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I have been so neglectful lately. You should see my garden. With the drought last summer I watered and watered and watered and the only thing that would grow were weeds. Why is that? The weeds were healthy, too! It became all too clear that my garden was a lost cause so about mid-August I walked out of the garden and didn’t look back. Until today.

*sigh*

It’s a mess! In my main beds (the tomato beds) I had mulched the shit out of it so it wasn’t horrible for the weeds. But the other beds are so full of crab grass it’ll take me a week of Sundays to clear them out.

In addition to the garden, I have a whole yard in horrible neglect. All my flower beds are neglected. I have two dead Yews in the front. Watering did nothing to save them last something, either. The drought is going to end up costing me a bunch of money to replace everything that died.

This spring we have had so much rain so the grass is growing like gang-busters and has been in desperate need of cutting for about four days, but the weekend was spent moving so it has to be done after work. I had every intention of taking care of it Monday after my workout, but 80 minutes later, my body wasn’t going to take anymore physical activity. So I was determined to get it done Tuesday before my workout. Nearly three hours later, my body wasn’t going to take anymore physical activity. Therein lies the rub!

How do I balance a workout with yard work? My yard is large and realistically requires at least two hours a day just to maintain. And that isn’t counting recovering it from a horrific drought-laden summer.

On top of the drought last summer, we had a very snowy winter. With the snow melted and the front flower beds visible, there are piles of gravel IN the beds from the process of pushing away snow with the four-wheeler. It’s a mess. I mean a real MESS! So I have a ton of work to do and really need to find a way to balance my workouts with what my yard will require. Not that yard work isn’t a workout in and of itself.

After mowing (thank god for a riding mower) I had a ton of clippings left on the grass. This is because I’m about four days past when I should have mowed. But there are benefits to letting it get a little longer before cutting it. I get an actual workout.

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I would rake the clippings the full width of the yard. Rake, rake, rake as I move to the left. All the way across the yard. Then I’d switch hands and go back the opposite direction. Back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. I never stop to think how much your core is used when raking. But it is. Trust me. I felt all those muscles working underneath the layers of flab.

When I’d get a pile of clippings too heavy to move, I’d scoop up a rake-full and carry it into the garden. This meant that I had to get the garden beds de-weeded and ready for the clippings. I have ten raised beds that really need to be ready for planting. The eleventh bed in my main garden has blackberry bushes so nothing else will be planted in it. Then there’s the huge bed outside the main garden that I took care of a couple weeks ago. So…only ten beds to prepare.

I managed to get all the clippings raked up (except the ones in that corner where the dogs do their doodies because – ew – have you seen the size of my dogs??? Use your imaginations). Mark (bless his soul) did all the weed-eating. My least favorite out-door chore of all time. With all the clippings that I raked up I got three of the beds completely done and one of them mostly done. The fourth bed is covered, but doesn’t have as good a covering as it really needs. It’ll have to wait until next week when I mow again.

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The sore muscles from all the raking and lifting are not the big part of my concern. I’m used to sore muscles from my workouts. It’s a good kind of sore. The thing that’s going to kill me is this:

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The table is NOT supposed to be that yellowish-green color. It is supposed to be clear as, well…glass. But it’s not. It’s that beautiful, yellowish mess that sets my nose to running, my eyes to watering, and my throat to being horribly sore. The price I pay for living in a state that is trying to kill me.

Lots of work to do. Lots of workouts to do. Not enough time (or energy) in the day. I do the best I can. But one thing is for sure.  I have a green thumb.

And fingers. And palm. And wrinkles.

And fingers. And palm. And wrinkles.

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