Paved Intentions

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?

27 thoughts on “Paved Intentions”

  1. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    Every gardening season get spectacularly dirty during garden cleanup in the fall. There is no favorite cleaning supply.

    Meanwhile, I am headed out to the 50th HS class reunion. Healing energies to Barb and Michael.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I think vinegar is a great cleaning supply. Our cat thinks her tongue is the best cleaning implement around, but it works best if you sit in the sun. Husband likes magic erasers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Huh? Have I actually made it here first? To start with I’d be four days late and write drivel that no one would see.
    I’m sorry, everyone, I’m an upstart. Two weeks ago, you guys had never heard of me. By yesterday’s blog, by the time I finished, my name was all over it, with my version of life. Steve says you guys have steps you can take with people who post too much, so don’t worry, I’ll slow down. I don’t want to find out what those steps are.
    But, Oooh! That hurt, didn’t it? And now you’re having to walk on that toe. I bet that hurts too.
    I agree about tools. I’d add that I love quality. I’d rather use a good tool for the wrong job, than a poor one for the wrong job. Poor quality is false economy , takes the pride out of a job, and shkuld not exist
    I’ve made many filthy messes, and don’t know about spectacularly dirty. Where do you draw the line? I got moderately dirty one time back in Southampton. The downpipe from the roof, just by the front door, was choked and water backed up and came out over the gutter, to the ground that way. I tried to poke something up from the bottom, but there was a lot of stuff in there, leaves etc. Best thing was, take the pipe right off and clean it out properly. The top section had to come off first. So you know what I’m going to say, don’t you? And Jane was so thankful it took me a minute to undo the pipe. So when she arrived she was still in time to see me lift it off and receive a whole pipefull of dirty black stinking water all over my shirt. I remember it being a white shirt. Jane was so happy that day, even though there was no time to get a photo.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Sometimes while you’re writing a post others can sneak in before you if they hit Post before you do. It’s interesting that Steve thinks that there are steps we can take for people who post too much. As one of the administrators, that just makes me laugh. Post away- We love as much baboon interaction as we can get.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I mean I was kidding about being punished.
          I’m not kidding about sometimes disliking things that I’ve written.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Duck tape bandaids are the best! You gotta get some dirt in the open wounds to build up your immunity; that’s what I always thought anyway.

    I remember working on the barn cleaner once, cut myself on some jagged piece of metal… not bad, but blood and all. And, like you VS, I couldn’t very well quit, and it was just going to get dirty again, so we just kept working.
    I remember several years ago, I was cutting brush and some how I got a stick up nose. Just enough to make my eyes water and give me a bloody nose. I called son, up in the house, and asked him to bring me some kleenex. He showed up with a his full medical kit because he just didn’t know.

    I’m usually covered in dirty or grease. Occupational hazard. Somedays I get dirtier than others… usually when power washing equipment, because it sprays around so much.
    I remember mom and Dad always asking me how I got so wet when washing milking equipment. I don’t know, I just throw myself into my work I guess. I still seem to get extra wet if water is involved.
    And I can’t open a can of paint without getting paint on myself.

    It used to be Lava Soap was the answer to everything. Then the dairy sold a powered soap called ‘Sepko’ that had a particular smell. I kinda miss that. It made lots of suds.

    I do like the citrus hand cleaners now. I use Gojo out in the shop, and some cherry smelling something here in the house. Plus I get these canisters of heavy paper towels that contain degreaser – they’re great in the tractors for cleaning my hands. Plus I’ve started wearing nitrile gloves more often to keep my hands clean in the first place. But they still tear or I don’t *think* I’ll get dirty… haha, jokes on me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ve discovered over the years that the pumice stone is my best friend when I’m getting cleaned up. Maybe I’ve scraped off more layers of skin that I ought to have but it’s easy and it’s fast.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Once I took a white water rafting trip down the Colorado thru the Grand Canyon. At a lunch stop we pulled over down stream to take a pee break. The routine, since there were no latrine, was to enter the river up to your knees then squat and pee. I somehow managed to get into a sucking mud area were I sank up to my knees into the mud and could not get out. The more I struggled the deeper I sank. It took 4 or 5 of my fellow campers to dig me out. We were all.literally COVERED in mud!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. OT: Surgery went quite well, and Husband’s speech, etc. were improved by this evening. Next couple of days will tell whether or not he can do rehab at home.

    My iPad, which is what I have at the hospital, won’t let me Like or Comment – so I’ve been reading only this week. Some day I’ll be home again, or spend the time to figure out the iPad.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I saw that too, Wes, and I knew you would be distressed. Hopefully, they’ll be captured, one by one, by people who will take care of them. They can’t survive in the wild in that area. Some people are really both stupid and irresponsible.

      Liked by 2 people

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