to work directly rather than paying to have the utility convert them and send them to me by wire.

Roberta X said...

Yes, but you lose stealth; this thing is quiet enough, the leaves never know it's there until too late! ;)

JohnMXL said...

I think my swearing every time the impeller plugs up gives my position away...

Besides...running a gasoline powered shredder-vacuum when I get home from work will be a nice payback for the neighbor that insists on running hers during the day when I'm trying to sleep!

DaddyBear said...

The chopped up leaves and such make excellent compost. We mixed up our leaf confetti in the garden beds last fall, and it pretty much disintegrated into the soil by spring.

russell1200 said...

Daddy Bears idea on the composting is good. Keeps the leaves from turning into thatch.

In the Carolinas are grass is still growing, so you can put on the bag attachment and mow/rake that way. The advantage of that is that the leaves are chopped up and mixed with the nitrogen from the grass: excellent composte.

Gewehr98 said...

My dad takes all the leaves from his 5-acre spread, collects them, burns them in a bonfire, then turns the ashes into his veggie garden before planting. S'posed to be good for the garden, evidently.