I've had a woody all weekend long and no, it wasn't on account of Gray's slimming waistline.
It was finally warm enough to do some yard work.
Did you hear me? I GOT TO WORK IN MY YARD FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME SINCE I BOUGHT THE HOUSE. With yard tools and chemicals and a bandanna and everything.
First, I started with a general clean-up. Dogs poop a lot, see, and while Gray and I typically snatch up the shit with a little plastic bag, when it's 40 below outside, you can bet your sweet canine ass we send the pups out to fend for themselves in the snow.
On the up side, all of the lingering poo was fossilized for easy pick-up.
There was also a ton of garbage on the front curb and in the back alley. Stuff we don't eat or drink or throw away. I'm blaming the hooligans, and also the wind, because more than once our garbage can was sent careening over a snowbank (THANK YOU CITY PLOWS) and into a pile on the alley floor. I'm sure we weren't the only ones.
Then I grabbed my trusty snipper clipper thingy. I don't know what it's called, it's some kind of ratcheting shrub pruner something-or-other, and I obliterated all of the start-up trees and shrubs taking over the yard and threatening to allow even more rodents to call our place Home.
When we bought the house, we discovered a large chain link dog kennel folded up on the side of the garage. It's probably 8' tall and god only knows how big. We don't use those things because our dogs are strictly indoors (unless we're out there with them on a leash).
I want to sell the fucker.
Unfortunately, one of said start-up trees had grown its way up through the chain links, twisting here and there all willy-nilly, and effectively pinning the damn cage both to the ground and to the side of the garage. It was awfully difficult to get the pruners to work in such tight quarters (did I mention I had to squeeze myself between layers of the fence to get close enough to reach the limbs?) but finally I got enough of the cursed tree snipped to allow for the kennel to...lean against a tree instead of the garage.
Yeah, I'm THAT bad ass.
Turns out it's too heavy for me to move alone, so Gray will be enlisted post-haste.
Then there's the landscape rock. The horrible, awful, pink-brown landscape rock that some prior owner thought would be FUCKING FABULOUS all over the property. There aren't any shrubs or bulbs inside the stone borders, but BY CHRIST THERE'S LANDSCAPE ROCK.
I don't know about you, but I found that rock is heavy.
What are the muscles that connect your shoulders to you boobs? Apparently those are the muscles that does 90% of the heavy lifting when shoveling landscape rock into a pile on the driveway, and holy shit. My shoulder-boob muscles hurt.
The rock is in the front of the house, a huge section on the east side of the house, and all along the back of the house. I started in front because there are two "rose" bushes that are so covered in thorns and daggers and, I'm pretty sure, rusty narcotic needles, that I cannot wait to slaughter them entirely. They don't produce many leaves and almost no flowers, but BY GOD if they're aren't sharper than the entire staff of Yale, and I've decided a big rope and the trailer hitch on Gray's truck ought to be their demise.
I'm probably going to burn them, too. Just for fun. But I'm going to wear protective eye wear because I'd be shocked if the flaming thorns didn't hurl themselves directly in my direction.
I also began slaughtering the hoards and legions of box elder bugs that inhabit our garage and sun porch. When I woke up on Sunday, one whole wall of the garage was black, and I was like, "Dude, did the stoned brother in the next block explode on our garage or what?" and then I realized it was thousands of bugs.
And so I killed them.
When the storms rolled in, I retreated to my basement workshop and planted all of my seedlings to get an early start on gardening: 3 kinds of hot peppers (overkill? not when heat is the only "taste" I have left), asparagus beans (some kind of hybrid that I squealed over and cannot wait to check out), a mix of sweet peppers, tons of basil, rosemary and chives, cherry tomatoes and big fat regular tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, and...oddly...marigolds. I don't plan on eating those, though.
The scary thing about these vegetables I'm growing is that I don't exactly have room for all of the plants, so I'll have to get creative. Can anyone say rooftop pepper mill?!?!?!
I have been waiting to cram dirt under my fingernails and organize my garage and just fucking GET OUTSIDE for over six months now.
It's like I've died and gone to a southern state (minus the bigots and bolo ties).