Saturday, October 8, 2011


Actually, what with our current effort to potty train William, around our house it might really be shit. But there's an equally good chance that it's our compost pile. That's right - once we moved to the country, we became the sort of people we used to make fun of. You know, the sort who go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday, and talk about how often Roberto from the landscaping company should be coming to mow the lawn, and have a compost pile because it's ecologically responsible. Well, we WERE those people. No longer. After two years here, we don't go to the Farmer's Market much anymore because a tomato costs $4, and besides, I was getting hives from all the hippies. And Ted mows the lawn himself because we don't have a landscaper - a true rarity, even in our suburb that fancies itself quite "down to earth" and "not at all like Scarsdale or Greenwich." But we do still compost. In fact, we apparently compost so much that we were in need of a new compost bin. And Ted wanted to build it himself.

This is Ted:

Very Old Photo of Ted in Our Former Apartment
Now Ted, in addition to being handsome, smart, the love of my life, the light of my eyes, my very own Smoochie Bear whom I love more than any other person on earth, does have a few minor flaws. One of which is that he's not super handy. But he's the worst kind of not-super-handy, because he THINKS he's super handy. You see how this could lead to some unfortunate situations. Let's just say that our contractor, Gerard, is practically a member of the family at this point, and has spent more time in our home than many of our actual relatives. Ted is often taking on projects that are, shall we say, beyond his reach. And then I am left to listen to the complaining that his back/knee/neck/arms/shoulders are in so much pain that he can't move, and that he needs to own bigger and more expensive tools, like a chainsaw or a snowblower.  And Gerard is left to deal with the failed attempt to assemble the swing set, or screw in a light bulb (I am not kidding. This happened.)

So when Ted approached me with the plan to build us a new compost bin (we had some old, ugly, tacky, plastic one that the previous owners left here that was much too small) I was less than enthusiastic. But we made a deal - if he built the compost thing himself, I could purchase a new console table for the entryway AND a storage bench for the playroom I am trying to turn into a mudroom (more on that later). We shook on it,* and he went to work. This is what he had to start with:

Compost Pile and Ugly, Inadequate, Plastic Bin
Here is my car after he went to Home Depot for the materials:

Here is the area that he scoped out for the new compost bin, and then cleaned up so that he could start work:

Don't ask me what all those plastic containers are, maybe garbage cans? Can you tell I am a huge help around the house? Also, these photos may be leaving you with the impression that I was out there documenting this project and cheering Ted on. That's not true. I was inside on the computer drinking Diet Coke and my mother was outside being supportive and snapping photos while also watching the children. Yes, I am quite a catch in the wife department, I know.

Here's where Ted got real:

And then got real-er, and started laying down the "floor" of the bin. Luckily, he had some help. Or rather, "help."

Things progressed. Inside, things progressed too, as I switched from Diet Coke to wine. I did not have any help, though, and so was forced to drink the entire bottle myself. Ted, on the other hand, got even more help:

If you think this is boring to read about, imagine having to listen to the blow-by-blow account from Ted, who is a very thorough story-teller. Eventually, the bin got walls:

And a roof:

And finally, doors:

Now, all joking aside, I was very impressed with the fact that Ted was able to manage this feat of construction. I even felt a little bit bad for all the nasty comments I made about how he was never going to be able to do it. However. Just because something is built to house what is essentially a manure pile, as far as I can tell, does that mean that it has to be the color of manure? I mean, now I have a giant shitbox in my backyard. This does not make me happy. Granted, I was drunk enough that it took me two days to realize that I had a giant shitbox in my backyard, but once I did, I wasn't happy. You can tell from the chain-link prison fence behind the shitbox that I am VERY concerned with appearances, especially the appearance of my back yard. I gently suggested to Ted that perhaps we (he) could paint it dark green. To which he graciously agreed, and promised to buy new paint and take care of it right away. He really is too good for me. At least I know it.


*Clearly I should have gotten it in writing because Ted reneged on our agreement as soon as he opened the latest credit card bill, and said no fucking way were we buying anything, ever again, not even food and gas. Good times.
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November 22, 2011 at 5:19 AM

What a wonderful post and usually it does smell like shit it is as you said.

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