There's just no way to say this and have it sound good, so I'll just spit it out.
As much as I love the flexibility of being self-employed, sometimes I'm jealous of women whose husbands have 9-to-5 jobs. It's not that I don't love spending time with my husband. It's just that I almost NEVER get to the house to myself. And let's face it, there's just something delicious about being able to hang out in your own home and do everything exactly the way YOU want to do it exactly WHEN you want to do it. Not to mention being able to hog the TV.
That's what I've been doing for the last couple of weeks, while Eric has been in France, visiting his mother. Starting projects and leaving a mess lying around, finishing when I'm ready. Eating weird meals, on no other schedule than when I'm hungry. Loading the dishwasher the way I like to load it. Glamourous, exciting stuff like that.
On those rare occasions when I have the house to myself, I get a lot done. It makes me all domestic. I clean things that haven't been cleaned since ... well, the last time Eric went out of town. I organize stuff, like my desk and filing cabinet and the pantry. I study music, practice, write schedules, work on concert programming for my opera troupe, catch up on my articles for Classical Singer, work out, teach --- all stuff I do every day, but now I can do it like the Gemini I am, 10 minutes here and 10 hours there, depending on how obsessed I'm feeling.
For the last two weeks, it's been all about the yard and the fall garden. I've never had one before, and for the past two summers I haven't been around to plant a spring/summer one, so it's very exciting. Also, amazing exercise. There was quite a bit of weeding to be done; then it all had to be dug up and turned. Then, a trip out to my favorite local nursery, The Natural Gardener, to purchase decomposed turkey poop, aka compost.
At Natural Gardener, you can bag your own soils/composts/mulches and pay less. You buy, or bring, your own bags; head up to the soil yard, and get friendly with a bucket and shovel. On this particular day, there was no one in the soil yard but yours truly and an older gentleman, loading up some soil into his pickup. It was hot, and I was wearing short and a tank top, hair wadded up on top of my head, sweaty, not the picture of glamour. Shoveling turkey poop.
And that's when the silver fox, several piles down, hollered at me, "Put your back into it, baby!" Pretty soon he wasn't working any more; he was watching me work and flirting. At least until his wife and grandson got back from the restroom. Well, you know, I'll take it where I can get it.
It's pretty good exercise, all that shoveling and then wrangling those 40+ pound bags into the car and out again. Hauling them to the backyard, dumping them in the garden, digging them in. I had to wait another week before I could go back out and buy seedlings, but I amused myself by purchasing succulents at the farmer's market and potting them in an old soda crate ...
... and doing lots of work on my long-neglected yard. Although it is emphatically NOT the season to be pruning roses, given the choice between hacking through the rosy jungle threatening to consume the front of the house, and waiting until the next authorized season (February), I decided to go for it. There were plenty of other bushes that needed attention, too, most notably our monstrous evening primrose. So, I spent about nine or ten hours pruning, sacking, and hauling. The roses are already starting to pay off with fall blooms:
And then it was back to Natural Gardener, with my mom in tow, to get seedlings. But first, we had to tour the Butterfly Garden:
And of course, the goats, donkeys, and chickens, where we met this extradorinarily handsome fella:
Then, and only then, were we free to peruse the veggies. I came home with broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, brussels sprouts, artichokes, chard, peas, bok choy, mustard greens, and a few snapdragons for color. All new to my garden, except the lettuce, so I am excited to see how it grows!
Now, the really awesome thing about all this yardwork is that it DOES burn the calories --- close to 400 an hour, depending on what you're doing. So I laid off the workout videos for a couple of days. That's a double-edged sword, right there, because I'm having a hard time gearing myself up to get back to them.
See, I'm getting tired of it all again -- feeling pressured to work out and watch my calories. I know if I don't, I'll regret it deeply; but it is exhausting and I'm already a littled bored with Ten Minute Trainer (good news is, I'm almost through with the 4-week program). This is a problem that has to be solved, and what I've been doing so far is working on accepting that the process has, for me, slowed down. I'm not going to lose weight as quickly, and probably am not going to lose as much. It's hard for me to take days off working out without beating myself up about it, but I'm working on that, too --- and on getting right back to it when it's time to do so. It's really annoying to have to fight this battle over and over; I wish I could come to some sense of peace about it all. That's something I'll just have to keep working on.
But in the meantime, I highly recommend the Yardworkout. Not only do you burn, baby, burn, but you have something beautiful to show for it!