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Friday, June 3, 2005

The yard work I did today was of the low tech variety. Iíve been finding reasons all week not to get outside with the trimmer or the mower, but today all the sand ran out of those excuses. It wasnít too hot, and I wasnít too busy. Besides, nobody was going to come around and do it for me.

One of the main reasons I had been hesitating was that I didnít seem to be getting anywhere with the trimmer and the mower anyway. Thatís partly because I canít last very long at a time, but itís also because there are certain kinds of weeds that simply donít fit into the categories that my machines are designed for.

Especially in the side yard, I have weeds that the mower wonít go over, because theyíre too thick and clumpy. Itís like trying to drive through a redwood tree (and not one of those redwood trees with the trunks carved out for easy passage). I either need a heavy-duty tractor, or I need to find some other method to remove the obstacles. Something, for example, like my hands, shoulders, back and legs, working in unison.

Some of the reedy growth in that same area doesnít lend itself to the action of the trimmer. The line wonít cut through the stalks on some weeds unless I stand in one place and shove the trimmer into the same spot over and over. Itís like trying to vacuum up a smudge on the rug. No matter how hard you work at it, you donít get anywhere.

So I pulled on the new leather gloves I bought at Target (my garden supply store of choice) earlier this week and went to work. In the end, I wasnít able to cover much territory. Itís a lot slower going, doing this work by hand, but it does have the advantage of actually getting done. And I can see the difference! Plus, Iím getting some healthy exercise (I hope).

What I learned was that pulling weeds by hand is harder on my poor old body that using the weed trimmer, but easier than using the mower. But I also know that once the yard gets into decent shape for the first time, going over it with the mower will be the easiest thing in the world. Itís getting from here to point B that has me feeling a little woozy.

19 May 2005


Youíre gonna laugh, but today was the worst day in months for my arthritic right hand. The pain was sharp and constant, and I tried for most of the day not to use it at all. Rest and painkillers usually help. Things have been getting worse and worse all week. but I couldnít let that stop me from doing what I needed to do in the yard. I winced and groaned a little, but it didnít kill me. I donít think it made me any stronger, despite the old adage, but it didnít kill me.

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The Giants were unable to extend their losing streak today, due to rain in New York. Probably the only reason they didnít lose ground to the Diamondbacks is that there was also rain in Philadelphia. So far this is all good news, except for the fact that the depleted pitching staff will be taxed by having to play a double header on Sunday. Twice as many innings means twice as many chances to screw up. (Sadly, it also rained in Dover, and the truck race was rescheduled for tomorrow morning — at 6 am (my time)! Thatís a little early, even for this rabid NASCAR fan.)

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One year ago: Short Circuit
"I'm not counting chickens, because I'm not completely convinced there are even any eggs."

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And then she said "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge.
Today Billie Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge."