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'Project' isn't a four-letter word
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 8:59 PM


By Kylee Baumle

It’s that time of year when I utter the word that my husband most hates hearing. He knows it’s coming because it all starts with, “Honey...” (pregnant pause) “...I’ve got an idea.” This brings on eye-rolling because “idea” is on his list of four-letter words, which also includes the words “mall” and “shop.”

He knows when I get an idea that the idea itself is very likely going to be my biggest contribution to the project and that his part will mean the most work. He admits that it isn’t the work part that he dislikes the most; it’s the figuring out just what he’ll need to make what I’ve shown him I want.

He also knows that the reason it’s never easy, this part, is because I never want anything that goes in a straight line. I’m a fan of curves and angles. He’s most definitely not. He likes things very uniform and straight and orderly. I like it better when it’s asymmetrical and wonky.


After nearly 39 years of marriage, he has learned to never assume anything. I have learned that when he says, “No, I can’t do that,” that if I just leave him alone, he’ll eventually figure out a way.

He knows if he gives me enough time and he doesn’t complain too much about doing it the way I want it done, that I’ll compromise and change it up a little bit, just to make it easier for him. We have learned how to work together well so that neither of us kills the other one.

The neighbors will tell you that during the act of compromise and working out the details of The Projects, things can get a little testy and rather loud. But they know that it’s all part of the process of each of us getting our own way just a little bit, making it a true joint venture.

That’s kind of what life in general and marriage in particular is like, isn’t it? Give and take? In every partnership I think there is one who is a little more giving than the other and one who likes being on the receiving end a little too much maybe. I tell him I don’t deserve him. He tells me he doesn’t know how I put up with him. Now it’s my turn to roll my eyes.

So anyway, this year’s project is an enclosure for the blackberries and the blueberries, the latter which the rabbits decimated, meaning I may be purchasing new ones. Last year, we netted the blackberries, which worked, but became a pain when it came time to harvest and then later remove the nets from the primacanes and when I pruned the second-year floricanes.

The enclosure is basic – just a wooden framework covered with chicken wire, tall enough for us to walk into, with a pathway down the middle. Blackberries to the north, blueberries to the south. The point of contention in this project is the top. I don’t want a simple A-shaped roof; I want a scalene triangle for a roof, because the blueberries are quite short and don’t need for the roof to be as tall on their side. And it will look cool. Asymmetrical – just the way I like it.

He should be thankful for small favors. At least it has no curves. He should also still be celebrating the fact that I agreed several years ago that we will never hang wallpaper together ever again as long as we both shall live. Maybe I should remind him of that.

Read Kylee’s blog, Our Little Acre, at and on Facebook at Contact her at