“You foll’a how the petcocks work?” the Bearded One says.  “Yes,” I say, through gritted teeth. “I foll’a.”  Do I?  Vaguely.  They turn.  I had just stomped into the house after FOUR trips back and forth to the faucet, trying to turn on the bleeping hose.  This week was the week to uncoil my own personal garden nemesis and become reacquainted.  Righty-tighty.  Lefty-loosey.

Land sharks circling hose area

Synchronizing the on/off valves, called petcocks around here (motorcycle lingo), screwing together several hoses to reach distant spots, and lassoing the twisty things so they will spiral down all flat and in place could bring Mother Teresa to her knees.

First, petcock confusion.  A task that should be mindless — turning on the water faucet and expecting water to be available at the unseen end of the hose — suddenly becomes a thinking and remembering thing.  Which direction is the petcock cocked, and am I examining the correct petcock?  There’s one at the end of the hose, and two at the start.  Plus a handle.  I’m not spacial.  Is the faucet cranked all the way right or left?  Odds are high I get something wrong.

Petcocks and Faucet

The Bearded One says that infinity for him is a computer or a guitar.  Endless possibilities.  For me it seems to be two hoses screwed together.   The more hoses you add to the queue, the crazier it gets.  I speak from experience.  We attached FOUR highly individual and idiosyncratic hoses end-to-end from the faucet to the goat barn before we finished the 350 foot long trench.  It was like trying to hook Tunisia to Libya to Egypt.  There were petcocks all over the place.

Trench dug with picks and shovels. A dear relative commented that usually you have to be in prison to do that work.

But even when dealing with just one humble hose, they are unpredictable.  Something about twisting the pulled-out chunk of hose one full turn for every loop of hose you pull out?  Huh?  I planted a nice, neat little village of broccoli, cabbage, and onion starts in the Rings Garden this week, and sure enough, the hose flopped out of its logical trajectory — picture a hula hoop motion — and snapped off several broccolis.

A Bad Hose Day

Some smart folk install drip systems, which you lay down once and forget about.  At least that’s what the commercial says.

Water is necessary for cement work, which is where we are this week with the hoop house.  The entire hose gets filthy as I drag it from the Rings Garden over to the Circle Garden — its been cold and cloudy and drippy all week — where the hoop house is taking shape.

First arch up

My job is to mix the cement.  This requires some petcock finesse, so I don’t like the Bearded One to watch.

The batter

More cement is needed, so I go to the barn where we also store the dry hoses for spraying snow off the barn roof should it become too heavy.

Pile of dry hoses in barn for winter, tied up neatly so they don't escape and trip people or flip people to the ground

We finish the cement work for the hoop house, rinse out the wheelbarrow, and leave the hose lying out on the grass.  I’ve handled a hose or two in my time, I think.  They’re not THAT big a deal.  Progress everywhere you look!

Inside we have a bowl of chicken soup, which I make every week with onion and rosemary and cabbage and carrots.  It tastes good and keeps us healthy.  I feel good, even before the Bearded One points out the “yella” sun in the newspaper weather forecast diagrams.

And so it g’hose.


9 responses to “Hosed

  1. This one is so dang creative and clever…loved the righty-tighty loosey stuff and I chuckled all the way thru! Wish I could have a hoop house!!!

  2. Christi, it must run in the family. I fight our hoses every summer, like yours they twist, they catch on even the tiniest projection. Since our beds are not connected, a drip or soaking system wouldn’t work. I’m always happy to see rain return in the fall.

  3. This one left me laughing until I was gasping for breath! I absolutely loathe hoses! In my own version of hell (Kathie’s Inferno) I am surrounded by hoses, which naturally contain no water whatsoever….I actually prefer watering cans for my flowers, and buckets to wash the car, I will go to any length to avoid dealing with any length of hose! Thanks Christi! Now we have hoseaphobia in common as well, or is is mysohoseny!!!!

  4. Christine Widman

    Here in the desert, hoses and irrigation systems are daily dips into one of the Rings of Hell. They are impossible to deal with in a “de rigueur” manner befitting a B&B owner who should be decorous, seemly, & genteel under all circumstances. :-)))
    Here the javelinas especially like to nip at the irrigation tubing to get to the water. And hoses – besides coiling and twisting and spitting like snakes – also
    turn into shredded dried brittle pieces of tubing under the 108 degree sun.
    Love the rightytighty-leftyloosey – I think I can remember that despite my left-right dyslexia.
    Also howled over the “usually you have to be in prison to do that work.”
    Big hugs, Christine

  5. lederhosen alone, i say 🙂 this is wonderful seestor! our hose “preventative detangler holder” broke…..it’s everywhere now sure to cause a broken
    bone…..LOVE your writing…the pic of Ruby is precious…the drawing by the Bearded One brilliant….press on!

  6. Christine Widman

    Just reread this week’s blog – woke at 4am thinking of all our 5 acres of flora that was frozen during our 18 degree record freeze in early February and are now being cooked by our record highs of 95+ degrees in early April.
    Is our irrigation system turned on long enough during this heat – have we hose-watered the flora not on the system enough to keep the plants vital????????????????????? You get the picture.
    So your blog restored some of my too early morning angst.
    This time I laughed loud & long over the image of hose linked and linked – “like trying to hook Tunisia to Libya to Egypt” – balm for my brain.
    Thanks Christi.

  7. 18 to 95 degrees in two months! Amazing. We’re between 35-45 degrees every day, all day, with rain and hail. I have to really imagine hard to get to 95 degrees. How do you breathe? 🙂
    May we all have balmed brains, dear friend, Christine.

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