Wallowing

For years I’ve wondered why I get dirtier than anybody else I know when gardening. At the end of pretty much every weekend day, I am filthy from head to foot.  Dirt between my toes, dirt in my ears, dirt all up and down my pants and shirt, dirt underneath my fingernails (even though I always wear gloves) – dirt everywhere!

I see my next door neighbor, Rita, out gardening and she never even gets grass stains on the knees of her jeans. Granted, I have a much bigger garden than she does, what with my “more flowers, less grass” life strategy but it’s still a pretty amazing contrast.  And everybody else I know stays cleaner than I do; YA works hard and also never seems to get very dirty.  Last weekend we dug out the hydrangea bush over two days.  You could hardly tell that she had been working for hours while I was absolutely COVERED in dirt.

I was lamenting this on Sunday afternoon and YA said “do you ever look at what you’re doing?” When I asked what she meant, she said “look at yourself right now… you’re LYING in the dirt”.  And she was correct, I had laid sideways so I could try to get at some root that was eluding me.  She continued “you don’t even try to stay clean, you’re always sitting in the garden, or crawling around or something.”

As I’ve been thinking about this for the last few days, I realized she’s right. I do kind of throw myself into (onto?) my gardening projects in a big way, which leads to the high dirt factor.  Somehow I’m thinking I probably won’t change, even if it means two showers every weekend!

How much dirt is there in a hole that is 3 feet deep, 6 feet long, and 4 feet wide?

32 thoughts on “Wallowing”

  1. A lot of dirt!
    I don’t lie down that I can recall, but I do the crawl around and sit down in the dirt a lot, mostly because it’s easier than bending over or remaining upright. I know there’s one of those kneel-pads here somewhere… I rarely wear gloves so my fingers are a mess…

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  2. Enough to keep Husband happy. He is not so much a lay down in the dirt person as he is a “must dig in the dirt” person. I don’t recall a summer since we moved into this house that hasn’t involved him digging and moving dirt around, sometimes making bigger holes than others. The muddy pit in the front yard became a lovely rain garden (after a couple of summers explaining away the muddy eyesore to the neighbors). Now we have a muddy pit in the backyard. Originally his master plan was to have it level the little above-ground pool we set up for Daughter – but she has been using that less (now being more interested in going to the beach to hang out with friends), so now the excuse to dig and level is so he can add sand and gravel back into it for a level patio area with bricks on top… After that, well, there’s piles of dirt under the swing set (which should come down, but Daughter insists she still uses the tire swing about twice a year), some untouched grass in the front yard, a partially completed raised bed in the back…

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      1. He just likes to dig. Sort of like a dog who finds a new spot in the yard to dig – one year they might dig up your tulips in search of a cool spot to lie down, the next year they discover the shade behind the peonies…

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  3. I am eager to get out to the garden and finally plant everything. That will happen this weekend. Rainy weather and travel has put us behind schedule. I don’t think I get as dirty as vs.

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  4. If you were going to fill the hole, you would need 2 2/3 cubic yards of dirt, but the answer to the (trick) question is: none—it’s a hole.

    We’ve brought in truckloads of good dirt and compost to supplement the crappy soil native to our back yard, but I can’t recall lying in it. It’s hard to get much work done that way.

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  5. I remember when I was a kid and washing the bulk milk tank and mom and dad would always ask “How do you get so wet??” Well, just enjoying my work I guess.
    And today, if I paint anything, I’m going to get paint on myself. I can’t hardly look at a can of paint, I’ll have paint my my shirt.

    Bill, thanks for answering the math portion of todays question.

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      1. Somehow that was mom’s job. She didn’t help with milking, but every other day, after the milkman picked up the milk, she’d come down and wash the tank.
        It wasn’t bad; two big lids opened and you had hot water and a scoop of soap and one of those brushes with a handle on it 5′ long and you just scrubbed everything. But it was fun to get the water sloshing up the sides! You could get a pretty big wave going!

        Years later, we had a different bulk tank with an automatic washer. I didn’t get so wet but it was still fun to open the lid sometimes just to see the sprayer going. Then, of course, I got a little wet… 🙂

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  6. I get “reasonably” dirty doing yard work (but nothing like VS!). My real wallowing happens in the kitchen where the food starts to fly every time I fix a meal. The more guests and bigger the menu, the more the kitchen (and me) look like a disaster zone.

    And I lament that I can’t seem to EAT a meal without fear of spilling food on my clothes. I think it gets worse with old age. Frustrating because I don’t have “the shakes” when I use a fork or spoon, it’s just that moment of transfer from utensil to mouth that is the big challenge. 😦

    C in O

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    1. It’s funny that as much as I love cooking, I’m not terribly messy in the kitchen. I’m a clean as I go kind of gal and I almost always wear an apron when I get carried away.

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      1. I “think” I’m a clean as you go guy, but that’s mainly wiping counters and making sure I don’t cross-contaminate foods with raw meat. But a surprising amount of ingredients end up on the floor or spilled on the stove or oven or on me. 😦

        C in O

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  7. Daughter travels to Iceland Saturday, and was informed last night that she won a promotional lottery on Iceland Air for a free upgrade to First Class. She will be wallowing in comfort!

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  8. i’m with you vs
    i am the dirt covered guy in the group too but i can’t wear gloves.
    once you get going it’s not a matter of thinking about how to keep clean it’s how to get it done.
    my son in law is the guy who always takes the heavy end of a project. he is bigger and stronger than anyone else and approaches it in a very smart way always but it is interesting how some folks look at how to avoid getting any messy residue or evidence of involvement on them and others go all in from the first step.

    i miss gardening in my rental life. a couple tomato plants hosta. and bleeding hearts with a couple hanging baskets and the indoor outdoor transition of the houseplants just ain’t the same but car repair now there i excel. grease and grit and skin peeled of my arms and hands, jeans and shirts that have to be washed alone to keep from covering everything else in the machine in grease is sop. my hair is generally matted with oil and oil dry and my knuckles tend to keep lines of grime in the creases for days after. my great grandfather kept a nail brush and a bar of soap in every sink location so he could dig his fingernails into the soap and scrub every time he was near a sink. i can’t stand the smell of soap so it doesn’t work the same for me but i do have scrubbies in my life
    my kids all end up clean at the end of a job too. i was thinking about a friend of mine the other day. i commented to him in a conversation of the past that i was amazed at how his white shorts always looked spotless. he said he used bleach. he commented once he took his car into the dealer for service and they got the car absolutely filthy when they got on and out of it with dirty shoes or something. he had to complain to the management and they didn’t get it, he is a clean freak who went on to be a vp at apple and is now retired and traveling the world living on his van. i’ll bet it’s clean.
    folks do it different plan and simple

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  9. I often get gifts from friends and relatives that are garden-related. They are usually rather impractical gifts for me, because like VS, I get dirty. I don’t want to use something like a pair of pale blue canvas gloves with roses on them – they’ll just get torn and turn black right away. Same with the flowery kneeling pad. Just give me plain brown jersey gloves, and I’ll just kneel in the dirt.

    I also get gifts of things like “Gardener’s hand soap” – which is fine soap for everyday use, but if I’ve been gardening, I need Lava.

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    1. I have a couple of those kneel pads as well that people have given me. But I don’t use them because I spend more time moving the pad around then I spend moving me around.

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  10. I get pretty dirty when gardening. But I’ve had to try to be more careful lately because I no longer have clothes that I wear just for gardening and I don’t want to destroy my normal clothes. Since I’m doing very little gardening these days (mostly delegating) it’s not too hard to stay clean. But I have to work at it.

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  11. I don’t do much these days that causes me to get dirty, but I sometimes sit in one spot long enough that dust settles on me. No cobwebs as yet, mainly because I have to make so many trips to the bathroom, I’m sure.

    Back when I used to go camping, I always looked a mess by the end of day two or three. It is a mystery to me how some campers, especially women, even after a week in the wilderness looked like they had just stepped out of a beauty salon. Not a hair out of place, their perfectly manicured hands pristine, and their clothes clean and wrinkle free. How is that even possible?

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