Friday, February 24, 2023

Yard Work

We are preparing to have the outside of our house painted.  Wind and sun and heat and time have eroded the stucco and peeled the paint.  It's time.

There are all kinds of new products - including Rhino Shield which wanted nearly $50,000 to seal our home with a 25 year warranty against anything looking less than perfect.  In 25 years we'll be midway through our 90's, which makes this a very hopeful purchase.

Our previous painting company was purchased by a larger painting company, after extensive review of their personnel and practices.  We liked knowing that the service we valued in the past was appreciated by this new ownership.

We also liked the price and the 10 year warranty; celebrating my 81st birthday doesn't seem that far fetched.  

There is a lengthy list of instructions, including RELAX, midway down the page.  Today, though, I did not relax,  Instead, I did what I could to comply with the requirement that all vegetation must be 2' away from the surfaces to be painted.  

Our house is 1 story.  It's laid out to maximize the views and provide privacy to the bedrooms.  That translates to a fairly extensive footprint, around which I have planted or allowed wildflowers to grow.  I'll wait for the gardeners to bring their electric slicer to cut back the rosemary hedges.  Everything else was fair game.

I set out with my Japanese saw and my long handled pruners.  I pulled what I could and chopped what resisted.  I trimmed the backs of the sago palms.  I chopped down scotch broom (an invasive that grows tall and sprouts flying white blooms on fairly unattractive foliage) and pulled out dozens of volunteer brittle bush plants that really could have been pooped out in more visible spaces.  

I sawed off a curving branch that has annoyed TBG for months. I created a proper path around the outer perimeter of our abode, removing branches and plants, cutting off a cactus paddle or two,  making a place that only the painters will walk a lovely spot for a stroll.  

I deposited the prunings from the inner courtyard in the trash.  I left the detritus outside the wall, in neat piles ready for the yard guys to collect on their next visit.  I put away my tools and locked the potting shed door.  I remembered to turn off all the lights. 

I wore the long gloves Little Cuter sent me and a long sleeve shirt and a sweatshirt over that and long tights and socks covering my ankles so I was un-bloodied (a relative miracle when it comes to me and the garden).  I took a shower and washed plant life out of my hair and off my face, put on soft sweats and Big Cuter's flannel shirt from 9th grade, and came to type to you.

Once again, my work here is done.


  1. There is something satisfying about getting yard work done. One of the saddest things to me is seeing a home and yard that had been meticulously tended over the years start to go to seed. That always strikes me as one of the hardest things about aging.

    1. We are lucky enough to be able to afford to pay people to do that which we can no longer handle ourselves. I agree with you about withering yards and aging.

  2. You did a lot! The rewards of gardening are so enjoyable to those of us who garden.


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