Don’t worry; it’s safe to stick around – I promise not to sing. I wouldn’t do that to you. Hell, I wouldn’t do that to my worst enemy.
No; my rock-stardom isn’t related to music (for which we can all be thankful). It’s related to… well… rocks.
Our new home site is basically a gravel pit, which is good for a house foundation but not so good for gardening nuts like us. The rocks are so plentiful and so interlocked that you can’t even dig into the “soil” here with a shovel – you have to bash it apart with a pickaxe or hoe.
You can dig it up with power tools, woohoo!
Playing with an excavator is a blast for a gearhead and toolaholic like me, but my excavating services won’t be in demand anytime soon. After the first hour, I could make the machine do what I wanted about 90% of the time… if I worked with intense concentration and at the pace of a crippled snail.
The secret to not causing major damage with an excavator is: If anything goes wrong, TAKE BOTH HANDS OFF THE CONTROLS. (That stops everything from moving.) But I’ve spent far too many years operating tools and vehicles where you NEVER take both hands off the controls.
So when things went awry on the excavator I usually remembered to let go with my right hand; but my left hand clung stubbornly to the joystick, causing some amusing and occasionally alarming gyrations. But hey, I didn’t wreck anything – I only knocked over one little aluminium garden stake; pshaw. And I did get the grade the way I wanted it.
One of our projects was contouring the rhododendron garden before I started hand-placing rocks and wheelbarrowing soil:
The paper sunshades are to ensure that our poor little rhodos don’t fry in the 33C/90F weather we’ve had lately. The wheelbarrow and pickaxe and hoe and shovel are to ensure that I sweat enough to look as though somebody dumped a bucket of water over my head before rolling me in gravel dust.
A couple of days ago I dragged my filthy-but-triumphant self into the coolness of the house and announced to Hubby, “I’m totally rockin’ that garden! I am a rock star!”
He chuckled. “Do you want help?”
“No, thanks. I have a system. I load up some rocks, wheelbarrow some soil, then go and get my rocks…” I paused, grinning at his widening smirk. “…off.”
Which, of course, was a nod to my favourite rock stars from long ago, Dr. Hook. Even clowning around (or maybe especially clowning around), those guys were amazing musicians. A few decades later, Dennis Locorriere (the guitarist and usual lead singer) is better than ever. Sadly, Billy Francis (the singer for this song and, um… ‘exotic’ dancer) went to the big jam session in the sky in 2010, but the scenery was mighty fine back in 1975 when this video was recorded! (Relaxed-fit jeans must have been a male designer’s idea.) 😉
So… this week I’ll be rockin’ to ‘Get My Rocks Off’ while I rock my garden.