Who's Your Daddy?
If there is anything worse than being manic, it’s being manic when Annie is not here. Take yesterday, please, your basic twenty-hour day for me, and one in which I moved a mountain or two, and rebuilt the Taj Mahal. Whereas going to bed at 6:30 in the evening and arising at 11:30 after five-count them!-five hours of sleep, is not unprecedented, it still makes for a potentially productive day.
I always get up expecting to write and post a piece of writing, but I never feel compelled to do so. Having swung into full manic-mode upon Annie’s departure Thursday morning, she being off with Casey and Amber to Yosemite for a big-wig conference, I had already completed the chores in the kitchen that had been at the top of my honey-do list.
That’s the once-a-year muscling of the stove away from the wall, and the wading in with cleanser and elbow grease to try and hack my way through the jungle of grit and debris that accumulates in the most challenging of places.
Though I have never specifically nailed a guest peering back behind the stove, flashlight in hand, I still worry about these things. I am seeing a competent therapist to help me deal with this.
My headphones provide the tempo and the more frantic the pace, the higher the volume. Now, with still most of Friday, plus Saturday and Sunday to go, I launched into the more perfunctory sweeping and mopping of all downstairs rooms. This includes the steps and hallway leading upstairs to the extravaganza, which is what I call Annie’s sewing complex.
I stopped cleaning after completing the downstairs bathroom, the dining room and the living room-no sense in killing the job. I jumped into a quick baking project, utilizing the pippin apples that I had harvested before the rains last week. Annie had provided a recipe for me, blended some gluten-free flours and lined up the xanthan gum, the compound which keeps everything together, so I was good to go.
I breakfasted while the cake was baking and then spiffed the kitchen up again, before turning my attention to the chicken-yard, now that it was light enough to see what I was doing outside. I had been planning to upgrade the outdoor, eight by sixteen-feet yard, by tearing off the existing roof and replacing it with one that actually functioned to keep it dry beneath.
The original had been pieced together in fits and starts, and was now a foot deep in leaves, dirt and debris, causing it to sag precariously in places, and leak like a colander. The yard was a veritable mud-bath last winter and I had promised the girls “bucket seats and four-on-the-floor,” before we got into winter.
Who’s your daddy, girls?
Casey had told me he had some corrugated metal sheets up at his spot, so I gathered up a goodly supply and set out to correct matters. By removing what was already in place and starting from scratch, I made short work of the project.
By one in the afternoon, I had the flat shovel in-hand and was attacking the inside of the little house, to line up another wheel-barrow of chicken manure for my ongoing composting project. I replaced the soiled straw with fresh and just for good measure, swept all the cobwebs out of the upper corners of the coop.
None of the chickens actually acknowledged my efforts, the little ingrates, but if they ever get done molting, I will get paid in triplicate with their egg production. Besides, molting or not, they are magicians at converting the organic compost I place in the coop from the kitchen, into organic fertilizer, a twofer if ever there were one.
As far as moving mountains, it’s still there for the time being, but I will at least move enough of the three cords of wood I had delivered last week, back to fill up the little storage house we have. Half of the storage is for the chunky living room wood, and half for the smaller box of the Superior stove in the kitchen.
|Tooth picks barely fit into the fire box...|
Eventually over the next couple of weeks, I will move and stack all of it, along the new fence that separates the house from the back garden with the cannabis. This is a different approach from past years, but I like it because the wood is closer to the house.
What I temporarily abandoned-ship on, to work on the chicken coop, was the process of bucking cannabis buds off the branches and into turkey bags. With more rain on the way, we are in full harvest mode, the boys hacking and hanging at a prodigious, though drama-free, rate of speed.
This has been almost my sole occupation for a few weeks now, no longer needing to do anything out back, except break down the bamboo frames of the now bare-boned girls still standing.
I paused for a power nap at two, still plugged in to the headphones and playing them at high volume. I can sleep at will during the day, for an hour or so at a time, if I am listening to my music. That way Annie can use her blender, Dozer can return Emma’s greeting up the road a ways and the crew can eat lunch in the same room-all at the same time-and I will never have a clue.
Upon awaking yesterday, I put on an episode of “Bones” from my DVR library, and attacked the Sour StrawBerry-bucking with a vengeance. “Bones” is perfect for this because I can enjoy the wit of the dialogue and follow the story, without having to subject my fragile psyche to the graphic images that inevitably accompany this forensic science-based television show.
Unfortunately, the baseball playoffs had the uninitiated gall to take the night off, while the Dodgers and Cubs return to Chicago for the completion of the National League Championship Series. Otherwise, I would have been plugged into this October ritual, having long since moved on from the Giants’ 2016 season, a disappointing but illuminating one for the orange and Black.
Getting closure will require no more than getting a closer, but that is fodder for a different post.
I quit working at 7:30, having bagged up the bucked buds in a fresh turkey bag, and disposed of the detritus. I was feeling sore from my construction project, but had escaped major disaster by accruing no back or knee issues in the process.
I have two more days to accomplish the rest of my list, items 12-49, and I am confident I can do so. After all, there are still 48 hours left, so let’s see, that ought to make for about 40 more hours of labor.
Well, unless I take a nap…