However, I am sore all over. While Katie and Julie were playing with their friends outside the gate, I went down with the nipper to clean up the four dogwood bushes at the bottom of the yard and remove all of the deadwood.
There was a lot of deadwood. There is a pile of brush that is about three feet tall and ten feet wide that I expect that our lawn service will look sadly at, but will probably cart away next time that they come. The dogwoods look much better, although the one closest to the girls' playhouse is extremely ragged, because it took more damage than the others from last year's drought. As I trimmed away the dead branches, I finally figured out why. Most of the leaves that were in there were from a volunteer buckthorn that probably sucked up much of the water that the dogwood desperately wanted.
The buckthorn has now been pruned out and I'll just keep cutting it down until it finally gives up. Eventually.
In the meantime, I have taken two aspirin and am going to bed. :)
(I obviously need to get more exercise.)