Sunday, April 11, 2010

Never Enough Mulch...

This was the type of weekend you just want to put a lid on and keep it forever because it was just so close to being perfect.

The weather, for a start, was beautiful. It's cool at night, warm in the day with just enough of a breeze to make you sigh with happiness.

I also didn't have any set plans which means it was a free sort of weekend. Those are sometimes the best kind.

I also got to hang out with the puppies almost the whole time which was fun but I think I've exhausted them. I think they'll sleep well tonight.

I spent almost the entire weekend outside. I've realized that while I love having my own house, it takes quite a bit of work. Take, for example, my garden. Not only does it have rather a lot of lawn to mow but the part where I would like to do my planting is overgrown and weed-soaked. I think the nice old lady who sold me the house was just beyond doing too much outside and by the time I moved in, it was too far gone to save last year. This year, I'm trying to get it in order. I spent much of Friday night, Saturday afternoon and today weeding, digging and putting down mulch. I'm two thirds of the way across the vast expanse of weed country.

It's amazing how much mulch you need for a garden. I've learned this before but this year, it was reiterated. I went to Home Depot to buy mulch. I bought eight bags which cover 2 cubic feet each. I competently managed to load them into the boot of my car with no assistance, laughing a little as men with big trucks got assistance from the Home Depot employees to load up just a couple of bags. I like doing that type of thing, honestly. It's a good way to get in shape without doing anything out of the ordinary. Also, I'm proud of my car for holding the mulch. Someone did tell me to 'buy a truck' when they saw me loading but given that I managed to get all eight bags in, close the lid and still have a little room, I say that I don't need a truck, thank you very much.

However, eight bags of mulch, in reality, does not cover much. I went to Lowes and bought three more bags, this time each bag had 3 cubic feet in them. I think I need at least another ten bags. I have thought about buying it in bulk and having it delivered but I don't know where I'd store it. The truck wouldn't be able to get out back where I want it laid and I don't think putting it in my front yard would help. So I will continue to buy it by the bag.

Of course, it doesn't go as far as it should because I've discovered that my puppies love mulch. They find it irresistably chompable, carrying large pieces of bark joyfully across the garden and going back for more. They also like to dig. They also like to try to remove the gardening gloves from my hand, dig up seeds I've just planted and run away with my flowerpots.

In honesty, gardening with puppies is actually rather fun, even if it is a little harder work. They keep me company and keep me entertained.

It's nice to be able to spend an entire weekend outside and come inside and kick back for the night. Given that I also shampooed the carpets yesterday, it was no wonder that 11 p.m., I found myself snoozing on the sofa in the middle of an Iron Chef America episode. I don't think it's just the puppies who are getting worn out.

I've also worked up a truce with the Dog Whisperer. Well, his wife, anyway. She's very nice and we talked about the dogs. She's trying to calm them down and told me she has some of those shock-collars which they're going to try if they don't calm down. They tried the strategy of only letting one of their three yappers out at a time and, honestly, for the most part, it worked. THey are slowly but surely getting better. Of course, it doesn't stop Mr. Dog Whisperer from coming out and sticking his fingers through the fence to try to coax the puppies but I don't think there's any cure for that. You can't stick a shock collar on him.

Though I'd like to try.

In all seriousness, I might be getting the hang of this neighbour thing, just as I'm getting the hang of the homeowner thing. It's all about small steps. Cover a little bit of ground as I weed each time and, eventually, it start looking like something. Along the way, I uncover strange little pleasantries like the randomly scattered spring onions in my weed patch. They're healthy little things and I always have a need for scallions so I was quite pleased to find them. I'm not sure why, exactly, they would be there but who am I to question the nice little finds like that?

All in all, it's been a wonderful, if exhausting weekend. I even got to write, taking my laptop outside to the patio, drinking a beer and letting the puppies play. I think we call that a compromise but I'm all for compromises on days like to day.

I hope the week continues to bring nice weather. Maybe I can make some headway on my weed patch.

Although that means more mulch. Groan.

Happy Monday!

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