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Monday, September 27, 2010

Birthday Present Makes Good

My birthday, which is not for another couple of weeks, is always a time for getting something I need, rather than for fun stuff.  The first of my birthdays spent with Steve, and which occurred shortly before we got married, I wanted a set of Felco secateurs, which I got.  They were the astronomical sum of forty dollars, and Steve's friends thought he was getting off mighty easy for only forty dollars.  Last year was my fiftieth, and I tried to want a piece of jewelry to commemorate it.  I even looked at some in the various and sundry catalogs that wind up here, and couldn't get excited about them. You want to know what I wound up with to commemorate my fiftieth birthday?

A manure fork.  I had a compost pile to move, and I needed the fork,  so that's what I got.

This year is not going to be much different, only this year's present is way cooler than a manure fork.  This year I wanted and got an electric chipper/shredder.  It came last week, and Steve put it together for me Saturday and I shredded the dickens out of the bush clippings I had.  The idea is to reduce the size of that stuff so that it will compost more quickly.  Here's a before picture of how much I had to do:


And an after picture of the pile reduced by shredding:


Reviews of the roughly three electric chipper/shredders were all roughly the same, except that I didn't consider the Patriot CSV-2515 because it costs almost nine hundred dollars, but the others that were roughly the same size and price had roughly the same reviews, so I left the decision as to which one up to Steve.  True to form, he picked the cheapest, the 14 amp Eco-Shredder from Amazon.  It worked really well.  They tell you not to force a lot through it at once, but I think that's common sense.  We all want to get chores done quickly, but since you can't cram a lot down a garbage disposal, it makes sense that you can't cram a lot down the shredder.  You also can't feed it wet stuff, which also makes sense.  Basically, you don't want to do anything or put anything in it that will jam it or gum up the works.  I also really like the fact that it's electric, like all the rest of our gardening power tools.

I expect that this shredder and I will be doing gardening chores together for a long time.

13 comments:

becky3086 said...

OH I want one too! I get these types of things for my birthdays and Christmas too. I just can't waste money on jewelery.

Paula said...

I wear a pair of very small white gold hoops that barely clear my earlobes which we got in Kaiserslautern, Germany, which is where Steve grew up, during World Cup in 2006. They've been in my ears steadily for a few years now. That, and my plain white gold wedding band are the only jewelry I wear.

Now- dangle a power tool in front of me, and I start salivatin'....

becky3086 said...

LOL, I got a cordless circular saw for one of my Christmas presents last year!

Nina said...

Watch out for string or stringy weeds in those shredders. Not sure where it came from but it ended up stalling and burning out the motor in mine. But then again it was a pretty cheap piece of machine. It cost all of $2 (only because I didn't have the change for 1.50) when I found it on the curb at the end of a yard sale. The hopper was cheap plastic and it was only strong enough for leaves - but it did a great job on those!

Grandpa said...

Paula, I don't drop by often enough, I'm missing a lot of good stuff here...

They are so very functional - you and your hubby are very sensible people I see. I own two secateurs - one from US (Craftsman) and the other from France. They seem to last a lifetime. Bought many before - made in china/taiwan - didn't last very long. Happy Birthday!

Paula said...

Nina- thanks for the warning- I'll be aware of that going forward. Good advice!

Grandpa- (that seems so strange to me- I haven't called anyone Grandpa since 1965) thanks for the birthday wishes! I think it's my sensibleness and the fact that I don't spend time at the mall for entertainment purposes that inspired my husband to marry me.

Becky- you're a girl after my own heart!

Miriam said...

Oooh, cool tools! Looks like a great birthday present to me. I'm with you when it comes to practical gifts over decorative ones. What better way to celebrate another year in an interesting life than with a manure fork or chipper/shredder?

Heather said...

My birthday was yesterday and I got an air compressor and a brad-nailer. :o) YAY! I've got my eye on a manure fork.

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Let's start the Hayseed Birthday Club. This year, I got a shotgun, you got a chipper/shredder, and Jen got a sheep. Kate at Living the Frugal Life got something in the same vein, but I can't quite remember what it was.

Equipment, power tools, livestock -- now that's what celebrations are made of.

Paula said...

Miriam- I tend to agree with you that celebrating another year with something more practical that you'll use a lot is a better way to celebrate. I think it says something about how you live that life.

Heather- VERY cool! I would LOVE an air compressor and a brad nailer! I would so blow through some of the projects that I've yet to tackle.

Tamar- Hayseed Birthday Club it is- that's a great idea. Equipment, power tools, livestock- I'd take any one of those items happily!

becky3086 said...

The first year I needed a vaccum and told him so and he said,"I can't buy you a vaccum. What do you really want?" I said I want a vaccum. Why not? He thought the same thing that he had to buy me jewelery or something. After 13 years, he gets it now though.
Eww, a mall. My daughter-in-law asked to go there for her birthday. She had a great time but the rest of us were so bored, the only store we went in was the bookstore.

Toni aka irishlas said...

Oh my word! I'm so behind on commenting on your blog!

We bought a chipper/shredder after the first year of being here and boy, do I ever love it! I did learn to not put anything viny in it. Just makes a bloody old mess of a clog!

You will love this machine! I don't have to tell you all the benefits of owning one of these babies!

A very late Happy Birthday!

jules said...

Oh this is just up my alley. We mostly get each other practical gifts for birthdays and holidays too. Hmmm, maybe one year my DH will get me a wood splitter. Ya think? I think I may be a secret member of the HBC.