Saturday, May 21, 2016

Setting the Goals Making Visible Progress (6WS)

Last fall was devoted, not to garden cleanup but to getting as much wood in the shed as we I could.   And of course we were drawing from outside, and didnt touch the shed wood until the day before Christmas.

I dont usually winterize the plants, they are all pretty hardy, and those that pretend to be, like the butterfly bush, will die in two years anyway,   Ordinarily i do give everything a final coat of mulch, but I never did get back to the lawn.  So I just leave what's there until spring. Which happened this week, with a roar and a nasty chuckle.

After a winter of relative idleness (apparently feeding stoves and napping doesnt count as work),  the muscles have turned, if not to jelly, but to old lady legs and arms.  it always takes about a week of bend-and-stoop-and-whine  to get the muscle memory awake and working.

The only way I've found to do that without causing too much damage, is to set narrow-edged goals that leave room in either direction for continuing or stopping.  The mental muscle memory appreciates this.   As I carve out a chunk of garden that has an incredible amount of witchgrass already, I tell myself,  "okay,  to that plant. Ill do all these and then stop when I get there..."  At first, it's a struggle to get to that point, but after a few days Im making bigger goals with tougher demands. It sounds complicated, but it's the only way I can force myself to keep going.  In a week or so Ill be out there half the day without even noticing.  Right now it's hell with a spading fork.

One of the few times I heartily wish for strong sons (or even grandsons)...


  1. Yeah. She's making me pull some of My Beloved Weeds this afternoon. Bah.

  2. well, a little bit at a time, and you'll both feel better about it. Of course you will, yep.

  3. nahh id have to stand over them with a gun and pitchfork, and the words, "Here let me show you what I mean" can get very expensive, lol

    even my husband knows enough to just visit, and utter admiration every foot of the way. =)

  4. not too much yard work yesterday- it actually snowed! Good grief!

  5. I have a friend in New Mexico who is burning the last of her winter wood--and wondering how to lay more in for next winter already!

  6. There are male relatives who are proof against all requests, even at gunpoint or pitchfork points! So chances are you'd still be pulling and cursing. Anyway let's hope your season form soon returns.

  7. oh when you burn wood, it never ends. I just called our woodguy for next year's wood--it has to dry all summer, so it's not wise to wait too long. We're still having early morning fires and if its at all rainy tomorrow we may have one all day.

  8. Boud, there are times when I would welcome a hand, but then realize when you do something all the time there's only one way you want it to having extra hands isnt always the bonus it appears to be.
    I would, however, cherish someone who's back didnt go out at the sight of a heavy rock or cinder block, or who was fearless (and accurate) when playing firewood toss.

    It takes at least two weeks before I can put in a good morning out there, and as long as I don't worry about it, Im fine. I do know that soon enough I will be making the garden smaller and simpler. But not yet. Not yet.

  9. It is best to start out slow and steady. With all the rain we have been having in May, I have no choice but to rush around the gardens before the black clouds open up. I am surprised at myself how much I have gotten done without many aches and pains. There is something about necessity that spurs me on.

  10. Ive noticed the same thing, when you work under your own pressure (or as I like to call it "feeding frenzy") your concern is for the job not the knees, the back, the arm... adrenaline is a great invention, truly.
    After two or three days of this Ive noticed that I'm bending better, the legs aren't protesting as much. Take that, Aerobic World...

    I did find that commercial kneeling cushions are a huge waste of time, since they don't last, and if they do they are just not comfortable. What I do use is some of that two inch insulating foam (the blue stuff that goes in attics), carved into two foot lengths, just the right width. I even use it to kneel on when I clean the chimneys, those brick hearths are murder on the knees!

    And just think what good shape you'll be in when May is over, lol.

  11. Is that what's wrong with my butterfly bush? It bloomed so large for about three years but now looks dead. And my stomach muscles are sore from whacking a hoe and rack to try and keep on top of the weeds. I just do what I can when the mood strikes about 15 minutes at a time (after my husband prepares the beds with a tiller). So nice to hear someone else out there has a woodstove.

  12. thats what's wrong with your butterfly bush. Mine barely make it through two winters. and they tell you to cut it way back in the fall, which probably helps. But look carefully at the stalk, see if there might be juuussst the vestiges of new growth.

    If I might make a suggestion about the weeds: mulch em. if you have hay or grass, mulch them about six inches deep. come back in a month or two and you can pull most of them without a hoe.

    I also like a potato digger, I have an old one with a short handle on it, its my go to tool for everything out there, since you can really get under the weeds with it.
    No sense killing yourself, is there. =)

    And I just throw down more mulch when it gets thin. No tiller, no digging.

    Yeah, we have three stoves, I dont think I'd know how to cook on a regular range anymore...

  13. We bought another house in a nearby town and are remodeling it inside and out. The hardest part is pulling up weeds, bushes and stumps. Makes you hurt where you've never hurt before.

  14. lol I know the feeling. I get that omg thing every spring. I tell myself its a GOOD HURT. Of course it is.

    make sure you know what bushes you're pulling up, and what passes for weeds this time of year. I admire your courage, though. When we moved there was nothing between the house and the woods but open, unmowed fields. I was also 26, and fearless.