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Manual Labor

Tomorrow I may not be able to move. “Project Yard Overhaul” started today and included six hours of raking, bagging, ivy ripping, shrubbery cutting and more. Our back yard is really wooded and is kind of out of control. It’s been a mess since we bought our house a year ago and we’re determined to get it looking decent since we enjoy spending time outside. It will never be a pristine and manicured back yard but it has potential to be cool and natural looking.

25 bags of leaves, sticks and vines. I was covered head to toe in dirt and my shirt was soaked in sweat. My hands are bruised from raking. My back and hamstrings are aching from all the bending over. But still…yard work is so rewarding. Although I can’t say that I really enjoy it while I’m doing it, I love seeing the results.

The highlight of the afternoon came when our neighbor called us out front to point out a six foot snake in the road in front of our house. I will spare you pictures of that. It was horrible. There were more than a few choice words coming from my mouth.

Happier subjects!

Before the yard project started I spent the morning at the yoga studio. I practiced ashtanga for the first time in two weeks and it was wonderful. I won’t say that it was easy – I can definitely tell that I haven’t been consistent with my practice and had a hard time getting into some postures that are usually available to me. I’m a little sore from it now but it just felt great to be on my mat! After my practice I taught a hot class and it was so good to be back to teaching after vacation! 🙂

I came home and made brunch.

Waffles with almond butter, plain Greek yogurt, blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup. A Morningstar “sausage” and fruit on the side.

We were both exhausted after our afternoon in the yard so we went to one of our favorite casual restaurants for dinner, Lebowskis.

I had a spinach salad with feta, dried cranberries and balsamic vinaigrette.

And a grilled vegetable panini. I love this sandwich! It’s packed with a great variety of veggies.

Off to figure out what I’m teaching for BodyPump tomorrow and crashing. I’m exhausted! Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Do you enjoy yard work? And are you afraid of snakes!?

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Matt @ The Athlete's Plate May 22, 2011, 10:36 pm

    I HATE snakes! They are so gross!

  • 2
    Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) May 23, 2011, 4:02 am

    Woah a 6 foot snake?! I didn’t know you got those in North Carolina!! I’m not afraid of them normally but I think I would be if I saw one of those on the street! 😛

  • 3
    Kimberly @ Healthy Strides May 23, 2011, 6:20 am

    Oh my goodness – that’s a lot of yard work! I’ve been out five hours or so each weekend since we bought our house, trying to tame the jungle weeds. I’m not sure that I like it – more like I like the end result. However, I do like the burn in the hamstrings and glutes as it makes it all the more worthwhile.

    • 4
      Jen May 24, 2011, 5:12 pm

      Kimberly – I’m happy to hear that someone else has jungle weeds too! 😉

      It is a total workout – I am STILL sore two days later!

  • 5
    Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) May 23, 2011, 8:04 am

    Yoga and 6 hours of yard work? Please update us so we all know you’re alive today! 😉 Hop eyou aren’t too sore!

    • 6
      Jen May 24, 2011, 5:13 pm

      So, it’s Tuesday. I’m alive but STILL sore!!! I was too exhausted last night to even post!

  • 7
    Becca B May 23, 2011, 8:24 am

    i would have had a heart attack!! i saw a MAYBE 4 inch long garden snake on a run a few days ago and i think i jumped four feet in the air! oh and screamed. i am not sure what would happen if i saw a snake that big!

    • 8
      Jen May 24, 2011, 5:14 pm

      that’s totally understandable, becca! seeing things like that when you’re running and not expecting it is really startling!

  • 9
    Alaina May 23, 2011, 9:53 am

    When I was living at home, raking or shoveling was the worst. My dad loves yard work. But I do want a garden when I get a house.

    Ewww, snakes. Hate them.

    • 10
      Jen May 24, 2011, 5:14 pm

      my parents LOVE it too. they are always out in the yard. it baffles me!

  • 11
    Nicole May 23, 2011, 10:38 am

    ewwwww….shudder! I HATE snakes. Even seeing them in zoos gives me the heebie-jeebies…..ewwwww. Espcially in NC with so many copperheads, I’m super scared to find snakes in unexpected places. ewwwwww

    • 12
      Jen May 24, 2011, 5:15 pm

      i agree! eeeeewwwwww

      no more in our yard, please!

  • 13
    Claudie May 23, 2011, 11:46 am

    I’m fine with snakes as long as they do not seem too aggressive and are at a reasonable distance from me 🙂

  • 14
    Jackie @ Baking Charms May 23, 2011, 1:22 pm

    I’m too terrified of bugs to get into yard work and gardening, which is really such a shame! I need to get over it 🙂

    • 15
      Jen May 24, 2011, 5:15 pm

      unfortunately, my husband won’t take any excuses and gives me jobs and tells me to get to work! 🙁

  • 16
    Karla May 23, 2011, 1:55 pm

    I live in a high rise apt so don’t have to worry about yard work. I remember when I was little though that I would hate raking, but loved playing in the leaves!

    If I saw that snake I wouldn’t leave my house. Ever. Terrrrified!

  • 17
    Becky May 23, 2011, 3:20 pm

    A six foot snake! Yikes! My old classroom was built with poor drainage and snakes would slither in through our heating unit. They were just little guys and I was still terrified.

    • 18
      Jen May 24, 2011, 5:16 pm

      oh yikes!!! in the classroom!? eek!

  • 19
    Maddie May 23, 2011, 4:04 pm

    Ah! I wish I would have known that you were teaching Sunday! I figured you were still on vacation and went to the 11:00 Ashtanga instead. Hope to see you tomorrow monring?! Would you be interested in doing some Mysore on Wednesday morning too? I don’t think I can make it to class on Wednesday night…

    • 20
      Jen May 24, 2011, 5:17 pm

      maddie – i am sorry i missed you on sunday! we got back on saturday afternoon. i’m not sure if i will mysore tomorrow. i might just sleep in or run but i am hoping to make it on thursday.

  • 21
    Alisha May 24, 2011, 4:52 pm

    I’m less afraid of the big snakes versus the little ones. The big ones tend to be more mellow. The little snakes have all their venom upon being born but they don’t have any brains or sense at all. They will strike at anybody. The big snakes help take care of vermin such as rats, squirrels and rabbits.

    I don’t mind doing yard work because I put a good podcast on my ipod and its very soothing. Also, its a great excuse to make lemonade or have an ice cream sandwich afterwards.

    • 22
      Jen May 24, 2011, 5:17 pm

      LOVE the podcast idea!

      …and the ice cream sandwiches, of course! 🙂

  • 23
    Trish May 24, 2011, 6:20 pm

    I hope your town has some type of a composting program for yard waste!

  • 25
    Megan@eatmybeets May 24, 2011, 10:47 pm

    haha love the yard work picture! What an accomplishment!

  • 26
    VanessaG May 25, 2011, 5:41 pm

    Wow! I can’t believe you did all that! You looked pretty afterwards too!! If I saw that snake, I don’t think I would have been able to finish the yardwork! AHH!!!

    • 27
      Jen May 27, 2011, 2:16 pm

      vanessa – what you can’t see in the picture is the huge sweat stain on my shirt and dirt covering me from head to toe! 😉

  • 28
    Liz May 27, 2011, 8:41 pm

    Jen: I love your blog!
    but…
    hey all you snake haters: just something to think about: would you rather have snakes or mice?

    Snakes would really just like to be left alone, and they will keep the rodent populations down! They are our friends, really!!

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