Saturday, September 05, 2009

9/5/09 The Orange Tree

Today I was hamstrung by too much to do, a terrible night sleeping, and just not feeling like doing anything. I've learned that when I feel overwhelmed by too much to do and not knowing where to start, to just pick something -- not necessarily the most pressing -- something to get started. Whatever pops to mind, to break the gridlock.

Today's gridlock-breaker was hardly the most important, nor the most urgent, thing on my to-do list, but thanks to the gridlock condition, it bubbled to the top. And that is: take care of my much-neglected lemon and orange trees. They've always been neglected, but at least they got water from the lawn irrigation system. Now they get nothing.

So today, I did a severe pruning on the lemon tree, raked and cleaned up around it, then sprinkled citrus food around the base, and watered it. Julian joined me for this project, which I was delighted by. He did the sprinkling and the watering.

Already tired, I knew our orange tree needed some attention, and told myself I'd just cut out some of the most obvious dead branches, and that was it. But I'd underestimated how addictive tree-pruning is. About two hours later, more of the tree was on the ground than was still on the tree.

Then it got the same treatment from Julian -- citrus-food sprinkling and then a nice deep-soak watering.

Julian wanted to play in the HUGE pile of branches and leaves (the disposal of which remains a big problem), but quickly found them too prickly.

Julian and I worked hard today! I spent the better part of the afternoon clipping branches while perched in the tree, eventually getting bold enough to climb up as high as the trunk branches would allow. Meanwhile, Julian picked up old "dead" oranges, set aside good ones, and piled the branches I clipped off into a big pile. By the end, my feet were sore from supporting me on tree branches, my arms scratched up, my face covered in dirt. But it was a very satisfying way to spend the afternoon (even if a professional tree pruner could have done a better job in half the time).

My mother says you can almost see a tree breathe with relief when you get rid of the undergrowth and dead branches. This one is practically singing for joy, despite the amateur work quality.

New swim lessons this morning. I didn't pay attention to Julian's class at all, believe it or not! I was intrigued to see that Gabriel's new class made him swim a full 20-yard length, which he can't do without stopping. But his classmates can, so that's a really good thing and I think he'll improve quickly.

The boys are wasted after an exciting birthday party that involved active playground play, then a movie in the community room at a park. What a great idea! I felt bad taking Katrina home early, but after 8pm she's a timebomb, even watching a cute movie. Thanks to our friends who drove the boys home!


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