Monday, October 22, 2007

At no point during the day do I ever say to my self, "Self, let's find new chores to do!"

There are already plenty of maintenance chores to do in my day. I wash the dishes. I brush my teeth. I randomly bark out nags to the child. These things take too much time already. Not a day goes by when I don't consider saving time by combining chores, like, for example, pissing into a catheter while making the bed. Obviously that combination was a joke (I never make the bed), but you get the idea. Too many chores.

Hank, on the other hand, is all about big projects. She's always thinking about plans for reorganizing the house, getting a new husband, or alchemy.

"So much lead!" she'll moan, and, suddenly she's drawing matter transmutation diagrams in bed. One day she'll invent husband alchemy and *poof* this blog will be replaced by a much better one.

Anyway, the other day she decided to look at our backyard. She saw this:
The vaguely trapezoidal area outlined in black is our backyard. You can see the dirt and construction trash on the top level, and then the rest of the stuff in upper 2/3rd of the outline is the lower part of our sloped backyard, affectionately known as "the jungle".

Shortly after we had our yard landscaped (about 5 years ago), I realized that I had more backyard than motivation. So, I concentrated on keeping the top level alive, and I left the bottom 2/3rds to die. Today, as you can see, either because I am incompetent, or because nature has a sense of humor, the top section is almost entirely dead, and the bottom part has flourished into a nearly impenetrable block of foliage.

Hank brought a landscape designer to the house a couple weeks ago and they examined the yard (from a distance, of course). The landscape designer determined that in addition to our yard being a visual blight, nearly every single plant in there produces pollen and is a contributor to the hay fever suffered by Hank and Daisy.

So, all but six of the plants must go. The idea is that we'll remove them, somehow, and replace them with plants that are non-allergen-producing and easily maintained. I'm thinking that that kind of magical bush is made of concrete, but I'm not a big fancy landscape designer, so Hank is ignoring my advice.

The to-be-removed plants vary in size. The smallest ones are about as big as me, and the biggest ones are the size of a small car. Somehow, they all need to disappear. Complicating this effort is the fact that we have no side access to our yard. All of these plants either have to go through our house, or we have to take advantage of our neighbor's access through their psychotically clean garage. Both of those options give me hives (as do several of the plants in our yard). So, we brought in a professional "hauler" to give us a quote on removing and hauling away the jungle. His estimate came to $1,100.

Those are U.S. dollars.

So, guess who is going to try and remove all those plants himself with his tiny little computer programmer arms? No, me! Then, instead of hauling them all away, I'm going to create a giant compost pile, which has already been given the moniker "mulch mountain".

This plan can't possibly fail.

Of course, I may need to start crapping while brushing my teeth to make the time for this effort, but if it'll save me $1,100, it's worth it.

Hilarity will ensue.

14 comments:

The 4th Sister said...

I can't wait to see the progress....I know you were joking but this does look like a big problem to get rid of in the city where you live...I am sure a lot of it could be cut and bagged and carried through the house without much mess... Living in the city as I do but being a country girl at heart I have a fire pit and I burn tons of stuff in the fire pit...Instead of shredding papers at the end of the year , for the last 2 years I have used the pit and burned them...I also save and burn all of the limbs from my trees that are trimmed...But I also have a yard guy to haul off anything I do not want to mess with...keep us posted with pictures....by the way...that compost idea will not work...unless you have years to get it under control, or you rent a shredder....

Mike said...

Hi 4th Sister. You know, my first inclination was to burn my backyard, but I kind of feared that getting out of hand. If I screw up using the clippers, no big deal. If I screw up a controlled burn, then I burn my house.

Also, you're about the 5th person to tell me that my compost idea won't work. Can I just pretend all of you are wrong?

chess h said...

Buy a goat, maybe? Turn him loose in the backyard, when he's done eating everything, you can cook him! No fires, you don't sprain anything, and you do end up with a tasty meal. Maybe two.

Mike said...

Chess, that's not a bad idea! We consume a fair amount of goat cheese and milk in this house (since Daisy is allergic to the cow variety), so maybe this is a natural first step to goat herding! Or maybe not.

Ms.PhD said...

Found your blog via landofyajeev.

Yours is truly funny. Thanks for the laugh.

yajeev said...

mike and ms.phd... glad i can be a bridge 'tween the blogs.

yajeev said...

by the way, mike, hope you don't mind-- i stole your idea of posting a list of my favorite entries on my own blog... not sure if this is common blog practice, but your list drew me in to the highlights on yours. cheers.

Mike said...

Hi Ms. PhD. You are so welcome. If I can bring one chuckle to a young female scientist, then my blog is a success.

Yajeev, I certainly didn't invent the idea of having a "favorites" link, so you are free to "steal" it. You are also welcome to steal entire blog posts. Someone should get something out of them.

newnorth said...

Umm I tagged you. I know you are to cool for memes but I just thought I would mention your blog because I enjoy it.

Mike said...

Newnorth, too cool for memes? To be perfectly honest, the only thing that I'm too cool for is Barney. That dude is seriously uncool.

Avery Gray said...

Mike, just think of all the time you'll have on your hands to develop an appreciation for "Puttin' on the Ritz"! Yay!!

BTW, thanks for stopping by! You're one funny guy. You're going on my reader for sure!

Mike said...

Hi Avery. Time for Putting on the Ritz? No can do. I've already budgeted all my gimmick song time for dancing the Macarena.

yajeev said...

That's a kind offer, Mike...

I mightt just take you up on that when I next come head-to-head with an annoying bout of writer's block.

Don't be surprised if some strangely familiar recountings about my time as a fish-out-of-water at Barrington Hall show up in my blog.

Mike said...

Yajeev, go for it. Mi blog es su blog.