Yard work is not fun for someone like me. Someone that likes reading and Netflix marathons, hates to have dirt under the nails, and tries to avoid all things stingy/bitey. Yesterday, I did yard work.
For some backstory, my yard is basically a swamp. I don’t know what it is about this yard but when it rains, the water does not soak into the ground. The plethora of landscaping does not suck it up either. It just sits there. For days. Many a Spring has gone by where I have 1-foot-tall grass growing up in the middle of water puddles. And we have 3 acres. Some of that is woodland but roughly 2.25 acres of it is all grass and more water puddles.
Years ago, my grandfather had an enormous willow tree and really didn’t have much of a problem with water collecting in the yard. Then, he got tired of constantly cleaning up willow limbs so he cut it down. Years after that, Mom inherited the house and a waterlogged yard. She planted trees and shrubs to try to soak up the water. All that has done is give me a crap ton of things to mow around. Not fun.
Fast forward to the present and we have a 4-person household where none of us enjoy yard work. Mom shouldn’t be doing it with her bad back. She tries but it hurts her for days after despite wearing her back brace. I have no problem with doing it but I don’t enjoy it. The being hot, the stinging/biting insects, the thorn bushes, the dirt. Ugh. The girls absolutely hate it, not that they have to do much. They alternate who has to push mow the relatively small fenced in back yard ( with no gate – the mower has to be taken through the house to get to the back yard) and who picks up fallen sticks. Our fenced in back yard is only about 30’x40′ so they aren’t exactly push mowing the county. But to hear them tell it, it takes hours. And when they push mow, it does take hours truthfully. Because they stop every other minute to complain about the heat, go get water, go to the bathroom, wash their hands, etc. When I push mow it (usually the first mow of Spring and the rare times when Mom is having a low pain day and can manage ride mowing the rest of the yard), it takes 30-45 minutes depending on how tall/wet the grass is. *sigh*
Yesterday, I pushed mowed the back yard. The grass was a foot tall and damp. I had to clean the grass chute out about every 5-8 feet. At one point, a wasp was stuck in the grass chute and when I freed him, he decided to complain with his stinger. He died in the attempt but not before he got me. The backyard was awful. Which why I normally do the first mow of the season so the girls don’t have to.
While I was mowing, the neighbor showed up to help us clean up the sticks in the yard that have fallen throughout the Winter. Then, he decided he needed to trim “a few” trees. I finished with the yard just as Mom and Kid 2 started dragging tree limbs to our burn pile. Kid 1 is in Florida on Spring Break with a friend. Lucky her. I was out with Mom, Kid 2, and the neighbor for another 3 hours dragging tree after tree to the burn pile. The neighbor got a bit chainsaw happy and trimmed a ton of trees. I got bit by a half-dozen pissed off ants, got battle wounds from thorn bushes in multiple places, had mud under my nails and in my hair, and found grass cuttings and tree bark in my pockets by the time we were finished.
That is our burn pile. Prior to the chainsaw attack on our landscaping, this pile was about 6″ tall of ashes, mostly burned logs, and some leaves. It is now well over my head. I would say a conservative guess is that the pile is 8′ tall. It is definitely about 15′ wide. I’m not terribly happy about this. We are going to have to be very careful mowing around it and it is too close to those old bird houses too.
Once the green stuff has died and dried, we’ll get a burn permit and burn this stuff to ash too. That won’t be for a couple months though. It takes forever for this stuff to die off.
The rest of the yard was too wet to mow, as I thought. The neighbor was willing to get on the ride mower and start cutting the least wet places but after he walked that area, he said never mind. I just laughed and told him I’m not surprised. I didn’t spray weed killer either like I had hoped. I try to keep the weeds out of the fence line and out of the front of the garage. But, it was too windy yesterday so I was afraid it would drift in the wind and kill non-weeds.
So we managed 2/4 outdoor projects yesterday before it was supposed to rain again last night. And rain it did. Oy. It’ll be several weeks before we can mow the big yard I bet. My best guess is it will be mid-May at the earliest. I’m tempted to call a lawn service and have them mow it instead. How we don’t get notices from the township about how awful our yard looks is just beyond me. Kid 2 did a better job than usual. Normally, she plays while we work or carries one twig and claims to be “working” while I just want to shake the crap out of her. This time, she goofed off a bit, but she grabbed larger sticks and actual handfuls rather than a single stick on half of her treks to the burn pile. Definitely an improvement over the last few times we’ve had to do yard work. Kid 1, by the simple fact that she wasn’t here to help with the treemageddon, will be the first of the two to push mow the back yard the next time we are able. She will be thrilled. Kid 2 is adamant that Kid 1 must mow twice since she got to go to Florida. Not going to happen. It isn’t Kid 1’s fault that Kid 2’s friends don’t invite her to do cool stuff like that. Kid 2 is not amused but she’ll get over it.
I got a shower, cleaned the mud out from under my nails, and disinfected the wasp sting, ant bites, and thorn cuts. I also ordered delivery because none of us felt like making food. My upper and lower back and shoulders are aching. My bad knee is aching (although that is probably the rain – it hasn’t let up in weeks at this point). I know Mom is feeling it too. She sat down on the couch when we came in and didn’t get up until bedtime. Kid 2 isn’t too bad except a slight sun burn on her face. I did tell her to put on sunscreen but whatever, don’t listen to common sense. *shrug*
I was very glad to say goodbye to yesterday!