Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stick a Fork in it

Done. Done. Done. For five days we put every ounce of what we had into mulching our yard. This is our story.

Forward by Judy Cox

When I saw that delivery truck pull up to their driveway I thought, What in the Sam Hell? When the dump truck pulled away, there it was.... a heaping pile of mulch taller than a fifth grader. I thought she was crazy taking on a project like this on her own. But where there's a will, there's a way.

Day One

Up & at 'em early. I spread the 8 cubic feet of topsoil I had in the necessary areas. 11:30 am the mulch arrives. Driver warns it will pretty much cover the entire driveway. "That's okay," I tell him. "As long as I can get in and out of the garage." I could. The dump truck left and all that remained was a steaming pile of mulch that smelt just like manure. Ahhh, home. Even Uncle LeRoy wouldn't tackle that pile by himself, but I was going to give it my all. I hope to power through it in the next two days. Certainly I am going to have this done before the Earnshaws get here on Sunday!

Completed the entire Northeast side of the house, plus the two trees on that side and one in front. I'm a rock star! But it didn't even put a dent in that pile. Had to leave it there for the day and take Abby to gymnastics. We stopped at McDonald's for an ice cream cone first and I also grabbed a Sweet Tea & a cheeseburger. Yes, I was depleted.


Day Two

Abby had preschool, so the mulch was going to have to wait until the afternoon. Good idea, I thought. My body needs the rest.

Picked up Abby from preschool and made a last-minute decision to have lunch at the Waffle House. We had a coupon for a free waffle, and I could use all of the energy I could get. Our waitress was from Florida and when I told her why I needed a hearty meal she replied, "That's man's work. I don't touch that stuff." For once I concede I like the way those southerners operate. Nevertheless, I was ready to hit the pile.

With the girls' help I completed the remaining front portion of the house and the tree on the Southwest side. Why did I decide it would be a good idea to put newspaper underneath? Neighbors were called in for any available periodicals, as I obviously did not plan well enough. Geoff also brought home a stack of base papers. I learned quickly the Dayton Daily News is printed on the poorest quality in the variety I had been pulling from.

Geoff was supposed to make supper, but worked late. Ordered pizza, went back out. Ate, went back out. Worked until nearly dusk. Tired, but excited to be moving to the back yard tomorrow.

Day Three

Sore and no voice. Didn't get started in the yard until after lunch. Geoff came home after grabbing a sandwich at Subway. Yippee! Daddy took half a day to help with the mulch. Wrong. "Just coming home for a quick break. Looks good!" The encouragement was nice, but help would have been better. I tried to keep the girls away as much as possible. While I appreciated their assistance, the poor air quality and allergies were taking their toll on Abby, poor thing. They played and played. I'm glad they can keep themselves busy.

This will not be done before the Earnshaws arrive; I hope I can at least have it cleared enough so they have a place to park in the driveway. Probably not.

Finished about three quarters of the back of the house. Quit at 5 and took my shower. Geoff made supper. It was mediocre, but I didn't have to make it or clean up, so who cares?

Off to Pop the Cork Night with my new friend Susie and her book club. Drank a lot of wine, munched on yummy snacks, and enjoyed great conversation. My toenails got painted, but I neglected to tweeze my eyebrows; I wonder if anyone noticed.

Stayed out until after midnight. I so needed tonight.

Day Four

I slept in until Geoff's alarm went off. Finally I asked, "Will you please take off work and help me with the mulch?" I didn't want to ask, but it had to be done. He obviously wasn't going to take the initiative. He took the day off and I took Abby to preschool, then got groceries at the commissary.

After lunch we finished the remaining mulch around the house, got the two trees on that end, then moved on to the garden, and finally to the back fence line. It took a little while for us to get our groove, eventually we did.

Geoff went into the house and made supper. I was determined to work until dusk; I didn't make it that long. We finished the day tired and barely able to stand.

It's not looking good for the Earnshaws.

Day Five

Lightning, thunder and rain moved in in the middle of the night. It was raining when I woke up. No mulching today, I thought. I rested and read the paper, then make breakfast. After breakfast Geoff went back to the mulch. He was now emotionally involved and wanted to see it through as badly as I.

Folded clothes, picked up, made lunch, then went back to the mulch. And finished! Yippee!

Borrowed power washer from neighbors. Maybe we are dumb, but couldn't get it to hook up to our hose; of course the neighbor wasn't home to ask for help. Cleaned up garage, swept it out, then hosed down a patch of driveway for Earnshaws to park.



Epilogue

I don't know what made me think I could ever tackle fifteen cubic yards of mulch on my own. Even with Geoff's help it was a beast I never want to take on again. As the pile dwindled this afternoon I found it ironic that while the end was within reach there was less and less to stick our pitchfork into, making the phrase Stick a fork in it, it's done a bit of an absurdity. At any rate, even with no mulch pile left to do put it in, we can stick a fork in it, 'cause this project is done!

As for the Earnshaws, I hope the impending rain washes off the rest of the driveway!

2 comments:

Susie said...

Will there be a bonus glass of wine wit that fork? So glad you came out on Thursday and that you're daunting task is complete! Cab't wait to hang out again soon :)
S

The Earnshaw's said...

I would have parked on the road. The yard does look great though. It was the first thing I looked at when I pulled up. It must be our crazy MN blood that makes us think we can do these things by ourselves. Great work.

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I'm a teacher by trade, writer at heart & mom in every sense of my being. I never considered writing as a profession, but after I got married and began moving around the country, I began sharing my adventures, misadventures & updates through a sort of e-mail newsletter. I found a true passion in unconventional story-telling that has followed me into motherhood.