The Yard

Hi All – Today I got up real early and discovered that it was going to be another glorious day in St. Helens, so I figured I’d take advantage of the sun and try to kill a few trees. Four, actually – 3 apple trees and a weird plum tree we have. Though it’s past time to trim them, I did it anyway. Some of the branches hang so low they just about kill me when I try to drive the mower under them. So, I hacked off all the ones that were in my way. I’ve threatened to do that for years but just today did I find the necessary Zen motivation to get it done. “Zen pruning” is the only way to go. Just cut stuff until it feels good. The result is branches laying all over the ground under the assaulted trees. So, being the good neighbor that I am, I decided to ignite the burn pile that’s been building for the past couple of years so I could just toss the amputated branches into the inferno.

Then Diane said, “aren’t you going to vacuum the yard?” to which I said, “sure.” That required me to unhitch the trailer from the mower and adding the grass catcher, no easy task. But I did it. Complicating that was the fact that just as I was pulling out to dump the current trailer load of branches, the mower refused to move, but it emitted a bit of smoke from under the engine which immediately alerted me to shut it down. So, I dragged my handy dandy mower jack down to the bottom of the field so I could raise the mower and see what was wrong.

Once up on the jack, I discovered that the belt had slipped off the drive pulley for the transmission. Getting it back on was a breeze and I was soon on the way to vacuuming the yard as directed. Although in mostly involves sitting, it’s still time consuming because I have to make multiple trips from the yard to the burn pile, which is near the burn pile, to empty the bags when they get full. For our mower I have a 3 bag bagger and I have to empty about 20 times at last. Well, maybe not that much, but it’s a lot.

I left the jack in the yard. I didn’t bring it up when I was done because I just didn’t want to. I’ll get it tomorrow. I didn’t get back to picking up sticks, either, so that’s another chore for tomorrow. And, the burn pile only got about 1/4 burned up. A sat down there for a long time, staring into the flames, mesmerized, losing track of time. I don’t know how long I was there, but sincerely believe I either had, or was on the verge of having, a heart attack. from all the manual labor I was doing to get the solidified burn pile parts near the flame. Wore me out after pruning all those branches. Now my arms are sore, and I have an apple tree wound on my right cheek from a branch that was having a difficult time separating from the tree. I swear it attacked me.

Diane yelled at me that it was time to quit, so I did. After getting in a few extra stares at the pretty flames. She didn’t really yell. She was actually very calm, and nice.

Cedric and Jeran spent most of the day with us but since I was outside, I didn’t see much of them. Knowing they were here, however, altered my normal routine for entering the house and dumping my work clothes in the laundry room. No sir. Can’t run through the house naked when we have company, even if it’s relatives. I’ve learned my lesson about that for sure. Instead, I trundled to the bathroom with two glasses of water, to rehydrate myself while the shower warmed up. Then I cleaned almost every part I own, and even shaved.

Diane was happy that I shaved since I haven’t shaved since we left Las Vegas. No, I think I shaved once in Nampa. Yeah, I’m sure I did.

Being all cleaned up rejuvenated me but not enough to eat anything for supper, as Diane demanded. Instead, I ate a banana. It was a good one. The dogs liked their bitty banana bites, too. We all love our bananas.

Diane and I sat at the table while the kidlets ate supper. I worked on Jennie’s iPhone, erasing pictures so she’d have enough room to do the iTunes update. She told me to do that. So, I did. I erased almost 900 pictures. But, I made sure they were on her laptop because she told me to do that, too. I get told to do all kinds of stuff. All the time.

After dinner, the boys sat on the couch and I read stories to them. Not real stories, but ones I’ve written over the years. I read two and a half stories. The half story was boring, I’m told, so I quit and got another one. They said they liked my story about what really happened to the world vs. what the Bible tells us. They new it was fiction, and that I was really lying to them, but it’s ok to lie to your Grandkids. I’ve been doing it for a long time, so I know.

Jennie showed up when I was almost done with the last story so we kind of lost continuity to what happened at the Arkansas bed race, but I finished reading it to them anyway. Jeran insisted. He said he liked it.

Then it was time to terminate for the night. As I was heading that direction I heard Diane say, from the basement, “Jerrie.” She has about sixteen different ways she says my name and I’ve been trained to respond immediately to the tone and lilt of her voice because each way has a totally different meaning. Like, when I driving she’ll say “Jerrie” instead of telling me to watch out for the car about to pull into our lane, or a car backing out of a parking space. Other times, it means that I better immediately stop what I’m doing because she’s annoyed. This evening she used her Jerrie voice to let me know there was water on the floor in the laundry room. It came from the floor drain and didn’t smell bad like  it did during one of our trips to Hawaii. Then it was sewage. This time it was water fro the deep sink. Apparently, the 3 foot of pipe, buried under about 3 tons of concrete, is mostly plugged causing the washing machine and deep sink to back up onto the floor through the floor drain.

Diane took the soaked rugs outside, I washed my feet, and we agreed this was something to be solved tomorrow. So I will.

Oh! Jack dropped by to deliver our tickets for the musical he’s in at his church. He’s the lead tenor and has six solos over the course of 120 pages of music. He said he’s been over it so many times that he has it memorized and I believe him because he’s my brother.

Also, I received a notice from the VA that they made a flagrant error on my medical evaluation and decided that I’m not 30% disabled, I’m really 50%. Now I’m going to be evaluated for my right hip and leg pain which is excruciating most of the time when I’m sitting. I hide it well. Sometimes.

That’s the end.

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