I’m not a math whiz but there is one formula that I know really well:
Yardwork + Verily Sherrilee = A Filthy Mess
When I had the new driveway put in, I also asked them to put in a sidewalk from the house to the garage. For many years, I’ve just had paving stones, which look really good for about an hour after the grass is cut and that’s their only saving grace. Well, that and they were cheap. Otherwise, they’ve been a pain for years. Even so, I couldn’t bring myself to just throw them away when the new sidewalk was installed.
YA and I have wanted a little patio under our backyard table for years, so this past Saturday, I decided to re-purpose the paving stones into said patio. And it was pretty clear early on that I would be invoking the Yardwork/Filthy Mess paradigm. You wouldn’t think that a 4’ x 4’ square, 2 inches deep would create so much extraneous dirt; I certainly didn’t and I was quite wrong. It was easier to excavate the space by hand to start with and pretty soon, I had dirt all over myself, including knees, ankles and feet. I had abandoned my gardening shoes early on – too hot. Of course sweat and dirt together meant that I was dirty everywhere else as well.
I was very careful with the paving stones as they weigh quite a bit. As I picked up each one I said to myself “go slow, be careful”. Every single stone (9 of them). I even said this to myself as I wiggled the last one into place. Right before I lost my hold on it and it crashed down on my big toe. I got a pretty good gash and the blood looked really dark as it bled onto all the dirt on my foot.
I was so close to the end of the project – I didn’t want to lose my momentum but I also didn’t want to bleed all over and get who knows what kinds of germs into the wound. Looking down at myself I realized that I was too dirty to go in the house and certainly too dirty to go upstairs to the bathroom where there bandaids are kept.
I had YA go inside and get a couple of paper towels while I hosed off my foot and toe. She came out with a paper towel and DUCT TAPE! That’s my girl. I wrapped the paper towel around the toe first and then liberally applied the tape. Voila – good enough to let me finish up the project! It’s made me realize that while YA can do yardwork without attracting every dirt particle within a square mile, she HAS inherited my feeling that the wrong tool at hand is always better than the right tool that is not at hand.
What’s your favorite cleaning supply? When have you had a filthy mess? When have you gotten spectacularly dirty?