Yet another summer has whizzed by faster than the speed of light. 6:30 PM today marks the official end of summer and beginning of fall.

I asked Lisa a couple of nights ago if she feels like we accomplished anything this summer — anything constructive. While we didn’t have any major projects planned, she pointed out that we did get a lot done, even if it was just routine chores.

With the arrival of the zero-turn riding mower, we began mowing Mary’s lawn (our neighbor) when we did our own. At first she paid us $20 a pop for doing it, but I felt bad taking money from her so, after the first $100 or so, I proposed that we mow her lawn in exchange for assistance from her in our interior painting and wallpapering projects over the winter. Seemed fair enough to me, and she really liked the idea — the barter system, if you will.

We purchased five yards of mulch (five separate trips in Lisa’s truck) and got that spread over our gardens. If you haven’t got a good idea of what 5 yards of mulch looks like, try to imagine a pile of mulch sitting in your driveway that takes up the entire width of the driveway, and standing taller than Shaquille O’Neal. It’s a lot of mulch — but then again, we have a lot of gardens.

And of course, with all those gardens comes weeding. And more weeding. And more weeding.

The first weekend of every month we went over to where Lisa works and did gardening/landscaping/maintenance there as well. We trimmed hedges, pruned shrubs, planted annuals, weeded and weeded and weeded, put down mulch, and trimmed weeds from around the building. We made just a tad under $1,000 so far working there. It helped us pay Lisa’s father for the riding mower.

We put in a new garden — or rather, completely re-did an old one. We found an old iron water pump in an antique store, painted it red, and put it on a pipe above an antique grape box that we planted with annuals. Sedum, mums, shasta daisies, and other perennials finished off the garden. We cut out sod from around the bed and lined it (like a moat) with decorative stone, so that the lawn doesn’t encroach on the garden, and we can mow around it easily.

We put in a new garden over at Mary’s house, too. She so liked the idea of the stone around the garden that she asked us to do it with hers, too.

Because we had such a problem with our shade garden plantings not coming back due to their roots being eaten by grubs and/or voles, we spent an entire day putting down milky spore in the hopes that next spring, we’ll get more things returning.

We didn’t get a lot of things accomplished while we were on vacation because it was so hot and humid, but we pitched a tent, put up a screen house, installed sails on the house (to protect the patio from sun) and had a birthday/anniversary party.

We finally got that damned basketball pole and backboard down and Mary asked us if we’d get hers too. So, over to Mary’s we went and down came her pole, too. Lisa borrowed a concrete saw from a friend to cut out the concrete that held up the poles so we can fill over the concrete and maybe grow some grass.

We spent an entire weekend on both driveways, too. I took the hose and put it on a jet stream and flushed all the grass and crud out of the cracks that had formed (and believe me, we had gotten to where it was going to be necessary to mow the driveway), while Lisa and Mary filled said cracks with filler. Then we used “top and bond” to smooth over all the patches we made, and seal off the cracks. The following Friday, Mary and I sealed both driveways in their entirety. They still needed work, but we figured to seal them and see how many “sins” that would cover. We spent another Saturday going over the cracks and fills again and both driveways are looking pretty good.

We bought a new shed and installed it ourselves. The carton said “two people, one hour” and, when Lisa looked at her watch, which showed 1:00 PM, she said “We’ll still be here at 4:00.” She wasn’t wrong. But now we can park the rider and the lawn cart in there and take some stress off the garage.

We helped my aunt put in new plantings (shrubs and perennials), too.

And, we got the garage cleaned out so we can park in it once winter sets in. Mary’s is next.

So, yeah, I guess we got a lot accomplished over the summer. No wonder it whizzed by so fast.

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