Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ow! ...

Holy mother of God, I'm tired.

I don't know where they come from, these fits. These fits of productivity. There I was, this morning, finishing my coffee and bagel and watching Trading Spaces (Honestly, will someone please take the paint brush away from Frank? Enough with the cutesy painting, already; bring back Vern!) when I started thinking that today would be a good day to do yardwork.

OK, yardwork, sure. My brain was playing along, likely thinking, "Sure. She'll pull a few weeds and then she'll come inside to get a bottle of water and then she'll check her e-mail and end up in front of her computer for a couple hours. Sure, Beth, go do some yardwork. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Say no more."

But then I got outside and started pulling weeds. (And believe you me, I have a lot of weeds to pull. I think my backyard is like the Amazon rainforest. There are probably untold medical cures back there.) And I kept pulling. And pulling. I headed to the garage for the pruners and pruned things, for God's sake. And then I went back to the garage for the weed puller-popper thing. The weed lever. For heavy-duty weeding.

It's oddly satisfying, pulling weeds. Because the next thing you know, you can see a patch of earth, and that inspires you to clear all the weeds, to reclaim the land, as it were.

Yeah, I'm not talking about pulling the errant dandelion from a sidewalk crack here. I'm talking about weeds - plants, really - that took over entire portions of what were once ornamental garden beds, because, hey, there were no ornamental plants using the real estate. Weeds are like squatters.

Besides, I was listening to my iPod. Music makes everything more fun.

And then, when my neighbors took off in their adorable red Jeep, I fired up the mower. I didn't want to mow while they were hanging out in their yard. So I mowed. Have I mentioned that I have a big yard? I have a big yard. And then, when I was done mowing, I decided to restake my claim to another patch of yard.

If I wanted a garden of thistle, I'd be in good shape. Sadly, I do not want a garden of thistle. So there I was, yanking thistle (how would a person with a lisp pronounce "thistle," I wonder ...) when the son of my neighbors said hello from the roof of his house. He was bored, so he was cleaning the gutters. That's the problem with workaholics: when they get some downtime, they don't know what to do with themselves. I, clearly, am not a workaholic.

Lucky for me, his work is landscaping, so we chatted about plants that I could put in my newly weeded patch, plants that would do well in shade. I know about a couple shade plants, but figured there must be lots more, that my knowledge is just really limited.

Nope, there aren't lots more. My options are as narrow as I thought.

He finished up on the roof and came into my yard, where we proceeded to walk around, swat at gnats, and talk about all the crap growing along the perimeter of my yard. Some of it, turns out, is actually stuff I want to keep. Much of it is not. He offered to come by in the fall with some super-duper landscaping cutter/mower kind of thing and just plow it all down. Then, in the spring, as stuff starts to come up, I can decide what I want and what I don't and we can edit from there.

Sounded like a plan to me. But fall is several months away.

So after walking around his yard (which is ready for a magazine shoot every second of every day, it's so pristine and beautiful) and chatting with him in the driveway for another half hour, I returned to pulling more weeds.

And then I hooked up my garden hose and turned on the water to the spiggot from in the basement where I shut it off for the winter and watered the plants I bought earlier this week.

And then I came in and sat down and had some dinner.

And then I tried to get up.


My body seemed to be telling me to keep my ass on the couch.

But I figured the "Ow" would only get worse, so I went for a two-mile walk instead. With my iPod. Because music makes everything more fun.

We'll see if I'm able to move tomorrow morning.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think hosta. Impatiens. Great shade plants and you can paint all sorts of cool-colored beds in the shade. Hosta come in an enormous variety. They are beautiful mixed with white impatiens.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're a writer, and you live right in the city of Chicago, and you weren't at the Printer's Row book fair ALL WEEKEND??? For shame! Maybe your lawn looks great, but you missed a lotta literati, Babycakes.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

It's Sunday evening. I just got home. From the Printer's Row Book Fair and Blues Fest.

I worked my butt of Saturday so I had Sunday to play, silly!

7:59 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

As for plants, Anon I, I was hoping to find some plants that would give me a bit more height in that bed, toward the back, with hostas more toward the front. Viburnum, my landscape neighbor tells me, is about all I can hope for for any kind of "presence" in the shade.

And I'm all about impatiens. Double impatiens, though. They're like little roses!

Thanks for the thoughts.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I need some of your weeds. I feed my tortoise weeds, but I can't pick them from my own yard because ours get sprayed with weedkiller and pesticide. The house next door is currently a rental and has good weeds, but the mowing service has been coming by too often lately- I can't get any good weeds. :) Funny, but the only time it is hard to grow weeds is when you want them to grow!

Hope your weeding pains are short lived.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Aw, Jen! I have BAGS of weeds in the garage, waiting for tomorrow night so I can put them out by the curb for pick up. I could feed your tortoise for weeks, I'm sure. I think, though, that it'd be too hard to mail them to you.

And there isn't a pesticide in sight. Well, my lawn gets sprayed, but clearly, the weeds around the perimeter of my yard don't get touched, because they grow like, well, you know.

9:29 PM  

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