Sunday, October 2, 2011

No Rest for the Weary Hiker

   After my morning excursion, I stopped home long enough to give the dogs much-needed baths (Aki didn't go swimming per se, but waded elbow-deep into thick, dark muck at the pond, and subsequently rolled in God-knows-what. Taylor would have happily followed her, had he not been on leash). Then I headed to the store to get ingredients for dinner. It's always nice shopping on afternoons when the Chiefs are playing football, because the store is virtually empty!
   I came home, threw the groceries in the fridge, and cleaned the gutters—which is more about fighting with a Gorilla ladder that weighs at least as much as me. Very sturdy and strong, but difficult to maneuver. One of these days, I shall break my neck! But not today, fortunately. My neck lives to see another day.
   Then I mowed the lawn, trimmed all the trees in the front and back yard. Which was easy, compared to pruning all the shrubs with my electric hedge-trimmer. I took about 2 feet off the top of the 8-foot-tall bushes behind the house (and miraculously did NOT cut the cord this time), despite the heavy trimmer cramping up my hands and shoulders. It's tricky balancing on a ladder, brandishing the trimmer, and keeping your balance in an extremely awkward position all at once. (I knew that yoga would pay off someday.)
   Next I weeded the flower beds, then spent an hour repairing the compost bin—AGAIN—to try to keep the crafty Shibas from disassembling it and then foraging in it. They won the first rounds fair and square but I will prevail! (I hope!)
   And while I was doing all that, I managed to wash a load of laundry, too. Nearly five hours all told, and I'm a little afraid of how sore my arms & back will be tomorrow. But my yard looks great, finally, after a hot summer of neglect. I stopped to take a photo and... 
Aki! Get your big head out of my photo!
   If I had realized how long I'd spend in the yard, I'd have ordered take-out. But I had planned to make a giant pot of soup to get me through the week. So I made chicken and chock-full-o-veggie soup (with carrots, celery, onions, garlic, split peas, and lentils). Sounds too healthy to be delicious, but it's one of my favorite recipes.
   But just in case it WAS too healthy, I counteracted it with dessert: Shatto Farm's rich chocolate milk, and a homemade chocolate cookie with chocolate chips and mint. That sound you hear is my knees buckling.
   And now I'm relaxing on the couch: cats on my lap, dogs on the floor beside me, catching up on my photos from the weekend. Hope you enjoy them too!
Aki loves to play ball and show off her agility...
Taylor, tired from greeting Hallmarketers and then hiking, took it easy: