Mom and I traded weed eaters a couple of weeks ago. Mom had a Ryobi and I had a B&D and Mom could not adjust the Ryobi to use comfortably cutting down weeds. Mom bought the Ryobi to replace an old 18 volt B&D weed eater she loved to use. I traded with Mom my 20 volt B&D weed eater for the Ryobi and Mom was pleased as punch because she could work more comfortably and get more work done. I figured I could use the Ryobi with no problems as I have a few inches in height and better upper body strength. I adjusted the Ryobi for my height and set up the weed eater head at a better cut angle and I hated using the tool despite the fact it did cut weeds. The Ryobi is a heavier and bulkier tool compared to the B&D 20 volt weed eater and honestly the Ryobi is awkward to use to get at weeds around fences and in tight spaces.
For me the best recommendation for any tool is that you can’t wait to use it on the 3rd or 4th time doing the work. Don’t get me wrong, I really like most Ryobi tools and have many of the 18 volt hand tool family including 2 great spritzing water fans that are great patio/ animal cooling fans for summer. I suspect the Ryobi weed eater was designed for someone that is 5’8″ to 6 foot tall and needs to clear large patches of weeds rather than a gal wanting to clear out grass and weeds around her rose bushes.
True Value Hardware had a great deal on a 20 volt weed eater and blower for $60.00. I got my replacement weed eater, another air “sweeper” , with another battery and charger. Heck the battery and charger alone would have cost at least $30.00 on Amazon,so I’m happy with the price. I got out and used the weed eater today and it reminded me how much I like this tool. I could get in and clear out weeds and grass around my roses and not cut my fall “Mums” into oblivion. It was fun getting all those weeds cut down with the B&D.
I did a little work with the B&D “air sweeper” and it does an okay job blowing leaves away on the mulch path ways. One of the biggest problems with my corded leaf blower is it blows away everything. Leaves, mulch, small pets…. The B&D sweeper blows away most leaf clutter without blowing away much of the wood mulch. If you make wood mulch pathways you will need to replace the mulch every year or two.
Grill cleanup time: Do you grill? Have grates of the grill got a bit gunky in places your grill brush can’t reach? How about your “Self-cleaning” oven? Has it got a bit of goo stuck on from that last peach/apple cobbler or pie. This a great time to run the clean oven cycle on your oven and add all of your grill grates to the oven’s self-cleaning. Most self cleaning ovens hit over 500 + degrees F. for hours and simply burn off any food residue at high heat. Turn on your vent fan on low for any smoke and watch your oven burn your gill grates clean. After your grates are clean wipe down the grates with a high heat food safe oil. I use lard but peanut oil is a great food safe high heat oil.
Speaking about grills. I have moved my big charcoal grill under the patio cover and will be sanding and adding more heat resistant paint. This was about $200.00 grill. A bit cheap when you consider I need to buy at least a $500.00 grill to upgrade. Most “home” grills don’t have the head space to BBQ a 14-17 pound turkey and I love BBQ turkey! BBQ a turkey is easy. Brine the bird as it thaws for about 5 days. Use a mesquite chunk/lump charcoal and maintain about 300-350 degree F.heat for 3-4 hours. Rotate the bird for even cooking around 15-20 minutes and it is done. This is great job for the BBQ types that love watching meat cook and those that need to cook casseroles and pies have a “turkey free” oven space
BBQing a turkey is much safer than deep frying a turkey. Rather than buying a large bird. You can buy a couple of smaller birds and try out different brines and seasonings or add wood chips/smoke flavors. I could cook to smaller birds at the same time but no neighbors have asked me to cook their turkey : (
Burning poplar wood. I’m getting my poplar cut and split so no effort on my part to to process the wood. I know that poplar is considered a hardwood but, It really burns like a soft wood, best if you think about it as something like Doug fir rather than another hard wood wood like maple. I lived through a “chimney fire” as a kid and speaking for myself I always thought a cool “fire” was a good fire. Welp I was wrong! A hot fire burns cleaner with very little soot. Last year I dealt with a lot of ash, this year ash “so far” is almost non-existent. If it was last year, I would have dumped at least 2-4 ash buckets. This year I doubt I have an inch worth of ash in the wood stove after starting random daily fires.
I did get most of my wood early and it was stacked to dry quickly. I live in the west so we have lots of pine and fir forests. Very little hardwood for firewood. Poplar is an okay wood to burn comparable to Doug fir though less easy to split.
That is enough rambling from me today.