There’s Nothing More Manly than Splitting Wood

It’s probably going to reach somewhere near 90-92 degrees here in the Atlanta area today, and I’ve spent the last three weeks splitting firewood for our coming winter where we’ll be lucky to get more than 20 days of temps in the lower 30s or upper 20s.

But beyond just some need to get out and do something manly for a change (as opposed to watching the kids or sitting in a chair at work on the computer all day), there is something very cathartic about mindless physical exertion, and it is this which has drawn me time and again to one of the two stacks of wood in my backyard these past few weeks.

To be sure there is a satisfaction one can gain from parenting or from one’s chosen profession, but in my experience, few things are as satisfying as rounding a day off soaked in sweat (perspiration for my female audience) and having something as solid as a stack of split wood to show for your efforts; even if half of it will probably go to waste since it doesn’t get that cold here anyway.

Also, for me, I get some of my best contemplating in when I’m doing something singular like cutting firewood or mowing the lawn. It is during these times that I’m most introspective, because let’s face it, you don’t really need your brain when you’re working in the yard. I wonder if Einstein came up with some of his most pervasive postulates while working? Perhaps Da Vinci was planing off a new worktable when he came with the idea for the parachute. Who knows.

But, I finished one stack and based on how things are going at work, I luckily have a whole ‘nother stack to go. Skip the gym, cut some wood, keep my sanity. Not a bad deal all in all.

Blue / Pink / Indifferent?

It’s amazing how quickly one can accept a situation and begin making plans for it, even if that situation goes against everything you’ve been planning up till that point in life.

My wife got up this morning and announced that she was terribly nauseous. Now, we’ve been pretty careful with the “relations” since our last son was born, but there might have been a time or two that our teenage years crept upon us and we excused off the hassle and just went with the moment.

With a “Do you think the drugstore is open yet?” she was out the door on a mission to get a pregnancy test. When she came home, she went straight upstairs and faster than I thought the test could return results, she comes back downstairs and says, “We’re not pregnant.”

Now, I know a lot of people think babies are God’s gift and so on and so forth, but gift or no, I am not prepared for another baby. I was feeling pretty confident she might be pregnant though based both on today’s little episode and a week or two of her feeling a tad on the puny side. In my head, even as I was lamenting, “Oh my LORD what’re we gonna do?” I was also planning out how long it would take me to finish off a couple of rooms in my basement so we could still have a guest room if we had to turn our current upstairs guest room into a nursery.

Thank goodness no such plans will be necessary.

Apparently, she only has a tummy bug as she has slept literally all day and thus far neither myself nor the boys have any symptoms (which is suspect considering everyone I know who’s had this, has also passed it to their entire household in a matter of hours). I’ve been careful to keep the boys generally away from her all day so if we’re lucky, it’ll stop with her. Of course, with the exception of my recent fishing trip, I just don’t throw up. Stomach bugs don’t affect me for some reason, so I’m not a good gauge of a bug’s possibilities.

At any rate, today’s over and now I can relax for a bit before my week begins.
And I can guaran-darn-tee that the next time the moment feels right, I’ll be puttin’ on my hat.

Survival of the fittest!

My kids’ daycare has camera monitoring in all the classes, but the resolution is pretty bad so it’s difficult to tell who is whom. I’m pretty sure this is Aiden based solely on his socks.

Well, I made it through last night. The boys were good and we actually managed to get a decent meal in. I put Aiden down around 8:15 and Ethan about 8:40, leaving me to do all sorts of fun things, like clean up and brush my teeth and such. Of course, just as I was lying down to go to sleep (10:15’ish) Aiden woke up. So, fed him and crawled back in bed til about 2 a.m. when he woke up again.

If you read yesterday’s blog, you know I was gonna try some tough love and let him cry it out. Well, after 45 minutes, I gave up. At some point, you just have to say, “OK, he’s miserable, I’m miserable, how about some milky?” So, did that and crawled back in bed around 3:15 a.m.

Slept till 6:45 (wow!) Got out of bed and found Ethan sitting by his bedroom door and when he saw me, he ran up and said, “You slept a long time.” I only wish!

Anyway, got the boys off and now it’s work time. Hooray!

Old MacDonald had a…container garden?

In my old neighborhood, nary a year went by that I didn’t fill up my 5-gallon bucket with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and sometimes strawberries and go around doling them out to my neighbors. Although I had a fairly small patch of land, two people don’t eat that much and I usually got a really good return. It was always funny watching neighbor’s expressions as they cracked the door open trying to ascertain who I was and what I wanted from them. Confusion changed to excitement (especially among the elderly) when they realized I wasn’t trying to get them to purchase overpriced wrapping paper or stale bars of chocolate for my high school prom.

But, we moved last fall and for many and various reasons, I didn’t do a garden this year. Primarily because (or at least this is the excuse I’m telling myself) I didn’t know how my sun pattern would fall in my yard and I needed to know this before planting. Also, the only flat area available to me currently is at the very back of my yard and I just wasn’t sure I wanted to trek down there daily for weeding and picking.

Since I haven’t not had fresh tomatoes in probably 6 years, I decided to put a couple of plants out in containers on my back porch, where I was reasonably sure they would receive sun. After all, I can’t keep houseplants back there because they get sunburned, so I figured it’d be just about right for my maters. I also used to grow my own plants from seeds, but it wasn’t worth the effort this year for two little old plants, so I purchased some “Better Boy” tomato plants from the local home store and put them in two large square plastic pots right on the back porch.

To say that my yield was less than expected, would be an understatement. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the National Gardening Association called me and kicked me out of their ranks. For one thing, I believe that I put too much natural compost in there right off the bat because within a week of planting them, they were showing signs of burning (too much fertilizer). Also, despite having a single hole in the bottom for drainage, both containers stayed very wet, despite a perpetual drought (until the last two weeks).

At any rate, I got one little ol’ tomato out of it, and it definitely looks more like a Roma tomato than a Better Boy, but whatever. Next year, I’m gonna suck it up and walk down the hill and plant an actual garden. Cuz…this is ridiculous.