Tuesday, May 27, 2008

slogging along

Sometimes I feel like getting stuff done around here is like trying to push through an invisible wall of glue. This weekend (a four day weekend for our family) my mother came up, and we had a great honking huge list of things to do. Out of roughly, say, 25 list items, we accomplished around 7. Of course, as per usual, I was the only one paying much attention to the list, so several things got done that were not on the list, most of which were worthy. For example, we picked pounds and pounds of strawberries and processed quite a few of them, cut and hung to dry rather a lot of raspberry leaves, and bought and planted some very unexpected elderberry bushes. On the other hand, Mamma decided that it would be a good use of time to weed-whack, scrape, and sweep the front sidewalk, which would have gone undone indefinitely had it been left to us. All in all, though I complain, I really feel a hundred percent better than I did last week, because what we DID get done was the most important stuff...the house is once again clean enough to be functional, and all the plants that were dying in containers by the parking lot are now planted. The yard still looks a fright, the garden is still well behind and getting weedy again, and my personal project list (sewing, cooking, crafty type stuff) is, as always, utterly untouched, but things could be (have been) much worse.

Of course, the aforementioned dying plants may yet die, but at least now we've done what we can for them. We planted several golden raspberry canes, a sassafras sapling, an elder bush, and a mulberry seedling, all dug from the yard of a coworker of Jacob's. If they fail, well, at least we didn't pay for them. The raspberries should be fine, at the least. We also divided a couple of clumps of echinacea and planted a couple more seedlings, so as to fill out the sweep of echinacea that backs my front flower bed. The marigolds and calendula finally got planted in front of the vegetable garden. When we finally get around to tackling the compost heap (I'm confident that somewhere down inside there's some actual compost, despite us) I'll top dress the new trees to apologize to them for their cavalier handling and planting. It takes Jacob so long to gouge planting holes out of our rock-and-clay yard that none of the trees got more than a sprinkling of fertilizer-heavy potting soil before he had to come inside for the night.

We decided not to go to the big local Memorial Day auction, so as to have more working time, and were amply rewarded for our forbearance. Jacob's family spent the weekend sorting and distributing his grandmother's possessions (she died a year ago), and on Monday afternoon they stopped by with a load of things for us. Jacob got great piles of tools in various condition, further cluttering his uphill battle of a shop. For the house we got, among other cool things, three wool blankets and a bunch of other linens. Now, I personally think a body can never have too many blankets, because you never know, and fabric is one of the fundamental useful things, so I'm pleased as punch. Along with buckets, jars, bottles, wood, metal stock, hardware, and tools, we "hoard" whatever blankets we come across, and these are definitely nice additions. (For obvious reasons, I'm glad that this house came with ample storage space!)

Well, that's the weekend...things move slowly, but we just gotta keep slogging along.

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