April 30, 2007

And then...

Well, Sunday was going to be a lot more restful. Yesterday was the fifth Sunday in the month, and every time that happens, we have a meal together and then right afterward have the evening service, so we’re through for the day by 2:00, which meant I could go home and get into my comfy clothes and not do a blessed thing the rest of the afternoon except doze, read the paper, watch the race, and break wind.

BUT FIRST--food. I got up when the clock went off and after several minutes spent trying to wake up, got myself out of bed and went downstairs to start the lasagna baking, then came back upstairs to perform my morning ablutions and primping and facial hair removal and such things, got everyone else woken up, made a big salad (“making” in this instance consisting of pouring salad out of a bag into a big plastic bowl), ironed a skirt for Rebecca after telling her I wouldn’t because it was almost time to go and telling her to wear something else in her closet but she couldn’t because she didn’t have any brown shoes so I felt like the heel of a brown shoe, then actually got us to the building with three minutes to spare. Good class, good sermon, good meal, and another good sermon, and despite my fatigue, I actually stayed awake during the majority of all of them.

On toward home afterward, with a stop for gasoline and newspaper. Home, did some minor cleanup downstairs on the stove, told Catherine to start cleaning some more until she found her recorder, had a private conversation with Mom that we might have to just break down and buy another one so she’d be able to perform next Tuesday, and Cat kept whining that she couldn’t help it that she couldn’t find it, and we ONCE MORE went through the list of places she said she’d looked. Kitchen, yes. Bedroom, yes. Dining room, yes. Den, yes. I was going down the list as I followed her around, walked into the den, straight over to the blue recliner by the couch, and look, a red plastic Yamaha recorder, right there on the cushion. Nearly two weeks, and it had been right there all along. “Hey, Catherine, look. A recorder.”

Everyone was very happy.

I ran upstairs to get out of my suit.

And then came the sweet talk.

I am such a sucker for sweet talk and close wifely contact.

::hits self in head::

“What did you want to do this afternoon?”

“Uhh, well, I wanted to sit on the couch and read the paper and watch the race and break wind and sleep and then go back through those in reverse order.”

“Well, you know, I got those seeds for Catherine,” which was true--one of the things she’d done over the weekend is go to the store and buy up thirteen packs of seeds with the promise to Catherine of helping her plant a little garden, “and I thought maybe we could go get some potting soil and some pots and put those out.”

“You know--those pots we have downstairs would be fine, you really don’t need to get more.”

“I know. And they probably won’t do all that well anyway--we really just need to pull up all that stuff in the planter outside the kitchen and do it there.”

I am a moron.

“Well, no--that’s be the wrong thing--they wouldn’t get enough sun, and it would just be a mess there--if you were going to do that, you ought to make a little bed out in the yard somewhere…”


“OOH! Maybe get some of those crossties or something and make a little raised bed and fill it with dirt!”


“Uh, well, yeah, I guess so.

“You want to go with us to the hardware store?”



Off with my comfy soft shorts and tee shirt, on with my work clothes, waving goodbye to the TV and the big stack of newsprint and consoling myself that I didn’t want to watch the race anyway.

Went outside to see where to put this thing, mapped out an area by the arbor, and wondered why soft squishy woman parts have to have such an effect on me. Dropped the rear seat in the van, then took three of the kids with us--Middle Girl, who was also getting to go to the shoe store for brown shoes, then Cat, because it was her garden, then Boy, who was supposed to be providing muscle support. Took off in van and Volvo (since the seats in the van would have been over-occupied had we taken only one vehicle, and people would think we were ignorant immigrants) to Lowe’s.

Eight landscape timbers, a roll of landscape cloth, 20 cubic feet of dirt and a hundred bucks later, it was time to head back to the house and get it all unloaded. And I was fighting the clock, because I wanted to get it finished before dark. Oh, and I forgot spikes.


Off to Marvin’s down at the foot of the hill for spikes.

Back, and time to lay it out. Rolled out three strips of landscape cloth and pegged it down, then hopped around and hoisted the timbers into place and began beating the bejabbers out the spikes with my little hand maul and after much exhausting beating and stooping and swinging and toting bail and lifting barge, I had a square enclosure more or less spiked together. Then time to start filling it with dirt. Those bags are heavy.

Sliced and emptied all ten of them, trying not to bury Lightning, who thought all the fresh soft soil looked like his version of heaven--an eight by eight litter box--and could not be stopped from pawing and wallowing in it.

Got out the rakes and began leveling it off, and trying to go back and fix the unleveling that Catherine was intent on doing right behind me.

Looks good--needs some of that big pile of compost we’ve had cooking for nine years now. Had to go get the wheelbarrow, which was under a bunch of heavy stuff. Shoveled compost. Spread compost. Reraked soil and compost mixture. FINALLY finished up the bed, right as the good light was gone, around 7:00 or so.

Golly, I was tired.

Sat down on the stone bench and wondered anew why I encourage myself to do such silly projects, and after recovering sufficiently to be able to move, went in and got a shower, ate a little bit, and went back upstairs to read the paper. And wouldn’t you know it--not a thing in there worth reading.

ANYway, this morning I am, as we say, all stove up. Not so much from the amount of work--just the amount of work compressed into about four hours of intense exercise. That nice flat area underneath the drafting table over there sure does look like an inviting place for a nap, let me tell you.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at April 30, 2007 12:04 PM

You have GOT to start talking to me before beginning these yard projects! The very best way I found to install raised beds using those landscape timbers is 1/2" thinwall tubing, the stuff you use for explosion proof electrical wiring.

Using your power drill and a long 3/4" spade bit you bore holes through all but the top timber. The top one you flip upside down and drill the hole just 1/2 way through. Then, when you drive the stakes through the timbers and down into the ground you can just leave enough sticking up to secure the top timber as a cap.

They stay together, look good and are easier than driving big spikes. Cheap too. I made a bunch of raised beds with this method and they looked good for years.

Posted by: Nate at April 30, 2007 12:46 PM

I think what I'd try is taking a strict Sabbatarian position and see if they'll buy the idea that no labor is to be done on that day. That could come in handy in the future, if you can play the cards right...

Posted by: Stan at April 30, 2007 01:03 PM

TALK to you!? Heck, Nate, I shoulda HIRED you!

And Stan, the problem with that is that I never play my cards right.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 30, 2007 01:21 PM

That's what comes of gambling [excuse me Gaming] on the Lord's Day.

Posted by: skinnydan at April 30, 2007 08:04 PM

Gambling, gamboling--no matter--it's all nothing but another of Old Scratch's ploys.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 1, 2007 07:58 AM