December 11, 2007

hello hand truck, hello dolly


I actually like backbreaking labor if it's in service to something I'm building, or towards an appreciable end, with the emphasis on "end". I have no goddamn patience for backbreaking labor that has to be done again within four weeks, but I will use every last strand of adenosine triphosphate my mitochondria can muster if it is part of a lasting, grand gesture.

Tonight, I performed such an act, but I can't write about it because I'm up here at the farm with Lucy and my mom, and the backbreaking labor is my surprise Christmas present to Tessa. Suffice to say I had to warp the laws of physics in order to get certain things to work, and I didn't have help because my mom turned 76 a few minutes ago (happy birthday, Mom!) and Lucy gets really distracted when she's carrying around a glue gun and a bucketful of iron filings.

No, honey, she wasn't carrying around a glue gun and a bucketful of iron filings.

Anyway, I must collapse and provide today's CODE WORD: What was your most recent backbreaking labor? And yes, that can include "labor" too, ladies!

Posted by Ian Williams at December 11, 2007 11:05 PM
Posted by: salem's little sister at December 12, 2007 4:36 AM

Moving in to the beach house on our girl's weekend. Luggage for 6 moms and 9 kids , 4 pack n' plays, a weekends worth of food and a partridge in a pear tree. We found the elevator in the house after we brought in the last bag.

Posted by: kent at December 12, 2007 5:00 AM

Apparently, when one has a herniated disc in your back, it doesn't take much to break one's back. Rearranging our store-room and bringing up the christmas decorations did it for me. Helllloooo Sciatica!

Posted by: Megan at December 12, 2007 5:49 AM

Toting a U.S. Mail bin's worth of books from one end of this sprawling library to the other. Should have used a cart.

Posted by: LFMD at December 12, 2007 5:59 AM

Carrying my 11 year old beagle (who slipped a disk) up and down stairs, on and off furniture, in and out of the car, etc. for the past 10 weeks. He has healed and is doing better; however, he has gotten used to being lifted and carried around. All 40 lbs of him. Just stands there with a look that says, "Sir desires to go outside," or "Sir desires to be transported up the stairs." I love him dearly, but I think that he will be my last dog for a while.

Posted by: Anne at December 12, 2007 6:00 AM

In my case: "kneebreaking" labor. We moved our entire household this summer... yes, 61 year old hubby, 55 year old me, 15 year old son (thank God for hockey muscles), and 16 year old daughter. I mean, we moved EVERYTHING, couches included.

I was pleased with my enduring strength. And then I messed up my knee with all the lifting, walking, and subsequent beach litter-cleaning. And now I'm doing physical therapy twice a week.

Can't wait to hear what this year's surprise gift is, Ian. :-)

Posted by: CM at December 12, 2007 6:18 AM

No backbreaking labor, but I cleaned out the sink drain with my toothbrush yesterday. I was due for a new toothbrush anyway.

LFMD, good luck with cute beagle! Mine used to HATE to be picked up, unless she had no choice (like the time her paws froze on the cold ice during a walk and she was wimpering about it and I brought her back inside)

Posted by: Meghan at December 12, 2007 6:32 AM

Ok, so this may not count, but to me, it was serious. I decided (after watching the Oprah where people had lost 500 lbs. with no surgery, just good old fashioned diet and exercise) to buy a workout video and try getting in shape that way. Afterwards, I felt great, really energized. Then, I went to bed. I woke up the next morning, and I could BARELY MOVE. I had to slide down the steps on my butt, and I couldn't bend my legs to walk properly. I limped around like I'd been hit by a bus for almost a week! So, I think that constitutes backbreaking labor, although it was a wolf in sheep's clothing. Sneaky.

Posted by: Bozoette Mary at December 12, 2007 6:49 AM

Changing my tire. It doesn't sound so backbreaking, but damn! Those lugnuts were TIGHT!

Posted by: scruggs at December 12, 2007 7:01 AM

I've gotten a little lazy in my old age, but I did spread our bales of pinestraw around our bushes this last go around. However, as I write this, 4 guys are in my house painting the interior, so I will live vicariously through them.

Posted by: gina at December 12, 2007 7:42 AM

I just came in the house from raking wet leaves and then dragging them down to the street on a tarp for an hour and a half. I am beat (and definitely out of shape)! The city I live in brings trucks around to suck up the leaves in the fall, and since I hate bagging the leaves I need to get them down to the curb before leaf collection season is over.

Also, yesterday I went to Costco and had to park about half a mile from the front door. Bought a little crate of pears, a ten-pack of ribbon, some books and videos AND a storage crate to carry it back to the car. The thing that tipped it into "backbreaking" was the 5 pound roll of wrapping paper I slid into the basket at the last minute! Had to keep stopping and propping the crate to rest...

I am so weak. Good luck with the xmas gift! (and keep Lucy away from those filings)

Posted by: The other Lee at December 12, 2007 8:11 AM

I am currently remodelling my house. We bought it a year ago, knowing we would have to remodel it (the last update was maybe done in 1976) so it's been a year of constant weekend projects.

Most recently it was putting new floor in the master bedroom.

Posted by: Greg T. at December 12, 2007 8:39 AM

I think I'm due... The last real backbreaking work I can recall was in the spring when I tilled my entire backyard, reworked all of it to clear rocks, etc. and planted new grass seed. Gina was raking the leaves off of that grass this morning while I was eating cereal and getting ready to go into work. Thanks, sweetie!

Posted by: salem's little sister at December 12, 2007 10:16 AM

LFMD- Poor beagle! My beagle Parker has stayed remarkably spry despite her extra 10 pounds and ACL surgery. God bless beagles and those of us who love them.

Posted by: Susan at December 12, 2007 1:11 PM

I gave birth to my 8 lb. 5 oz. baby boy on Nov. 30. Since I am small, it was pretty intense for me. Healthy baby as an end result!

Posted by: Bud at December 12, 2007 1:37 PM

I've been doing a bunch of DIY (mainly electrical and automotive) lately. Not exactly backbreaking. "Fingerbreaking" would be an apt description for a lot of it....

And Meghan, I empathize. About 3 weeks ago, I decided to see if I could still do 200 pushups and situps. Turned out I *could*, but *shouldn't have*. Ouch.

Posted by: Rebecca at December 12, 2007 2:07 PM

After the fire swept within 100 yards of our house, we needed to clean out the garage because it was filled with ash and soot and smelled terrible. Well, we have those hanging spacesavers in the ceiling, crammed with containers filled with toys, clothes and decorations. So we had to get each one down and clean the outside of the sterilite container. Plus sweep and clean every surface in the garage. It was really hard labor, like we haven't done in a long time. It was a pain to say the least.

Posted by: Alyson at December 12, 2007 9:31 PM

Moving from Chapel Hill to Brooklyn in a U-Haul this September. Oh my god, it was horrible. It was fun because my boyfriend and I had a good time starting an adventure together, but moving our combined libraries and furniture and dishes and clothes and everything, was so, so hard. And it was about a thousand degrees in North Carolina.

Posted by: eric g. at December 12, 2007 9:54 PM

Shoveling snow and ice over the past week in Chicago. Winter is here.

Posted by: Lyle at December 12, 2007 10:15 PM

I love LFMD's anthropomorphizing "Sir desires to fill in the blank" image. So cute! Now I can put words to the heavy-lidded look my huge, nine and a half year old Maine Coon/tabby cat levels at me when he sits next to his nearly dry water dish: "Sir desires more beverage with which to slake his thirst."

Recent hardest labor was, like Susan's (congrats!), squeezing out a boy baby. On 30 September. And in way, since then, the breastfeeding should count, too, cuz it's been really frackin' difficult this time round!

Posted by: Ian at December 12, 2007 10:33 PM

Congratulations Susan and Lyle!!!

Excellent labor all around, folks.

Posted by: Claudia at December 13, 2007 8:52 AM

Carrying twins for 9 months was pretty grueling. I'm 5'2" and small.

I'm not sure whether it was any worse, though, than assembling two Ikea couches.

Posted by: tregen at December 13, 2007 3:53 PM

Built a dog house for the old pooch. He likes it but I'm not completely done yet. Other than that...busting up this clay soil in Southern California for a garden in the back yard.... that stuff is hard as rock.

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