Yard Work: Joining in Builds Relationship

This one is short. I’m getting tired but there’s only one more letter left!

They say it – the family that works together, stays together. (Did I get that right? Maybe not.). At the very least, the family that has built lasting, enjoyable relationships always wants to help each other with their yard work.

Whether it’s digging up dandelions, collecting dog poop, putting markers on redbud trees so they don’t get cut down, or pulling out vast amounts of invasive English ivy, I have done it. In my daughter’s yards. Happy to help.

After all, when I am visiting the girls during their busy work weeks, I am free during the day and looking for things to do. They are usually distressed by yard work that they haven’t been able to get done. I love being outside so it seems a win/win situation for me to be working in the yard.

It gives me a chance to take part in improvements they’ve done over the years. I get an odd sense of “ownership” in saying “I planted that flower”, or “I trimmed that tree for you last summer”. I think they would say they have loved that part of my work ethic too.

To build a relationship well, I am willing to join them in work that needs to be done. I might need a day or two to be on vacation myself, but that gets old pretty quick, and I have always found other people’s work to be more fun than my own (although I love my own yard work too).

At the end of the day, it is so satisfying to be relaxing in a nice yard that’s had a little love, and to be enjoying it with the people I love. Sweet, just sayin’…

Shoveling the Drive

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My drive is lined not with snowbanks, but flowerbanks. Rough, huh?

While some are bundled up and shoveling the white stuff, I am in my shirtsleeves and shorts shoveling the red stuff.  I’m not complaining.

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Every day, the heavy, wet blossoms fall out of the kapok tree. They are sticky as they decompose and notorious for embedding themselves in the soles of our shoes and tires of our vehicles. Capable of denting a car, or a head…

 

 

If you’d like to check out Just Jot January, the rules are here.

JJJ 2016

McMaster Carr and other helpers

I am taking a break this noon while my pain killers take hold.  It is yard clean-up day week.  Let me introduce you to McMaster Carr who has helped me in my job.

Thank you McMaster Carr for this neat bundle of fire starting paper.
Thank you McMaster Carr for this neat bundle of fire starting paper.

McMaster Carr is a company that makes and sells virtually everything that other things are made from – every little tube, bolt, bushing, wheel, piece of metal, plastic, rubber or glass that you can think of.  Every year they send out this huge, six inch thick catalog, of which I have three.  I use them for various purposes, most having to do with how well they weight things down.  But today I discovered that they make excellent fire starters.  I have enough paper to start my recreational fires (I have to call them that – explain later) for the rest of my life and probably the first few years of eternity.  Fires are an important part of my clean up, or at least they are fun.

I started yesterday and quickly got overwhelmed with all that had to be trimmed and taken out of the way before I could even mow in the oneacrewoods.  Things got a little out of hand, you might say, over the summer.  But I did make a little bit of progress and  decided to adjust my attitude.  I’ll not be overwhelmed, I’ll just work at it real hard for a week and then it will be winter and most things will go dormant, I hope.  I can do this.

This is awful.
This is awful.

This is awful too.
This is awful too.

This is trying to get better, but it's still awful.
This is trying to get better, but it’s still awful.

I’ve pretty much stopped trying to grow food, unless you count the pineapples that I grow for the unnamed animal who eats most of them. And I’ve kind of stopped trying to grow anything ornamental, unless it volunteers.  I can keep completely busy just deciding what I will not allow to grow and removing it. Really, that’s all I do now is take things out and burn them.  Now you know why fires are so important.

God knew what he was doing when he put the first people in a garden.  There aren’t many things as satisfying as takiing something as beautiful as nature, and then organizing and cleaning it up a bit.  Nature can go a certain distance toward keeping herself beautiful and there are some fine examples of that in the oneacrewoods, but it’s often every plant for itself and that can get wicked.  Someone, me, has to be in charge and keep peace between them.  God called it “dressing and keeping” – good description.

Here is an example of a plant that arranges itself in such a lovely way...
Here is an example of a plant that arranges itself in such a lovely way…

My other helpers are various rusting implements, bought at garage sales and held together with duct tape, several tarps that I use to pull debris from one place to another, and my Toro mower (the one piece of equipment that I brag about here). Without this stuff, well, we don’t need to go to that dark place…

This year I’m going to take pictures after I’m done and hope I can see how much better the yard looks. I have to add that a couple weeks ago when I was outside on the driveway an oak tree threw a fairly large limb at me and barely missed. I’m just saying, I sometimes wonder if plants have a different perspective on my activities.  But, I’m not ready to call it war yet.

This is what I do to tree limbs that don't stay put, grrr!
This is what I do to tree limbs that don’t stay put, grrr!