A little manual labor is good for the soul. For many reasons, I have recently increased my physical labor. First, hard work helps distract the mind. At times life events can become overwhelming. Throw in world tensions that an individual like me has little control over and things quickly take a downward spiral.
Second, the labor shortage is widespread. Labor, whether it is manual or highly skilled technology is in high demand and expensive. So those with a bent toward economizing will continue in a Do-It-Yourself fashion for the foreseeable future. (Unless a hard recession hits-but that discussion is for a later date.)
Expanding the Garden-Manual Labor
The first major project of the spring was expanding the garden. Fortunately, two of my offspring and their significant others helped out. Two areas were rototilled. Both were about forty feet long by four feet wide.
The first is a new asparagus bed. The new garden area required hand digging a trench to a depth of about twenty inches. Then compost was added. And then soil was loosened.
Next, the asparagus crowns were spaced every eighteen inches. The tentacle looking roots were spread apart so they resembled octopi. Then a layer of soil about four inches thick was spread on top. Over the next month as spears poked through the ground, additional soil was added to the trench.
After the trench was full, the spears were allowed to reach for the sky. A great-nephew describes asparagus as a dragon tail. This is accurate until the spears begin to open. Then they have a very delicate fern-like appearance. For the first year all the asparagus will be left to open up. There will be no harvest. Next year a few spears will be cut while the still resemble a dragon’s tail. In the third year a regular harvest can be made.
The second bed did not require as much manual labor. After the rototilling, I raked the bed even. Then I transplanted my flower seedlings into the garden. Most of the flowers will be annuals. But I did add some Shasta Daisies and Yarrow. ￼
Indoor Manual Labor
The second significant task this spring-other than decluttering- was painting one of the bedrooms. An almost neon pinky orange paint which delighted my youngest as a child needed to be toned down. My plan for this room is to turn it into a grandkid sleeping area. I hope to find a trundle bed to join the crib that currently inhabits the space.
Preparation is a key part of painting. (Read this review if you will be painting soon.) In this case the lower third of the wall had a bright wallpaper of yellows, oranges and pinks. The heart striped border coordinated with the wallpaper.
After stripping the paper, the walls were cleaned with Murphy’s Oil soap. Then the taping began. I needed to use brand new painter’s tape as the old did not always stick well.
The primer was tinted with the color of the topcoat. Ceiling and walls received a color matching much of the remainder of the house. The color is Oklahoma Wheat from Benjamin Moore. Depending on the light, the color shades from light tan to creamy butter. Very soothing
Manual labor builds muscle and provides good cardio work as well. Stretching both before and after is recommended. Just as if you were going to exercise.
The physical activity positively affects the brain and mental well-being. Most likely endorphins. However, my age is starting to be a factor. I recognize this truth and give myself added time to accomplish my goals.
If life were simple, required manual labor could be an answer to all the violence and negativity in the world. Unfortunately, we live in a complex world with no easy solutions. But if you experience difficulties beyond your control, as I have this spring, maybe a little manual labor in your life is the answer.