Sunday, November 28, 2010

Never For Want Of Projects

I am very project oriented in all aspects of my life. I have a knack for seeing the big picture, creating strategies, goals, and tasks, and then implementing plans to see the project to completion. Hopefully it also requires me to learn new skills or to work with people I haven’t had the pleasure of collaborating with. Once the project is completed though, I am lousy at maintenance. Doing the same thing bores me to death and I find that every time I am in that situation, I end up reinventing the process and creating a new project.

My garden is no exception. If I don’t have a project to work on, I am completely paralyzed. Weeds grow unmolested; watering is sporadic, harvests done as second thoughts. All that hard work and then I can’t be bothered to weed or irrigate? It makes no sense why I am this way. I trick myself by setting appointments to make sure I get out and do the job (just one hour, that’s all you have to do I tell myself.) Anything that isn’t on my drip irrigation system usually burns up in the heat.

But luckily I am pretty good at dreaming up things to do, or re-do. Our next-door neighbor got a new job and moved to Waco, and as part of their move they gave us their smoker. We already have a gas grill, but the smoker allows me to cook items over charcoal and throw in some wood smoke to boot. We’ve cooked ribs, turkey, and chicken so far. The problem is, we don’t really have a place for it. Because it uses charcoal for fuel, it is not a good idea to put it on the deck or near the wood siding of the house. We have a large area near our rain tank, but the ground is covered in bark mulch. It is a disaster waiting to happen. The solution is for me to install a flagstone patio. Ah, a project. And it requires digging. Even better. Suddenly I spring back to life after a languid summer of hiding from the heat inside the house.

Of course, part of the area that I want to place the patio, has a pile of rocks on it. I was saving them to finish a ditch project. This weekend my ambition surged and I leaped into action. Tropical storm Hermine blew out my berm in a couple of places, so I needed to make some repairs and alterations. I created an overflow area in the low spot so the water exits in an orderly manner instead of over the top of the berm. I’ve dug a secondary ditch to dissipate the flow into the neighbor’s wide expanse of a lawn. The area along the back fence has been lined with that rock to slow things down and direct the overflow over another large lawn area.
There shouldn’t be much excess in a normal 20-minute downpour. But just in case we get a really big storm, I’m ready for it now.

The rock has been moved, a ditch dug; now for my patio. Ah, it’s nice to have a project.