Sunday, June 14, 2015

Man Around the House

June 11, 2015: Emptying out our shed.

Being a working, single mom with just a 17-year-old at home (who now works 5 days a week) and especially being an "older" mom as I am, it's sometimes hard to accomplish those big tasks around the house to which I never gave a second thought when I was a younger woman with more energy and stamina, and had a house full of helpers, including three children and a husband.

Inside the house, there's no problem. I can do as little or as much as I can manage to reorganize a room or clean out a closet, and work on it over a period of days if necessary. My house is organized and tidy, per my OCD. Outside, however, around our property, has been another matter entirely! 

Inside the shed it's an empty palette, waiting to be reloaded!

And so it has been nice to have Mark around to help tackle these chores. He has never been afraid of hard work and is just one of those people with a naturally helpful attitude. So a few days ago I mentioned that I'd really like to clean out the shed one of these days. An hour later I heard scuffling sounds outside my office, and then I heard the weed-trimmer fire up.

When I went to investigate, I found that Mark had gotten Dylan to go out and help him empty the shed. During that process, they found a part for the weed-trimmer that had been missing, so Dylan put it together and went out to trim the long grass in the front yard. Without being asked. Afterward, he was clearly enjoying a sense of accomplishment in knowing he'd done a good thing without having to be prompted. It was great!

Dylan was only 12 when I married my second husband. Ed had 5 sons of his own, so I thought he would know how to deal with a 12-year-old boy. It wasn't until later in our marriage that I discovered Ed had left his sons when the oldest was just 5 years old, and he'd never looked back, so he had no experience with raising children, as well as no patience and no tolerance. Dylan was expected to know what to do and to do it perfectly. For Ed, nothing was ever good enough to earn even a small word of praise.

After three years of being criticized, ridiculed, and verbally abused by his stepfather for everything he was ordered to do, without help or guidance, Dylan is understandably hesitant to take on big projects. It makes me even more grateful for Mark's accepting nature. It's good to see my son trust that his father will appreciate his efforts even when they are imperfect, so he's not afraid to give it a try.

We took out everything (except the freezer and what's on the shelves)
and swept the shed out. We'll get to the shelves another day.

Mark and I spent two days on the shed project, hoping we wouldn't get a heavy rain while everything was exposed. Thankfully, we did not. Knowing how most men "organize" a shed (Mark: "I'll just throw these over here," Me: "No, no, no! No throwing of anything! Stack it neatly. Here."), I involved myself heavily in the restocking of the shed. We trashed several bags of things I deemed a waste of space, added several items to a pile of stuff to be hauled to the dump (neatly stacked, of course), and got the yard sale items (for next weekend, hopefully) stacked all together in one area near the door.

The shed is practically empty now, and will be even more so after the yard sale. I plan to donate most of what we don't sell so we won't have to keep hauling these boxes in and out, year after year. It will be amazing to have extra space and less stuff! 

Mark trims the weeds in the ditch in front of the house.
13 June 2015

Yesterday Mark went out and finished the trimming of grass and weeds in the front yard, specifically in the ditch that runs along our dirt road. It gave me an excuse to leave all the constant indoor projects I never seem to get caught up on, and go outside to enjoy some fresh air. I made some discoveries along the way.

Looking good! Oh, and the ditch looks good, too!
(Nothing sexier than a man hard at work...)

 The yard was full of the biggest dandelions I've ever seen in my life!
On the left is a normal-sized dandelion.

I hadn't even noticed the daffodils that had bloomed!

Little blossoms all through the grass.

Finally, I love the way that Mark is happy to grill us some dinner any time I ask. I have a fear of gas and flames in general, and Dylan is usually at work when dinner time comes around. In fact, Mark has grilled dinner for the past three nights: burgers, steaks, and chicken. Yes, it is definitely nice to have a real man around the house!

Tonight: Green salad with cucumber and tomato.
We like to shred the breast meat and mix it into our salads.

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