Don’t worry though, it’s not a bad thing.

Today started off like most Saturdays, except I was very tired and it took Amanda a bit to get me going today. I stayed up a little too late last night playing Medieval 2: Total War. (On that front though, I’ve conquered almost all of Europe up to Asia and made progress into Scandinavia and the Iberian Peninsula since I last pointlessly updated the status of my campaign game.)

We had breakfast as IHOP and the service was terrible. Amanda had to flag down someone to take our drink orders, then it still took some time for someone to figure out who our waitress was. She said something about having had to help get a big order of food out, but that was bollocks, at least in part, because Amanda had seen the very same woman bussing a nearby table just a few minutes before. She only checked on us once and she sounded very fake. I gave her the benefit of the doubt figuring she was probably a decent lady having a rough day, so I still gave her a 15% tip (as opposed to the 20% we usually give), but not a penny more.
After that we swung by Wal-Mart to get a few grocery items. We realized later on that we’d forgotten to get some more Cetaphil (it’s a lotion, if you don’t know) and there were some lunch items Amanda later ran back out to get from the Lowe’s Food down the road from us. I drank the last three cans of Michael’s Mountain Dew over the last few days (I’m in the general habit of not drinking sodas at all, but I’ve had four in the past three days. Scandal!), but it was twice as much at Lowe’s as it was at Wally World, so we’ll refill him later.

Most of the rest of the day was spent in the yard. Amanda took some bricks from a pile that Brian and Angela Gibson had left us and sectioned off a bit of the back of the backyard. It looks rather nice, if I do say so myself. I spent the day raking up leaves from the front yard and hauling them off to the burn pile out back.

Amanda had some misgivings about doing a fire today, but if I was going to get anything done, I had to have one. There were way too many leaves in the front yard to just pile them up and burn them later. Amanda was just worried that the day was breezy and the ground might be a little dry. I took the precaution of soaking the area around the pile first of course, but I let her ask her mother’s advice nonetheless. Amanda later told me part of what worried her was that she knew how stubborn I can be about doing something when I’ve already got it in my head that I want to do it. Me? Okay, maybe so. Either way, I later told her that I felt slightly emasculated that, at the age of 29 and with all kinds of burn pile experience, she still felt the need to consult with her mother about it. (Karen Mercer, by the way, endorsed the fire.) I wasn’t mad or anything and it wasn’t a big issue.

Bruce, our Chihuahua and Mooo!, one of the cats, spent a lot of the day outside. Mr. Cobblepott, our other cat, came out for a minute then decided he wanted to go back in. It was nice having us all outside, but it did mean that I had to open and shut the gate whenever I went from the front yard to the backyard, which, though a minor thing, impeded my workflow.

Why is front yard two words, but backyard one?

Amanda took a shower and went to the store, as I previously mentioned. She picked up a pack of Miller Lite for me. Before she left I was talking to Mr. Henry, the neighbor to the left (if you’re looking out from the house). He saw Bruce and took him into his house to show to his wife, who is Mexican. When he came back he told me that she’d spoken some Spanish to Bruce, but that he didn’t say anything back.

While Amanda was gone I burned my foot. That’s not really the reason for the title of this entry though. While I was emptying the wheelbarrow one time I stepped forward to empty out the last little bit I put my foot a little too far in, which I realized as I felt some sort of sensation on my left foot. Fortunately it was just in the hot ash, and it really didn’t hurt all that bad. I put some aloe on it, and my leg ached for a little bit but I powered through it and all I have to show for it is a blister.

I almost didn’t tell Amanda, mainly because of how she was about having a fire in the first place. But then I realized it was a pride issue, and used the situation as an offering of sorts, so I guess I did get something besides a burn blister out of it.

So I was doing the leaves until about 6:00. I’ve still got a nice bit of work to do over on the side yard, but at least that’s not a very noticeable area. I also want to do some more in the backyard. Yes, the yard work season had begun. And that’s why I’m in pain. After I finished working I chugged a beer (in a mug Amanda lovingly chilled for me) and, when I sat down on the steps, I did not want to move. I was sore all over, my legs and my back in particular, but my shoulders were sunburned too. My foot was fine though. I rinsed off in the shower, turning the water black, then I relaxed in the bath for a bit.

Zach Dotsey