There’s Always Something

We had big winds last night that blew leaves and twigs all over my yard, especially in the gravel areas and pathways. What seems strange to me, is that the winds always blow these things into my yard, but once here, they never get blown back out again. They just stay, which makes the ornamental rock around my garage and house look terribly unkempt.

The people who are laying down the rock told me I will have to get a leaf blower to keep the rocks clean, otherwise, the leaves decay and sink to the bottom of the graveled area, and will eventually destroy the weed-blocking fabric. I figured I’d have to blow the leaves off the rocks once a year or so, but the way things look, I’ll have to do it rather frequently. Also, to my surprise, plants do grow in the rocks, though supposedly, they are easy to pick out because of shallow roots, which is only partly true. Some are easy, but some are as difficult to remove as they would be from soil.

I always thought the purpose of xeriscaping at least part of a yard was to make it maintenance free, but as it turns out, I was wrong about that. Still, my main reason for the rocks around the house and garage was not easy maintenance so much as to protect the foundations, and the reason for the pathways was for my safety as I age. I don’t suppose I’d mind the work as much if it were my leaves and twigs settling in the yard, but they’re not. I don’t have any big trees any more. Mine were diseased, and had to be cut down. I will plant new trees, but it will be years before they would affect the xeriscaping areas of my yard.

Looking on the bright side, I get to buy a new tool! I’ll probably get a leaf blower that plugs in rather than a battery-operated one to make sure it’s not too heavy for me to carry around because there is a lot of area to cover.

Unless there is a way to redirect the wind to send the detritus back where it came from? I’ll work on that.

Meantime, the good news of the day is that the mechanic came to pick up my car so he could fix the brakes. Yay! I also enjoyed showing off my garage to the mechanic and his helper. It really is quite a wonderful building, and well organized, if I do say so myself, with metal shelves along one side, racks to hang long-handled tools on the other, and counters under the window for a work space.

More good news is that a daylily I planted a couple of years ago finally bloomed! I was surprised to see it was orange for some reason, perhaps because the other daylily, which did bloom last year, was yellow.

I’ve been checking out daylilies, and found a company that will sell untagged batches, so I wouldn’t know what I was getting. Sounds like fun! I discovered that it’s possible to plant them in the summer, so it would give me a more interesting project for the next few months than blowing leaves and twigs and such.

Good or not-so-good, there’s always something new, it seems, when it comes to landscaping and gardening.

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What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Accomplishments

I was out pulling weeds, battling grasshoppers, and feeding mosquitoes (albeit unwillingly), when a when a white pickup pulled up to the house. The driver got out and started questioning me about my garage. He looked familiar, so I wasn’t unduly concerned, then it dawned on me — this was the building inspector.

He’d been checking on the garage occasionally, even after all the structural elements were in, which is where I thought his authority stopped, but apparently not. So I showed him the garage. To be honest, even if he was a stranger, I might have shown him the garage anyway — I do like that little building! In fact, I was talking to a friend the other day and when she asked about the garage, I said, “I love my garage.” She laughed and responded, “I bet twenty-five years ago you’d never have been able to imagine yourself saying that.” I had to admit she was right. Even as little as two years ago — or even one — I couldn’t have imagined saying those words let alone meaning them.

Well, that’s not true. I mean, it is true about my fondness for the garage, but I doubt I’d have let a stranger in to see it. Too many felonious fellows around here.

I was amused by the way the inspector studied my fake window. I’m not sure what he thought — that the builders had changed the plans after his last inspection? I told him it was just a decoration, a bit of artwork. He didn’t seem impressed, but he did say that a fake window was one sure way of keeping out thieves. (So see, I’m not the only one who is aware of the way things — tools especially — go missing around here.) He questioned about the electricity since he hadn’t inspected it before the walls went up, but the state had inspected it, and state supersedes county. I didn’t have a printout of the inspection report, but I offered to send him one, but he said he didn’t need to see it.

He also studied the framework of my gazebo. There was a fairly new concrete pad in front of the old garage, and after the garage was torn down, there the pad sat, screaming out for a roof. So I’m obliging. The lumberyard had overestimated the amount of materials for the lumber pack we’d ordered to build the garage so basically, the gazebo is free. Well, except for the labor.

The inspector questioned me about my plans for the gazebo, so I asked if we needed a permit since my understanding was that we didn’t. “Not really,” he said. Whatever that means. Maybe that if he decided we needed a permit we did? He seemed satisfied when I told him the railings were all the walls there would be, and that it just needs a roof. (Apparently, it’s the enclosing of a space that makes it a building rather than simply something that is built.)

He might be back to inspect the gazebo when it’s done, but I don’t see a problem. I’m sure the contractor will make the roof windproof, using the hurricane connectors as he did with the garage. Because, yes, winds up to 90 miles an hour have been clocked around here, and yes, people do lose their roofs. (Rooves? As in hoof/hooves?)

Oh, I almost forgot — he said he was signing off on the garage and would be sending me the signed report.

There are still a few things that need to be finished, such as the gutters fixed, gravel poured in front of the garage to bridge the gap between the alley and the apron, and hangers need to be hung on inside walls for my tools, but apparently, for all practical and official purposes, the garage is done.

P.S. As I was writing this, one of the workers stopped by to move the counters I rambled on about yesterday. They really are too heavy for one person, even a strong person, otherwise he would have already moved them, but my knees are healed enough that I was able to help get them inside the garage. Yay! One more thing accomplished.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator