Good tired. Accomplished tired, but aching to the roots of my bones tired. Mostly because Jet said, "Mom! Can we plant my sunflowers, please?"
My vegetable garden needed to have all the compost from last year worked in. Or, as Jet more eloquently put it, "We're feeding GARBAGE to the plants!!" *giggles* And he was pretty insistent on doing it NOW.
And, knowing that I really should do it this weekend in order to plant by Mother's Day, I couldn't argue with him too much, though I didn't really want to do the work. Bah.
We'd actually stopped adding things directly to the barrel in March, to let the stuff really cook. Jet helped with the initial breaking up of the soil. I'd been hopeful an planted some spring onions, and there were still the garlic chives from last year, which had joyfully survived the winter and were a good foot long already. But I didn't mind turning up the spring onions, they'd come through if they wanted to and the compost would only help.
This year the compost was much nicer than last year. Fewer fresh mowing cuts and more browns in it helped keep the slime ratio down and it came out sweet smelling, on the most part, and well broken down. The cornstarch plastic bags did not break down as much as I'd wanted them to, but they broke down enough that they were mostly just shreds that I could pull out when they were to cohesive still, and their well broken down contents came out easily. There was only one bag which had not broken down and it was obviously stinky. So I just tossed that into the garbage. So that was a win, overall. The sunflower stalks did NOT break down nearly as well as we'd hoped, so most of those came out as well.
While Jet helped with the earth breakdown, he was too hot by then, in the sun, to help with mixing the compost into the earth. So I did that. With nothing but a shovel and myself. Yes, that's why I ache. I also dug out all the garlic chives, which needed to be opened up and separated anyway as the bulbs had generated more bulbs, as it usually does. So I opened up the big, gnarly root balls, and from one and a half rows, plus the ones I'd wintered over inside (which were not nearly as happy as the outside ones), I came up with four bigger rows. My. Plants are SO good at propagation.
I'd started not wanting to touch the compost. I got gloves on and did it with those, and needed the gloves for the shovel work, but when it got down to putting tender green things into the soil... well... I got less fastidious, and just dug in there with my hands, breaking up clumps to stir into the loose soil, and set the roots gently in and covered them up. My back killed me until I just sat next to the raised bed and put things in that way. That worked really nicely.
Earth and water, sun and seed. So primal in so many ways.
Jet fetched me Kool-Aid® when the sun was high. He wrote notes of things I thought about for me, and he wrote some notes for himself, asking me to spell everything. I'm spelling more than I thought I ever would, as spelling impaired as I am.
When i was done, we all went and watched Akeelah and the Bee and I loved it so much I'll review it in its own post. We had hamburgers for dinner, and then we went home, and I was able to wash the sweat of my work off, and it was very, very good.
Tired, but good. And, today, the boys might plant Jet's sunflowers.