Jan 15, 2006

Beaten Like A Red Headed Stepchild

I feel like I have been pushed through a blender feet-first, so everyone could see the expression on my face.

It's a good sort of hurt, though. Don't you always hear that from those work-out guys and the ones who fall off mountains for a living? Well, you'll hear it from me now, and I haven't touched a single freeweight or fallen off even a slight incline.

Yard work. That's the name of my poison. At least this weekend it was. Specifically grapes, more specifically grape arbors. And a pool table, and an entire formal dining room, and some more furniture moving, and so on and so forth. Keep reading, you'll see what I'm on about.

As a starting point, Saturday morning I rescued two climbing Don Juan rose bushes from my old homestead and planted them up around my front porch posts, with the hopes that in a few years they'll be thick and long enough that I can twine them around the columns. And that in itself took some doing, what with digging up and transporting and redigging and bone meal and all, not to mention having to remove one fire ant bed and one azalea that did NOT want to be moved. And then I had to go back to the old home place and move about thirty Pavestones from my old 'red flowers bed' at the old place back up here, to continue a little retaining wall for the herbs bed. Now, convert the minutes it took to read that into hours for me to do it and you'll have a fair idea of what I had to get into. And all that was only part of yesterday, all serving as a warm up for today.

Today was planning for and fetching posts for the arbors on which to grow grapes, which at this point in time haven't actually come up. Or shown any growth or anything at this point, not even buds, but then again that's just life. Of grapes, you see. They're still kinda dormant, just now putting roots into the hopefully just-fertile-enough soil. Gawd I hope. I've spent enough hours out there and on the Internet, trying desperately to put things together juuuust right for them to multiply and, well, be fruitful.

So anyway, the precursor to being fruitful for them involved me and lots more digging, more transporting (of posts, and tools) out to the vineyard (hah!) where I had to put to use the old back muscles and a post-hole digger, specifically to dig a bunch of holes to put posts in, fancy that, upon which metal eyelets have been stuck, through which wire will be strung as needed for grapevines to attach themselves to. Which right now is not at all since there aren't any growing just yet.

The pool table (also today) was just as fun--employing my brother the mechanical wonder to take apart the twenty year old family pool table, the table I learned how to play on, so that we could move it from the den to the now-empty formal dining room. We spent part of Saturday moving a serving board, a buffet table, eight velved covered chairs and a massive dining table out of my formal (and unused) dining room and over to his house, where he supposedly will put them to use and hold them for me until such time as I need a formal dining room again. Possibly never. We'll see.

The best part of the weekend? Asking my grape-loving co-conspirator wife to fetch a 'tamping stick' by which I meant a metal fencepost by which to force the dirt into the arbor's holes. No concrete for me, that's too permanent. So she returns dragging a green metal post. And carrying a three or so foot, twisted up pecan branch. I didn't think anything of it, thought she was going to throw it at the yapping neighbor's dogs or something.

No, that was her tamping stick. I finished digging the hole I had been working on, and turned to see her gingerly packing dirt with the wide end of her pecan branch. I asked her what she was doing, and she said "I'm tamping!" I couldn't stop laughing long enough to tell her that I had intended her to use the metal pole and not a finger-thick branch to pack dirt into a three foot deep hole. She, on the other hand, didn't beat the tar out of me for laughing myself to tears over the sight of her kneeling on the grass, determinedly packing dirt with a twig.

Ah, the life of a grape grower.

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