How hard is this, I ask you? Does this not seem like a straightforward little task?
Nothing is straightforward around this place.
First off, when I went to pull out the superannuated chard plants, I discovered the reason they seem to be fading from this earth is not so much senility as that the dirt in their pots is bone dry.
Lovely. Of course, the truth is, I’ve been lazy in the weirdly cool weather we’ve been having. It’s almost the end of May — summertime in these parts — and I have to put on a jacket to take the dog for a walk at seven in the morning. At 7 a.m., the porch thermometer says the temp is in the 50s.
Normally by this time the potted plants have to be watered every day; otherwise they’ll keel over dead. That is literally true: once the heat comes up, an outdoor potted plant will die in one day if it’s not watered. Daily. No exceptions.
But it just isn’t getting that hot here. Or hot at all. Ergo and alas, I’ve neglected to accelerate the watering chore from once every few days to every single morning.
A little exploration revealed that every pot in the yard is bone dry.
Sooo… “Seed the chard” turned into “rescue the plants”…
Thus one chore morphed…and morphed…and remorphed:
• pull out the senile chard plants >
• add dirt to other pots >
• soak the amaryllis bulbs in the garage work sink >
• pull out the (now tired) Mexican primrose that volunteered in gay profusion between the flagstones >
• reprogram the watering system >
• pull an overgrown Easter lily cactus out of the Mexican frog pot >
• repot the cactus >
• find a place for the cactus to live (maybe) >
• fish palm tree debris out of the pool >
• Add more chlorine to pool >
• Brush pool steps and walls >
• fertilize the potted rose plant >
• fertilize the potted ficus >
• fertilize the potted palm >
• reset the irrigation drippers and sprayers in effort to get water on all or most of the potted plants >
• set manual hose sprinklers to deep water the parched pots, back and side yards >
• pull half a dozen palm seedlings out of the potted rose’s pot >
• haul the yard trash and household trash out into the alley >
• refill the bird feeders…
Not bad for one simple chore, eh? You’ve heard the fable of the tailor who killed three with one blow? Welp, I killed twenty, thankyouverymuch.
Sooo… By the time I finished slamming around, all I wanted to do (tell me: IS this unreasonable?) was to sit down in my newly tidied little garden, put my feet up, and have a bourbon and water whilst writing this blog post.
Seriously. How unreasonable is this?
So I’m in the kitchen washing up a bit preparatory to pouring said bourbon and water and slicing a few pieces of cheese for a snack, when ker-YOWLLLLLL! YAPITTY YAPITTY YAP YAP YAP GODDAMN YAPPPPPP!!!!
Ruby goes off like a freaking air-raid siren.
She is on point at the garden gate and she is clearly very, extremely alarmed.
Well, by now I personally am too tired to be alarmed, but…I heard what set her off, too. It sounded like someone trying to open the side gate. Which, conveniently enough, is locked.
Numb with chore-exhaustion, I walk out, climb up on a rock, and peer over the fence. And see neighbor Terri’s yard dude standing next to his truck. He’s peering back at me.
Evidently he tried to get in the gate. He makes no move, and I assess the situation as harmless.
Though it must be said that Terri is capable of hiring some very serious flakes.
Did I tell you about her pool guy?
Yeah. She had this pool dude — she being one of those girly-girls who’s too damn helpless to clean the damn pool herself — who stole her brand-new Hayward pool cleaner AND tried to trick her by replacing it with an old, worn-out piece of junk.
Harvey the Hayward Pool Cleaner and his many identical siblings cost about $350. Got that? He seriously thought he was gonna get away with foisting a used pool cleaner on her.
She raised proverbial hell with a proverbial block and scared him into bringing her equipment back. But…you see her taste in household and yard help, eh?
Reflecting briefly on the pool cleaner episode, I wonder if I should get the gun.
But, I decide not. He knows I know he knows I know he’s out there, so he’s probably rendered harmless enough for the nonce.
I go back in the house to pour the proposed, long-deferred bourbon and water…but…of course… Yard Dude fires up his weed-whacker edger.
Sumbiche. What a fuckin’ racket!
So much for sitting outside to unwind and enjoy the (cool!!!!) (breezy!!!!) afternoon.
Give it up. Draw about 50 gallons of hot water into the bathtub, soak my aching body, wash my hair, listen to Terri’s chucklehead weed-whack and then mow the front and the back.
By the time I get out of the tub, he’s loading his gear back in his truck. And I’m thinking one thought: what the f*ck did you think you were doing, dude, trying to come in my gate?
Well, it’s easy enough to guess: he needed some piece of equipment, like a hose spray attachment or maybe a whole hose and he proposed to steal it from my yard.
Oh well. By the time I get out of the bathtub, Yard Dude is loading his gear back into his truck. And good riddance to ye, brother!
I pour the b&w after all. Break out the fancy walnut cheese purchased at outrageous cost down at the AJ’s.
So far, nothing else has happened.