Sunday, November 11, 2007

My brother came in from across the country for a visit. Since I am working this week, he spent the weekend with me before going over to my father and stepmother's house tomorrow. I am truly grateful for the time with him, but I am half dead from his visit!

In an effort to be helpful and despite having a cold, my brother launched into an overhaul of my yard.

He started with pruning the trees. Of course, he and I differ in our beliefs in exactly how this should be done. He is MUCH more aggressive than I and thinks trees should be pruned higher as well. We had several heated discussions before it was all done, but I will say the trees look better, even if the removal of one entire branch nearly gave me heart palpitations!

He then moved on to raking the leaves, which took two days really. It involved getting them out of the flower beds and away from the fence.

When he looked at the fence, he noticed many places where old vines were still caught within the chain links. So, much hacking and sawing later, the fence was cleared.

That led to digging up three stumps that had been left in the yard. I was glad to see those go!

He started edging by trying to uncover all the stepping stones that had disappeared in the grass. While he went on to edge the rest of the yard, I took the opportunity to dig up each of the stones and raise them using some left over stone dust that I had gotten from my writing student's father a while ago.

While he raked, I had chopped up all the branches into the proper length for leaving at the curb for a bulk pick-up. I also helped bag all the leaves. While he was edging, before I started on those stepping stones, I also repaired the drawer on my potting bench that had broken and one of my wind chimes.

I also weeded all the beds and added a section of the rubber boarder that had somehow never been placed in the ground around the edge of the front flowerbed (this involved much digging in the Virginia clay, so I had put it off for far too long). I finished off the overhaul by fertilizing what little grass survived the drought in the hopes it my last through the winter.

Boy, am I sore. My shoulder has been screaming for two days because of sawing up the branches. My legs are painful from being stretched as I bent over the beds while weeding. And I am so stiff that even taking a bath was difficult because I couldn't hold the soap.

Still, I must admit that my yard looks fantastic. Truly. I haven't seen but the merest portion of the middle of the stepping stones for two years. When B comes on Friday, she will be most impressed!

Go Cowboys! They are now 8-1!

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