Whew, busy day getting mundane things done. Maybe not so much mundane as ordinary. First I had to clean up the leaves from around the yard. There are many ways to clean up leaves and the most popular one around here seems to be to pay a service to come and pick up all your leaves. I still do it the old fashioned way. I do it myself.

All the leaves still haven’t fallen from the trees, as they usually have by now, so I may have to do a little more of this. But what the hell, I wanted to get most of it done. With no leaf blower I use a rake. It’s much quieter and I listen to music on my headphones as I rake. The key to cleaning up so many leaves is not moving them too far. Or at least finding an easy method of moving them far.

There are also various methods of disposing of leaves. You can’t burn them in my populated suburb so nowadays most towns around here have leaf pickup. In my particular town you can bag your leaves in big old paper bags and then the town sends people around in a truck to pick them up and dispose of them. A couple of towns away they have a big vacuum truck that drives around and sucks up all the leaves that people have made into a big pile near the road in their front yards. They’re a rich town.

The tried and true method that I use, having learned it from my father, is to spread the leaves thinly all over the lawn and mow them into mulch. Since the leaves gather, or rather are blown by the wind, up against all the edges of the yard the chore is to get them all into the middle. That’s where the raking comes in. And the plastic tarp.

The best method for moving all those leaves is also one I learned from my dad when I was a kid. Place a piece of plastic, about ten foot by ten foot, on the ground and rake the nearby leaves onto the tarp. When it’s full just drag the leaves where ever you want them to go and dump them off. It’s so much easier than trying to move leaves across the yard by just rake power alone. The joy of tools. Even if just a piece of plastic sheeting.

So I raked, moved the leaves to the middle of the yard, and mowed and mowed and mowed. I was on the riding mower so that part wasn’t too bad but it’s a bit tricky mowing leaves. They pile up and clog the mower if you’re not careful. You have to be cautious and try to keep them as spread out as possible. There is not set pattern for this as there is with mowing grass. When I was done there were just tiny chopped up pieces left that will break down easier to feed the lawn. All in all it was a three hour process that left me really tired at the end. Where has my youth gone?

The second thing that I got done was a bookshelf. I’ve gotten a lot of books over the past year and I need a place to put them. They’re piling up all over the place and that’s not good. I decided to build a bookshelf to go on top of my dresser. Last weekend I went and got the lumber for it but hadn’t yet done anything with it. So I measured twice and cut once, stained the wood, and put together the pieces with screws. It’s still drying right now so it doesn’t have any books on it.

Bookshelves are actually fairly easy to build. They’re basic. I’m pretty handy and I have no trouble figuring out how to build them but no one is going to mistake me for a real craftsman. I just don’t have the patience for that. I want it up and holding books as quickly as possible so that I can go back to drawing, painting, or some such. It’s there that I’m a craftsman. I have boundless patience for that. Funny how life works.

So that’s how I spent my day after Thanksgiving. Getting a couple of chores done. I can’t wait to get those books up on the shelf because I want to go work out some ideas for a drawing or two. And the rest of you leaves: stay out of my yard!