Three steps forward, two steps back

It is amazing what you will begin to enjoy once you are in the midst of it. My childhood is still scarred with remembrances of being told to go mow the yard. When your allergies to outdoor allergens are as bad as mine, you might as well be told to grab a pick or shovel and join a chain gang.

Its that shovel portion that takes us to our topic today, my flower beds. Its amazing how much work you can do in just a weekend. Before work commenced Saturday morning, one of the two front beds had its border set and was half full of new soil. The other had a rough outline drawn and no dirt. Two of the back beds were nothing more than wooden frames and the third was about 1/3 full of dirt.

By Monday evening, the story was much different: Both front beds were set, full of dirt and had plants in them. One of the back beds was full of dirt, another needed only 2 more wheel barrow loads to be full and the third was ½ full. That is the three steps forward.

The step back number one was something that should have put me that forth step forward: trimming the trees. Since my new neighbor was having his trees trimmed and the bucket truck was there, I thought it was probably a good time to have mine done, too. The damage from the ice storm three years ago was still visible and the rain of twigs onto the yard during the slightest breeze was quite annoying.

Unfortunately, the 20 year old kid who was doing the trimming dropped all the limbs into my newly finished flower beds, crushing many of the day old plants. To say I was unhappy at this turn of events would be an understatement, but considering the plants cost me $150 and the trees were being trimmed at $200 less than anyone else in town would do the job, I am still coming out ahead on the deal. I bit my tongue.

Step back number two was the discovery of three inches of gunk filling my front gutters. The two trees from the prior two paragraphs happen to be 50’ pen oaks that stretch over top of the house and drop all kinds of debris not only on the yard but on the house, too. Despite having gutter guards to keep out most of the trash, it seems that more filters down into the gutters than I would have believed. Of course, I only made this discovery after all the new dirt was in and the plants, my now crushed plants, were being planted. Two five gallon buckets full of crud later, all harvested from the gutters while I balanced at the top of my ladder and that step backwards was now even.

So, while I did come out ahead overall, given that it took me shoveling 12 bobcat bucketfuls of dirt all across my property by wheel barrow, I would rather have just sat in the house with a good book. Lets hope the tree trimmer has all the debris cleared by the time I get home so I can get back to once again planting in the beds.