Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Low-Rent, Low-Harm Weed Killer?

Well, needless to say, with all the rain we’ve had here in lovely uptown Arizona, weeds are taking over our xeric landscaping like the jungle invading a Mayan ruin.

I’ve grown a little tired of pouring RoundUp on the ground every spring. In the first place, it’s expensive. And it gets more expensive every year. In the second, it’s supposedly carcinogenic. The stuff they put in the newer formulations to keep it from washing off the plants makes it darned hard to wash off yourself, too. Which makes it creepy, in my book.

And in the third place, when my neighbor Sally was here, she used to kill off the weeds on her side of the alley. But the new kids that moved into her house do not give one thin damn how their house looks, and apparently haven’t a clue (or don’t care) that the weeds create a fire hazard. So it’s hardly worth spending a lot of money and risking your life to beat back the alley weeds.

Last summer, I discovered that you can kill off weeds by pouring boiling water on them. Right out of a teakettle. I only tried it on a few milkweeds and dandelion, because I’d already dumped RoundUp on most of the invaders.

But lo! On those few plants, smartly boiling water worked…and it worked just about as well as RoundUp. It killed the plants quickly, and they didn’t grow back.

So this spring we’re going to see if a much more vigorous onslaught can be beaten back with just plain old boiling-hot water poured out of just a plain old teakettle.

We’re supposed to get a little more rain the first part of next week, from the tail end of yet another California storm. So of course that will germinate even more seeds. But between now and Monday, it should be possible to see if the hot-water trick works.

It’s a little more of a nuisance than mixing up RoundUp…but not much. I have to tellya, I do consider mixing RoundUp from a concentrate to be a darn nuisance. The problem with boiling water is that a teakettle doesn’t hold much, so you have to go back and forth from kitchen to yard several times. I happen to have two of them — an old, chipped model that I kept to hold flowers and the one I use every day to make coffee. So that sped up the process some. Still, it was a bit time-consuming.

If you have nothing else to do on a nice day, though, it’s OK.

And for a change, I didn’t. When I woke up this morning I was so whipped after the last eight weeks or so of nonstop work, I could barely move. Cut this morning’s meeting, feeling way too feeble to drive to Scottsdale. And found there was darn near nothing constructive I could do.

In the past month, I’ve billed $7,000. That is almost as much as The Copyeditor’s Desk earns in a year. While I’ve  made more than that on a single project in the past, nevertheless since I “retired” from the Great Desert University, it’s a record. Normally, the Desk earns about 10 grand a year, which is typical for most U.S writers and editors.

Given the feast and famine nature of the business, alas, I don’t expect this to continue. But…gosh! Wouldn’t it be awesome if it did?

No…not really: day after day after day spent unmoving in front of a computer is not good for your health.

But I could do with about half that much on a steady basis. Three grand a month would cover the overhead and then handsomely pay the bills, allowing me to reinvest the forced drawdown from savings and probably stretching the retirement savings to the end of my lifetime. And that is much to be desired.

It’s more likely weeds, though. Editorial weeds. 😀

Images:
Dandelions: DepositPhotos, © Meggan
Filaree: public domain

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for the timely article…I don’t know if it’s old age or what. But I have begun to wonder where does this stuff go. All the poisons and chemicals that are dropped on lawns and gardens. And most importantly what it does to the environment. Pretty good coverage lately about all the salt and de-icer we put on our roads and walk ways….where it comes from……what it cost…..where it goes after it rolls off the roads, the results of the runoff AND the REAL COSTS in damaged roadways, bridges, vehicles and structures. Not to mention the environmental damage to the waterways. One would think this would have been “thought thru” a little more….