May 16, 2005

And then, I dug holes!

Sorry for the abrupt ending on the last post.

But there come moments in a person's work life that just cause one to have to take a moment and reflect.

I don't want to discuss it here--it's too personal even for a relative blabbermouth like me--but I will say this: if I ever hear another liberal blow wind about how kind and compassionate and inclusive and thoughtful and empathetic and benevolent all liberals are, you will come uncomfortably close to having every single negative stereotype you might have ever held about openly-heterosexual Bible-thumping gun-toting conservative white Southern men fulfilled. Frankly, there's enough hypocritical idiocy to go around, and your voting record or the color of your skin doesn't magically make you incapable of being just as much of a narrowminded weasel as the guy on the other side of the fence.

So, I don't care who you are or what you look like--if you're going to put on that cloak of moral superiority, you better learn to treat people right, or God's gonna give you the beat-down you deserve.


SO, I was washing the wheels on the van, and decided it wouldn't hurt a bit to see if the spray would work on the Volvo wheels. Which have those ugly flat "aerodynamic-style" hubcaps with the little vanes on the edges. I popped them off the driver's side and spritzed, and...well, not much. Twenty years of caked on brake dust is a bit of a bear to get off. I sprayed them and even gave them a bit of a scrub, but this is going to be much more of a job than the van wheels were. But, no matter. While the chemicals were working, I also cranked it to let it run and then did some more checking of wiring and fluids and such like, and cleaned a little more grime off the engine. (I like cleaning.)

It's also a convenient way to avoid digging holes.

But not really a way to eliminate the possibility entirely, which only death seems to be a sufficient excuse.

SO, to the backyard again. Got my posthole diggers, grabbed a couple of rose bushes, and started hurting myself.

We live on top of a hill; a hill made mostly of sandstone and clay. Sandstone and clay are pretty hard, and won't grow grass, so the developers of the neighborhood were kind enough to add a thin layer of topsoil on top of the hard, hard sandstone and clay. Which is fine for yards, but when you want to dig a hole to plant several bushes, it is a bad thing. CLANG. CLANG. OOMPH.


Time to get out the pick. I hate having to use the pick. It's not a cool tool like a posthole digger, and it's hard to use it with any grace, and it's just plain hard to use, because it means that there's something hard underneath it that probably shouldn't be disturbed.

Three rose bushes, two azaleas, one hydrangea, and I felt like I had been hit repeatedly with a pick. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!

Time for the last little bit of stuff--fixing some potting soil for Ashley's seeds. We already had some long planting trays, so that was nice--nothing to go buy. Sat down in the rocking chair and proceeded to mix up several bags of material in a big pot, poured it into the six long trays, and then, the ordeal of planting.

This required that I get down at the level of the planters, which were sitting on top of the patio. I somehow managed to get all the way down and sat next to them, although it would have been much easier with one of those little garden scooters old people like to use to roll around on. Tore open each package and carefully arranged the seeds, then covered them up, then gave them a drink.

Finally. Finished.

Well, except for cooking the pork chops. Reba did volunteer to wirebrush the grill for me, which was very nice, but she's a little too girly to give it the manly scrubbing that it truly deserved. Then again, by the time the day was over, I wasn't feeling very manly either, which I think explains why there seemed to be a little too much rusty grit left on the meat when it came off the fire.

Supper, birthday cakery with much singing and candle-blowing-outitude, shower, bed.


Dream of weevils, and inexplicably, the newspaper.

Wake, get ready, get kids up, answer call at thirty minutes before time to leave from one of the teachers saying she couldn't make it this morning, and oh, could you find someone to cover for me?

::sigh:: Yes.

Got to church, taught Boy and Middle Girl and some others that sometimes the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, worship--which was very good with few distractions this week, then off to the other side of the county for lunch with Ashley's grandparents, then back to, where else? WAL-MART! Yea! Had to get some shampoo for Miss Reba, because she picked up conditioner the day before instead of poo, and had to return a present for Boy so he could get what he really just had to have (Pokemon Emerald Version for GameBoy!) and I got a giant box of Stanback to keep in my desk drawer for days like today.

On back to church, meeting, discuss all kinds of important things, evening worship--in which I struggled mightily to stay awake. It was a losing battle. (The old spirit/flesh thing, I suppose.) Home, supper, go get gas in Reba's car, bed.

And now? Why, as my friend down in the computer department says, "Just another day in paradise!"

Indeed so!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at May 16, 2005 02:49 PM

A post that brings to mind many questions (not least of which is why certain people you live with in bliss can't fill their own gas tanks), but this is the one I'd actually like answered.

Since when did Emeril get into videogames? And why Pokemon? Does he fry up the little yellow critter?

Sometimes I'm glad I have girls.

Posted by: skinnydan at May 16, 2005 03:02 PM

Oh, she can fill it just fine. But sometimes it's better to have a man around to do it.

That does sound rather risque.

As for Emeril, I saw that about five minutes after I posted it--since fixed--EMERALD Version! Silly me. Hit reload and maybe it'll be updated by now.

AS FOR THE LITTLE YELLOW CRITTER--silly Dan, that's Pikachu! "Pokemon" is the whole vast panoply of cloyingly precious pseudoanimals. (And is a contraction of the Japanesey term "Pocket Monsters," the original name of the things. And yes, it sounds rather risque as well.)

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 16, 2005 03:16 PM

So are post hole diggers better for digging holes for plants than your average shovel? Or do you have to use such strong implements merely because of the hardness of your soil?

Justin is going to be using a post hole digger in a few days -- for actual posts. He's not looking forward to it and is considering renting an auger. Any excuse to use machinery, I guess.

Posted by: Jordana at May 16, 2005 04:28 PM

They're better sometimes if you don't have a lot of room to maneuver, or as you say, if the soil's a bit stiffish. In this instance, the ground wasn't just stiff, but solid, which made it a good thing it was out in the open so I would have enough room to swing a pick. The shovel was useless.

If you've got any hard soil, and intend on digging more than two or three holes, I would recommend renting an auger. Sometimes excuses are perfectly reasonable, you know.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 16, 2005 04:41 PM

He's got four holes to dig, so I think his excuse is perfectly valid. He borrowed a post hole digger from someone at church to try first. But before any of that, we have to have someone come out and make sure we aren't planning to dig right through any lines or pipes.

Posted by: Jordana at May 16, 2005 05:13 PM

Very good advice--the line locator guys do it for free, and they are usually very conscientious about getting it done quickly. The last thing you need is a severered gas line.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 17, 2005 08:25 AM