Working for the weekend

You’re welcome for getting that song stuck in your head. I hope it also involves Chris Farley and Patrick Swayzy and if you don’t know what I’m talking about — immediately Google “SNL Chippendale skit” — if you’re an adult. You’re welcome, again.

Where was I? Right, the weekend. Well, Jeff’s been actually working at his paying job all weekend so we can have nice things like health insurance and food. So, it’s been up to me to work on a bunch of projects on my own. I admit I did have some help from the kids from time to time — like Bethy and her boyfriend, who checked the potatoes we planted last weekend to see if any had been exposed by the seemingly never-ending rain and then covered them back up.


And what did I do? Well, let me get my list. (Seriously, I am list-writer.)

Before Jeff left for work, he built a bunch of raised beds to put behind the house. (We already have seven in front of the house, in addition to a huge herb and flower garden and excluding all of the fields.). And, he kindly left a pile of dirt and a pile of compost near them for me to shovel into them. And shovel I did — with the help of Bethy’s boyfriend who managed to get them about half full in no time. After the three beds were filled, Bethy helped me plant our specialty (read:expensive) seed potatoes in them.

There are four left, which I loaded up into the pickup one at at time and brought over to the house. Because they aren’t leveled, or in the exact spot we want, those remain stacked neatly in the driveway. Each bed is four-by-eight feet — not so easy for my 5-foot, 2-inch self to manhandle, but I did it.

I also located some seed that’s been hanging around for a while and planted that — garlic and peas.

In the raised beds out front went the peas. And I cleaned out another four beds to be planted later. And built a compost bin out of pallets. And raked out the spot where I am hoping to plant my asparagus slightly in front of the drip line of the house.


Did I mention I put up more than 100 feet of fence? That’s for the groundhog/jerk that ate almost everything I planted in those raised beds last year. Except my strawberries — the birds ate those.

But, by far, I am most proud of myself for fixing the solar-powered electric fence. We installed it in the new pig pen but couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working properly. You could touch it and wouldn’t even get the slightest tingle — not what you want in an electric fence. After a little research, I was able to get it work as it should. Luckily, I didn’t have to touch it to test it, as Jeff has a voltage tester, and the pigs don’t arrive until next weekend.

I did some other stuff that needed to be done as well, like taking the trash to the transfer station, entertaining our teenagers with my wit, feeding the chickens, grocery shopping, washing countless loads of laundry (and putting them in the dryer because someone — cough, Jeff, cough — broke my clothesline and it’s too high for me to fix) and finally, burning out our push lawnmower.

That wasn’t really my fault, though. I noticed the grass was getting pretty tall out on what we call the island in the field. The island is a few trees, a lot of rocks piled up over the years for generations before us, and a little grass. That grass was tall. And apparently slightly damp. The lawnmower didn’t like it much. I tried to take it easy. The lawnmower didn’t care. It stalled. I cleaned out the grass underneath and tried to start it again. All I got was a feeble half effort and some smoke. I left it where is was and walked away. Jeff laughed a lot when I told him what happened. Not sure why…he’s the one who will deal with it when he gets home!





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