OLG (Old Lady Gardner)#7 Aging Body Over Heart and Soul

It is cloudy, a bit cool (68 degrees) and damp this morning. We had a touch of rain about 5:50 this morning. Enough to see the sidewalk a bit damp but not enough to penetrate the leaf cover from the trees. Also, not enough to feed the thirsty soil that I have been watering almost daily. I have a long list of garden jobs to do but I am inside just sitting.

I am guessing this is were the old lady part comes in.

Sunday I worked four long hours, in the sun but cool weather, to do a detailed weeding around the new raised garden beds. The area was deep in weeds, especially Creeping Charlie, with its long and tangled roots. It was four hours of pulling and digging since I learned quickly that good old Charlie has a vining stem that can set down roots anywhere it touches the ground. Then that root system also runs along underground sending up new shoots. If you leave any of it behind it will regrow (this is why it is all over my lawn and gardens – coming in from both sides of my yard – thanks neighbors).


Monday I spent a good part of the day assembling a new garden cart to replace the rusted and rotting wheel barrel I have used for years. (It should have lasted longer but I don’t have a large garage or barn to store it in so it faces our Minnesota winters which can be wearing to say the least.) The directions for the cart were clear. The parts were well organized. I did not have quite the right tools and not the right use of my hands. So many hours later it was complete and ready to use.

It is now Tuesday – garden cart ready to go but I am not. Two days of heavy hand use created small arthritis flares. I pulled out the compression gloves and walked around last night looking like a rock star in fancy gloves. Today is a perfect garden day but my body and mind are not able to get there. My heart and soul want to finish the projects started. Which do a follow? Do I push through and work or listen to my body and slow down? If I slow down how will I get this garden back in shape? This is my week without litte man in tow. No three year old following me or causing distrubtions this week.

I have come to realize that the stiff and achy fingers of arthistis are followed with a tired body and a fogging brain. I now understand the craving for chocolate and caffeine. I am finding it hard to push through to another day of physical labor. So I am sitting here typing this blog. I figure typing is not as hard on my fingers as pulling weed and screwing in tiny nuts and bolts. Now with compression gloves on and a small soy chia (caffeine) on its way. I will work my way through this blog, update the garden journal, and do some on-line research for a new succulent garden that can handle Minnesota winters.

If I don’t want to face my aging body I can alway use the excuse that there are contractors here working in hopes of completing the basement remodel by the end of June. (we have a couple days) This project started in February and we are so close to finishing. I could say it is best to just be here in the house and not out in the weeds and dirt when they have questions I must answer. There are always questions.

We currently have

  • one carpenter finishing putting tile on the landing to the steps and other jobs
  • two sheet rock guys repairing an issue with the new windows we could not get open
  • one glass guy putting in the shower door
  • one project manager from the remodeling company we hired

Lots of questions!

I have choosen to listen to my body and slow down. This is a lesson I have been working on for sometime. I am sure I have written about it here before. Learning to set up tasks in smaller chuncks. I need to remember and understand that when you/I over do at this age you will feel it not just in the joints but your whole body then needs to rest and recover for a day. The turn around time is longer. (I also understand that arthitis or other issues can and do effect those who are younger and they need to think about being kind to their bodies as well. It is not just age but age is what is pushing these issues for me right now.)

Don’t get me wrong. There are lots of things to love about getting older. The open time and schedule without a full time job is a wonder. The wisdom that comes with having had many experiences. The understanding that I can say no or push back with things are not right with a project. I just want this age with a younger body.

Ok, today is about taking it easy, about doing yoga to stretch out tight muscles and thinking out the projects that I hope will happen tomorrow in small and easy chunks. Maybe even later today I can plant the new winter hardy hibicus plants that came in the mail last week. They are small and need to find a new home in the garden.

Nothing to do with the garden but…

Just for fun – here are some pics of the remodeling going on. If you have been following me this spring you know we started a basement redo in February.

Demo started in Febuary
Demo continues
Same room as above
New bathroom tucked under the steps and getting a shower door today
Laundry room

Oh, we also remodeled a funky screen porch. It is now a sunroom and will be where I can begin new plants in the late winter and early spring instead of my bedroom turned office turned plant room this year.

Sunroom – behind the chair are my shelves and grow lights for starting seedling. This summer it is hold my cactus plants and a few plants that like some dappled light.

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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3 Responses to OLG (Old Lady Gardner)#7 Aging Body Over Heart and Soul

  1. Greg&Linda says:

    It’s a shame that as we age we often have the desire and motivation to find & complete good projects, but not the stamina to get them done. I’m glad you are listening to your body and splitting your projects into chunks. Hopefully this is enough to help you get finished.

  2. I hope you’re able to get back to the projects you want to work on soon!

  3. Ramona says:

    Oh, your projects are never ending, but you take such joy in them!
    Love your laundry room (trading our spacious laundry room with lots of cabinets for a washer/dryer in a closet with the only sink in an adjacent bedroom.) Oh well, such are the challenges of downsizing!
    Enjoy your sun room! The rocker looks like the perfect spot for reading in the dappled light.

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