We got the tiller to work. It's a beast. Old and greasy with hot stinky breath and dull teeth. It wants to just go skittering across the top of the ground, so to make it actually bite into the soil, you have to hold on and lean back to keep it in one place. It's like wrestling with an angry badger who'd enjoy chewing your toes off, if only you could let them slip a little further underneath... Anyway, I did till my entire plot, which is about 8 feet by 12 feet (totally guessing). And then I spent an hour and a half raking through the soil to sift out the big weed clumps and root systems. It was dusk and the black flies were out and swarming excitedly all over my sweaty body. Apparently there are black flies in this state; you just have to get into the woods for them to really party. They seem to like to slice off the top layer of skin and lap at the blood, leaving behind an itchy red welt (as opposed to the pink welt of a mosquito). So focused and OCD-ish was I that I couldn't stop sorting out the weeds from the dirt to go home and spray myself with Off. Instead I kept smearing my arms, face and neck with dirt, which didn't really help with the flies but made me feel kind of Survivor-ish. Now my legs are covered with red spots and bruises and I look like a ten-year-old at summer camp.
Tonight my apres-work plan is to garden: add composted manure, make mounded rows, plant what I've bought already, and cover everything with mulch. I am already tired from two nights in a row of bad sleep. It's been humid and sticky, plus my brain wants to hurt me by not shutting off. Pray for me, my people. I know you're out there even though you never comment.