Monday, April 18, 2011

Mulching and moving and manul labor, OH MY ... was I sore

Today is the first day in a while that I can sit down, get up, bend down or climb stairs without being in pain.  I was sore for around a week, after spending four out of seven days doing manual labor, which just about did me in.  I’m just a prissy girl who’s used to working behind a desk, you know?

First I spent a couple long days helping my mom get moved in to her condo.  Then I decided that before returning a borrowed truck that I should go ahead and use it to pick up some bulk mulch, which was much-needed for our landscaping beds.  Seriously – much needed.  We should have mulched last year but never got around to it.

I was on a bit of a time crunch, because I only had the truck for one more day before needing to return it to my father-in-law.  With a deadline and a goal, I ventured out that morning in the rain to pick up the first load of mulch.  I told the cashier I needed about 4 cu ft of mulch, and she informed me that the truck bed only fits about 2 cubic feet.  Rats – that meant a return trip would be required.  And even worse, that meant that I would have to remove the first load from the truck before I could go back to get the second.  (I had been planning on waiting until The Mr. was home from work, so that we could unload it together before returning the truck that night.)

One truck load of mulch (2 cu ft, or two "scoops" from the front end loader)

Once I realized I would need two loads, I updated The Mr. via text and he said if I could handle unloading the first one, he could do the second when he got home.  I was not excited, but figured I could buck up and do it.

Mulch mountain #1

Once I got the second load home, I decided to be a trooper and unload it too.   

Load #2

After I did that, exhausted as I was, I realized I needed to get the hose out and spray down the entire truck rather than returning it covered in mulch bits.  

After all that, I was proud of all my hard labor, and knew The Mr. would be pleased as well, especially considering he probably thought I would bag the whole idea of picking up mulch because of the rain.

Yeah, did I mention it was raining throughout the entire process, and that the rain was getting progressively stronger as the afternoon went on?  It was … um … awesome?  I’m sure I was a sight.  When I was done, I had to basically strip at the door of the house so I wouldn’t track bits of wet mulch inside.

By the time the guys got home from school and work, I was whooped.  I decided to take a couple days “off” to rest my sore body before getting back to the actual process of mulching the landscaping.


After my "resting" days, I got back to task.  Since dandelions and other weeds had taken over much of our landscape beds, I figured I better get to those before we could spread the mulch.  I hate weeding, but somebody’s gotta do it.  Besides getting the weeds out, I also had to use a rake as well as my hands to get as many stray leaves out of the dense groundcover and the bushes.  Once the weeds and leaves were cleared out, I was ready to felt like I should tackle the first mulch mountain.  I was already tired, but oh well.

Using my trusty snow shovel, which is great for more things than snow, I kept moving shovel-fuls from the mulch mountain to the landscape beds.  Once I had the first mountain demolished, I wanted to give up and leave the second mountain for another day.  But I pushed through my burnout and tackled mulch mountain #2.


Before I knew it, all the landscaping beds were covered with fresh mulch.  (Okay, it didn't exactly go quickly, but I'll spare you a few details.)  The problem was that I had half a pile of mulch left.  Oops.  Apparently I only needed 3 cu ft of mulch -- not 4.  Mental note for next time.  I spent the next hour finding creative places to "beef up" the mulch that I had left.  After all, you don't want it to be too deep around your plants, or the roots could be suffocated.  And you certainly don't want to leave half a pile of mulch in the driveway, right where you back your car up, for an extended period of time.

Finally I got past that mistake challenge and was ready to put my shovels and rakes down for the day.  Hooray!  But then I remembered it's not good gardening etiquette to put away dirty tools.  So I dragged the hose out and rinsed everything off, soaking my shoes/feet in the process.  Finally, I set all the tools out in the sun to dry and headed in for a shower.  Once again, I had to strip at the door so as not to track mulch bits throughout the house.  Luckily we don't have any close neighbors.

Was I utterly exhausted?  Yes.  Was I proud of my hard work?  Darn tootin' I was.


The Mr. was surprised and delighted to see my results when he got home from work.  I hadn't clued him in that I was going to get to it that day, but he had noticed that I had been suspiciously "offline" all day.  He even agreed that I had earned my keep for the week.  Thank goodness -- since I'm not working, I have to show some progress around the house each week!  I tried to convince The Mr. that I should be able to spend the amount of money I had saved by doing all the work myself, but that was a no-go.  Oh well, it was worth a try.

Have you accomplished any arduous tasks lately?  What I was most proud of was that after each step, when I was fatigued and didn't want to keep going, I pushed through and challenged myself to keep going.  Gold star for me.

But that's enough manual labor for me for a while.  I'd prefer to stick to making the inside of my house look better.


  1. love it! Girly, we must do lunch now that we're "ladies of leisure" whatever the heck than means, cause I have a strong inkling that we'll be busier than we ever were -- a ok with me. :-) Maybe we can coax the momma bee to come out of her hive for a stroll?? These arms of mine are surely strong enough to hold a babe again. :-0

  2. I will buy you lunch if you mulch our "small" yard!! :) You need to come see the completed master bath!

  3. Tracy - sounds like a plan!

    Lori -- no more mulching for me for ... um, I think I can stretch it out for 3 years. Yep, I'm over it. ;) Would love to see the remodeled bathroom soon!

  4. Gee,Hollie, I am tired just reading about your mulching days. It's esp. interesting because I heard that when you were little you really procrastinated about yard work and would not pull the weeds around the curb. I guess being a homeowner has changed you.

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