I didn’t get very far with my building project. In fact, I got about three inches into the first cut when I realized that I did not have the right kind of saw. My husband already knew this, but thought it would be more amusing to watch me discover it myself.

I left the building project and took #1 son to get his car stereo. My husband said, “You aren’t going to buy any new tools, are you?” I agreed not to, leaving the saw procurement in his hands. He was also in charge of the planting — my part was to buy some manure on the way back from the electronics store.

It took a while at the electronics store. We had the misfortune to get an extremely unhelpful clerk. At one point I said, “So you have no answer at all for my question?” She allowed as how she didn’t, and I asked if there might be someone else who could answer it. “Maybe someone with more experience?” She said no one could answer my question, and there was no one else around. I asked the differences among the various CD players at different prices. “Features,” she said. “Brands.”

I would have left, but #1 son was determined, and has been saving up.

She was very friendly once we actually brought out our money. Still not helpful, but friendly.

When we arrived back at the house with 120 pounds of organic humus and manure, the house was empty. I had the place to myself till after dark, when my husband returned without a saw.

Feeling unequal to continuing the various outdoor projects by myself, I spent the time instead working on the mystery contest (which had been on hold till after #2 daughter’s recital) and Knitting the Classics.

The front of the Regal Orchid Jasmine grew by about three inches, and I am nearly finished with Moll Flanders. Over at the KTC blog, there has been discussion about whether Moll is bad, or — as she claims — forced into her badness by circumstances.

Over at Ozarque’s place they have been talking about good and evil relative to one of her books. Someone questioned whether the character in question was really evil, or just a pain.

This is sort of how I am feeling about the question of Moll’s badness. Is she bad? Surely she is. She has about a dozen children in the course of the book, and deserts them hither and yon without a thought. In fact, she is so very “easy come, easy go” about them that when she actually expresses concern about the future of one of them (number 10, I think), it is unconvincing. She commits bigamy casually, losing contact with the various husbands who survive her but going ahead and marrying new ones.

She is a thief, she sleeps with and even marries men for money in the most cold-blooded way, she lies and cheats as a matter of course.

But she doesn’t seem particularly evil. When her life is easy and someone is taking care of her, she behaves well for years on end. It is when she faces some difficulty — poverty or insecurity of some kind — that she turns to crime, or to things that were crimes in her day.

So she seems more lazy and self-centered than evil. But she deceives herself. She claims that she is driven to crime by poverty and friendlessness, yet there are many widows in the book making their livings by respectable means. She claims to be astonished when she ends up in some difficult circumstance with a man, yet her behavior leading up to the problem would be scandalous even today, let alone in her day.

In short, she is just like many of us.

Today I must bake for the church bake sale and plant the vegetable garden. If my menfolks don’t feel like working on it, I will begin it myself, which will infallibly cause my husband to come make sure it gets done right. I have asked to borrow a saw from my dad, so I do not despair about my building project, either.