Let's face it. The kennel needed to be dealt with. So I attacked it with the pooper-scooper in hand. I filled the bucket nearly to overflowing. Then I raked under the bushes, cause sometimes you miss some droppings when you can't see them through the leaves, and there are broken branches from Angus trying to climb the tree. What? Are stray dogs the only one's allowed to have superpowers? The next order of business - cut the grass. Although the rest of the lawn (especially the part that all passers-by see) is dormant, the kennel grows a bit of grass and some happy winter weeds, and a bit of mint here and there. Plus there are two Gardenia bushes and one other giant one that I don't know the name of that are green all year long, and I am growing vining roses on two sides of the fence - to deter the lovely Madison from digging to china (it's a little harder to do when you keep getting poked). If you've known me for any length of time, you proably know that the push-mower is my nemesis. I do not prefer to use it, however - the riding mower will not fit through the gate. Such is life. When hubby was in Korea the 2nd time,(Oct. '05 to Oct. '06) I had so much trouble with this thing. I could not start it most of the time, and when I did get it started - I actually pulled a muscle in my right arm from the effort of it. The neighbor looked at it - said he couldn't figure out what was wrong - but he did start it for me. I sent that thing to a lawnmower repair guy who claimed to have serviced it and did all he could do for it, and I still could not start it. I know you don't need me to point out how small frustrations like this can become so daunting when you are doing everything yourself. Before hubby went overseas this time, he serviced that thing like nobody's business and says he really doesn't believe the lawnmower guy did anything to it at all, but that he is confident that I will be able to start it with no problem now. PLUS - because he left in November, he did the last mowing of the entire property for the season, because it goes dormant for the winter. I LOVED this. Well, today was the end of that party. At least for the push-mower anyway. After picking up the rake pile, and locking the owners of the property in the house (because they think they are death-defying stunt dogs who need to bite at dangerous-blade-spinning machinery.)I grabbed the key and headed determinedly to the barn, talking with God the whole way about how I was sorry that I had neglected what He had given us and thanked Him for the opportunity to set it right and on such a beautiful day, and how I would sure like to not have to brawl with the push mower. My BRILLIANT idea: I will put gas in the mower, prime it, and attempt to start it IN the barn so that way, if it doesn't start I won't have drug it ALL the way across the yard and have to drag it ALL the way back. And also - if I am unsuccessful, no neighbors will see me and laugh. (Who cares? Oh yeah - my pride. dumb. can I EVER put that down for even a cotton-pickin-stinkin minute??) Guess what? It started! First try! Yay hubby! And THANK YOU JESUS. Okay, so I let it turn off and drag it out of the barn and to the dogyard when I remember that there were a few balls I came across while picking up the mess that I forgot to pick up and move. So I did that. When I came back and pulled the string....the mower did not start. No. I am not kidding. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. I calmly walked to the side of the mower, looked it straight in the engine, and told it, "If you do not start the next time I try you, you will be ferociusly dismantled to your smallest part and mailed by parcel post to different parts of China to be painted with lead paint and made into children's toys." Okay, I didn't really say that. I just primed it again and moved it to the most level, shortest grass area I could find, and it started with just a slight sputter. Do you know that I STILL ran over doodoo? These poor animals. I don't think they had even an inch of bare yard to do their business on. (and I have said a million, cajillion times that I do not exagerrate.). Now the kennel is all nice and clear for landing....lol!
Those yellow brackets along the fenceline? Yes. They are for hotwire. I completely installed it myself when hubby was in Korea because Madison the wonderdigger kept trying to go to China, or to each and every neighbor's house, or across the street where dogs get smashed regularly. There's no wire on it now because she had stopped digging and we planted the roses to help deter her, but the brackets and the main power box remain just in case I need to hook it up again. Yep. Philippians 4:13 - all the way - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! This was one of the many things I pondered while doing the yard work - the greatness of our God, that when we are in line with His will - we really can do ANYTHING. I also thought about the lessons that I have learned since we have been here in the swamp, the rich spiritual growth I have experienced here, the current study I am taking on the book of love - not romantic love; brotherly love. Ephesians. wondering if I am in the right class this semester - not because of the teacher - she is great - just the study itself. Of course, God has proven over and over again that all things work together for good to those that love Him, and I do. Being real with myself about how much time I spend in the Word, where my thought life goes, and how bright is the light that shines through me. Reviewing my relationships with each of my four children. What can I do better. What housework needs to be done. Realizing that I am still learning some of the same lessons that I have been learning for the past 5 years, some of it re-learning, yes, but mostly learning it deeper and deeper. What is my future role at pwoc - we are coming up on another big PCS (Permanent Change of Station) cycle where, once-again, I will watch as people I have come to care for move on to other places and me having to start all over again with new people coming in. I don't want to. I want to be done with that. Can I be done with that?