Joe Abbott's Weblog

Letters home to mom

Day 4 – some progress is measured by intent

Posted by joeabbott on March 24, 2011

Back yard 002Well, today came and the work day (for me) is complete, but there wasn’t a tremendous amount of change to the property. That’s not to say that we didn’t accomplish a lot, just that the progress was subtle.

Suzy joined me today and, as it wasn’t actively raining, we did a few chores at home even though we had a few errands to run.

First, we foraged for our respective breakfasts. I fried up a bit of potato for starters and finished with a bit of oatmeal that I’d made yesterday; Suzy had a piece of wheat toast and whipped up her own oatmeal … no “day old” for that girl!

We then set out the game plan for the day. Unfortunately, we had a lot of “before we tackle this, we need to do that” sort of projects. In the end, we re-erected the rain shelter, measured out a new path we were to build, and roughly defined a cross-yard trail we were going to put in. Suzanne somehow found time for cleaning the coop and then we were off.

The first stop was to Home Depot for additional gravel to finish the bench area at the top of the yard, then to their gardening section to pick up some of the edging we’d used to border the path on the left side of the yard … we’d use the same stuff on the path up the right side of the yard.

Then we got gas and headed south to Del’s for a bit of chicken feed (organic crumble for our hens), three bales of pine chips (to layer the cross-yard trail), and a few bags of potting soil and fertilizer (for the trees we needed to move). Then it was back home.

Landscaping, day 4 014One of the harder jobs for the day was hauling all this stuff back into the yard from the car! But, we made short work of that and realized: it was lunch time!

A bit of ham and bean soup, some idle chat, and then the stark reality that there was actually going to be a “day 4” and I needed to get back out there and start laboring. Ugh!

The one problem with two people in the yard is that we don’t have two sets of tools and, when you’re working in the same area, you have the odd habit of being right where the other person wants to be! But, those misgivings are supplanted by the additional work and camaraderie that comes with “two” and the day continued apace.

My main accomplishment for the day was, after clearing the area, putting in the base step for the path on the left side of the yard. Suzy’s was to dig three holes for transplants, move two plants (including one very well established holly bush), and start chopping on the cross-yard path. I have to say, I think she did more than I did!

In the picture to the right, you can see the area I worked to put in the path. The lavender bush at the top of the path area is “no more”, the holly behind it has been moved, and the tree to the right … well, that will be moved tomorrow.

In the picture above, in the lower left of the frame, you can see the first step I’d placed. The crab apple tree at the top of the path area I’d scraped out will have to be moved; the “tailings” just above and to the right of the tree are, is where Suzy intends to move it. You can also make out a couple of stakes in the ground (the buff orpington … the yellow chicken … is by one of them); these stakes and the twine cord attaching them define the cross-yard path.

As we completed these accomplishments I realized I was completely out of 3/8” rebar and it was starting to rain. And so, after a quick tidying of the area, we went in, showered off the soil of our labors, and took a bit of a nap.

There are some parts to this whole “take a week off” that I’m liking very much!

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