Sunday, April 4, 2010

Glitz, glamour, and home ownership.

Yesterday, I decided to rake a few leaves. It was my first foray into spring lawn maintenance, and I was on a home ownership high. Basking in hot water from my new water heater is totally to blame.

So, I cleaned up my flower beds and raked along the fence line. I uncovered a giant toad, which made me laugh until I realized that I might also uncover a snake. Not so funny.

And then? Then, I turned to the oft-forgotten landscaping alongside my garage. You know that landscaping - the prickly bushes surrounded by cheap, broken edging? The area with the giant clumps of grass and multiple volunteer trees popping through the crappy old mulch? That landscaping?


Now, just let me say that this was all the doing of the previous homeowner. Crappy plastic edging that is supposed to look like wood but really looks like crappy plastic is not my taste. And for the last three and a half years, I've wanted to pull it out, clean out the bed, and get things right. And yesterday was just the sort of day when a tiny bit of leaf removal snowballs into a major project.

I pulled up the edging. I dug up weeds and grass and crappy mulch. I dug and dug and dug up volunteer trees - which, really? Shouldn't be called volunteer trees. They should be called thug trees. They are not welcome and aren't good for property values.

Now, it's spring and the weather is beautiful, and this weekend was ideal for working outside. But let's go back to one very important detail: the bushes in this bit 'o landscaping have thorns.

So, not only am I practically unable to walk from all of this work, but I'm also scratched all to hell. Yes, I was wearing long sleeves and long pants. Yes, I have a deep sliver in my foot that I can't get out. Yes, my arms look like I was attacked by a rabid cat.

So, the whole time I was trying to hold back these thorny bushes while digging up weeds and staking landscaping cloth, I was also composing a letter. At first, it was just to the crazy lady who lived in my house before me. She's the one who used giant wall anchors to hold up the hook that held her Swiffer. I've felt animosity for her before, but this time, I feel that this is really more of a global issue. So, this is an open letter to the homeowners of America.

Dear Homeowners,

Do not, under any circumstances, plant bushes, shrubs, or foliage of any sort that has thorns, stickers, or any pokey kind of appendage. Sure, the plants might look nice. They might even be on sale. But unless you are immortal and / or in a seriously sick and sad immovable funk, someone else will live in your house after you do. And if you have bushes or shrubs with thorns or stickers? That person will hate you. And karma's a bitch.

Cha Cha

So, bad attitude, destroyed flesh, and stiff muscles aside, I managed to complete the landscaping. And with the exception of My Guy's assistance in loading the edging into and out of my car, I did it all by myself.

New pavers as trim? Check. Fresh new mulch? Check. Exhausted yet hideously inflated ego? Check.
I felt a great sense of accomplishment until I rounded the corner after cleaning up the last of my mess.

And I found this.
And these.
Foxie Doxie is not a digger. But it's almost like karma is preventing me from getting too big for my home ownership britches. I'm so tired, though, that I just left the hole. I left it, and went inside and almost made myself sick eating Starburst jellybeans. Happy Easter!


Angie said...

You are a home owning Amazon -- between your painting skills and now this! Dear goddess how do you do it all? Thought I was a rock star for picking up dog poop and the many twigs from my neighbor's ancient-looking towering willow, which I just learned is actually only 12 years old and they planted it ON PURPOSE. Can you add a P.S. to that letter that says do not plant trees that shed sh!t(especially ones that appear to be on growth hormones) at the very edge of your own property that will soon just hang onto your lovely and very busy neighbor's? Well, I guess we at least will always have plenty of marshmallow roasting sticks to choose from at a moment's notice.

mel said...

Oh my. How many times I've found holes and dirty feet...

itsjustme said...

It looks fantastic!! You are amazing. Now that I am renting I can't seem to get myself to do anything. I want to plant flowers though.

AND Buddy is a total digger. Sorry turd.

Anonymous said...

My back aches just READING this! And I was there and did do this one house ago. ACK! Our house now? NO Prickly bushes or shrubs. You did a great job making that look nice again.
And you probably burned off the equivalent of 5 bags of jelly beans doing it!


Oh my gosh Cha are taking photos for your blog. I am so proud of you. I can relate to the muddy paws. I have been starting a garden and Beaux takes such delight in dancing through it. Can't be mad because he is so damn cute.

PS...can you change your comment thing to allow other than google accounts? Please? ;)

Emotional Mullet said...

re: guilty, muddy paws
I understand.
I have a doggy door and a white (which I typed "shite" several times and had to backspace over) kitchen floor..
a 100+ lb main dog
a 70+ lb sometimes-dog that stays with Baby Daddy sometimes, but he is old and doesn't dig (much)
and, a muddy back yard.

I get you, baby.
It took me 3 hours, and several yoga poses, last Saturday to "clean" the kitchen floor.

re: yard care
I just can't do it.
I hire my friend. He handles "bizniss"

I have to work an extra 8 hours a week on a weekend to pay for him, but it is Worth It to me.

He had to pull out a pricker bush last year. I can only guess that, based on placement of Said Bush, it was a robbery and/or home invasion-deterrent, as it was right next to the front door and directly under a bedroom window.

re: "thug trees"
Love it. Yes. I agree. I have many Thug Daffodils and Tulips that keep coming up in the area where I want to park cars for Partyin' (random areas; like they have no guidance)

I have my Yard Man mow 'em over.

re: inappropriate use of wall anchors

There is this One Room That I have worked on since 2005...where EVERYTHING was bolted to the walls. with giant toggle bolts.
Like they were scairt of a capsizing or something.
I did not discover that until I ripped out a "floating nightstand" that also helped me discover how to "heal a 2 ft wall wound"


hope505 said...

*haha!* well I'm glad it was just your dog and not a...giant snake! Or a freakishly large MOLE! or somethin'. *heh*
And your new landscaping looks very professional and AWESOME!!