Kind of Like Banging Your Head Against the Wall, But Less Fun

Yesterday found me combining my two favorite things in the world: relaxing and crossing things off my To Do list. After sleeping in and eating a leisurely breakfast Wes booted up his X-Box and I retreated upstairs to foolishly polish my toes next to an open flame. I did push the candle back about a foot from my toes, at least, which I consider progress.

I have not historically been known for my fire-safety prowess and was infamously once responsible for the near conflagration of a local gas station. I was in the process of clumsily lighting up a cigarette while my friend put gas in her car when the guy next to us looked at me incredulously and said, “You’re not seriously thinking of lighting that, are you?”. Now that you know that, you’re a little bit impressed I’ve made it this far, aren’t you?

Anyway, after polishing my toes I became gripped, gripped, I say! by the need to unpack the china that Wes’ mother gave me for Christmas. I had been too sick previously to unpack all the plates and tea cups so it felt really good to get that item crossed off my list. After I’d packed all the china away and cleaned up the mess I realized that I had a good two hours of sunlight left to my day-off credit.

After peeking outside and ascertaining the fantastic weather conditions I decided that it would be a fine time to do some yard work. And now I finally arrive at my point. I had originally intended to de-weed the flower box outside our kitchen window and cut down the gigantic corpulent clematis tumbleweed that had been hanging from our fence since September. What did I accomplish? I took down the clematis tumbleweed and spent the next hour and a half hacking through the rain forest that has sprouted in the flowerbed next to it.

I know what you’re thinking and you’re absolutely right. I am not the sort of person who sets out to accomplish specific goals and yet neglects to see them through. I am, however, a woman at the mercy of her garden which, at this point, could reduce even the heartiest of green thumbs to a couch potato. Welcome to the jungle indeed.

Our yard is just so immensely over-run and in need of so much work that I would need to quit my job and do yard-work full-time to keep it presentable. Immediately after graduation I spent about a week looking for a job and had a lot of spare time on my hands. Even then, spending an average of 4 hours per day working in my yard for a whole week I only made about half the yard look presentable. Within two weeks it was over-run again.

The whole time I was outside weeding I felt the weight of crushing futility because I knew that as soon as the weather warmed up the area would explode with weeds again. Our yard is the stuff a gardener’s dreams are made of. We have plants flourishing here that aren’t even supposed to survive in this kind of climate. Plants will not die no matter what we do.

I once heard that if you chop off more than 50% of a plant it will die. Feeling optimistic, I applied this principle to some kind of flowering bush that bloomed for a week every year and left papery brown flower-corpses everywhere. I trimmed it with clippers and then literally hacked into the ground with a hatchet to get the roots. I was sure that was the last we’d be hearing from that litter-bug plant. Wrong. The next year it grew back and dumped it’s soggy brown flowers all over my patio. This just proves my point that we have some kind of super-soil that I think a great gardener could do wonders with. I think that our yard would be heavenly for someone who loves working in the dirt.

Unfortunately, Wes and I have no great love for yard work. Wes gets discouraged by the sheer magnitude of work that needs to be done and I have a “total elimination” style of gardening that doesn’t really suit Wes’ taste. When I decide a section of the yard is too cluttered I clear it out and sometimes “good” plants become collateral damage. After working on one section of the yard last year, Wes once told me it looked like The Terminator had exploded. There was even a crater. Would you be surprised if I told you that some of our most vitriolic disagreements have been about yard work?

Strangely-based arguments aside, after working on the yard yesterday we have a pretty good game plan on how we’re going to whip the outside of our house into shape in preparation for putting it on the market. Using a very sophisticated attack plan involving bark, truckloads of yard waste, and potted plants we think we can shock-and-awe people into overlooking some of the other work that needs to be done. After all, we’re only two people, for goodness sakes! We still have the inside of the house to consider! Now that we know better I think we’ll be a little more intentional about considering how much work will need to go into the upkeep of the outside of a potential house.

Said house will of course be big enough for oodles of kids, have a fireplace and jetted jacuzzi tub in the master suite, a kitchen with granite counter-tops and an island, and a low-maintenance yard. Oh, and if it could be in the same city and cost as much as our current house that would be great. What? I figure if I’m asking for the moon I might as well ask for the stars as well…

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