Altering Habits

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Scotty's Place





2007-04-23, 10:43 a.m.

Day 974

I can not begin to imaging how sore my legs are going to be after that stinking Tour de Cure ride if I whine about a measly 3 hours of cycling spread out over an entire weekend. Criminy, but my legs are aching. The run I did this morning probably didnít help matters either. Knew running was going to be a fight, so I slowed the pace down some and trudged through 30 minutes. Such a simple concept Ė you want to run farther/longer? Slow the hell down dummy!! (I have to give myself little pep talks like that every now & again)

So whereíd I leave things with Cindy? We seem to be in some uneasy truce state. Nothing has been said either way about the real issue at hand, so both of us are likely making some incorrect assumptions about the others motivations. I would like for that not to happen, but I also donít want to bring it up lest she feels like itís another attack starting.

The idea is that we (myself & the kids) go along trying to live peacefully, trying to separate our love & concern for Cindy from the addiction sheís wrapped up in. Hopefully (without attaching any expectations to it) she finally notices that we are impervious to her manipulations and addictions and wants to get a piece of what we have. In the event that she never makes that transition, Iíll at least have the tools to cope with things and can pass along what I can to the kids. Those, in a nutshell, are the short and long term plans as I see them, based on the whole Al Anon system.

I know for certain Iím improved over the past year or so. Sometimes I only know it because I now recognize when I screw up, other times I actually exercise a neuron or two in the fore brain and control my own reactions like I should. At least until I get someplace where I can blow off some steam. Glad thereís the gym nearby.

Had an absolutely gorgeous weekend here our section of the northeast. Daily highs in the 70ís, not a cloud in the sky. Got tons of stuff done outside. Tried not to spend a minute more than necessary inside all weekend. As a result, I have a lovely pinkish glow to every square inch of skin that was exposed to the sun. Feels really good. Hereís what got crossed off the outdoor to do list:

Install trim around new window. Caulked & primed trim. Screens installed.
Get netting off the pond.
Clean the ponds filters (yuch!!)
Pull the pond plants up from the depths and re-locate to their summer positions. That lily in the center is a real trick.
Rake the back yard, get rid of all the leaves, sticks, maple seeds, fir branch tips, etc. (took FOREVER!)
Stomp down all the freakin mole damage.
Pull all the patio furniture out of winter storage.
Re-assemble the swing thing.

Snuck in some time for shooting baskets, couple morning workouts at the gym, and even went and watched Zachís hockey game last night. Well, one of them. Theyíre in their playoff now. They won their 8pm game 8-4 (Z-man scored twice) and won the privilege of playing the 3rd seeded team at 10pm. I didnít hang around to watch that one.

Still to do out in the yard:

Finish painting the new windows and re-coat that section of the house.
Paint the shed Ė PLEASE!!
Stain the back fence. That sealer for the cedar just isnít cutting it.
Change oil in the mower & tiller
Swap out the deer damaged arborvitaeís for something they find less delectable. All 6 of them.
Till the veggie garden

Thatís the short list of fun yard activities. Iíd also like to build an outdoor bench that can double as a storage bin for all the chair cushions (Iíve seen plans, itís completely do-able), maybe re-build an Adirondack chair or two, re-finish a cast iron outdoorsy garden bench, and build a bench around the center maple tree to incorporate into our long term landscaping plan.

Today, however, I may sneak out of work early. The lawn care guy is supposed to show up for our initial treatment. I want to be there to show him some things they completely missed last year that I want taken care of this year. Like the huge patches of moss, the crabgrass that keeps popping up in spite of their treatments for that, and the Creeping Charlie, wild violets, spurge, clover, oxalis and nut grass that need to be made dead, dead, dead. Basically, Iíd like to display a complete ignorance of weed names and just indicate that if it isnít grass? Itís supposed to be gone.

Yes, I know. A monocultured area like a lawn isnít ecologically healthy. We should encourage having a biologically diverse yard. But I live in the burbs, and I have an image to maintain. Out foundation plantings are among the nicest in the neighborhood. I want the lawns to at least look like we try a little. Plus, the lawn has gone down hill over the last few years (not counting the one year I nuked the front yard trying to get rid of the Creeping Charlie. Oops.) and I want to see it perk back up a little. Unfortunately, our soil is so sandy it doesnít hold moisture, fertilizer or natural nutrients very well. It is, however, absolute heaven for moles. Those little shits can tunnel for miles in a single day. I just love it when I can see one of their tunnels pulsing. Makes me run for the shed to grab a pitchfork. Then we do a little Ēlawn aerationĒ. Amazing what you can find just inches beneath the surface.

Now, itís might not be all moles either. Iíve seen chipmunks working a pretty good tunnel system of their own. I watch one guy pushing dirt out of a tunnel literally using his head. He had built a lovely tunnel right along a walkway in a garden that eventually dove under a rug juniper. Normally I donít bother the chippyís, (they are kind of fun to watch), but I did have to encourage this guy to relocate. It was early summer, he had plenty of time to establish a new storage cache for his nuts.

Surprised a field mouse sometime Saturday night. He must have gotten used to there being a net over the pond. Iím guessing he just trotted across the netting, getting a drink of water when ever he needed it. Sunday morning, while feeding the fish, I found a little field mouse that apparently didnít notice the netting was gone. Poor guy. Wonder if he was at all responsible for the tunneling & digging in the back yard? Doubt it. Itís those moles, Iím sure. The mouse was just an innocent caught up in the collateral damage.

No word from Zach yet on whether or not the lawn guy has shown up. I may just email my boss and tell him sayonara for the day. At last count, I have 248 hours of vacation time available. Thatís 6 weeks and one day. I think I can afford a half day to encourage the lawn guy to do a better job this year. If Iím really successful at bemoaning how horrible they did last year, maybe I can get a discount on this years service. Or some free weed killing or something.

Iím gonna go get some work done now too.


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