Tag Archives: sarcasm

What NOT to do when planting trees.

Yesterday, we got up bright and early, drove over to my mother-in-law’s house, mowed the yard there, came back home, dropped off the lawnmower, and then made two trips down to the nursery where we picked up our new babies. No, not human babies. Baby trees. Well, two trees and one shrub, technically. ūüôā

We’re slowly landscaping the yard. Slowly because we are doing it all ourselves, and also because my husband and I hardly ever have time to work on the big stuff together due to our work schedules. A couple of days ago we finally the hole dug in the front yard for one of the trees we picked out, and decided it was time to pick them all up. They’ve been paid for for about a month and the super wonderful people at the local nursery had been taking care of them for us until we were ready.

The first trip yielded two trees, both put in the back of the vehicle. I had to drive with the back open (is it still a trunk on an SUV??), but we live close, so no worries there. We unloaded said trees in the driveway and headed back. The third tree was trickier.

The front yard tree is a Weeping Blue Cedar, in what they call a Serpentine shape. They are really cool looking. The trunks are wrapped in wire when they are saplings and manipulated into the ‘S’ shape, or even in spiral shapes, and the long evergreen needles drape down. This #%$@!* was planted in an Enormous pot. E-Nor-Mous. The first thing we thought was “We’re going to need a bigger hole.”, and the first thing the guy said was “I know what you’re thinking and the root ball is not as big as that pot.” That was a bit of relief. Only a bit.

He got his two young whipper-snapper helpers, and the trio leaned the tree over and began digging out the root ball. Once it was free, they loaded it onto a forklift (no joke) got it over to the vehicle and proceeded to load the thing horizontally. I was able to shut the back door, but Tim had to sit beside it on the folded over seat because the top of the tree was wrapped around the front passenger seat.

Our first difficulty came in getting the #$@!%^$ tree out of the car. We had an old throw rug under it so we did use that to pull it out, which wasn’t easy as we had to keep it as level as possible. Once it was out, we adjusted our original hole by about five inches, taking it from 19″ wide to 24″. Thankfully, we had made it deep enough as the woman who has been helping us told us how deep it needed to be. The second difficulty was getting the cedar from the driveway to the hole in the front yard. Again, that rug came in handy as we figured out we could drag it. And here’s where we were complete idiots.

Keep in mind that neither me nor my husband has ever planted a tree, except for those teensy-weensy pine tree saplings you plant for earth day or something when you’re like 10, during a school outing. I knew it only needed to planted to the top of the root bulb, not over, and we were further instructed to leave the burlap wrapping, but to cut the strings. So we get the scissors and I’m sitting next to this thing, cutting the strings and going one stupid step further and peeling them away from the roots. We managed to scoot it to the hole and drop it in. Wouldn’t you know, the damn thing is now perpendicular to the house, which means it hitting the front porch. No big deal, just turn it, right? Well, it would have been less of an ordeal if we hadn’t removed the strings. It weighs a freakin’ ton and we can’t lift it back out and the burlap is tearing and disintegrating wherever we grab it. I could get my hands under one side of it, which kinda, sorta, barely helped. It took ten minutes but we managed to turn the tree.

The other two trees were in much smaller pots, one of which I could easily carry. We dug two holes in the backyard, popped those suckers out and into the ground. After spending about 5 hours outdoors getting completely filthy and sweaty, I then showered and after a quick lunch with my husband, went to work. I am getting a start on a tan I wouldn’t normally have, so that’s pretty nice, though my face still feels warm today. We members of the pale club shouldn’t spend from 8:30-1:30 in full sunlight.

I’ve got some before/after pics. The before ones are a couple of months old, as indicated by the time stamp. I finally figured out how to get that to go away on our new camera. I hate having the date blasted across the front of my photos.

So our lessons learned are if you are planting something big and heavy with rope wrapped around a root ball, for the love of all things, don’t cut the strings before it’s in the ground, and if you can pay someone else to do it, then do it.

Front yard before we dug up two inches of sod. Ugh.

Front yard before we dug up two inches of sod. Ugh.


Weeping Blue Cedar Tree - the most awesome looking tree on the block.

Weeping Blue Cedar Tree – the most awesome looking tree on the block. Doesn’t look like it needs a 14″ D x 24″ W hole.


Backyard before all the blooming.

Backyard before all the blooming.


Contorted Filbert Shrub. Also known as Corkscrew Hazel and Harry Lauder's Walking Stick. Looks crazy cool during the winter.

Contorted Filbert Shrub. Also known as Corkscrew Hazel and Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick. Looks crazy cool during the winter.


Twisted Locust. His name is Andrew. That's right - Andrew.

Twisted Locust. His name is Andrew. That’s right – Andrew.





Denied Solitude

I have an almost overwhelming urge to make chocolate-chip cookies. They are my favorite cookie, and one of my very favorite dessert foods. The recipe I use is stored in my brain. It’s a task that takes no more than 15-20 minutes. Making this dough is an uncomplicated process.

I cannot make chocolate-chip cookies, and it’s killing me.

I am an introvert, which may not come as a surprise to people who read my blog, and probably isn’t a revelation for anyone who knows me really well. And when I say introvert, in this instance I am talking about the the way I recharge. Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, has a quote that about sums it up for me – “Solitude matters, and for some people it is the air that they breathe.”

We’ve had a house guest since the beginning of April. Our house is not huge, but obviously it can¬†accommodate¬†three people, and more if needed. The problem is that we’ve had a house guest since the beginning of April.

I would say that one of my best female friends is more of an introvert, and the other an extrovert. My husband is more on the extrovert scale, and my other best male friend is way opposite me on this scale. Which makes for an interesting friendship, but I think introverts need extroverts, and vice versa. Again, what I’m talking about here is how people like to regain their energy.

I never understood people that cannot be alone. We all know them, or perhaps one of you reading this is one. There are people I know who absolutely cannot stand to be alone. They feel bored, restless, and unhappy. I always felt bad for this person, feeling that they just don’t know How to be by themselves. But thinking about it in terms of energy, I can see how this might be an unfair assessment, although I think taking time for solitude is something everyone should embrace, even if it’s only a short amount of time.

There are activities I like to do when I’m alone. Minds out of gutters, people ūüėÄ ¬†Dishes, for example. I really don’t mind doing the dishes. I like cleaning. I love using a broom. I love doing renovation work on our home. I Love to bake, especially the aforementioned cookies, and I write. All of these things hinge on being by myself. The weird exception to this is my husband. He’s the only person I can be around and still do all of these things, even if I would prefer not doing them while he’s home. Thus enters my¬†quandary¬†of late.

Our house guest is a relative, and for reasons I’m not going into, I understand that this person needed to be out of their own home for a little bit of time, however, not for this length of time. The extra icing on the problem cupcake is that this person really has no clue that I’m an introvert. The only time I’m alone is when I’m in the car by myself, and that is no place to relax. There’s always this person in my house. I can feel it in the air. I am an introvert who hasn’t been by herself in almost two whole months. I tiptoe around and hide my vast unhappiness. My husband tells me that I don’t need to stop doing the things I love, but he knows how incapable I am of breaking past this invisible barrier. Our relative isn’t rude or mean, isn’t trying to be in the way of our lives, and would not care in the slightest if I go about the house stripping paint or sanding the doorways.

I care.

I care so much that I’ve pretty much stopped doing all of these things, and when I do my cleaning now, which isn’t something you can put off, I’m angry about it. We have been spending a lot of time in the yard lately, which is nice. A literal breath of fresh air. I like getting my hands dirty, and my husband enjoys working in the yard much more that I thought he would. I have to say, as he’s the only person in the house I communicate everything to, putting up with my immense feelings of being uncomfortable and unhappy daily makes him eligible for sainthood. We’ve spent a lot more time since April being out of the house, which is also draining to me. Work has been extra stressful lately, which isn’t helping. My work environment is busy and loud, and full of people. No one should ever be happy to be alone in a public restroom, but sometimes I breathe a sigh of relief when I get a chance to step into the restroom at work. Unfortunately, bathroom breaks are an extremely short-lived respite from the world. The other really sucky thing about this situation is being a married couple with someone else staying a super short distance down the hall.

Beside the housework, my writing has stalled. My stress levels continue to stay high, even if I’m not outwardly showing it, which means I can’t write. I’m stunted in my ability to put fingers to keys, or pen to paper, and have anything creative flow out of me. I feel awful. My May Stories stopped, like a car hitting ¬†wall. The novel editing I was doing back in February and March has fallen by the wayside. I don’t even open my writing files because there is no point. I already know my creative limitations when it comes to living in high stress for prolonged periods. The same thing used to happen when I played piano. My younger self would try to submit to the urge to play, try to push through the times when I felt aggravated or stressed or angry, but the music would not sound the same. I learned how my creativity suffers at the hands of mental unhappiness.

Our house guest isn’t going to be here too much longer. Things are getting back to where they need to be concerning this person’s own home, and I have an actual vacation coming up in June, with actual planned visitor/s. Now, one might think that trading in a long-term, unplanned relative for vacationing visitors would be more than I could handle, but I’m much looking forward to having the out-of-towners. People that know me well.

Besides the writing and housework, the thing that really gets me is those damn cookies. I rarely make chocolate-chip cookies with people in the house. Not the baking part. I love to grab the container out of the fridge once the dough is made and drop spoonfuls of heaven onto a baking sheet and 11ish minutes later share the warm, chewy goodness that is dessert perfection with everyone. But the making of them is sacred to me. I don’t make them often. Over the last several years, this cookie has become the thing I make when I get super stressed. It takes it away, and I feel unburdened afterwards.

For now, I’ll continue to go about my days looking normal, while deep inside, I’ll crave tiny bits of semi-sweet morsels, and dough in various stages. Oh, and if someone could do something about all the characters in my head who are indignant about my temporary abandonment of them, that’d be great. Maybe they’d like a cookie.


We do not have the same taste in Muzak Pt. 2

In the car listening to Cracks (Flux Pavilion Remix) feat. Belle Humble

Me: You didn’t like it, did you?

Tim: We’re never going to listen to that again.

Me: Aaawwww

Tim: You should probably go ahead and delete it.

Me: I just bought it!

Tim: Oh, sweetie, no.

Me: (irritated sigh ensues) Further proving that Jeremy and I are the only ones of our group that like Dubstep.

Tis The Season

Ah, December. Winter is coming, the holidays approach, busy times for everyone, but for some of us, December is a giant month of crap. By some of us, I mean anyone who works in retail.

I hate December. I can’t stand the extra-crankiness it seems to bring out in people, their rushed attitudes, and how any tiny thing sets people off. Yes, there are perfectly pleasant people I encounter each and every day that I work, and always will be, but those people will never tip the December scales back in the direction of Woo-Hoo.

Here’s a few holiday tips for all those non-retail people:

1: If you are on your cell phone and speak loudly during your entire transaction at the register, do not expect my cashiers to be anything more than robotic towards you. Seriously.

2: Throwing your credit card across the counter only gets it tossed back once it’s been swiped. Don’t look insulted. You deserve it.

3: Stores start getting Christmas crap in September. If you had to have that particular decoration, mid-December is probably too late to get it. It’s not my fault; don’t be mad at me for not having it in stock.

4: Telling Any employee, Anywhere, that you’re sorry they have to work on Christmas while you are shopping on Christmas is soooooo¬†unnecessary. Please don’t. Hold it in. Really. Really, really.

5: Remember, the teensiest bit of kindness does go a long way. We’re really trying to be pleasant and nice, but we can’t have rainbows, reindeer, and sugar plums coming out of us 24/7.

Oh, and who cares if someone says Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. I’m pretty sure religious holidays are a hol-i-day. Get over it and stop being insulted. There are much more important issues in the world to expend energy on.

And now, I think I’m going to go have some rum. I mean, rum with a splash of eggnog. Uhh, I mean eggnog.


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