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July 20, 2008

Where's the Green?

I went to bed last night with a heavy load on my mind - grass.  You know the stuff that's supposed to be green, plush, barefoot strolling grass. Our grass.  What grass?  You should see our yard (or maybe not).  It's a mess.  Actually, I take that back, it is a Dirty Creeper Crawler Mess!  I'm having "beautiful lawn" withdrawal.  I dream of green, plush grass under my toesies, and pretty mulched flower beds with no weeds, and a hammock hung between 2 tall trees, and mowing.  Yes, I dream of mowing too.  I love to mow.  I'm a master class mower.  I even put in checker boards when I mow.  I like to play like that.  BeautifulLawn.jpg Bob has been working on our front yard for 3 years and it looks worse now than when we moved in.  I'm not complaining, although I know it sounds like I am, but when we moved into our home on 3 acres in Maryland in 1998, we really did have a yard that needed a lot of care.  In less than 3 years Bob had succeeded in making it magnificent.  Our 3 acres looked like a golf course and I looked forward to popping on my iPod and Bose earphones, throwing my leg over my zero-turn radius Kabota, and spending 2 hours mowing our gloriously green yard.  I liked it so much, in fact, that I offered to mow our neighbor's yards (7 yards all on 3 acres each).  Of course this was too much work, so Bob got himself a Kabota too (yes, the first one was mine, all mine.  A mother's day present the 2nd year we were in the house) and we would mow the yards together.  We had a nice little business going there for a while during the time that Bob was out of work -but that's another story.  I have lots of stories.  Can you tell?  I miss mowing.  I miss grass.  I miss flowers and pretty shrubbery.  So why is our yard such a mess you ask?  Well, I'll tell ya.  Because when we bought this "Money Pit" we had dreams of the austere grandeur of plush green grass, perfectly proportioned shrubbery, colorful flowers, and waterfalls in the backyard.  I could even hear the music playing in the back of my head.   It was almost like a scene out of a movie with Tom Hanks and Shelly Long standing in the front yard of a beautiful home in all its glory and seeing the dream, the possibilities, the "money pit."   I know, a little over the top, but hey! you should see one of our neighbor's yards.  It is a gardener's paradise, with waterfalls that you can enjoy for hours, and butterflies, and lots of chirping birds.  I'll walk up to his garden and sit (he lets us do that.  He is a very nice man) and relax on his community bench in his scrumptious garden and pray - at least for grass.  "Lord, please give me grass.  And rain.  And dirt with no Bermuda grass or crab grass or weeds.  Pretty please?" (emphasis on "pretty").  What in tarnation do we have to do in North Carolina to get a decent yard of grass?  Oh, excuse me, I meant - what does Bob have to do in North Carolina to get a decent yard of grass?  He's supposed to know everything.  I've been convinced for 16 years that Bob knows everything about everything - well, almost.  Except when it comes to conversations with me, and then I know everything and I have him perfectly trained, like a good doobie, to say "Yes Dear" at the drop of a hat.  But he really does know "almost" everything, at least everything about making grass grow and green up at his command until now.  So why is our yard still a Dirty Creeper Crawler Mess?  (I sure am asking you a lot of questions), because North Carolina dirt is stubborn.  Very stubborn.  Dang that stubborn dirt.  I just want to go out there and give it a strong, long talkin' to.  I want to point my forefinger at it and give it a piece of my mind.  Because, you see, I don't like stubborn.  I especially don't like stubborn dirt.  Don't get me wrong, here.  Bob has done a lot of work.  I mean a LOT of work on the yard.  First thing we did was rip out all the dead or overgrown shrubbery and trees and then we ripped up a brick driveway that was only 6 feet wide and very bumpy because someone forgot to put down the right foundation and laid the brick, miserably, by hand.  And before we replaced our driveway, Bob put in a massive drainage system connected to our neighbor's yards on either side of our home, correcting the creek we had running across our yard every time it rained and flooding our driveway and our neighbor's yards.  He did that all by himself, I'll have you know, with his tractor.  Bob has a nice, big Kabota tractor too.  And he worked for weeks putting in that drainage system.  Praise the Angels!  it worked.  I told you he knew everything.  Then he proceeded to dig out trenches for an irrigation system so we could water our yard (when we have one) and we could hear the "pop-pop" of the sprays as they come on at 5am and the "shhhhhhhhish" of the water perfectly watering our lawn (when we have one).  For some reason the irrigation system isn't working yet and he has been working on it since early spring.  He hauled in 21 loads of dirt to regrade the front yard too.  Talk about a huge expense!  He worked for hours on end regrading the front yard after putting in all the irrigation piping and sprinkler heads.  Bobby Bear even cleaned up his mess from the sidewalk (with the help of the children and mwah - that's me.  Yes, I helped - a little).  But now all these weeds are growing in around the sidewalk to the front door and they are about 2 feet tall, so 2 nights ago I got out there with a shovel and started pulling up those itchy, prickly things and cussin' the entire time.  The problem is, is that we can't weed wack 'em down or mow them down because that would break off the pretty new sprinkler heads Bob installed.  So we have to pull them up by hand.  Bob sprayed them with Roundup the other day, but they are stubborn too.  Everything in North Carolina is stubborn.  Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn.  We really have to do something about that.  Start a community petition against stubborn dirt or something.  I didn't finish pulling the weeds.  Bob helped me for about 2 minutes and then he went in the house to bed.  Then I went to bed.  It was a full moon.  Actually, it has been a full moon every night for about 4 nights.  Is that normal?  I'm scratchin' my head on that one.  So here we are with weeds around our sidewalk, and a Dirty Creeper Crawler Mess in our front yard.  Makes me itch just thinking about it.  If anyone out there has a clue about how to plant and maintain a green, plush lawn in Southern North Carolina, please let me know so I can tell my Big Bear how to do it and then he'll think I know everything and say "Yes Dear" and then I won't have to listen to him growl anymore and he can finally hear me purrr.  Because although I haven't been growling, (he does it too well and I don't want to compete with the best) I've been a grouch.  A Grinchy Grouch.  And Bears and Grouches don't make good company.  Thank you. Susan

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