In my quest to ready my yard for winter, I called the guy who usually does my garden work and yard tasks. He was a no-show twice. So the first weekend of October, I got out my electric clippers and cut down my peonies and garden overgrowth myself. It took a couple hours and some raking and cleaning up afterwards, but it was done. Mother ALWAYS reminded me that on October 1st, or as close to it as possible, cut the peonies down six inches from the ground so they will bloom better each year. I have ALWAYS done that with success.
I needed the front porch cleaned off and again waited for the yard guy or other assistance. More no-shows. Saturday it was a nice sunny day so I took it upon myself not to wait for help that was not coming. I removed all the porch furniture to the yard, hosed them down and took each item to the backyard to put in the shed for winter.
The porch was so dirty (in my opinion) and I was tired of all the spider webs everywhere. I brought the water hose from the backyard and with the jet sprayer, and proceeded to vigorously clean the dirt from every area of the front of the house and overhang. All around the front windows there were black spots of dirt and former webs. In some areas it took a brush to loosen the dirt to be washed away. In the awning overhead, I had to work left to right and right to left to get the dirt washed from all the corners and cracks. Aluminum cleans easy enough, but there are so many different rails and posts. The water falls onto the porch, and when the wind blew, I got wet as well.
I also sprayed off the bricks on the front of the house, and cleaned off around the garage door, which also collected dirt and webs. The railings on both sides of the ramp also got the webs washed away. After all the debris collected on the porch floor, the floor was sprayed at least three times to be clean. I know my water bill will surely escalate next month!
Since the driveway could not be neglected, I also hosed off the cracks and dirt from the driveway to be consistent. The rest of the yard ornaments were also put away. The final result was a clean porch and driveway, and satisfaction that I did a good job - by myself!
I was tired but not done yet. Moving to the backyard, I pulled the 50+ feet of hose onto the grass and proceeded to open the shed to see how much room I had. After some rearranging of a few boxes, I was able to stack the porch furniture inside and the left side door is now like Fibber McGee's closet - open carefully because it will fall out.
I was on my last breath of energy when I tried to turn the handle of the hose reel, but I just gave out. I had nothing more to give in the energy department. My shoes, socks, pant legs, and shirt were wet from working out front, therefore, I decided it was time to quit for the day, after four hours work. I was in bed at 5pm for the night to recover. I'm just not used to that kind of hard work - alone.
The hose still needs to be reeled in, the bench that sits under the tree in the front yard needs to be on the porch for winter protection, but my strength has gone on vacation without me, so I will again wait for it to return. Sometimes you just have to rely on the one person who can get the job done, when all else fails, YOURSELF.