May 23, 2005

What a weekend! Let’s skip the narrative, and just try listing the events:

Saturday, 5:15am-get up, make coffee   5:20am-put Xerxes outside with Silkie hen for company 5:45am-haul cart with hoses and shovels to southwest end of property, start tractor and haul water sprayer to southeast end. 6:00am-determine the grass is too wet to catch fire. 6:15am-discover irrigation bleeder valve, turn on. 6:30am-finally see actual water instead of obscene extrusions of mud emerge from valve. 6:45am-try to light fire again, not working. We decide to wait an hour or two for more wind. 7:00am-prepare roundup in 2 gallon sprayer; spray 4 gallons total throughout front 2 acres 7:45am-stop in for more coffee 8:00am-start some sprinklers irrigating, pull a few weeds 8:15am-head back out to south end of property, this time the fire starts. Tend fire as strips are burned, extinguish any flames that creep into firebreak. 10:00am-make circuit in tractor to check for anything smoldering, leave Ken to finish doing fireman stuff. 10:15am stretch piece of field fence to make circle, plant Giant Syrian tomatoes and tomatillos. Put rest of tomatillos under each rainbird water sprinkler pipe. Become upset that the second Red Whackitty has a broken handle, vow to never again purchase this tool. Ken out on tractor, mowing orchard. 11:30am go inside, shower off disgusting smoke smell, eat lunch for breakfast, read newspaper, drink a lot of water. 12:15pm back outside, replace long, long hose. Spray and scrub white arbor/fence, let dry. Go back out with paint, paint picket fence partially purple, 2 coats. 2:00pm-pick half quart of mulberries, remove some sweet peas that don’t look so good, water area of planted gourd seeds, handpick slugs from dahlia beds and feed to chickens 4:00pm-deadhead flowers, prop up quaking grass, replant bean seeds that slugs have killed. Ken goes to Woodland, finds organicky slug bait at Home Depot. Go inside, take break and watch half of "What Not to Wear", drink lots of water, eat. 5:00pm-Ken back, start putting slug bait everywhere that things have been getting eaten. Ken copes with incident involving malfunctioning flail mower and sheared off irrigation line, respectively. Weed wildflowers. Fertilize elephant ear. Fiddle with baby gopher cat caught and let go. Accidentally let gopher loose. Oops. Tie up straying grape vines onto arbor. Thin apples, check on fruit trees 8:00pm slither into hot tub with nice drink. Notice stupid peacock is trying to eat the slug bait. Chase peacock all over yard in bathing suit with rake. Slither back into hot tub while resenting avian stupidity. Work day OVER.

Sunday sleep in until 7:15am, Castor walking all over us with filthy paws. Get up, find gopher innards and head on floor, make coffee. Go sit in hot tub. 8:30am Ken goes to Woodland, I don heavy clothes and start trimmer mower. Mow poultry pen, and various garden spots. 9:30am Walk berry vines, find enough raspberries and boysenberries for breakfast. Weed. 10:00am-go inside, have more coffee, eat bowlful of berries and cream and contemplate that all this work has some rewards, read paper. Ken comes home, eats berries too. Try on bag of clothes from friend, discover really cool stuff!! 11:00am-back outside, plan on using parents’ unwanted wooden ladders as support for pole beans. 11:15am-plan changes to painting gate and upright arbor posts orange, three coats. Hoe mounds of dirt back into post holes, disturb 2 fire ant nests, get bit everywhere. 11:25am-get pissed, go to shop and get can of Raid. Spray. Smile. Return can to shop. Paint. 12:15pm clip apricot branches sagging toward ground. Go inside, drink. 1:00pm take hose to hot tub, fill with water, soak head and clothing. Clean off hot tub, steps, cover. Water stuff in general. 2:00pm. Ken works on repairs and returns to cutting bricks to finish patio project. Return to bean project. Notice that asparagus row is a mess. Drive t-posts, string line, tie up asparagus fronds. Irrigate. Notice that berries are straying toward asparagus. Remove and or transplant offending berries. Swear at variety with thorns for the nth time. Add hay to areas where ground is bare. Decide to fix hay in artichoke planter bed now that marauding rooster is dead. Gather tools, realize that beans still have not been addressed. Straighten out stepping stones that shifted. 4pm-watch a few minutes of stupid movie, drink water. 4:20pm-fertilize rose bushes. Notice more ants eating flower buds. Get pissed, get can of Raid. Spray. Smile. Friend calls. Talk while fertilizing. 6pm-Decide I’d better work on poultry feed but get distracted looking at cherry trees. Noticed bing cherries were splitting after all, decided I’d better harvest. Get ladder, pick most of cherries. Hoe some weeds around trees. 7pm-feed poultry, feed chicks, clean water tubs, beat rooster off with stick. 8pm-back hoeing some more in orchard. Notice chair, sit down. Watch full moon rise over orchard while joined by black cat Darkness. Listen to the birds and the wind in the trees. Clip a few suckers off a chestnut. 8:45pm Work over, go in and shower dirt off.

Well that was shorter than writing it longhand, but that’s a full work-weekend!

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