Thursday, June 2, 2011

Yard Work.

So, I'm still unemployed, going on 6 weeks now. It's certainly not for lack of trying. Those of you who have been in this situation understand the anger and hopelessness that start to set in, not to mention those few pounds that show up because you're not running up and down the office hall trying to put out everyone's little fires.

The other night after supper, I was in the kitchen making a piece of jewelry. Mister asked, "Are you okay?"

"No," I replied.

"What's wrong?"

"You mean besides feeling like a total failure and a beached whale?"

He sighed and paused for a moment, then said, "Why don't you come out and help me cut some trees?"

Not really the response I wanted, but I acquiesced to his request, and dressed myself for Yard Work. You have to understand, Yard Work isn't something I've ever done much of. Sure, we've had vegetable gardens in the past, and I've planted tulips and sunflowers before, but that's pretty much it. Our landlords are in their 70s now, though, and aren't up to doing much landscaping maintenance anymore, so we're trying to take care of things.

We had so much rain this spring that weeds and other overgrowth sprang up seemingly overnight. The azalea bushes were being overtaken by hackberry seedlings, and the side flowerbed that normally sports irises, peonies, and a rosebush was covered in some weed that looks like a parsley on steroids. An ambitious and determined Virginia creeper was creeping across the side porch and about to creep onto the door. Clearly, there was much Yard Work to be done.

Mister gave me the giant pruner and I got started on the extraneous growth around Azalea #1. He showed me how to use the electric hedge trimmer to shape the bush (you 12 year-olds can stop snickering anytime), and I was on my way.

Prune, trim, prune, trim. Hey, here's an oak seedling - so sorry you can't stay. Bye-bye. And you brambles, you definitely have to go. Don't be wantin' no brambles around here. Sampson the Giant Puppy alternately laid quietly on the sidewalk or stalked the grass for unsuspecting cicadas. Then Mister said, "Hey, this one has a bird's nest in it."

Sure enough, among the leaves of Azalea #2 was a nest with two brand new tiny pink featherless baby birds. This little discovery made the whole foray into Yard Work worthwhile. We decided to leave Azalea #2 alone till the fuzzheads leave the nest.

We made a lot of progress together in one evening. Next morning, I went out for awhile before it got too hot and started in on the overgrown flower bed. That evening after supper, we both went out again for some more hack & slash. I finished the flower bed, uncovering the myriad irises, the peony bush, and the rose bush, which had to be trimmed waaaaaaay back and freed of a brambly vine I think is a morning glory. Did I mention I hate brambles?

The next morning, I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. In spite of practicing yoga (although clearly not enough!), I was sore. Really sore. But the yard looks so much better now, and hey! We have baby birds.

Maybe this Yard Work thing isn't so bad after all.

Till next time ---

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