Soothing physical labor: when home ownership contributes to a healthy lifestyle

Yesterday was all about physical labour.

Physical labour, I’ll have you know, is good for you. πŸ™‚ It’s cheaper than a gym membership, for one thing, not to mention being outside in summer weather is good for your mental health. The work, especially if it’s your own work (maintaining your own home) contributes to a certain type of well being that feeds the soul, you know? It pays back, so to speak. You can look at the finished product and pat yourself on the back and say “I contributed to this”.

Daily grind housework doesn’t feel quite the same. I mean, when I do six loads of laundry AND put it all away in the same day, which is practically unheard of around here, I don’t pat myself on the back and say ‘well done’. I just do it (or procrastinate about it). Same with the endless dishes and kitchen debris. That stuff never ends although when I see a clean and tidy counter prior to going to bed, and more importantly when I get up for coffee the next day, I do feel a sense of ‘glad I put the effort in last night’.

But yesterday, that was different.

It was back in the spring when we had a bad wind storm that left a lot of damage all around the city. For us, two big fence panels went flying which left the rest of the fence, separating us from our next door neighbour to the south, compromised.

We have dogs here, one of whom needs a fence to contain him. This is Jerry, my friend’s Airedale, and he is here often. πŸ™‚

Long story short, the insurance did agree to pay for about 2/3 of the compromised fence but when it came to actually book someone to do the work, they were very ‘overwhelmed’ with ‘higher than normal volume calls’. Funny how they’re not particularly forgiving when we’re ‘overwhelmed’ with ‘higher than normal volume of bills’ going out of our account…we still have to pay on time. Right?

So we told them to send us a check, and called our handyman who helped us refurbish the garage a few summers ago and lo, he’s available next week and can put our new fence in. πŸ™‚ Of course, labour costs will be less if we take the old fence off ourselves. He explained to my husband how to do it, and where to cut to have the fence pieces uniform so they will fit in his truck to dispose of.

This is what we worked on yesterday. He did the cutting and removing of the old panels, and I was on both sides of the fence cutting back overgrown and severely neglected brush from next door. Roses, honeysuckles, and a lot of weeds had to be cut back, and in some cases, dug out. I was able to save some of the roots, which I will give back to the neighbour if they want them (they probably won’t, they’re not interested in gardening) but some of the climbers were so badly intertwined with the fence, I had a heck of a time to cut them loose. My previous neighbour was the avid gardener, these new people are never even in their backyard, much less interested in watering or maintaining the flowers. It takes very little time for a beautiful flower garden to turn into a wild, weedy mess. It’s been two years since they moved in.

My hands are sore from clipping. My arms are scratched up too. And the muscles in my arms, shoulder and back are aching somewhat, which feels almost pleasant. It felt like I had a good workout and certainly was a lot less boring than lifting dumbbells over and over again.

While all this was going on, I was also directing my teen to make pizza from scratch. Multitasking, as usual. πŸ™‚

The recipe was his idea, so I had to take periodic breaks to explain about active yeast, kneading and rising. Plus, he wanted to make his own sauce from scratch too.

That will be another day’s blog post. He gave me permission to write about it here. Short answer: homemade pizza was the perfect meal to have after a day of physical labour.

Today, I will let the next door neighbour’s teen son help dig out the trees and stay indoors to deal with food and kids. One is leaving for a cottage trip with a friend and the other starts a baseball tournament later tonight which means he probably should have a proper meal before leaving.

And of course Jerry will want to go for a few walks.

And so the third week of summer vacation comes to a close. We will have a fixed fence in the foreseeable future, the boy child finally started his cooking, and I hope to have a much lower-key weekend with everyone out of the house for a change.

Happy weekend! What are your plans?

 

14 thoughts on “Soothing physical labor: when home ownership contributes to a healthy lifestyle

  1. Ah, yes, the home repair and improvement projects that never end…

    Kudos to the boy child for making homemade pizza. That was our every Friday evening meal until I broke my wrist. Now I don’t cook much given I have use of only the one hand.

    My plans this weekend are to visit my eldest daughter, her husband and MY GRANDDAUGHTER, age two.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am in awe of your physical labors…I’d probably let the fat just sit there. Ok I wouldn’t, but my husband would be totally useless so it would be me and my daughter doing the work with my husband standing there scratching his head…we leave on Sunday for family trip, so Saturday will be spent packing, laundry,and getting house ready for my mom to pet sit

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Ok…to not focus on the positive…it’s me and my family mainly in a car for two weeks visiting colleges….with three days at a resort where I plan to sit in a lounge chair by the pool with a cheesy novel but will probably be constantly interrupted by my family…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sometimes cheesy novels are just the thing one needs to decompress. I’m currently re-reading the Spenser novels by Robert B Parker. Great mysteries…pick up Now and Then, maybe, or Valediction, and read it in one or two days and be enthralled (maybe not, it’s not for everyone).

        Liked by 1 person

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