Saturday 01 Oct 2016

Much Ado
Jennifer Flaten

Nothing like a little yard work to remind you that you are old and out of shape. Apparently, spending the winter watching Netflix and typing on the keyboard will not keep the muscles you need for gardening smooth and supple.

It’s actually something more like atrophied and easily pulled. According to my doctor, I should take two cupcakes and call him in the morning. Did I say doctor? Oh, I meant baker. Still, is there nothing cupcakes can’t cure?

While just about every muscle hurts, and some parts that I didn’t think it was possible to hurt. I think I did the most damage to my swearing muscle.

I believe I over did it with the cursing as I attempted to rake 60 pounds of mulch out of a 20 square foot area. It seems the previous owners of the house decided that the easiest way to pretty up the house was to open up a bag of mulch and plop it in the garden, without removing the bag. 

I also unleashed a torrent of naughty words on the resident rodents. It seems they don’t need to store nuts or whatever for winter. They visit my all you can eat buffet, featuring a selection of tasty spring flower bulbs.

I planted oodles of bulbs last fall anticipating gorgeous blooms as soon as spring arrived.

They ate all of them. Instead, of lovely flowers, I have large gaping holes in the garden where the furry marauders dug up the bulbs.

To add insult to injury apparently the squirrel didn’t find several varieties to his liking. After digging them up and taking a chomp out of them, he left them scattered about the garden.

Now I have no flowers and more work. I don’t like that equation at all.

On the positive side, I have a valid excuse for a trip the garden center. I love the garden center, if they served cupcakes I would consider moving living there. It is always so fragrant and quiet at the garden center. Not at all, like home where it smells weird and is so noisy you can’t hear yourself think.

For many years, I thought I wanted a beautiful yard, filled with flowering plants, just like Martha Stewart. Now, I realize what I really want is to be Martha Stewart so I can order my staff to create my exotic garden for me while I lounge by the pool reading a book.

Actually, I do have a staff, of sorts, they are the most rude, lazy and undependable staff ever, but if bribed just right can be convinced to do some work. Some work, mind you, not a lot of work.

If they have too much work to do, at one time, I will need to be out there with them making sure, they are doing it and that just defeats the purpose of having them do it. It’s like having a gang of ferrets doing the chores. One minute they are working, the next minute they are dragging something shiny under the sofa.

Still, half-assed help is better than no help at all. I mean good help is expensive, which is why I stick with the kids. Even if I do, occasionally, have to use the hose to break up a fight.

Luckily, my kids like ice cream and are willing to do onerous tasks in exchange for payment in smooth, creamy deliciousness.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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