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[personal profile] helwen
Worked on scroll. Raked and bagged leaves. Housework. Spinning (some of the 1st dip indigo Coopworth, and some of the silvery bombyx/yak top). Worked on 'table' to put plants on in the greenhouse porch. Got the counter surface cut to length, but had a lot of trouble trying to get the legs to stay on -- difficult materials, needed more tools, just not strong enough. [personal profile] fitzw came to the rescue, and the table is now up in the greenhouse porch. Yay!

This morning I worked on finishing trimming the plants that overlapped onto the front sidewalk, so that shovelling snow will be easier (the edge of our front yard is lined with pavers, to keep things nice and neat).

After [personal profile] fitzw gathered up the brush to take to the city compost site, I went out to the backyard and raked leaves. Now, I should confess that I had ulterior motives in getting started on the leaves as soon as possible. I really wanted to work on getting the inside wall of the print shop side of the garage insulated, and [personal profile] fitzw wanted to work on the garage but also wanted to rake and bag leaves and maybe work more on the loom setup, which seemed to be more his focus, rather than insulating. So, I figured that if I got a lot of the leaves raked up and started bagging, we could fill a few bags and then get to work on the garage that much sooner.

Some people use power mowers and mulch the leaves into the lawn. We have a push mower. Most of our tools for various jobs are hand tools. There are good reasons to have power tools/equipment -- one summer it rained so much that by the time good weather came, we needed to borrow the neighbor's mower to help get the lawn under control. And of course the cordless drill/screwdriver came in handy yesterday, working on the table. Some people prefer power tools because it gets the job done faster, and faster is always better, right? But we think that sometimes, the process is just as important as the end goal, and hand tools are best for enjoying the process.

Raking can be hard work, but there are a lot of rewards along the way. I enjoy the motion of the rake, revealing the green grass beneath the dry leaves, the sun shining on each blade. I especially like the rustling, shushing sound the leaves make as they're moved. Some folks miss the point of raking, thinking they have to remove every single leaf from the lawn. But the real purpose is simply to allow the lawn access to sun and air, so it isn't truly necessary to get every leaf -- besides, the wind will just laugh at you.

I pulled most of the downed branches out of the piles as I went. With the wind storms we've had this past autumn, there are quite a lot of them. I know I won't get them all, but I try for at least the longer ones, because they'll poke holes in the leaf bags. Most people would complain about having to keep stopping to pick out the sticks, but it gives you a chance to move in a different way, to take a break from raking. Neither of those are the true and best reason for finding all the sticks. The true reason is so that you can make a really big pile and dive through it -- that's what Z and [personal profile] fitzw like to do :) I mostly like walking through them, or sitting in them -- something about being immersed in leaves that I find both a pleasure and restful. When the raked line of leaves gets to be bigger, I can help push it along with the fronts of my legs -- almost as good as walking through them!

Bagging is another challenge. I'm short and the bags are tall, so it's hard to push down on the leaves with my hands to compress them and make more space in the bag. So I fold the top of the bag down and slowly kneel on the bag, listening to the sighing and crinkling. Another way to get in some rustling fun!

[personal profile] fitzw got home, went inside to get something to eat, then came out to rake and bag. At one point he commented wistfully that it was too bad there were so many sticks...

We filled a number of bags, then tried to work on insulating the garage. We took a number of things out, got the area ready to work on, then discovered we couldn't find the staple gun anywhere. I finally called Scott to see about borrowing one, which he said he could off later in the evening. So much for the garage! We put things back in a neater fashion than before, so tomorrow we can try again. Then a bit of puttering, dinner, caught up on Heroes, and watched a couple of MacGyver shows.

Not quite the day we'd planned, but overall, things were accomplished, and it was a lovely afternoon for a stroll through the backyard.


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