Watering the Backyard or Exercise – as if I have a choice

If given a choice between watering the backyard and regular exercise, I’d rather lift weights and do cardio exercises for an hour and then take a one-mile walk on nearby streets.

Heck, to avoid watering the yard, I’d walk two miles a day.

The reason is simple: watering the backyard is exercise that involves a lot of climbing.  We live on a hillside. Our house is surrounded by HUGE oak trees and the largest one behind the house is about 400 years old.  The circumference of this ancient oak tree is twenty feet.


below the tree from the house

Imagine what would happen to a raw egg if you stepped on it with all your weight. If that old oak tree decides to fall on the house, the house would be that egg. Don’t get me wrong. That tree is majestic. It is breathtaking to see, and the wild bees that live in some of its hollow limbs love it too.

Besides, where we live, the law says, “No person shall cut down, destroy or remove any tree(s) growing within the City limits from any property without a tree removal permit, except as provided herein.”

I don’t want to go into detail about what it takes to get a permit to cut down a four hundred year old oak tree like the old goat in our backyard. However, the fine for cutting (what the city calls a Civil Penalty) that tree down without permission would be about $43,000 and that might include six months in jail. In other words, it is okay for that tree to crush our house and us in it, but it is not okay for us to cut down that tree.


from street to driveway – top > down

Back to climbing stairs—there are four flights of stairs leading from the street to the top of backyard for a total of ninety-nine steps.


from driveway to second story front door – top > down

The one stairway inside the house from the ground floor to the second story has thirteen steps. Using that stairway to represent one story means that climbing from the street to the top of the backyard equals climbing a seven-and-a-half-story building that does not have an elevator or escalator.


stairway inside house – top > down

Why all the effort to water a yard? Because the yard has an elaborate drip system with five valves scattered around the slope.  To water the yard takes about three hours and five trips to turn the valves on and another five trips to turn the valves off.


first flight of stairs behind house – bottom > up

However, only fifty-three steps are used during watering, which means climbing 530 steps—equal to climbing the stairs of a forty-story building.


second flight of stairs behind house – top > down (the last one)

Then there is putting out the trash. To do that requires climbing another 50 steps or about four stories.

Today I put out the trash and watered the yard, so I climbed a forty-four story building. I’d rather lift weights but if I let the plants in the yard die, well, I’d never hear the end of it.

Am I complaining?  Yes!

Should I be? No!

Anyway, enough procrastination (about four hours worth – maybe more). I have to get back to work editing and revising my next novel.

Discover the Sunday Hike (within walking distance of this backyard)

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Barber Shop Quartets and Amazing Acappella

Call it procrastination but it was worth it for the fun and laughter.  I was editing the last chapter of my next novel, Running With the Enemy, when I added two words to a paragraph—”Barbershop Quartet”, and was curious to see what there was on YouTube.

Any excuse to escape the drudgery of editing and revisions.

“The ‘barbershop’ style of music is first associated with black southern quartets of the 1870s, such as The American Four and The Hamtown Students. The African influence is particularly notable in the improvisational nature of the harmonization, and the flexing of melody to produce harmonies in “swipes” and “snakes.” … The first written use of the word “barbershop” when referring to harmonizing came in 1910, with the publication of the song, “Play That Barbershop Chord”‹evidence that the term was in common parlance by that time.” Source: Acappella Foundation.org

Then of course, I was tempted to procrastinate longer and ended up discovering this incredible acappella group.

Wow! What else can I say? Amazing! This group is known as the Voca People if you have not seen them perform before. This was my first time so it might be yours too.

The Voca People are an Israel-based ensemble, and they claim to be aliens from another planet where the main method of communication is sounds. Their motto is “Life is music and music is life.”

ps – Even with the BSQ and Acappella procrastination, I still completed my writing goals for the day.  It just took me a few more hours to do it. Heck, as long as one is going to procrastinate, he might as well have fun doing it instead of feeling guilty because he isn’t writing, editing or revising.  In fact, I was writing–I wrote this post.

For more music, discover What do Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston and Jessica Sanchez have in common?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”