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Monday, April 06, 2009

Holy crap, it's Spring

It was gray and cloudy most mornings this rotation, so coming home at the end of each night I didn't really get to see very much. Saturday morning was somewhat clearer and brighter. As I pulled up at the house I stared at the weeds sprouting out of the corner where the curb meets the street in front of the house.

Weeds. Gotta get out the weed-whacker, deal with them.

Then I thought Waitaminute, weeds? Wasn't it just Winter?

I looked up and down the yard. Buds were swelling. Blossoms were getting ready to burst forth. Things that I should have pruned long ago still need to be pruned.

Uh-oh.

Yesterday I was booked, with my crazy plan that actually worked. I did nap for a while at my friends' house - through Madagascar 2, from the point where all of the animals meet more of their own kind to the point where Alex the lion is tricked into fighting TseTse, and from there to the volcano sacrifice scene. About 8:30 I fueled up with food and caffeine and hit the road, parking at the service station across the street from my house shortly after 10:00. I then ran into the house to deal with the effects of too many diet colas, brushed my teeth, changed, and went to bed.

Today I woke up at 9:00 or so and didn't want to do much of anything. Watered the houseplants, dumped the furnace, pulled some books out of the library, monkeyed around with the DTV converter box some more. (I was able to locate all of the local channels, I think - more on that some other time.) But it was raining for much of the day, and looked like it would keep raining, so I scratched my plans for working outside.

I gradually became worried that my car wasn't going to get worked on. By midday it was still parked where I had left it. Around 1:00 or so it was gone, and I assumed (correctly) that it had been pulled into the station itself. I started to doze off in the same comfy chair that my grandmother had dozed in many times, but I roused myself and wanted to do something, anything, while I waited for news of my car. I decided I would assemble another bookcase. One of the big Sauder jobs.

I let myself into the unoccupied side of the house, which is gradually being transformed into a library, and grabbed one of the Sauder bookcase boxes. They're big - nearly seven feet long, I think - and heavy. I had just wrapped my arms around it and was dead-lifting it into the assembly area when the phone in my pocket began to ring. It was the service station. My car was ready.

Works every time.

Oil change went fine, new battery still good, passed inspection after both of the burned out license plate lights were replaced. (What the hell? I just replaced those nine years or so ago.) I drove the car back to my house and noticed as I parked that some of the grass was getting high.

I remembered this entry and decided I should have a look-see at the back of the house to see if the fast-growing section of the lawn was tall enough to justify mowing. It was. I also saw that the grass had dried enough - the rain had stopped two hours or so before - that it wouldn't gum up the lawnmower.

I was still wearing the sweats I had slept in, so there was no concern about getting them covered with grass clippings. But I didn't want to get my "good" sneakers (which are also my "work" sneakers) all grass-stained. So I changed into an old pair of sneakers I keep over there for such work. Then I let myself into the garage where I stored my lawn mower and my other garden tools at the end of last Fall. I frightened a cat out of the rafters - I'm hoping it has an appetite for garden-eating rabbits. (Must make a note to get some insect killer to deal with the Carpenter Bees that are eating my garage before they come out of dormancy in a few weeks. Also need to pick up an inexpensive flush-cut saw for trimming the dowels I'll use to plug their entry holes.)

Mowing the lawn didn't take very long. I got to observe the various plants and flowers gradually rousing themselves from their Winter dormancy: the Forsythia, the strawberries, the Stella d'Oros (actually, Stella de Oro daylilies). Should make a note to add irises, tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils for continuous color throughout the Spring.

I pruned a sucker that was growing from the base of my healthy cherry tree - I believe the replacement for the dead cherry tree has also died - and pruned my grapevines and removed any dead, diseased black-rot mummies from the vines and the ground underneath the vines. Then I did my best to remove any wild raspberry canes, which produce negligibly few berries and lots and lots of thorns, as well as some other weed stalks. The weeds will be back. I did this using a cheap little anvil pruner that had lost an essential screw, rendering it useless. I found a collection of screws, nails, tacks, and other assorted fasteners in baby jars in the basement, and one of them contained screws of precisely the sort that I needed. (Thanks, Jodgi - err, dziadzia!)

By then it was 4:30, and I decided I should leave to get something more substantial than the parfait glass of ice cream and two mugs of green tea that had been my only nourishment for the day.

Now I need to get to work on starting some tomatoes, and lettuce, and broccoli, and cucumbers...

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