Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Survivor - Extreme Home Edition episode 3 The Big Pond

On this week’s episode of Survivor Extreme Home Edition our contestants risk their sanity and good gardening tools while putting their very lives in danger in their quest for the prize. A great big time sucking hole in the ground filled with watery green slime. Whoohoo! Now who wouldn’t want that? If you would like to be a contestant on Survivor Extreme Home Edition please call this toll free number 1-800 What was I thinking or text Quick somebody check my meds. Operators are standing by…most likely laughing their butts off.

The rules of the game are: two players, two dimes not on friendly terms so rubbing together, one pick ax and a shovel, and someone’s going to the hospital. This last card may be replayed at random intervals.

The arrow on the left in the above picture is where I thought there was a dig-able rock. Well there was a rock there and it was sort of dig-able but it certainly was not dig-out-able. It literally was the mountain side. The spot there under the arrow turned out to just be a high point. I mistakenly thought High-light. I just thought we would start with something big and make a focal point out of it. We started trying to dig and found we were not so much digging as much as we were scraping. Apparently there had been just enough debris collected for weeds to grow. The deceptive little bast*%#@!

A lot of times when talking about the work in building this garden I will say I this or I that. The reason for that is because it was pretty much I this or that. Not to be misleading, my husband is a complete saint and he did help me tremendously whenever he could but he was simply not physically here for most of it. I am an artist and therefore have a lot more control over my time than someone with a “real” job. I had been working on scaling down my work load and other commitments for some time so that at this point I could focus on building something new. I didn’t know what that something was going to be. I just knew that it was time to fill up my personal well and forge a new direction. While I did continue to paint and sculpt to a much lesser degree my sainted husband kept his day job. This was probably much more self serving on his part than I realized at the time. Again, the deception!

While he worked his cushy air conditioned day job, going out seeing people and being in the world, I worked the Rock. I worked the Rock in the hot blistering sun wearing ratty old clothes while my fancy high heels sat in a box in the closet. I swung a pick ax into hard rock while my sable brushes gathered dust and I sucked dust while my friends were sipping wine. I dug up boulders from the earth and found new and clever ways to utilize a refrigerator mover (also known as a hand cart). I scouted for gnarly stumps and logs in the woods to drag home. I didn’t care how big or impossible a rock or stump was to move if I liked it. All I knew was that I was going to figure out how to get it back home. I rigged pulleys and levers when I needed but mostly just built new muscle to get the job done. It was hot sweaty hard man work and at night I fell into bed like a member of a chain gang and woke at dawn to do it again.

The Rock just laughed at me. It had mocked me and my suburban vision of a nice little focal piece. I continued to scrape and clear away the debris, I pulled the evil weeds and the rock just kept going. There was no end and I could hear it snickering late at night. I swear that thing grinned at me when I came out in the mornings. Oh, it was so ON.

One day the Saint came home and asked what I needed him to do. I told you he was a saint. I cast a sly grin toward the Rock and said “honey… let’s turn this thing into a pond.” He just smiled. And I smiled back. Then he smiled harder. And I nodded my head yes. Then he began to cry. I didn’t care. I’m heartless that way. I grabbed the shovel and began to outline where I thought the pond should go. He continued to sob loudly. I took that to mean that I wasn’t making the pond big enough so I outlined some more. I lost sight of him for awhile. Later I found him sitting in the closet for some reason. I grabbed a shoe box and began to detail my plans with a stick on the lid. He seemed very excited. He had begun to cry again.

The next day I set out to work my new vision. I began a daily routine of pick axing the gravel then shoveling it to the side. I would work this way until I had to give that set of muscles a break and then would lug some rocks or sawdust for awhile instead. In the evening the Saint would come home and help me with the things I couldn’t do on my own. We worked together till the sun went down and the endless days were filled with mind numbing labor.

One day a couple of months into the work I decided that I should see my doctor for a small complaint I had. I had been ill with the flu just prior to moving here and starting this little project and I just didn’t feel like I was getting my strength back to the level I thought it should be. Perhaps I thought I had some lingering infection that I just couldn’t quite shake. So I took the precious time away from my little project and drove myself into the city for a little check up. I was a bit embarrassed at being such a hypochondriac but I was just getting annoyed at having to take breaks, so in I went.

He checked me out took my blood pressure looked at all the things they look at and took some blood for good measure. He told me that I seemed fine and sent me on my way saying that maybe I should take a day off once in awhile. We both chuckled at this. He knows me. I got home, donned my chain gang clothes and hit the Rock for the rest of the day.

Later that night around ten thirty, I was getting ready for bed when the phone rang. The Saint answers and a few minutes later and says the call is for me. “I’m in the bathroom brushing my teeth; tell them I’m in bed already.” “No honey, you need to take this.” “Well who the hell is it?” “It’s the doctor.” “What?” I was incredulous. So late at night where are his manners I wonder? He begins to tell me that I have to get to the emergency room immediately. I am completely confused but I am pretty certain he has lost his mind. Sad really, he was such a nice man. I tell him that I am just getting into bed but I promise to go first thing in the morning. Like all crazy people he had an uncanny sense that I was humoring him and then he said this; “If you do not go to the emergency room immediately I will send an ambulance with police escort to get you.”
Oh my goodness, look at the word count! We are going to have to pick this up again next time. Is the kindly old doctor losing his faculties or has there been a clerical error by his long time and loyal assistant? Will our contestant take the threat seriously or will the police escort be necessary? Find out next time on Survivor Extreme Home Edition episode 4.


  1. What a way to end your post! You better continue this story real soon!

    I've really been enjoying reading about how you turned a gravel pit into your beautiful garden. You're a very entertaining writer, you really engage the reader (well, me). BTW, I loooove your title photo. So peaceful and pretty!

  2. I can't wait to read more of what happened. Isn't it interesting how husbands cry when they get excited to help us with our projects? :) Mine gets very nervous when I tell him I have an idea.
    You really are a very hard worker, I thought I was pretty tough, but I feel like a wimp compared to you :)
    Your pond turned out beautifully!

  3. I agree with Alison!! And if you're into bears and snow leopards check out "Life in a Day" at:

  4. LeSan,
    A cliffhanger, that is for sure!
    I can't wait to read more about this!
    You and I are similiar in the obesssion to drag things home like rocks and stumps to beautify our gardens.
    You are a go-getter! And I like that!

  5. Hi. I popped over into your blog from Catherine's (I think!)and I do believe I've found a kindred spirit ....someone else who makes her husband sweat and cry at the very thought of yet another idea or plan that ALWAYS involves hauling huge rocks about the place! I built a pond too - but at least my bedrock was only sandstone!!!

    I've just lost about an hour reading all your posts - but it was worth it, I've had a great time :)

  6. We had a similar experience with a tree I wanted to use to make a bench. Looking forward to the rest of the story. On a side note, I passed you the Honest Scrap award.

  7. Hello! I am dying to hear the next installment! I hope you are okay!

  8. Great saga LeSan ~ What a way to end it, I too hope you give us the next installment soon.


  9. Alison I really value your compliment and thank you so much for following along! :-)

    Catherine isn't it funny how our husbands get that look of sheer terror in the faces when they hear "honey, I have an idea." LOL

    Galloping Gardener thank you for the link to your snow leopard post. Your trips are such a treat to see and read about.

    All A Dither, it was definitely hard labor but it was deeply satisfying to get so close to the physical nature of things. I was so tired at the end of the day there was little room to think. I needed that.

    Rosey I have seen some of your adventures in gardening as well and your definitely not afraid of a little project even if it might require medical attention. hehe

    Nutty Gnome I am so flattered that you gave my little blog so much time. While that is an hour of your life you'll never get back, I do validate parking. LOL Thank you so much! I the pond and tea house you are building. I am looking forward to following your progress.

    Tara I would love to hear the story of your tree stump bench. I know you would tell a fantastic story! I am not sure if I should be flattered or worried that you gave me the Honest Scrap award. hehe. I am definitely thinking of what to say though. Thanks??

    Azplantlady, did I survive or not? I wouldn't want to give anything away. LOL
    Thank you very much indeed for reading. :-)

    Flowerlady that is so funny that you refer to it as a great saga. Sort of gives a more dignified sound to the whole mess. hehe Thanks ;-)

  10. Oh, dear! I have a physical coming up next week. I hope you are feeling better. I had to laugh about you trying to move the boulder.