August 13th, 2005

Helou Peaches

One thing after another

Weather Underground predicted rainstorms, so I didn't order ten yards of cedar mulch and altered my plan to spend the day mulching the backyard. With rain in the forecast, we agreed to work on cleaning up the inside the house.

I started cleaning my home office, but soon found myself in the kitchen doing the dishes. Then I had the idea of pulverizing the egg shells I've been saving in our blender. (I'm told that adding crushed shells to hulled sunflower seeds during the nesting season helps the birds reproduce successfully.) This lead to several discoveries. One was that entire blender's worth of broken shells won't blend at all. The second was that when you take the lid off the newly pulverized eggs, you get the same effect as you'd get with a large mug filled with dry ice.

When I was done grinding up the eggs, I washed the blender and then decided I'd help Gabe with one of the items on his to-do list by washing the spoon rest and the jar of kitchen implements we keep on top of the stove. Before too long, however, I'd just one more thinged myself into cleaning the stove. I didn't mind, as that was one item off the list, but then I had the bright idea of taking the kitchen compost out to the bin. And while I was out there, I figured I'd give the compost a good turning. That shouldn't take more than a few minutes, or so I told myself.

The first thing I noticed was that the contents of both bins had settled. The second thing I noticed was that the layer of weeds and grass I added last weekend had formed an impenetrable barrier to my garden implements. I had a hunch we'd outgrown two compost bins and should move to a three bin system, and had already decided that if I moved the columbine, it would fit perfectly next to the jerusalem artichokes. Thinking this would take hardly any time at all, I decided I'd move the columbine. That lead to having to weed, and that meant I needed another compost bin more than ever. It just so happened that I had another bin still in the box somewhere in the garage. It was supposed to be the replacement for my first compost bin, but as that one still works, I never had the impetus to assemble it.

When the third bin was in position, I removed the layer of weeds and grass from the old bins and hoisted it into the new bin. I should have stopped there, but I was already dirty from having moved the columbine and I couldn't talk myself out of harvesting the finished compost. I told myself it wouldn't take very long, but I should have known better as I run the finished compost through a quarter-inch steel screen, one shovel's worth at a time. I used the finished compost to mulch around my black raspberry bushes, put away my tools, and
told myself that as soon as I'd filled the bird feeders, I'd go inside. That's when I discovered my seed buckets were not only empty but in need of a thorough cleaning.

The inside of the house isn't much better than it was this morning, but I've got three compost bins (one of which is now empty), clean buckets, and a plant that should be much happier in its new location. Maybe tomorrow I'll have better luck with the inside of the house. And maybe it'll even rain.
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