Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Garden Yardin' Itchies

For years and years and years I would say that I'd get a handle on the yard this year. I would mean it, really, really mean it. And then things would come up and it would get put off -- oh, just for a day, because it's too cold to weed today; or it's just way too windy this week to get out there and wrestle with The Wilderness; or maybe next month because I'm feeling like hammered horse manure right now. Yes, this is how a yard and a house and a whole aspect of my life can get lost for close on to 12 years. I still think I had an out for about 6 of them, since giving birth to and raising three children in a close time frame will take the mickey out of nearly any mother. Still, the baby is turning 7 this year; I think that my motherhood is hard and time-consuming excuse has gotten fairly threadbare. It's still hard and time-consuming but it's easier to incorporate the Banshees into my projects, and when that isn't possible DBS and I have progressed to the point where I can commandeer parts of his weekend for child-care duties. I don't make him do yardwork; are you kidding me? That's one of his top 5 will-give-him-lethal-hives aversions. But when I tell him that without his help the knee-high grasses aren't going to get mowed this month and that will make me a very cranky mate, he has all the incentive he needs to pull out the duct, keep an eye on the offspring.

And so yard work has been getting done. It hasn't been getting done in my traditional grand-sweep gestures, with me ignoring the world's habit of turning while I hack and slash and bag and clean until everything is done and I can blissfully ignore it again. No, this year I made no intellectual I've had it decisions. I knew the yard needed to be weeded and tilled if I wanted to get a garden going; I've known for a great long time that my Tank Ducks needed to be given their own bachelors' quarters if I didn't want some of my female ducks mauled to death; I've known forever that there are plants to be pruned and moved and generally neatened up. And I was pretty much content with not doing any of it.

Then, about five days ago, just two days after I resolved that I was going to get two short fiction stories and a homeschool article written -- right after I give myself the sort of short deadline that is the only incentive that will make me get these things written -- I got up and sort of turned a hard left into the Twilight Zone. I threw together the Bachelors' Quarters, which involved repurposing an old trash trailer that had long ago seen the last of its traveling days, as well as moving some fencing so the guys couldn't go visiting any time they wanted to. I tackled the largish pile of old trees that DBS cut down last year, and since they're old and crunchy I thought this would be a great job for MB. Before I knew it all of the Banshees were out there helping me break twigs off of branches, and then break small branches into even smaller branch pieces and putting everything either in trash barrels or into a "Mom will get it later with a saw" pile. Nothing dramatic has been going on at all. Nothing. But it has been five days of very steady work; the only time I haven't worked on the yard is when family business interfered; banking, getting shoes for the Banshees (and admonishing them that they have to tell me when their shoes get too tight), minor supplies for getting more yard work accomplished. I took my bending table apart and leveled it; now all I have to do is get a level table-top on it and I'll be getting the ducks their new home in no time. I'll also be one step closer to accomplishing my fort (goodness, that really is going to need a name. Got any ideas? I'm partial to Fort Apache, as in Fort Apache The Bronx, but I could be argued out of it.) I also got yet another wood-working book, but in my defense this one has case-work in it and that's something I've been looking for for a while. That dream about building my own custom kitchen cabinets has not gone away, merely gone underground.

We're inside right now because we had to institute siesta rules; day two or three of my binge showed up with triple-digit heat. We can work until about noon, and then we'd better come inside and cool off until the outside chooses to do the same. Even so, I think there are good things to be said about this slow and steady vs. jackrabbit pace. So far I'm not burned out and I'm still looking forward to the next day's accomplishments. Yay! I might get the garden in this year after all.

But I still have to get those short stories written...alas, the earth still spins on a 24-hour day. Maybe after The Fort is built and the do not disturb sign is hung.

One can hope.

1 comment:

Bobbisox said...

How about burning the branches and wood in a firepit? Fun for the kids at night, marshmallows and cool drinks and nightime viewing of stars? That is much what we do with the wood. Then you have wood-ash for the gardens!