Tuesday, May 27, 2008

OCD Gardener

The fabulous weather over Memorial Day weekend did a lot to get me out of the funk I have been stewing in these past few weeks. We puttered in the garden and cooked out all weekend. It was pure bliss. I stayed home all day on Memoruial Day so I wouldn't see any of that flag waving, jingoistic crap that pisses me off so much. I did not see a single WW2 veteran in a garrison cap sucking up all the glory intended for the war dead.

Jasper chased an eagle out of the yard, and he killed a garter snake. He's a douche, but we love him. He has begun to obey our rules about which part of the pond he can play around in, but he has also begun to target the water snakes as his principal quarry.

It got to 90 degrees today and humid as all get out, but it's storming now and will cool off. It's raining like hell, and that will be good for the garden, better than the little spritz we got last night. Of course, Jesse is freaking out about the thunder. He's under the desk right now sitting on my feet and chattering his teeth. He's all tangled up in the keyboard cord..... AAAGH! He ripped the cord out of the computer, and I had to crawl around to plug it back in. Jesse is a major wuss when it comes to storms. Jasper, on the other hand, is oblivious.

Mrs Vache Folle pointed out to me that I am even crazier than I thought. I'm not just anxious; I am obsessive/compulsive. Even the gardening is done in an unwavering "system" that I can't break out of. First, I have to weed and repair a defined area of the perennial beds, and I have to go clockwise around the house and pond. First time through was just clean up. This time involves rebuilding walls, mulching, adding soil, what have you. Mrs Vache Folle weeded ahead, and it was all I could do not to protest about it. It made me crazy that she had skipped an area in the rotation and was weeding willy nilly with no apparent system. I held my tongue. I was lucky that she wanted to help at all. Subsequent rounds will be just weeding and upkeep, but these will be done in an unwavering pattern.

Second, I dig two wheelbarrows full of sod from the front of the house where I am converting part of the grass into a large perennial bed. I place this sod in an area by the weir of the pond that washed away in a flood as part of my reclamation project (I earlier built up the rock wall in that area).

Third, I cover the denuded area with topsoil and mulch.

Fourth, I mine rocks from the mountain and haul them to where they will be needed for the next repair session. I must mine and haul 25 "rock equivalent units" or REUs as I call them to count as part of the work quota. The largest stone I can lift into the wheelbarrow is 8 REUs. A stone the size of my open hand is one half an REU. 25 REUs are the most I can get in one wheelbarrow load.

Fifth, I must remove 30 shovels full of muck from the pond. I place the muck on top of the sod by the weir. This involves getting in the pond and can only be done when the temperature is higher than 60 degrees. I could put on waders, but I just get overheated in them and so go in in my shorts and crocks.

Once I have done these five things, I can garden freestyle and do other projects, but I've got to get these things out of the way. They are each tedious and can only be done with pleasure in small doses. If I don't make myself do them, they won't get done, and they will be big honking chores later in the heat. I'm still obsessive and inflexible, even thouh the underlying reasoning is sound (or is it?).

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