Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I have a serious love/hate relationship with dirt. I think it comes down to inside dirt vs outside dirt. Granted, inside dirt used to BE outside dirt, but I swear it's different.
I consider cleaning my house part of my job. The hubby is awesome and is constantly helping out by vacuuming and such, but the day to day is my thing. Laundry doesn't really bother me. The fact that my beautiful new washer makes entire loads gross smelling if you don't dry them within 8 hours of washing sucks. So what used to be an easy job has become a race against time, but in the long run it's not that bad. The bane of my indoor dirt existence is the bathrooms. I think it's the anticipation of cleaning them that's the worst. It's one of those jobs that wasn't a big deal in my pre-baby life. I had a system with two bathrooms... chuck the toilet cleaner in one, then the other. Sprinkle Comet in one tub, then the other. Scrub, cleanse.... you get the point. Due to the bleach and chemical content of bathroom cleansers, my system has changed. I need a solid 40 minutes of uninterrupted time in which to clean the bathrooms. Yeah, like that's gonna happen with a 4 month old. So it bugs the hell out of me every minute of every day until I make it happen some how.
On the other hand, I have a love of dirt that is all about the outdoors. I completely forgot about this phenomenon living in various condo/shoeboxes for the past 16 years. Oh, but now life is good. Dennis and I got lucky enough (thanks mom!) to get our hands on a rental house with a half acre of land. Some may think it's a pain in the butt, but we love it. Dennis has his mower and goes into zen mode mowing away while plugged into his iPod. I have the beds that circle the entire house. When we first moved in, mom planted some flowers for me around the house, but for the past few months we've been on our own. We have two gardens: The one at the back of our yard has heirloom tomatoes, green peppers, jalapeños and the cucumber plant that ate New York (at least 6-8 cukes a day!! come get your freebies if you're in town...) and the one next to the house has Silver Queen corn and giant pumpkins. THIS is the dirt I love. I wade into the cucumber plant daily to get our "pickles" and trim back tomato leaves so they get more sun. I check out the height of our corn and the size of our pumpkin leaves (dinner plates currently). I am like a swine in fecal matter.
The best moment in the dirt came today though. There have been crazy weeds growing in the bed up against our bedroom wall that I haven't been able to keep up with. The house had not been lived in for two years, so needless to say, all the plants were out of control. Nestled in the weeds are Lily of the Valley, some old gorgeous Iris bulbs and scattered Black Eyed Susans. So hack and slash was out of the question. I want to preserve all of these until the fall when I can pull up and separate bulbs and delicately replant the rooted flowers. So in the meantime, I've been staring at the mutant weeds that went from an inch high to 3 feet tall in a matter of a week. No lie! I got my chance today. It rained for 3 hours so I knew the ground was nice and soft, and Dennis was home to watch the little man. Out I went. I grabbed a shovel, garden rake and ignored my gloves. It was a day for serious digging in the dirt. I pulled weeds gently around the flowers. Where I didn't have to work around flowers, I footed the shovel into the dirt to loosen the weeds and grabbed handfuls of roots. I was about 2 feet down the bedline when WHOOSH! it started raining like mad again. I looked up into the clouds, looked at my already soaked clothes, shrugged, and kept plugging away. Along the route, I met a few interesting characters. First was a beat up ceramic owl that has such character, I'm going to clean him up and put him back into the bed. Second was the starter of a rose bush... the closest one is 50 yards away, so this little sucker worked hard to get to where it was. Last but not least was a small family of mantis.' I encountered the first baby on one of the sleeping Iris leaves. The second baby tried to jump on my shovel. The third mantis scared the crapola out of me as it must have been mama. Huge and hanging out on the side of the house inches from my face when I bent down to clear a Susan. I made it halfway down the bed before I got really beat (it's tough doing yardwork on 5 hours of interrupted sleep) and went inside. I had to peel my rainsoaked clothes off and was covered from clog to knee in mud. It was up my arms and I'm sure smudged all over my face. I felt great! It was the cleanest dirt I'd been exposed to in forever.
I just wish I had as much time for the outside dirt as I do for the in.