Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day - Post 70

Art from EdHelp.com
Since it was Labor Day yesterday, I decided I would labor, something I really don't do daily. How much physical energy I am able to exert on any given day depends on the weather and a whole list of conditions too tedious to post here. I usually work in the church office on Monday morning, but declared myself a holiday after checking my to-do list while at church on Sunday.

The stars must have been in some sort of favorable alignment yesterday, as I woke up 'wide-eyed and bushy tailed,' as it were, and ready to get with the program.

After a cursory glance at my favorite Internet sites and reading a few e-mail messages, I evicted myself from my office and got busy. First on my agenda was to clear out of my house the small mountain of stuff I've recently accumulated for recycling -- paper of all sorts, cardboard, metal cans, plastic containers, etc., most of which was (neatly) piled up in a corner of my kitchen. Why I let it accumulate in the house is easy for me to answer: sloth, one of the seven deadly sins, I believe.

I blush in shame to think that for years, I just put all this sort of stuff into the trash, and it ended up at the landfill (Mount Trashmore, about 4 miles south of town.) My landfill contribution is now down to about two medium sized garbage bags a month, plus used kitty litter, for which I've found no other solution.

I sorted, boxed and bagged and hauled it out to the bed and back seat of the pickup truck (which I'm using courtesy of my daughter, who couldn't take it to Okinawa with her) for a journey to the recycling center. It's still sitting there, of course; the center was closed yesterday and I am procrastinating about making the 5 mile trip. I probably have another truck load still lurking in nooks and crannies. Unfortunately, I am a pack rat when it comes to paper; I have an unreasonable(?) fear that if I throw something away I'm going to need it, desperately, within 24 hours, even if it's 10 years old! I need a refresher course in Records Retention.

Anyway; once that chore was done, it was time for general housework. After that, I took a break and went back to the computer (I'm addicted). While online, I checked the weather and learned that Tropical Depression Gustav was due to dump from three to five inches of rain on us during the next few days. Oh, no! That meant I must mow the lawn (front and back) NOW, or there would be hay-making conditions out there by the time it dried out enough to get the mower to it. So, out into the heat I went, sweat band around my brow (94 degrees, but overcast, and with a pretty good breeze, courtesy of Gustav.) Even in mid-day, I could see Gustav-related clouds beginning to gather.

Gustav is a-coming in!

I got all the yard work done in just under two hours. I had to take a few breathers along the way to re-hydrate, but the lawn is currently under control, and is getting a good watering today; it's been raining since before dawn.

In the right hand corner of my back yard, an area about 15 feet square, there is a veritable jungle growing! I used to have a compost pile there, next to the back fence, and from all appearances, it's very fertile soil. Blowing weed seeds, bird contributions, etc., have sprouted there and grown with a vengeance. I let that space get completely out of control the year I fractured my spine, and have just trimmed around the edges of it to keep the vines (blackberry and dewberry, and some unknown creepy thing) from taking over the entire yard. It needs a good dose of Round Up, methinks, or in the spring some pre-emergence herbicide (do they make that for home yards?)

My imagination sometimes runs amok. As I was mowing around the edges of the jungle, this photo op caught my eye:
Roman ruins! Right here in my own back yard!

I'll have to get my trusty excavation team (daughter and grandson) to help me move it. I think it would make a wonderful base for a bird bath, don't you? All I need is birdbath top to make it complete.

As I was constructing this post, my doorbell rang. Outside in the drizzle was my almost 4 year old granddaughter, with her parents. In her hands was a package, and on her face a gorgeous smile. "I have a present for you, Grandma!" My birthday is later this week, but daughter couldn't wait to gift me. At the urging of my dear granddaughter, I opened my gift -- a rain gauge and a thermometer combined on one post! A rain gauge is something I've wanted for some time but had not yet purchased, so I was delighted. My daughter and I put it in the garden in a position that will enable me to read it from my kitchen window (with a little help from my trusty mini-binoculars, if necessary). I even took my old camera out and snapped a picture; see the rain on it already?

That's more than enough for today! I'm ready to rest from my laborious Labor Day. I think I'll finish the Nevada Barr mystery I'm reading, Hard Truth.


Sherry Peyton said...

Um Pat, labor day is a holiday to rest and enjoy life, NOT make huge lists so you can destroy yourself with work the next day! lol. you sure seemed to get a lot done. I get that feeling once a year or so myself! Happy Birthday!

Old Lady Lincoln said...

Sounds like you more than labored on your holiday.

Happy Birthday, hope it turns out to be a great day for you.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

What a wonderful day you had. I've always wanted to do a sort of "ruins" area in my garden, but my husband thinks it would be pretentious with a modern, vinyl-siding house of no architectural distinction. He's probably right. LOL.

I love your birthday gift. I have a September birthday too, but it's not for a couple of weeks.

Hilary said...

You've made a simple task-tending day into a wonderful tale. Thanks for that. Happy Birtday, dear Pat.