Woman Power

I had a couple of lovely surprises today. First, clouds and coolness! Instead of the sweltering temperatures that had been forecast, the high today was twenty degrees below what it’s been for the past few weeks.

I made good use of the cool morning. Along the alley, partly blocking the entrance to my garage, were tall weeds, most waist height, some shoulder height. The way the driveway was built, the apron sloped downward a bit, as it should, to keep water from backing into the garage. The problem is that the slope ends below the bed of the alley, creating a gulley that collects any rain water and makes a perfect environment for . . .  you guessed it — weeds.

All spring and summer, whenever it rained enough to soak the ground, I’d go out and pull the weeds. Even though we haven’t had much rain for weeks, those weeds still grew immensely fast and even worse, they became cemented to the ground by the dry adobe-like clay soil. I’d asked the contractor to extend the driveway, which he agreed to do, but it’s not high on his list of priorities. Meantime, the weeds kept growing. He said he’d send workers out to whack the weeds, but the guys never showed up. Another worker said he’d send “his guy” to douse the weeds with weed killer, but he never came. Also, a worker said he’d drive past with his tractor, which would clear up those weeds in a few minutes. And of course, it didn’t happen. Someone told me that the city was supposed to mow the alleys, but that never happened, either.

So, I went out there to get rid of the weeds myself. As I dug and pulled, I couldn’t help thinking that one old woman with a shovel was doing what all those powerful men with their powerful chemicals and powerful machines wouldn’t do. Yay for woman power!

Once I cleared the weeds away from the driveway, I continued to dig up the weeds along the whole width of my property, a total of 150 square feet of tree-like weeds. Ouch. And I do mean ouch. I was out there for four hours and am stiff and sore from my shoulders to the soles of my feet.

But all those weeds are gone.

At least for now.

I’m sure they will grow back, but perhaps by that time, there will be some progress made on extending the driveway another two or three feet and filling in the gulley.

I also started removing the dead bindweed from the chain link fence. I wish there was a quick way to do that. The weed wraps itself around the wire, and clearing the wire is easy but time consuming. If it’s cool enough tomorrow, maybe I’ll take a chair out there and sit and pick.

Meantime, I can enjoy my other surprise. The New England aster are beginning to bloom! After their season, I’ll need to transplant some of them. Where once I had one plant, I now have five, and I’d like to spread them out.

Luckily, that can wait another couple of months. At the moment, I’m too tired to even lift the shovel let alone dig a small hole.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Clean Slate

There were several things I wanted to remember to do today, so I made a list. The first thing on the list was to remember to water the plants that need it, but it rained last night, enough that I had to close the windows, so I crossed “watering” off my list when I woke this morning. Instead, I went out to pull weeds because, as I’ve learned, they come out so much easier when the ground is sodden. I pulled the first fistful. Then pulled and pulled. And nothing budged. Except me. I almost fell backward from all that pulling. It turns out the clay soil was so dry adobe bricks could have been cut out of ground to build some sort of structure, but since I didn’t need any adobe bricks (and had no way of cutting them out anyway), I gave up on pulling weeds and decided I better water my poor desiccated plants.

Apparently, it only rained inside my house. (Raindrops blown through my windows caused a bit of a puddle.) I have no idea what happened to the rest of the moisture — I’m fairly sure it couldn’t have been vaporized by all that sheet lightning keeping me awake last night. If any rain did fall, it certainly didn’t do the plants any good. The storm cooled things down, though, which did me good. It’s 66 degrees Fahrenheit (18.9 C) right now. Temperatures are expected to climb back into the hundreds by tomorrow, but I prefer not to think about that and simply enjoy the cool.

Other things on my to do list were to call my mechanic and reschedule an appointment to get my brakes fixed (they were supposed to be done last Friday, but he took that day off) and to call my contractor to see if he’d forgotten me (he was supposed to send one of his guys to work here starting last week, but except for a few hours, the guy was a no-show).

The last thing on my list was to get ready for work. Since this isn’t my regular day, I had to make a note to make sure I got there when I was supposed to. Because I am neither a mechanic nor a contractor with more business than I can handle, I need to honor my obligations.

I have a clean slate now, with nothing on my list, and I hope to keep it that way because the problem with a list is that it’s only good if you remember to read it. Luckily, today I did remember.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.