Friday, January 22, 2010

I can't really say I had cabin fever this morning. While it has been raining, now, for six days, I haven't let that keep me inside. Sunday I could have gone to Disneyland, but chose not to. Monday I drove to San Simeon, and spent three hours on the bluff in between rain showers. Tuesday I spent three hours on the bluff as well, also between showers. Wednesday there was no "between showers," but I did have that drive home, which was somewhere between thrilling and harrowing. It rained all day yesterday, but I did the grocery shopping, and I went out to dinner with friends (Cafe Orient, on Devonshire in Chatsworth).

So, why did I feel as if I'd die of nervousness if I didn't get outside today? I might be tired of knitting garter stitch, or I might be tired of the depressing news on the radio. Anyway, I harnessed the will to get out of the house as a means of getting some necessary yard work done.

It is my experience that drought tolerant plants that get more water than they need flop over. The Italian cypress hedge that lines my driveway started to flop days ago, making it very hard to get in and out of my garage. During a brief pause in the storm, I started to trim the cypress. As long as I had the hedge clippers out, I also started to trim the red-leafed photinia that takes over where the cypress ends. I'm allergic to photinia; if I waited until the thing bloomed, I'd have to hire someone to trim it for me. It started to rain again before I was finished with the photinia, but I figured I might as well finish it. I'm not made of sugar; I won't melt in the rain.* I finished the trimming, which involved cutting several good-sized branches at the end of the fence, closest the street.

My original plan had been to trim only, as one can't sweep a wet sidewalk. As bad as my back is, Tom wouldn't resent my leaving a mess in the driveway. When I cut those big branches, though, they blocked the driveway. Since the sides of our street flood in the rain, and on-street parking involves putting two wheels onto the adjoining lawn, I couldn't very well force Tom to park in the street. I got the barrels out, and a broom, a rake, and a giant dustpan, and cleaned up the mess as well as I could, given the wet driveway. The pruning took half an hour; cleaning up the resulting debris took a full hour. I was soaked to the skin by the time I finished, but I had a warm glow of accomplishment.

I tried on the scarf. It's long enough to tie in a kitten bow, but I can't bring myself to cast off and call it finished. Maybe I should trim another hedge.

* The spice and everything nice keeps me together.


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