Cannot Believe the Cost, and Dead Ash

My old Kent of London natural bristle hairbrush that I’d had since 1965 finally died.  No, none of the bristles fell out, but a crack that had developed in the handle near the bristles finally snapped when I was combing the hair strands out of it.  I loved the half round design.  Long, straight hair never got caught on the backside like it did with a full round brush.

To my dismay, the least expensive replacement I could find for that brush, in the same style, with natural bristles, cost a good four times what an ordinary hair brush costs.   Would have cost six times as much if I’d had one imported from the UK, and probably have been held up in customs for a couple of weeks, even with the proper paperwork provided by the seller.

On to the dead ash.  Ash borers have been a big problem in the past few years, and many of us with huge ash trees on our properties are having to deal with dead trees.  Ash trees in this part of the country are probably as numerous as black walnuts or maples.  The good news is that they make nice firewood, lumber, and for those so inclined, rustic outdoor furniture such as benches or tables.

We have a saw mill, and a planer, so when our next door neighbor who owns a Bed & Breakfast on a farm down the road wanted one of his dead ashes removed, he called us to let us know we could have it for free, provided we hauled it off.  Not a problem using our big trailer that has a winch on it, once the tree trunk is cut into sections that are no longer than 18′ each, preferably shorter, though.

But, it gets better than that.  The guy bought the property adjacent to his B&B a few months ago, and has been rehabbing it.  So, he’s interested in buying ash lumber from us.  What it amounts to is that if we cut and plane the lumber to his size specs, he’ll buy it from us.  It’s kind of a win-win, because maybe we won’t be making a boatload of money from it, but it will keep my husband out of my hair while he does stuff outdoors that he really enjoys doing, anyway, and our neighbor gets lumber for less than market price, since he provided the raw material in the first place.  I think our neighbor’s plan is to finish rehabbing the place, then rent it out to a long term tenant, rather than renting it as part of the B&B.  AFAIK, it’s a four bedroom house on ~2 acres, so it’s not quite like renting out a 1-2BR cottage, separate from the main house B&B.

What I love most about this neighbor is that even as a business owner who employs a caretaker for his 10 acre B&B property, he’s so hands-on that most of the time we see him, he’s dressed like any other farmer.  Once in a while, he’s dressed up in a tux for a wedding at his B&B, but it’s not really his style.  Over the years, we’ve traded favors, from letting him borrow one of our trailers when his was out of commission, to him letting us borrow his tractor when ours were OOC.

Great neighbors are such a blessing.  If we have a lousy neighbor, I’ve never met him/her, and I’d sort of like to keep it that way.  The only neighbor who was briefly suspect was one who thought my husband was illegally deer hunting, without a gun or bow.  *eye roll*  Nope, he was out looking for a missing survey marker in the woods between our properties.

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