Tag Archives: yard work

Crabby Appleton

Crabby Appleton is a term my mom used when we were little kids to describe our attitude when we were having a bad day . . . grumpy, in a bad mood, everything was terrible . . .

Today I was Crabby Appleton . . . in a bad mood for no apparent reason . . . everybody was twanging on my last nerve . . . everything was frustrating . . . if I didn’t know better I’d think it was PMS . . . but do post-menopausal women get PMS . . .

I saw a cartoon on FB that showed a cat as a therapist . . . asking the human patient if they had “tried pushing a bunch of shit off a table?” . . . and I laughed . . . then thought that might make me feel better . . . but I didn’t want to clean up the mess . . .

So I did the  next best thing . . . I got out the lawn mower and cut the weeds in the front yard . . . it hasn’t rained a lot here lately and the grass is dead but the weeds are still growing . . . the yard looked better . . . then I decided I needed to edge the sidewalk and the driveway because, well, weeds . . . and I have this fabulous new mower and trimmer and haven’t used them at all . . .

What do you know . . . it did make me feel better . . . the yard looks nicer . . . even though the grass is dead . . . and the sidewalk is nicely trimmed . . .

Thank you, my darling Prince Charming, for teaching me that yard work can be therapeutic . . . I’ll have to work on the back yard over the weekend . . .

 

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Filed under coping, grief, Play, PostADay, Prince Charming

Stronger

It’s been 5 years, 5 months, and 14 days since Prince Charming left this Earth.

I’ve tried to be brave, be strong, to carry on . . . even when I didn’t know WTF I was doing, even when I didn’t WANT to carry on.

I buried him.  And I had no idea what kind of service he wanted.

I settled his estate.  I handled a wrongful death claim.  I dealt with the Bureau of Worker Compensation, a whole bunch of insurance agencies, and some other silly government stuff that I don’t really remember.

I bought a new car.  I bought a new washer.  I planned for a major remodeling project for The Little House.  I had a new driveway installed.  I dealt with the daily stuff of living in a 90-something year old house.

I did yard work . . . winter and summer . . . even though I hate it.

Everyone told me it would get “easier”.  That I would eventually “feel better”.  Life wasn’t always going to “suck”.  I called bullshit on all of that . . . it’s still hard,  it still hurts, it still sucks.

Mostly I went through the motions of doing “stuff” so people wouldn’t worry about the “poor thing” wallowing in her widowhood . . .

Today I think I’ve turned a corner.  I still don’t know WTF I’m doing but I am starting to feel like whatever comes around I can handle it . . . because, surprisingly enough, I have been handling it all along.

And it started with a weed eater.  A string trimmer.  And spending some time edging the sidewalk in front of the house.

Sounds simple enough . . . but it’s really a massive accomplishment.  I’m a yard snob.  I like the yard to look “just so” but since Prince Charming has been gone I didn’t have the energy or desire to do the work necessary to have the yard look “just so” . . . so I didn’t do it.  Yes, the yard is cut and I did cut down the weeds but it was a half hearted effort.  The weed eater I had belonged to Prince Charming.  It was built for him . . . and he was a foot taller than me and weighed about a hundred pounds more than me.  It was big.  It was heavy.  It was hard for me to maneuver.  It was battery operated . . . and the batteries were wearing out.  That started a whole research project.  Buy batteries for the trimmer I have or buy a new trimmer?  Battery or corded?  Which brand?  How many amps?  What size cut?  It was enough to make a girls head spin.

I made a decision . . . it’s my yard and I need to be able to take care of it myself.  Buy what you want.  Buy what will work best for you.  So I bought a little 4.4 amp, 13 inch cut corded trimmer.  It’s the perfect size for me.  It works like a charm.  It was a birthday present to myself.  And I have been as excited as a little kid to get a new string trimmer as a birthday present.

So today I decided I wanted to use the trimmer and at least edge the front sidewalk and the driveway before I went to a family party.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  I had NO IDEA that edging the sidewalk could be so therapeutic.  I didn’t have to worry about the battery running out.  I did have to be careful about where the cord was so I didn’t cut it.  But for 30 minutes it was me and the trimmer cleaning up the messy front sidewalk.  It was heaven.  It’s not pretty.  It’s not perfect.  I need to clean up a few spots.  But it’s done.  It’s not half bad for a first attempt.  And I did it.  By my self.  Me.  The girl who still wants to stay in bed under the covers some days . . .

I still get mad at the universe that Prince Charming wasn’t here long enough.  But then I have days like today when I realize he was here long enough to help me realize that even though it sucks that he’s gone . . . I can do this stuff on my own . . . even when I don’t want to do it alone . . . even if I stomp my feet and curse every single step of the way.  And now I have the desire and energy to actually do the stuff I hate . . . and even look forward to it a bit . . .

Does this mean I’m getting a little stronger?  Does this mean it might not always suck this bad?  I’m always gonna miss him . . . but maybe it will actually get a little easier?

 

 

 

 

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Filed under coping, grief, PostADay, Prince Charming, Stuff

Dear Prince Charming

You know “it’s not a holiday if you don’t have a project” and this year my project was to “do something” with the front flower bed.  I’ve had the same project every Memorial Day since you left.  I would weed the flower bed, put down new mulch, but I never planted anything because I couldn’t make up my mind about what I wanted.  So I didn’t plant anything and half-heartedly tended to the weeds that took over.  Every fall I would say “next year I’m going to do something with that flower bed.”  Every spring I would look at the seed catalogs, scout out new plants at the garden centers . . . and since I couldn’t make up my mind . . . I did nothing.  This year I decided that “doing something” would be tearing it out. 

I want to apologize for un-doing the beautiful work you did to create the front flower bed.  Trust me, this was not an easy decision for me.  I’ve agonized over it for weeks.  I stood in front of the flower bed and cried because I remembered how much precision you put into putting down the weed barrier cloth, how exacting you were in placing the border stones, and the many conversations we had and trips we took to find the right plants. 

I’m not a gardener.  I’m a certified plant killer.  I can kill a philodendron (and have many times).   I don’t like yard work.  It was fun when you were here to share the work load but now it’s a chore . . . one that I dread every week . . . the phrase “I really hate your ass right now” is uttered at least once during every yard work session.  I could do it if I wanted to . . . but I don’t want to . . . so I’m not going to torture myself over it anymore.  

So the border stones were carefully removed, cleaned, and stored in the shed . . . in case I change my mind next year and decide to put them back . . . the weed barrier cloth was taken up . . . and I’m headed to our favorite handyman store tomorrow to get a bag of top soil and grass seed to put where your lovely little flower bed used to be . . .

Your little concrete foxes are safely in place in the back yard . . . because I’m afraid they will be stolen if I leave them out front without the protection of the weeds they’ve been hiding behind for the last five years (gasp . . . it’s been five years . . . dang).  Now I can see them every time I look out the back door. 

Even though I’m sad that another part of “our” life is gone . . . I’m at peace with the decision.  Or at least I will be once the new grass has taken hold and it doesn’t look like a construction site in the front yard. 

I hope you understand . . . 

Love you forever and forever, Pammie

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Filed under coping, grief, PostADay, Prince Charming, Stuff

What I Wanted To Say

I’m having issues with my Lovely Neighbors . . . two very nice gentlemen that live on either side of me who have suddenly decided that I need “help” cutting the grass in my front yard.  Mind you, my front yard is only 40 feet wide and maybe 10 feet deep.  Takes me about 15 minutes max to mow . . .

Lovely Neighbor Mike figures he’ll cut my grass because he’s out there anyway and my yard is so little that it won’t take a minute . . . . he does an okay job with cutting the grass but I feel guilty that a 70 year old man is cutting my grass when I’m perfectly capable of doing it myself . . .

Lovely Neighbor Marc doesn’t like when Lovely Neighbor Mike cuts my grass because Mike gets grass clippings on Marc’s car . . . a car that Marc is constantly fussing over . . . washing, waxing, adding fancy lights and high performance engine parts.  But instead of talking to Mike about it, Marc has decided that he will just cut the grass in my yard that’s closest to his driveway so that Mike can’t cut it and get grass all over his pretty car.  The problem with that is Marc cares very little about his yard and his mower is set too low and he does a horrible job cutting the grass.  Because my front yard is uneven and has a slight hill, there are more than a few places where Marc has cut the grass down to the dirt . . . and he only cuts that one strip of grass so I’m forced to cut the rest of the yard (whether I planned to or not) so that I don’t have to look at the horrible disaster.   I’m also forced to clean up the mess of grass clippings that he leaves behind on my sidewalk, my front steps, my front porch, my flower beds . . . he doesn’t want grass on his car but it seems to be okay to leave grass all over my yard . . .

Mind you, neither Mike or Marc have asked me if it’s okay to cut my grass.  And I haven’t asked either one of them to cut the grass for me.  I’ve stated several times that I appreciate their help but I am perfectly capable of cutting my own grass and to please stop.

They aren’t listening . . . . so what I really want to do is have the following conversation with them . . .

Me: Did I ask you to cut my grass?

Neighbor: Uh, no, but I thought I would . . . .

Me (interrupting): Did you ask me if I needed you to cut my grass?

Neighbor: Um, no, I didn’t but I thought . . .

Me (interrupting and getting angry): Then why the F@#K do you think it’s okay TO CUT MY GRASS!!  DO NOT CUT MY GRASS!!  If you have a problem with the neighbor TALK TO THE NEIGHBOR THAT’S BOTHERING YOU and LEAVE MY YARD OUT OF IT!!

But I can’t have that conversation because we’ve all lived here for more than 20 years and I don’t want to alienate the only neighbors that I actually talk to . . .

So I’m looking for another way to solve this problem . . .

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Filed under coping, Neighbors, PostADay, Stuff