SPRING LESSONS

Gardening brings me closer to nature in many ways. The last few days have been sunny and pleasant to work outside, in spite of the wet land conditions. I finished reclaiming wood from the neighbor’s raised flower beds and then hauled the rotten wood to the city compost site.

The next project to be tackled was to build a fence around my garden plot to deter the plethora of wild rabbits from enjoying my food crops. I purchased 4 steel posts 5 feet long for the corners of the plot and I will use 6 metal electric fence posts to hold the fence in place between the corners. I think I have enough chicken wire to fence the perimeter so I don’t need to buy any of that. I justify these expenses knowing I need the fence to deter the rabbits in order to be able to harvest food for myself. Any extra food I grow will be given to neighbors and the local food bank. The fencing materials will last several years, thus making the cost a long-term investment.

I then tackled the next item on my to-do list — setting up my umbrella type clothesline. This was definitely a learning process for me. I watched a video on YouTube which told me what size the hole needed to be dug, so I dug the hole where I wanted my clothesline to be located. Then off I went to the hardware store to buy the QuickCrete to use to make the concrete to anchor the clothesline post. As an old lady, I find it really sad that I can’t just do all the things I used to do. So, after locating the QuickCrete (and finding it weighed 60 pounds), I located a salesperson to lift the sack and load it into my truck for me. Now, I didn’t know there are different kinds of QuickCrete, did you? I thought QuickCrete was QuickCrete. After driving home, I called my younger sister to come help me get the sack to the hole I had dug. While I waited for her, I filled a bucket of water to have on hand to stir into the QuickCrete in the hole.

When my sister arrived, we two old ladies pushed, pulled, and tugged the sack onto a borrowed dolly and rolled it to the hole. Then my sister tells me I had bought the wrong kind of QuickCrete. The kind I bought was for mortar and I needed concrete. After all the work of getting the bag to the hole, I decided to just use it and see what happened. We poured it into the hole, added water and placed the pipe in the center for the pole. Then I just needed to wait until the mix dried to see if worked. Now today it is raining, so I don’t know if the stuff cured as it was supposed to, or if mortar won’t work for my purpose, or if the rain came before it dried and prevented it from curing. Live and learn! At least if I have to redo the project, I will know to look for the “right kind” of product!

My point in telling you this tale is: Don’t be afraid to tackle projects even if you aren’t sure what you are doing. The sack of QuickCrete may have been $7 wasted, but I learned a valuable lesson, and if I have to do it over, I bet I get the concrete kind next time! I was still outside enjoying the fresh air, sunshine, and birds singing. Yes, I was tired at the end of the day, but it was a good tired. I accomplished starting my garden fence and a real-life lesson about installing a clothesline!

Have a Blessed weekend! We will see what I get into next week.

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