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August 27, 2008

It Was This Big

Yesterday was a pretty good day. All caught up with work and ready to do some catch up on the yard work. My neighbors can testify that yard work does not get done as often as they would like here at the J'Ollie Home. We live on a nice corner lot. When I moved back here several many years ago (this is my childhood home; my then four-year-old and I moved in with my mom after her dad and I split up) I was in my 30's, full of beans and plans. I started a garden with the help of my nephew.

It was a fairly big garden, I'm guessing 20 x 30 feet. Full of coreopsis, coneflowers, lilies, and roses. Lots of other pretties. I liked that garden so much that I thought a few more garden beds would be even better.

Eight more. Big ones.

"Man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"

Starting projects is my specialty. Maintaining and completing them is altogether a different matter. Gardens require a lot of maintainance. Working full time is not conducive to having the energy to maintain a whole lotta flowery real estate. I am jealous of admire folks with beatifully maintained gardens.

The gardens have really gone to pot. Not that kind of pot. We've been down-sizing the gardens in a desperate attempt to make it look a little more civilized and easier to maintain. The deer have been very helpful in pruning back all the stuff I'm trying to keep. Weeds? Nah...they don't eat no stinkin' weeds.....just the lilies and the good stuff. I wish they liked ivy as much as they liked my Stargazers.

We have the Ivy From You-Know-Where. It's that pretty English ivy that graces old brick buildings. Pretty till you get a closer look and realize that it's prying the siding away from the house, it's weasled its way under the windows, up to the top of the chimney, and will soon very soon will be sneaking down the chimney through the fireplace and into the living room where it will smother the cats and cover Mr. Sweetie any other inanimate objects in pretty green clingy foliage.

Fall is coming. I want to use the fireplace. I want chestnuts roasting on a open fire and some schmaltzy romance and a beer or two while we warm our toes. I want to toast marshmallows.

The Green Beast must be destroyed.

This Old House recently had an episode that featured a couple of homeowners renovating their gorgeous old three-story manor. Part of the renovation included ripping out all the the old ivy that was destroying the stucco. Two women, grabbing vines at the base of the house and r-r-r-r-r-ipping it off all the way past the second floor. As they stand on the ground. Easy schmeasy.

Right. Did I mention we have ivy on steroids?

We started at the bottom and ripped and tore and cussed and climbed a 10-foot ladder and ripped some more. Leaving about 20-odd feet of ivy dangling from the upper half of the chimney laughing and taunting us.

This is gonna mean somebody has to get a really really tall ladder and climb to the top of the chimney to tear off off the tons of remaining ivy. Or hop on the roof and sneak up on it from behind.

This is a job for Handy Man. Mr Sweetie is many things but he is not Handy Man. He is n.o.t. a.l.l.o.w.e.d. to climb ladders. He already broke his neck once. Once is enough.

I am not Handy Man either. I wouldn't mind climbing a really really tall ladder as long as there was a soft place to land when I look down and get dizzy and fall off of the ladder. I wouldn't mind climbing the roof if I had Spider Man's webby stuff shooting out of my sleeves. Maybe I could strike up an aquaintance with one of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Or some tall guy at the grocery store. Tall guys are always very obliging when a short lady asks them if they could reach her the Buffalo Wings way up on the top shelf of the freezer.

"Hello, would you mind grabbing that bag of frozen tater tots on the top shelf for me? thankyouverymuch. Oh, and by the way, would you come home with me and spend a few hours ripping ivy off of my chimney? No? There's a basketball game this afternoon? Darn."

Team Ivy: 1 Team J'Ollie: 0

That score is gonna change.