Thursday, February 2, 2012

How four bags of cypress mulch caused a mental ruckus.

Ask any Iowan about this winter's weather, and you'll hear that it's almost like the entire state has been transported to an alternate dimension. Iowa winters are usually arctic, dreary and grey, with ice storms and blizzards making appearances every week or so. Roads, schools and businesses routinely close early, or don't open at all for days at a time.

However, this winter has been unnaturally warm, colorful and sunny - but with the good comes the bad. That's right. I'm talking about mud.

Mud isn't really an issue for people without dogs. I am obviously not one of those people. I have five dogs in the house right now, and they've been waging a war against my already shabby-looking backyard. Last year we covered the muddy sections with straw, which worked reasonably well but slid around when the dogs got up to speed. This year we're trying mulch. Yes, I know, mulch won't be winning any beauty contests. At this point, I don't really care. I will never have a beautifully manicured backyard, and mulch will look better than what is out there now... imagine a green dog with mange. That's what my yard looks like.

I tested a small area earlier this week. I put down eight cubic feet of cypress just outside the back door, and so far it's working well. This afternoon I put down another twenty-four cubic feet, and managed to cover most of the remaining muddy areas. I'll probably pick up another 16 cubic feet tomorrow. I'm thinking in the spring I may actually mulch the entire yard.

This is a dangerous line of thinking. This makes me think of other things I need to do to the house this summer.

- Fix the brickwork on the front porch
- Fix the basement window my husband broke two years ago
- Paint the trim on the house
- Replace some panels on the garage, or just plant shrubbery to hide the ugly spots
- Paint the trim on the garage
- Clean all the clutter out of the garage (will need to rent a dumpster)
- Move the woodpile outside of the garage
- Install a new door on the garage
- Fix the stupid automatic garage door
- Move the rubbish pile behind the garage to... somewhere else
- Fix the back gate somehow, so it actually opens
- get rid of 2-3 stumps (the dogs love them but they're uggo)
- Buy a unicorn, name it Pistachio and fly to the moon!

... and so on, and so forth.

The problem is, I'm horrible at yard work. My husband is even more useless at yard work than I am. It sucks. I've thought about hiring someone, but I'm sure they'd charge more than I'd be willing to pay. I think about this, and I think about how my husband will be unable to help (because he sucks at yard work) and I get frustrated. It turns into one of those massive hate-spirals that makes me want to move out to some cabin in Montana and never have to see anyone ever again. I wouldn't have to do yard work, because I'd live on fifty acres and have, like three Ovtcharkas. Then no one would be able to get close enough to notice the mud, or the garage door that needs to be replaced, or the siding that could use a fresh coat of paint, or the fence door that doesn't open because the wood has warped. That train of thought leads to my fantasy of living off-grid, growing my own produce, hunting and fishing for my meat, and being completely self-sufficient. I could work all day in jeans, spend all day with the dogs, yadda yadda yadda. I would even get some Indian Runner Ducks. I love Indian Runner Ducks. They look like quacking bowling pins.

.... I think I'll just start by mulching the yard.

1 comment:

  1. Let me know when you get the unicorn and the ducks. I'll come visit. Heck, fly the unicorn to my house and pick me up. :)


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