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Busy, busy, busy

I have no respect for anything. What did I do on Father’s Day weekend? I put my husband to work, of course!

It started with leisure, though. I had been yearning to see Ovo, the Cirque du Soleil show in Hartford, but was coming up blank for a sitter. Bob took the situation into his own hands, ordered tickets and arranged for Camma to come watch our cable and read our books for the evening. It was a spectacular show, as I have come to expect. It was, however, cold enough in that tent that you could have hung a side of beef with no worries. I, who am never cold, was miserably cold. By about intermission I had gotten used to it, but I was joking that they should be selling hot cocoa at the concessions.

The stylistic theme this time was insects. The cricket costumes just rocked – their designers are brilliant. I, as we have all come to expect, spent a good chunk of the time ruminating on odd asides. For example – the tumbling act was fabulous. But that led me to wonder how many of the kids who are growing up in these organizations actually “get out.” They all get very good schooling and such, but they’ve also all got a job from childhood. How many of them (who knows – maybe it’s a lot) sit down and say “mom, dad – I want to be an accountant?” What is the social path out of the circus and into every day society? Or is it not as rarified as I fantasize it to be? The rope act led me to wonder what the body suits are made from. It can’t be anything too slippery, or someone is going to be crashing to their death. I also noticed the music. Scoring and playing for these shows has to be a trick. The music obviously goes with the various parts of the acts, but the acts don’t move at a set pace. There is no way that the performers are going to proceed until they know that the rigging is set the way they want, so you need a piece of music that the musicians can hold in place so to speak, and then be able to proceed as soon as the performer is set and moving on. Interesting. It was a great show, and the “human slinky” made me laugh in delight. I’m glad we got to go. I can’t wait to take Charlotte in two years.

Saturday morning, my kid who always sleeps in decided to get up before 8:00. What’s with that? We got moving slowly, but when she went down for a late morning nap we got outside to work in the yard. Moss removal was still continuing, and we’ve been at it long enough that it’s re-sprouting on the areas we had already cleared. That’s annoying. But I managed to get the rest of it raked off, Bob hauled all the debris back to the pile in the woods, and I think that step is done. The next task will be hauling dirt to level out the low spots. That will start tomorrow. I figure we’ve got maybe two or three cubic yards of dirt available for leveling, and I see no reason not to use it all. After the raking was done, I decided to get out the pole saw and trim back some trees. The problem with a pole saw, I have discovered,  is that it’s really easy to get carried away. Fortunately, I’m not unhappy with anything that we did. We got the back opened up so that it feels more like a house on a wooded lot and less like the Little House in the Big Woods. It was getting a little closed in back there, to the point where I really didn’t like being in parts of the back yard. I’ve got light and air on some things that haven’t had them for a while, and that’s good. In particular I want to get some more light on the mock orange. After smelling the few flowers it put out this year, I want lots and lots of them. After we’d had as much fun as we could reach with the pole saw, I showed Bob the branch I *really* wanted down. It was reaching out from a maple tree on the east side of the house; was touching the roof, which is inherently evil; and was beginning to get intimate with the lines coming in to the house from the street. I figured that by next year it would be so entwined with the power lines that it would have become a non-user serviceable part. Fortunately it was a “small” enough branch that it was realistic to cut it with a bow saw. Unfortunately it was thirty or so feet up…

Just about as we were ready to set the extension ladder, guess who woke up? Luckily, I had a solution in mind. We got her up, fed her lunch, and asked her if she would like to play in her sandbox. We might as well have duct taped her to the spot when we took the cover off of it. I could see her from the tree, and she wasn’t going to go anywhere. Perfect.

We managed to manhandle the ladder up into the tree, but it was a terrible process. We really need a better technique with that ladder. I don’t know what we’re doing wrong, but I would really like to see how someone who knows what they’re doing gets those things up and down – because what we’re doing can’t possibly be correct. Bob strapped the top of the ladder to the tree, and headed up with the bow saw and a hank of rope. He roped the branch as far out as he could, and I pulled while he cut. After a fair bit of work, the branch came down with an almighty crash, and I dragged it away from the ladder. Being greedy, I asked if he could take off just one more on the way down?... That one was less involved to cut, but it hung up on another branch on the way down, so actual removal got a little exciting. It bounced off the mountain laurel underneath, but there was no apparent damage. I now have one less branch overhanging my roof, and that makes me happy.

At that point in the procedure, neither one of us could face the idea of trying to get the ladder down. Last time we did this, we ended up dropping it. Literally. So we decided to leave it until Sunday, and went to play with Charlotte in the sandbox. After a bit of that, we cut up the branches and hauled the leafy bits back to the pile, and I allowed as to how I would really like to try to take that branch off of the beech tree on the west side of the house? Please? That was a job for the twelve foot ladder and the pole saw. We dropped that one straight onto the forsythia, but it’s not like it’ll care. Taking that branch down has put a lot more light onto that side of the house. At that point we decided that not only were we just done, we didn’t even have the energy to grill so we threw in a frozen pizza.

Sunday morning we got up and headed off to the home of a friend who was having a work party to give away some stuff they were trying to get out of the way. Some of it was books, and I tried my best to restrain myself. Nonetheless, I brought home a stack of them. Originally I was going to go by myself and carpool with vynehorn , but Bob decided to come along. His older daughter’s family’s plans were still… fluid on Saturday evening, so he decided to come with me instead of sitting at home waiting. That meant that we had Charlotte, which always complicates things. But it all worked out. Erica met us at the house afterwards, and she and her dad got to have a visit. I decided to try to go weed out one garden bed. All it needed, I thought, was to have the wild hyacinth removed and relocated, and then a good weeding and maybe a wheelbarrow load of dirt to level it out.

First I had trouble locating the hyacinths, because I waited a little too long and they had died back for the year. But I eventually found them and dug them out. Then I found a couple of pretty flowering things that I thought I might want to save. One is Asiatic dayflower. It’s pretty, but I’m not sure it’s showy enough to be worth the bother of moving it. (Since typing that line, I’ve done a little reading on this plant, and I’m pulling it out. It sounds like I’ll be pulling it out for years.) The other thing is very small and low with tiny pink flowers. I don’t know what that is or if I ought to move it or not. So much for a simple job. I dug up the hyacinths, weeded around the other stuff, and called it a night because dinner was ready and the mosquitoes were coming out.

Maybe next weekend we can trim the trees across the north side of the house…



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 21st, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
WOO HOO! Wanna come do my trees!?
(Just kidding...)
Jun. 21st, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
I have a pole saw, and I'm not afraid to use it...
Jun. 22nd, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
How much does a good pole saw like that cost, anyway?
My Rob's still talking about getting a deer-hunting tree-climbing rig and using it for dead-limb removal. I'm tempted...but I'd rather keep him on solid ground.
Jun. 22nd, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
I think it was $40 or $50 at either Home Depot or Lowes. It's got probably fifteen feet or so of reach, and if you get up on a stepladder that adds more. I've gotten a lot of use out of it.
Jun. 21st, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
Your word for the day is "vamp." No, this does not relate to way too trendy teen novels. It means a musical phrase that can be repeated until whatever is going on onstage is done. Assuming they were actually live musicians, that's how you deal with pacing things.

You accomplished far more than I. I only got the impatiens planted and the bed mulched, ant bait stakes set and weed killer applied to all of the stuff coming up between the cracks in the concrete.
Jun. 22nd, 2010 02:41 am (UTC)
Cool! Yes, they were actual live musicians, and that's exactly what it sounded like. "Vamp," by the way is also the term for a shoe upper. I'm so glad I blathered about that.

It helps that I've got someone else working with me - two people drive each other forward. Or, the two of you just sit on the couch. :-) But really, my motivation was not wanting to have to pay for a new roof any time soon.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 03:10 am (UTC)
Having been in several pit bands, I've done my share of vamping (just don't tell my brother). In church, since it's just the organist, he/she just improvises until whatever is going on gets done. We musicians are used to having to be flexible (thus the vamping (grin)).

Having someone to help would be a good motivator. Working less than 10-11 hours a day all week would probably help too, but oh well. The mortgage must needs be paid.
Jun. 22nd, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC)
You are brave. I won't go higher up than my 12' step ladder.
Jun. 22nd, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)
My husband is the brave one - he's afraid of heights and he did that! I had planned on doing it myself because it doesn't bother me as much, but since he's stronger than I am it was much more efficient this way.

It's amazing the things that we've learned to deal with since buying a house...
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )