Warning: No knitting content ahead, although Samson and Baru get mentioned.
Note: Yeah, I know this is supposed to be a blog mainly about knitting/crocheting with an occasional mention of my doggies, but I like to share of topic events that I think will amuse you (usually at my expense) and because it's good to stretch my writing muscles.
There was very little knitting or sweater designing for me over the long weekend. Hubby had declared that we would do Massive Amounts of Yardwork in an attempt to undo the effects of our regular neglect.
On one level I know I shouldn't complain because, really, Hubby does all the hard work and I just follow around cleaning up after him and doing the detail stuff.
In preparation of this monumental task I asked my friend Giggles from the yarn store to come give us some advice. Not only does she make those awesome project bags I wrote about a few months ago, but she has a degree in, like, landscape management or something. In fact, I think she used to run, or even own, a landscape company. So I was totally taking advantage of her expertise.
She very kindly did not laugh at us and our overgrown shrubs at all. She told us where to clip, how to prune, and what to take out entirely. My favorite part was when she said, "I find that just removing the dead branches makes a shrub look maintained." She delivered this in a deadpan without the least amount of judgment.
Fortunately for me I was working at the yarn store Saturday. By the time I got home Hubby had done the grocery shopping and worn himself out mowing, weed whacking, and hedging and was ready to call it quits for the day.
I took the opportunity to mix up a batch of bread starter.
I was not pleased at all the next morning when the starter showed no signs of life. I put it down to the fact the house was in the low 70s F due to our central air. So I stuck it on the porch in the sun for a few hours.
A bit of advice we were not surprised to receive was to take down the tree at the end of the yard that was infested by a grape vine.
Hubby rented a chainsaw and we had at it. He chopped and I dragged the debris off to the side for disposal.
Boy howdy, chopping down trees is hard work and I wasn't even doing the work!
Because of the dangerous nature of our activity, we left Samson inside. He protested loudly as he was sure us monkeys couldn't manage something like chopping down a tree without a canine supervisor. When we stopped for a break about halfway through and let him out of the house he immediately ran over and peed on the stump.
I also took the opportunity to mix up my bread dough, but I only kneaded it for about five minutes since I had to save my strength for yard work.
Not the dough, me.
Did I mention it was like a billion degrees F all weekend? And we were busting our butts outside in the heat. Of course I worked right along side Hubby because I am Not a Princess, but it turns out I am a Delicate Flower.
Hubby had the stump chopped up by 4 pm. Then he sent me to the shed for something, which was like an oven. I came back declaring I'd just been sick from the heat and I was done for the day.
After taking I cold shower I flopped into bed and fell asleep. Hubby must have been keeping an eye on me because after a few hours he woke me up for dinner. I finally admitted I had woken up with a headache and being in the sun all day didn't help.
Then I promptly fell asleep on the couch.
When I finally woke up around 9 pm I stumbled out in the kitchen to check my bread dough. It had risen quite a bit. However, I knew I couldn't face shaping and braiding it. All I could manage was dividing it in two and forming it into ovals. I sprayed the tops with olive oil, covered it with plastic wrap, and stuck the whole mess in the fridge.
Then I went to bed for real.
Back in Action
I was pleased when I woke up Monday morning with no whiff of a bad head.
The pups and I charged downstairs and took the dough out of the fridge so it could come to room temperature before I baked it.
Shortly after I let the dogs out I heard Baru barking his head off. Yep, you guessed it, he was barking at the lack of tree. Poor dog just can't handle change. You might remember how strenuously he objected to the new air conditioner compressor.
I don't know if it was the lack of tree, the new view, or what, but he wasn't happy. However, by the afternoon he had come to terms with it.
Can't say I blame him, though. The tree being gone really changes the look of the backyard. Almost makes it look bigger somehow.
By the time Hubby stumbled downstairs the bread was baked. It turned out well, despite the sever neglect. I imagine it was saved by the long slow rising times it had due to the low temps in the house and then being in the fridge overnight. Still, I wouldn't want to risk trying to duplicate the process. Especially the headache part.
We swung back into action. I was posted on the front shrubs doing detail pruning of removing dead branches and old flowers. It was very tiring work in it's own way. I did my best to be all philosophical about it by focusing on the task at hand and doing the best I could. With the sun beating down on my head the mind set didn't keep me from getting really hot.
Samson said it was pretty hot, too, but he got to lay down on the fresh dirt exposed under the bushes by all our trimming and raking.
After over an hour of work I told Hubby I was really hot and needed a break. He agreed. We went into the backyard, stripped down to our undies, and hosed each other off. It was a mix between "Holy Smokes! That's Cold!" and "Oh Man! That feels sooo good, spray me again."
We decided that if we were that hot Samson must be too, so I called him over and hosed him down. He had the same reaction we did. He let me spray him, then stepped way, shook off, then turned right around and trotted over for another go. I made sure to get his head and chest really well. The second time he ran up on the porch to shake off and didn't come back until I put the hose down. Clever puppy.
After the break was over we tried to leave Samson inside, but he barked at us so we had to let him out. However, he spent most of the rest of the afternoon snoozing on the front porch. It's well shaded and I guess the concrete floor was a little cooler.
He was so tuckered out from his hard day of supervising us that after dinner he hopped up on the love seat with me and passed out. He didn't even budge when I got up to make my tea. (Usually both dogs follow me expecting to be let out.)
I was pretty tuckered out too.
The yard looks loads better, but there is still work to be done. If I'm lucky Hubby is knocking out the rest of it (or most of it) today while I'm at work. hehehe.
Of course, once the outside is cleaned up he'll turn his attention to the inside. There is no rest for the wife. That's the trouble with being married to a teacher. They have waaay to much time on their hands in the summer.