Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Great Battle between Good and Evil HAS BEGUN!

Well, to be more precise, it's more like the battle between Evil and Evil and Indeterminate Goodness, but make no mistake about it, it HAS BEGUN!

I've written several times about my little backyard lawn and my annual battles with the insipid Oxalis plant. This year I was given a reprieve by the wife. You see, the wife has been making plans to add a room to our house. Well, she won't be physically constructing it (much as she'd like to), but she has been working with an architect and getting bids from contractors. Part of the master plan involves swapping the locations of our tiny backyard lawn and our tiny backyard deck.

For the love of god, please don't ask me why we need to move the lawn where the deck is, and the deck where the lawn is. Long ago I made the decision to leave the details of this remodel to the one person in our house who is capable of understanding how stuff, like a hammer, works. So, if she tells me that we need umpityteen boxes of gluesticks, or a diamond necklace to complete the project, I just nod dumbly.

Anyway, since the lawn and the deck are somehow going to magically transpose themselves, there's really no need for me to keep pretending that I can keep blades of grass alive (Honestly, it's like having a backyard full of thousands of little babies, and we all know how hard it is to keep those things alive). We'll be digging up the damn lawn soon enough, so might as well let it die a horrible horrible death, getting choked out of existence by the vicious Oxalis.

I went with this plan all winter, lazily watching the Oxalis storm across the lawn. Then, something went awry. We started meeting with contractors. One guy didn't bother to make a bid. Another guy quoted us $94,500, and the final guy didn't give us a formal bid, but figured it to be around $120,000.

Whaa?!?! $100,000 for one lousy room?!? For like 325 square feet?

I know this is San Francisco, and anything related to a house is stupidly expensive, but we hadn't planned on spending that much money on one room. It's a deal breaker, a deal smash-to-smithereens-er even.

So, now that there's no remodel project, there's no reason for us to dig up and replant the lawn 5 feet away. Now, I've got to deal with the monster I've created. Want to see what it looks like?

This picture was taken from a deck one story above the "lawn". You see all those cute little yellow flowers decoratively spread throughout the "grass"? That's the Oxalis. Those light green long stalks you see are the same thing. I'd define it's location in the grass as EVERYWHERE.

Meanwhile, a couple of tough-guy weeds, at the top of the picture near the deck, are determined not to get completely squeezed out. They tower above the Oxalis, and they're hardy, so they might be around for a while. There's only a handful of them, but they're mean sonofabitches.

Finally, in the last few weeks, those dark-green plants have sprouted up in the middle of the Oxalis. They're kind of, dare I say it.... grassy looking! They might actually be grass, but it's hard to tell from up here, and damned if I'll go all the way down the stairs into the battlefield. I suspect they're just crabgrass. I guess I'm rooting for them. Go crabgrass!

Either way, it's been entertaining watching the weeds battle each other. Although it's not obvious who the winner will be, it's clear that I'm the big loser.


tinyhands said...

Who's the big winner? Mikey's the big winner!

zelda1 said...

What you need to do is contract someone from here, I mean in Arkansas and pay their way, and put them up for the week or so that it will take them to build your room and send them home, and it still won't cost over 20000 bucks. My neighborh added a bedroom and a utility room to her huge house and the cost, 5000 bucks, and the town scoffed that she had been taken for a ride, her being from California and all. That included the siding. Now my remolding to my old house, which included, a new roof, a huge bathroom which would accomodate a wheel chair, a walk in shower, and did I say huge so that I could maneuver a wheel chair? Anyway, that plus a new ceiling in one bedroom, a wall removed from the living room and dinning area to open the old house up, and new siding, total cost: 13000 bucks. Yep, that's it. Oh, I forgot to add the 1200 bucks for the central heat and air. All total. NOw, don't you wish you lived in ARkansas. I still think you should try and contract from here and put them up for a week.

Mike said...

Tiny, yay Mikey! That's me!

Zelda1, maybe I just need to move to Arkansas. Hell, I work from home. Maybe that home can be REALLY far away from the office.

tinyhands said...

Now that I think about it, I though Oxalis was a cure for ED...

Mike said...

Tiny, "ED..." ?? Are you doing some weird 14.5 Word Comment format?

tinyhands said...

My love of the ellipsis is well documented.

Mike said...

But what is it hiding? How does your sentence end?

Janelle Renee said...

Blog slacker!

The title (I never saw the movie) Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil comes to mind every time I check in on you.

I'm sick of thinking of that stupid phrase!

TIME TO UPDATE YOUR BLOG! (Whoa. Sorry. I don't know where that came from.)

Mike said...

It's a busy weekend! Cut me some slack, por favor.

The Tart said...

War of the weeds... hmmm, what if U just added some seeds fm the feed store to the backyard mix?

Once, I added some mysterious seeds to my mom's garden window boxes & to our surprise we had a bumper crop of green bell peppers, ha!

The Tart
; )

Velvet Sacks said...

I have this in my yard, too, and never knew what it was. I was just so delighted that something other than dandelions seemed to be thriving there, that I never considered it might be a bad thing. Thanks for the info, guy!

Mike said...

Jocelyn, I don't even know where my nearest "feed" store is.

VS, well, it's a bad thing if you want any other plants growing there. If, however, you want a source of vitamin C, I highly recommend chewing on the lower part of the stalks. It's also known as Sour Grass.

Velvet Sacks said...

Okay, if Oxalis is sour grass, then I was wrong. I grew up chewing on sour grass. I knew sour grass. Sour grass was a friend of mine. Tiny yellow flowers in my backyard, you're no sour grass.

Mike said...

VS, I googled around and it looks like Oxalis is Sour Grass. I can't say what the stuff in your backyard is. Post a pic in your blog and let the Internet decide.