Saturday, 23 May 2015

Of Mice and Men

Ok, seriously guys? It's Saturday suppertime and I'm having the second half of my lunch. The first half was at 3. I'm starving and in need of tea, which is steeping right now. And I need to whine a little. It's been one of those days. On the plus side, Emily (the new gardener) and I are having a lovely time exchanging tales of the co-op students...we laugh so we don't cry.

I had been hoping to get to the Glebe Garage Sale today, but no dice. Through a combination of factors, we ended up working today, 9-5:30ish. For one, it's first round of maintenance for some places, so we're doing gardens we haven't seen in over 6 months, and which are consequently a little, um, weedy. Then we have the fact that the co-op students are not getting any faster at working, and apparently are incapable of recognizing some basic weeds, so the work goes rather slower than it should. That meant we had a backlog of something like eight places from this week to catch up on today. And the head gardener took the day off.

Just to start the day off right, I discovered on the way to work that I had left my knitting needles at home. Had the wool, just not the needles. So no knitting during travel time. Fine, I spent the time doing a bit of planning towards Liz's garden on a scrap of paper.

I get to work and Emily and I divide up the jobs and the students, and head out. I took west end, since the biggest job there was one that I knew would be a mess. I figured it would be easier if someone familiar with it went in - they only came to us halfway through last summer, and it took two people two days to get it in shape to do maintenance the rest of the summer. And I don't think they had a fall or spring clean-up. Well, we took 7 bags of weeds and stuff out today and took 5 hours to do it. And just to make things more fun, I managed to kneel on a dog bomb in the back yard. Both knees and kneepads. So I used a spare handkerchief and some of my drinking water to clean up as best as I could, and kept going. My estimate is that I did about 3/4 of the place...

By the time we finished, it was going on 3. Emily and her student were done two small jobs and on to the third - Emily also doing about 3/4 of the work at each site. We stopped for a bathroom break on the way to our second place, and ate what we could while travelling, which added up to half a flatbread with hummus for me. Then another 2 hours work at site # 2. Emily finished their site #4 and got back to the shop maybe 20 minutes ahead of us. And bless the girl, she waited and drove me home - her new place is only 5 minutes from me. I was not looking forward to catching a bus - it comes every 30 min, I think, on Saturdays, and is 15-20 minutes walk down the road from work. She is getting cookies from me, since she is making a habit of driving me when the bus is not being convenient.

And we had our laughs on the way home. One site they went to, I had told her there was only the one bed in the back. She passed the information on to her student - who managed to walk right by the bed in question (which is in a raised masonry surround, filled with rosebushes, and right there when you go to the back). He went all the way down to the back corner where there was a patch of tallish weeds near the fence, and apparently started weeding between the weeds. Ten minutes later he comes to her saying he has a question about which ones are the plants...

I guess they haven't learned weeds yet at school? My student has been making a habit of leaving grass in the beds. Couch grass and lawn grass. He carefully cultivated around a patch of the latter at one place today. I told Emily if their prof ever gets arrested for losing his temper and killing them, I will totally support him on grounds it was extreme provocation and justifiable homicide...

Oh, and the mice? Somehow one or more have gotten into the building for the first time I've noticed since I've lived here. Woke me up one night scritching around and gnawing, apparently in the ceiling above my hallway light fixture. Reported to landlord after a couple episodes, who came and put baits in the ceiling and a few other likely places, and reported some chewed insulation and stuff in the ceiling space. With any luck the baits will take care of the problem before they start chewing electrical wires.

Ah, well. Off to enjoy what's left of the weekend. There's bread rising right now, so I will have fresh bread with butter later on. And maybe tomorrow I will try sleeping in a little, if the cat permits!

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