Sunday, July 26, 2020

Gandolf Becomes an Ambulance

Disclaimer! This blog may contain some graphic images of raw carnage. If you are squeemish or faint at the sight of gore (and I'm not talking about Al) (that was a joke) please stop here and have someone with a strong constitution read it to you. You have been warned.

When last we left you Gandolf needed new tires. He did get some and he is very happy about it!

We are at the mercy of our builders as the rollercoaster of building this house continues its ups and downs. What I mean is this. We waited for a while to get the shell up. We were excited to see some progress, but then things slowed down again. So the waiting game begins again. We are doing what we can in the meantime as we wait for something else to happen.

Lisa has some ideas of what she wants the inside to look like. One of the things she does is search the Marketplace universe for things that we could use. One of the things she found was some cedar boards (70 twelve foot boards in fact). Tongue and grooved and full of character. They have been in a barn since the 60's or 70's and they have never been used. She also has an idea of where those boards are going to go so I then prepared the parts of the walls for the tongue and groove.

Since this building isn't like your typical house construction, things are different.
Since this is more of a pole barn type of construction I had to make some modifications to how some things would work. Normally they would just attach steel siding to the boards that run horizontally and be done with it. Since we want tongue and groove cedar there going horizontally I had to use 2X2 boards  running vertically so that I would have something to nail the cedar to. The board by the hammer doesn't have the 2X2 on it and the one behind it does. It then makes everything flush for the next phase.That wall between the barn and bungalow will be 10 to 12 inches thick once it is all said and done.

Mowing is always a job that needs to be done so that helps keep us busy. I had cut down some trees along the side of our road because they were just too close. I didn't have time to remove them the day we rented the stump grinder so we decided to finally cut them down with a chainsaw.

Disclaimer time again. Some images may not be suitable for everyone.

Cutting a stump with a chainsaw is hard. You have to get it low to the ground and then you are likely to cut dirt and gravel which really dullens the saw, making it much harder to cut. We had about 20 to 25 stumps to remove and things were going well. Confidence was high. One chainsaw chain went dull, so I replaced it with another. We continued cutting until that one went dull. Now on our third chain and only 3 very large stumps left. Then that project would be in the books.

That's when everything went wrong and it went wrong very fast. I was cutting the stump and struggling. Lisa was there to help push the stump away so that the weight of the stump wasn't resting on the blade. How it happened is unclear but somehow I hit Lisa's leg with the chain saw. GASP! I know. This turned into the scariest day of my life.

I heard her scream "OH NO!" and saw her fall backwards onto the ground. I saw the blood instantly as she grabbed her leg. It was not spurting which was good but it was oozing a lot. We jumped into the Ranger and sped off to the barn to get the pickup(Gandolf). We didn't have time to wait for an ambulance because we were 10 to 15 miles away from the hospital. Lisa found a hoodie in the back seat and placed it over the wound and applied pressure. I drove like hell to get her to the ER. 

Surprisingly though, she was very calm during the whole ordeal. That was good because it helped me stay calm. We got to the hospital and they brought her into a room. I parked the truck and by the time I got back there they had it all cleaned up and were waiting for the PA to look at it.
Once you take all of the blood away it didn't look that bad. I am so glad that it wasn't deep. She said that she saw the saw coming toward her and had started moving away so that helped. The nurse reassured us that it would be okay. WHEW! I felt terrible knowing that I had caused that. The PA came in and started stitching it up. I watched. I thought I would be queezey with it but I found it rather fascinating. 9 stitches and she was good to go.
The reason that I shared all of this is that I hope we all can learn something from it. Were we complacent? Maybe. Were we tired? I know I was. Cutting stumps is a lot of work. We learned that we really need to have a first aid kit around. They are called accidents for a reason. You have no idea when or where they will happen and we were not prepared. Thank God it wasn't more serious.

After the incident you always have the what ifs?  What if it was deeper? What if I cut an artery? What if I can't get the blood out of the seats of the Ranger and the pickup? And most importantly, what if she wrecked my chainsaw? (That was a joke) 

Lisa is doing great and is enjoying her recliner. 

Please no lectures. I have lectured myself in my head already. I just want you to know I did not wake up that morning and say to myself, "I think I will cut Lisa's leg with a chainsaw and see what happens".

Stay safe out there and if you see me with a chainsaw, run for the hills. (That was a joke. You can just walk briskly because I am slow) (Again, another joke)


  1. The part that those home shows on HGTV don't show ya. Hope Lisa is feeling better and hasn't kicked you out :)

    1. How can you get better if you don't practice your chainsaw juggling?

  2. lucky,those can do some as you can see. You went from a stump cutter to a nurse now👍🏻 Take care Lisa,don’t fire him😂

    1. It was a scary situation. From now on I chainsaw alone.

  3. glad you’re okay Lisa. Years ago I was using a chainsaw on a steep hillside and slipped, had removed my finger from the trigger but the chain hadn’t fully stopped and I cut thru my pants but luckily didn’t touch my leg. My fear has always been an out of control broken chain.
    Stay safe and healthy!

  4. Oh, man...we feel really bad for both of you, Dino. I am sure you are kicking yourself over it. On our build, a friend of ours looked me square in the eye and insisted I be careful, as “this project comes to a screeching halt if you get hurt”. I think about it all the time as I pull my 62 year old bones up three sections of scaffolding. Here’s to a safe build for you guys from here on out. No lectures from this peanut gallery, other than a suggestion to watch that her leg doesn’t get infected. Take care, J&D

  5. Whoa!! I’m do glad she’s ok!!! 9 stitches, yikes! I’m sure you’ll take wonderful care of her! Heal well Lisa!!
    PS. I hear Coke works well to remove blood from trucks but I haven’t had to try it. Yet.

  6. soo sorry for you too ,Dino, I know it was an accident and I thank the Lord also that it wasn't worse, take good care of your patient !

  7. And here I thought I was in trouble. I am glad she is okay but you did not have to do that to get the pressure off of me. You would have better off calling her an animal name or something!

    1. I need a new chainsaw helper. Is Barb available? It's part of my grand scheme of things. You are already convinced I can't do manual labor because of my ailments. Now if someone needs help with cutting down trees, they may think twice about it. Win-win.