Saturday, May 2, 2009

I'm a Flake, but So Much Going On

I admit it, I'm a big flake. But I've been writing, just not on my blogs. I've found some writing gigs that pay peanuts, but I figure the more I write, the more peanuts I can eat. It ain't easy, and I'm still amazed that people make a living writing, but you have to keep your eyes on the prize.

Today is Green Up Day in Vermont, and we vowed to take part and clean up our road. It totally throws off my day, but I figure I can do things on different days, it's not the end of the world.

Once again we've had a fairly dry Spring after a few really nasty days of mud season. It was so dry that we had fire warnings for the past couple of weeks, but now things are starting to get a little more moist. We were beginning to have some concerns for our lawn because it was looking a little ratty, or should I say, more ratty than usual. The grass is being overtaken by wild strawberries, and I'm not sure what to make of it. My mentor #2 GS says he feels as long as it's green, then no biggie, though I'm in awe of people with flawless lawns. I realize how much work it takes. The other sections of our lawn are actually coming up rather nicely, though it's a double edged sword because it means I'll soon have to tune up the lawn mower and start cutting it.

Our garden is up and running and all it will take is getting the seeds going. In the past I've tilled the plot by hand with a potato fork, but man does it take a long time. I finally gave in to technology and borrowed P&J's tiller, via K&A, and what a difference a day makes. Make that three days. I tilled the entire garden, about a 30X40 plot, in an hour, while in the past it took me three days. Wow, I'm sold. Not that I'm going to buy one, but as long as P&J are willing to let me borrow it, I'm all for it.

Now if you can believe this, I'm almost halfway through our woodpile. It's a lot of hard work cutting wood. I figured I'd have it done in a day or so, but because I'm inexperienced and scared to death of the chainsaw, it takes much longer. I've seen in the past that guys just start on one end of the pile and start cutting until they've reached the other end. It's pretty impressive, and the one guy I talked to over at Cobb Hill said he cut something like ten cords in six hours, which is incomprehensible to me, but such is the life of a Flatlander. I tend to pick away and adjust. I cut what's accessible, then roll logs down to reach them, to avoid having them roll on top of me. It's not efficient, but it works. It makes me wonder if my cautious approach might warrant getting a real chain vs. a safety chain, but we'll see. Personally I think my saw cuts just fine, and I don't want to get too big for my britches.

The second part of the wood is hauling it to where I'll split and stack it. I only have a wheel barrow and my arms, and there is a small hill I have to climb, so it's a lot of work moving seven cords of wood. I've done in it in the past, and it's a workout, but it sure feels good. There are times I think I would benefit from having a tractor, but then I realize life is better this way.

I had my seminal fatherly moment last week playing catch with my son for the first time. We signed him up for T-ball and he loves it, even if I think the kids are way too young and uncoordinated to be playing it. They don't have the hand-eye yet, as alluded to by our family dentist, Dr. B. I agree, but he is having fun, and if you can believe this one, I'm actually helping out coaching. It doesn't get any more "real man" than this.

More to come soon. Sorry for being such a flake. Until then, thanks for reading.

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