Help your Mood, Pull some Weeds


Yesterday, I made the short trip to my little downtown, got some cash from the ATM, picked up two newspapers, and headed back home.

On the way into town, I saw two city workers spraying Roundup on the weeds in the median strip. They were still at it, in the very same place, on my way back.

I don’t like Roundup. I don’t use herbicides or pesticides anymore. I used to have a monthly yard spray, but now I enjoy the lizards, birds, butterflies, and others that feed on insects.

My yard has foxtail weeds a foot tall. My dogs inhale the foxtails and get them stuck in their noses. It can be dangerous to a dog, so my goal is to pull the weeds up by their roots. Now that the rain has stopped (maybe till fall), it’s a great time to do it.

People complain about not getting a good night’s sleep. Here’s a cure for that. Spend an hour in your yard pulling weeds by hand. Walking around spraying Roundup does not exert the same  amount of energy or use the same muscles as pulling weeds does.

I’ve had friends offer to weed-whack the foxtails. I always say no. Weed-whacking just makes them shorter. With the roots intact, guess what? They come back, only to be weed-whacked again.

If you pull out the roots the weeds are gone, baby, gone until next year.  I am talking about weeds in dry climates where it doesn’t rain all summer. The Midwest has an ongoing weed situation until the first fall frost.

I alternate between right hand and left hand. The third finger on my left hand is stiff, probably from holding that 14 pound bag of dog food in one hand last week while I waited in line to buy nitrile gloves and apples. Little did I know when I passed up the germy shopping cart that the line would snake around the beer and head down the diary aisle to keep us customers six feet apart from one another.

The finger is less stiff today, but every left-handed hand pull of foxtails yesterday did make it hurt a bit. I would switch off to the right hand and then feel a pull creeping up the side of my neck.

Today my neck is crunchy, but I did get a good night’s sleep.  I will pull more weeds for another hour today. I’ll wait for sunshine and will enjoy the warmth on me as I make progress for my dogs and my neighbors.

One gets a sense of accomplishment when gardening. You can see results immediately. It has a tangible, photographable reward, unlike so many other things that we do to fill our time.


We’ve all got twenty-four hours to fill during this lockdown. Spending one hour a day in the sunlight should be everyone’s number one priority. Weeds or no weeds, there’s got to be some straightening up a person can do outside.

You’ll sleep better tonight if you do.


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