Sunday, May 28, 2017

Why It's Dangerous For Me To Be Home Alone (for an extended period of time)

DH has been out of town for two days.  He went up north to help his mom with a project, and I (not having paid vacation days or anyone to do my work at this little place here in my absence) stayed home.  Alone.

That tends to be a bit dangerous.  Not because I am in any physical danger without DH.  Our neighborhood is so safe I've never been worried about being 'just a woman alone' no matter if its day or night.  This is a sleep-with-your-windows-open kind of place.  Anyone out wandering the neighborhood at night is either shining deer or hunting raccoons.

Me being home alone is dangerous because I have time to think!  No one else's schedule to work around, no one else dirtying the house or dishes (yay, less time spent cleaning!!), no one else interrupting my train of thought.

Of course, this also means there's no one around to split the heavy chores with, like getting the entire garden planted this week (since it stopped raining and the weather warmed up enough to safely put out delicate plants like tomatoes and peppers).  And that's where the dangerous part starts to happen.

Because, while I was digging shallow trenches to (finally) plant the potatoes in at 3" below the surface of the garden, I realized there has got to be a better way of doing this.  Back when the kids were younger and living at home, I had slave child laborers to assist in the planting.  I wasn't digging over 500 row feet of trench--and then putting the potatoes in every 12" and shoveling the dirt back over them--all by myself.  Surely there is a better way to do this next year, and avoid the aching back I am now experiencing (with still about 100' of potatoes to plant tomorrow).

Some of the ideas I came up with:

  • declare a garden planting weekend and require my kids to come home to help (surely I'm old enough for them to come help with big projects, right?  DH and his siblings were going back to their childhood home to help their mom with stuff as far back as when he and I were in our mid-20s).
  • get DH to do the trench digging.
  • rent or otherwise get a hold of a trencher when it's time to plant potatoes.  I'll be checking in to how much it costs to rent a Ditch Witch from the local rental place.  A couple hours with that baby and I could have trenches galore!
I'm betting that DH isn't going to go for any of those ideas.  But they're out there.  And now they are recorded, so I'll remember and come back to them.

Other dangerous thoughts I've had the past two days:
  • We've lived in this house nearly 14 years and DH still hasn't finished putting up the trim work.  Even though he cut all the wood (oak!!) for the window trim nearly 10 years ago. . .  Obviously we need to schedule staining and installing the trim work this summer and Just Get It Done.
  • I still want a hanging porch swing for the wraparound portion of our front porch (porch swing being one of the reasons I insisted on having a covered wraparound porch when we built the house at this little place here).  We have a wedding anniversary coming up.  A porch swing would make a great anniversary present.
  • I really, really hate the piece of old vinyl flooring DH put at the landing of the basement stairs/in front of the cellar door eons ago.  A largish rug or mat would look much nicer there and make me happier (instead of seeing that curling-edged asymmetrical flooring scrap every time I step off the basement stairs or go in or out of the cellar).
  • If DH doesn't realize that he's gained enough weight that a decent portion of his shirts make him look like a stuffed sausage and that he shouldn't wear them to work anymore, I'll just remove those shirts from his closet and his clothing options will be things that fit better and therefore make him look a little less slobby.  (This is a good thing for his career, right?)
  • Does DH (or, to be honest, I) need 15 shirt options that are low-end and kind of cheaply made (and not that great fitting)?  Wouldn't 5-7 high quality shirts be a better investment?  It's not like doing laundry more than once a week is a change in our lifestyle; the washer is right there in the basement and I regularly wash clothes twice a week anyway.  It's just that I don't iron nearly as often, which is how he ended up with so darn many shirts in the first place.
  • If he's going to continue to work 50-60 hours a week, I really need to hire someone to help keep up with the outdoor work.  Or, conversely, I need to quit my job so that I have 15-20 more hours a week in the summer/growing season to keep up with weeding, watering, mowing, weed whipping. . .  The problem with that is my job pays the horse expenses, and I'm not ready to give up horses; plus just because he's working more hours doesn't mean he gets more pay.  Being salaried, he hasn't gotten paid overtime in nearly two decades.  Supposedly he's allowed to take paid personal days to equal his hours over 40, but it never quite works out like that.  If his programs were slow enough he could take time off regularly, he wouldn't be putting in 10-12 (or more!)  hour days to begin with.
  • On a similar note, if he's too busy to have time to finish some of the indoor stuff we've had on hold for years, I'd like to hire someone to get those projects done. It really wears on me to live in/deal with a house that is still in flux.  I've had plans and even materials for window treatments (roman shades, curtains, etc) since as long ago as 2003, but have been waiting for the trim work to be put on so I had actual and precise window dimensions to work with when creating the window treatments. Not to mention how difficult it is to have the home function optimally while still in development as it were.  The study, for instance, was to have floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves on one entire wall.  That's whole lot of vertical storage space that three random sized bookshelves crammed into the room (along with the file cabinet and DH's late father's humongous steel desk) just doesn't equal.
  • My barn was built 10 years ago.  At least, the shell was.  Then the recession started to impact the auto industry, and we decided to hold off on finishing it so that I could use it for horse boarding.  In the ensuing 10 years, DH has gotten less interested in me having a horse business at home, and rather likes having my barn to store a bunch of crap in.  (Ok, not crap, but stuff that really is totally unrelated to horses.  Like tree stands when it's not hunting season.  And the tractor, implements, and log splitter.)  I'm getting tired of working at other people's barns and would just like to be able to open my own, even if it's not quite as impressive as what DH and I had envisioned 10 years ago.  Water, electricity, and stalls would be nice.  Doesn't have to have a cement aisle way, matted floors in the stalls, and heated tack room with a tack cleaning area and a couch/couple of chairs to sit on).  Electric fence will do, I guess I can get along without the 5 foot high no-climb mesh fencing.
  • I'm getting grumpy in my old age and less willing to wait for stuff than I was 10 years ago!

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