So Much Excitement!

People have a harder time scamming me than some would-be victims because I have so few of the accoutrements of modern life that most people need to live, such as a credit card, or dreams of a fabulous and free vacation. I certainly have no interest in talking to a real IRS agent let alone a fake one. And my car isn’t new enough to be caught in the “your warranty is about to expire” scam, though I must admit, such calls do amuse me. After all, my warranty expired almost fifty years ago.

Since we’re talking about my car — I got a Thanksgiving card from my insurance agency, offering a sincere thank you for my business. I must admit, I’d believe the sincerity more if the note and signature hadn’t been stamped rather than actually signed by a real person.

And, still on the topic of my vehicle — a couple of days ago, the contractor came and set the slag around the garage apron to get rid of the four-inch lip the car needed to climb to get into the garage. Looks nice!

He’d actually planned to do the work a couple of weeks ago, but the gas company kept tearing up the alley, first to put in new gas lines, and then later to connect everyone along this stretch. It’s too bad they’d also dug up the the gravel that made the alley negotiable, but perhaps someday they will replace it.

A worker is here right now putting decorative rock around the foundation of the garage. Yay! Even better, from my knees’ point of view, he helped me finish digging out all grass in my “island” and planted the tiled cinderblock I found here in the yard.

The tree is the extra greengage plum tree I ordered, and since we didn’t know where else to put it, it ended up in the island. I liked the way the rock looked around the garage, so I considered filling the island with rock, too, but on the off chance that my plum ever blossomed and then fruited, I figured it would be too messy to clean up. At least, if I plant zinnias or some such, any fruit that fell would only nourish the soil.

So much excitement!

I’m not really being as ironic as it might seem. Having any work done around here is the highlight of my day, so much more exciting than calls from scammers or cards from insincere insurance agents.

***

What if God decided to re-create the world and turn it into a galactic theme park for galactic tourists? What then?

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The Grass From Hell

I malign this poor grass. Bermuda grass is only the grass from hell if you’re trying to dig it up. It’s a chore, that’s for sure! Because of it’s extensive — and deep — root system, it takes several stabs with a shovel to get deep enough to pull out even a small chunk of the grass. And it does come out in chunks of soil and roots.

I imagine this ability to bind soils makes it a good grass in windy areas, such as this one. I certainly don’t lose any topsoil (assuming there is any at all in this ancient yard) during the high wind storms. The deep roots make Bermuda grass hard to kill with neglect. Even if it turns brown in the heat of summer, it will always come back with a touch of rain. Despite that — or maybe because of that — it is heat and drought resistant. When I figure out what areas of my yard I want to be green, I’ll water the heck out of the grass and end up with a lush looking lawn.

For now, I know one area I don’t want the grass — it’s between the two sidewalks and would be hard to mow. Besides, that island will make a great zinnia bed. And so the grass has to go, though to be honest, right about now, I’m rethinking that plan. I’ve worked a couple of hours today and yesterday, and oh, am I exhausted! To say nothing of sore and weak-kneed. The area is approximated six feet by sixteen feet, and I’ve managed to dig up maybe 24 square feet so far. Lots of hard shoveling! And even after digging up all those roots, chances are the grass will come back because not only does it have such an extensive root system that it’s impossible to get every bit, it also propagates by seed, and there’s no telling how many seeds are left behind. No wonder the preferred method of removing the grass is to zap it with Round-up, but that’s not anything I would ever consider.

I have a hunch this is the wrong time of year to be digging up grass or doing any gardening other than planting a few things that prefer to be settled in the fall, but the way I figure, I’m here now, the grass is here (and by no means green, not even on the other side of the fence!), the ground is still faintly damp from the recent though long-melted snow so the digging is a mite easier, and it’s a good reason to be out in this perfect fall weather.

The weather will change again next week, but with any luck, I’ll have most of the island grass-free, ready for spring fertilizing and planting.

I did mention, didn’t I, that we planted my greengage plum trees? (Well, my contractor and his helper did, I just stood around and pretended I was working.) I had an extra tree (I’d ordered it for a friend who no longer had a place for it) and without any better idea of where to put it, we planted in the middle of the island. I’ll have to prune it every year to keep it small, but that will make the fruit easier to reach — assuming there is fruit and assuming the birds leave any for me. In a way, it will be like a birdfeeder without all the work and the mess. (Though I am sure there will be other messes, but I don’t want to think about that.)

If by chance, I’ve whet your appetite for digging, you are welcome to join me in my yard tomorrow around mid-morning. I have an extra shovel.

***

“I am Bob, the Right Hand of God. As part of the galactic renewal program, God has accepted an offer from a development company on the planet Xerxes to turn Earth into a theme park. Not even God can stop progress, but to tell the truth, He’s glad of the change. He’s never been satisfied with Earth. For one thing, there are too many humans on it. He’s decided to eliminate anyone who isn’t nice, and because He’s God, He knows who you are; you can’t talk your way out of it as you humans normally do.”

Click here to order the print version of Bob, The Right Hand of God
Click here to purchase the Kindle version of Bob, The Right Hand of God.