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Sunday, May 15, 2005

About a third of the way across my back yard, clearly visible through the sliding glass door, is what many years ago was a compost heap. Now itís just a mound, a hill that breaks up the landscape by making the weeds and wild grasses that grow on top of it even higher than the ones that grow throughout the rest of the yard.

This is the biggest challenge I have in trying for the first time in my five years here to take care of the yard myself. I have the tools, the trimmer and mower I got for my birthday last month. What I havenít had is the time, mostly because itís rained every weekend lately. And the energy, I donít have enough of that to go around.

I proved that today when I pulled the mower out of the garage and started in on the patch outside the back door. This was the easiest bit I could have worked on, because itís the area I last mowed. Unfortunately, that last mowing was so long ago that the grasses have grown back — not to their previous level, but to a height I could have easily managed, if the whole yard had been the same.

Unfortunately, once I got past this previously mowed patch, I had to tackle the hill. I read somewhere once that you shouldnít mow straight up and down a hill, but rather back and forth across it. Thatís all well and good, but itís awfully hard to cut down weeds that are over your head when youíre trying to push a mower tilted up sideways at a sharp angle.

It was hard on my back and it was hard on my legs, but mostly it was hard on my heart and lungs. I was gasping and panting and wobbly by the time Iíd gotten halfway over the hill. So I stopped. Half a hill is better than none, and it wouldnít have done anyone any good if Iíd kept going long enough to pass out. As it was, I nearly had to crawl back into the house, and I wasnít worth much for the rest of the day.

And all in twenty minutes. I thought I was tired last night, and Iíd been out of the house most of the day. Today I was out for less than half an hour and I couldnít move for the longest time. And now, tonight, the rain is coming in again and I donít know how long it will be before I can get out with the mower. But itís pretty obvious that I canít do it during the week, if it takes me all day to recover.

6 May 2005

Storm clouds.

And thereís the problem. Even if I can do some mowing every weekend, I can never keep ahead of the grasses and weeds. Once the whole yard gets done once, Iíll settle into maintenance mode and keep things under control. But if it never stops raining long enough, Iíll never get to that point. Iím feeling a little desperate about this situation right now, but Iíll keep doing what I have to do to make up for my deficiencies. Anything short of hiring someone else to do what I should be able to do myself, that is.

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If the Giants were trying to prove theyíre not ready for prime time, at least they did it on a night when nobody was watching. While most of the country was tuned into the Survivor finale, ESPN was showing the Astros beating the Giants, 9-0. For a decade and a half, Jeff Bagwell has been the Giantsí chief nemesis. Now that his career is on hold (and possibly over), somebody had to step up. Morgan Ensberg and Craig Biggio each hit four home runs in this series, making it a sort of unlikely wonder that the Giants were able to win two of the four games.

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One year ago: Holding On
"It's a little like driving through the fog. You know where you're going, and you'll get there sooner or later, but it's hard to tell how close you are."

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