I wish I enjoyed working in the yard. I do enjoy nice landscaping and I love flowers. But the work that goes into creating and maintaining the outdoors has never appealed to me.
Of course, I'm particularly biased today, because I spent a long time this evening trying to conquer Mount Mulch in my driveway. Two years ago, we had landscapers spruce up our yard, and last year we didn't put down fresh mulch. I wanted to order the mulch from a local company, because we need quite a bit, and I know it's cheaper overall than buying bags of mulch. Unfortunately, I had no clue how much we needed. So I volunteered Rebecca to go outside with me and a tape measure, so that we could measure the area of each bed or spot. To that, I added a strip on the north side of our house. For some reason the previous owners never did anything on that side of the house, and more mysteriously, it never occurred to me to have the landscapers put a bed in on that side in 2008. I added the square footage for a bed there to my total, and the girls and I went to the earth company to place our order on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.
The woman at the counter didn't know how much we would need either, but did some calculations on her adding machine and we agreed on an amount. They were so busy with other deliveries that they couldn't bring the mulch until Memorial Day itself. It was a huge mountain, sitting nicely on the tarp Jim had laid on the driveway. I hoped to get it knocked out that day, but... he has a cart that attaches to the back of the tractor that we use as a wheelbarrow. He had to fix something with the wheels of this cart, and so we did not get any mulching done. The next weekend we went outside and managed to cover the three front yard beds before the heat drove us indoors. Since then some family members have come over to help out, and got the south side of the house completed. All along the south we have burning bushes that I just love. The previous owners had rose bushes all along that side. I love roses but definitely didn't want to have to deal with them, so one fall Jim and his cousin pulled them out and planted the burning bushes, which have flourished.
We still had to put mulch down around the deck and in the back bed. It seemed like either weather, softball or other scheduling conflicts were always in the way. Today we decided that once the sun had passed overhead, Jim and I would see what we could get done. Unfortunately, he got caught up in applying for a couple of jobs online, so I went out by myself to see what I could get accomplished. Mind you, I don't drive the tractor, never have, so it was manual labor all the way. I shoveled mulch into a wheeled garbage can and pulled it to the back yard, over and over. I learned quickly that working with a full can of mulch is very difficult, and so filling it no more than 2/3 full was much more productive. I kept plugging along, and eventually got all of the back yard done. Then I surveyed the remaining mountain of mulch in the driveway. There is still a LOT there... damn. Apparently I ordered WAY too much. Before I petered out for the evening, I dragged mulch across the front yard into one of the previously mulched beds, because I decided that we didn't put enough down in the front beds initially. I think if I re-mulch the other front bed, we'll be in better shape, and then we can store the remaining stuff in the back yard until we get the north side bed built.
My pedometer has passed 10,000 steps today, but I fear that tomorrow I will feel all of those shovel-fuls of mulch in my arms and shoulders. The heat is supposed to be intense here the next couple of days, so I won't feel too guilty about not working outside. I'm actually hoping we can go see Toy Story 3 as a family.
But, this work has to get done and since I was the one with the bright idea to mulch, I feel that I need to make sure I am doing the work, as much as possible. Time for physical work is short for me, since after surgery I will likely be on restrictions of some kind. Next I need to turn my focus to my house, which is in abysmal shape inside. If anyone came by for a visit right now, I would probably die a thousand deaths. So we need to at least get the public areas in order so that we can have folks in at some point. Good luck with that, as they say.