I Bathed in Poo Water

Roun’ here yard waste pickup is the second and fourth Monday of the month. I miss this consistently so the black trashcan full of garden clippings, weeds, twigs, vines, several months of rainwater and mosquito larvae sits against the back fence of my jungle-like garden elevated from the ground by a couple of cinder blocks.  Yesterday morning after I kicked my children out the do… I mean, lovingly sent my kiddos to school I went for a walk around the neighborhood. I noticed some neighbors had their yard waste out. I did a quick calculation and thought, FOURTH MONDAY, and hustled home.

When I reached my yard I glanced up and down the street and saw my neighbors had some twigs by the curb. Good, the truck hadn’t come yet. We still had time to drag the can to the corner.

photo 2I knew it would be heavy, it certainly had several months of rain water and rotting yard refuse inside as well as a couple feet of sunflower stalks on top. I just had to get the dang thing down off the cinder blocks and  drag the can a hundred or so feet to the curb. This was the moment, the hideous can of stinky dead stuff needed to go.

I grabbed the handle and gave the can a soft tug and… it didn’t move. The climbing creeper vines from the fence behind it had begun to assimilate the can of yard crap into itself like the Borg. With a determined yank I pulled it off the cinder blocks and with a great kerplunk it plopped onto the grass at my feet.

In an unexpected turn of events a large tidal wave of black, poo scented rain water rose up from the depths of the can, through the tangle of  sunflower stalks and cobwebs and landed on top of my head, all over my right arm and bathed both feet.

After a stunned moment I reluctantly looked down at my body. Black chunks of grossness covered my arm. The black toxic waste-like substance pooled at my feet, squishing between my toes. And the smell, oh, Lord have mercy. I smelled like poo.

And mosquito larvae.

Bring. It. On.

In that moment it was all about me and the poo can of yard waste. It against me. Me against It. And It was not going to defeat me. This was the moment. That was the day. The yard waste was going out. We would never wait for, and forget about, another second or fourth Monday again.

I knew before I could go any further I had to dump the rest of the black, poo water out. The can was heavy and sloshy, and well, it was just plain cruel to leave that for the yard waste pickup guys. The water had to go. I took a deep breath and tipped it over. Gallons and gallons of black water poured into my garden. You can’t defeat me, I thought as I watched it flow, I lived in India for over a decade – I had Typhoid* for goodness sake.

Poo water, you’ve got nothing on me, I thought as I dragged the, now much lighter, can of yard waste to the curb. And that’s the moment I felt it. That’s when the water that had sloshed up on my head began to flow from my scalp in rivulets behind my ear and drip onto my shoulder before trickling down my bosom.

Lt dan 2Is that all you got? IS THAT ALL YOU GOT! I shouted in my head like Lieutenant Dan hanging from the mast and screaming at the storm.

We made it to the curb. I bathed, for real, and scrubbed a lot. In fact, I scrubbed places I may have never scrubbed before. When I walked clean and sparkly (well, at least clean) back into my bedroom I heard the telltale noises of the yard waste truck. It was like heaven in my ears; I feared they would have skipped my house or had already come, but no, here they were. They took it. They took it all! And I photographed them as evidence.

photo 1

Until next time, toxic poo water.

*Typhoid is spread by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person. (Super gross, I know)

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I Steal.

I have a confession to make. I steal.

It only happens in the Spring, and I’m not sure its technically stealing, but I’m pretty sure if I got caught by the First Presbyterian Church people (yes, I’m stealing from the Presbyterians), they would not be amused.

It’s lilacs. I can’t resist them. When I see bushes and bushes and bushes of blooming lilacs I just need to break off a few fragrant flowering buds and sneak them into my car. I try to choose lovely lavender bunches from the deep recesses of the bush, ones that wouldn’t be noticed anyway. I would never steal any other flower, like roses or tulips*, from someone’s property. I scold my children for plucking daisies and petunias. I believe planted, outdoor flowers are meant to be enjoyed in their designated planting grounds.

But oh, lilacs. They make me do crazy things.

lilacs 2

*except for that one incident in college

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Making It Happen – HOME

HOME

Fact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

 

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

There is no one coming home.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

I’ve lived in this apartment for the last three years and it’s really only been over the past six months that I’ve started to feel like this is my home. (I briefly wrote about this in my post, Dwelling.)

Then, a recent post where I discussed my cleaning habits got me thinking that maybe what I need is motivation. Since no one is coming home to motivate me, dear readers, YOU have become my motivation. I plan to post two small home improvement projects that I would like to work on during the next week and then follow up with you next Wednesday to see if this kind of accountability works for me.

Projects:

Gardening. Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions last week! I did get out and clean up and made some decisions for the planting. STARTED!

seeds

 

I’ll also plant tomatoes. Planting for the Northeast is May-June – so I have a few weeks until these go in the ground.

My 5 year old, P, chose the sunflowers. They’re my favorites, so she didn’t have to convince me. 🙂

Garden 2

I’ve decided to take this plot out and put in a glider or picnic table. Bye bye.

lilac

 

My beloved lilac tree is blooming. ❤ P and I mulched the front of the house this week – squirrels are already digging it up. Furry Monsters.

Earlier this week I wrote about my neighbor dying (here) and how that affects my Making it HAPPEN posts. Home improvement projects are on a short hiatus until we can move into the other half of the apartment later next month. (we hope) Then it’s gonna get CRAZY.

 

Projects for this week:

Clean fridge. (No pictures. You’re welcome. )

Clean out dining room closet.

closet

Welcome to my life. This is why I need this weekly post, without you, Beloved Readers, cleaning this out DOESN’T happen.

Making It Happen at Home – BEDROOMS

MIH BR

My neighbor died this week and that will greatly affect my Making it Happen posts in the coming weeks/months. More on this below – like all the way below…

Fact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

There is no one coming home.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

I’ve lived in this apartment for the last three years and it’s really only been over the past six months that I’ve started to feel like this is my home. (I briefly wrote about this in my post, Dwelling.)

Then, a recent post where I discussed my cleaning habits got me thinking that maybe what I need is motivation. Since no one is coming home to motivate me, dear readers, YOU have become my motivation. I plan to post two small home improvement projects that I would like to work on during the next week and then follow up with you next Wednesday to see if this kind of accountability works for me.

Projects:

1. Paint and shabby chic vintage vanity in my bedroom. DONE!

Before

 vanity

 

After

vanity I realize that this looks pretty crappy in the picture – it actually looks pretty good in real life. I do need to put some kind of sealant or something on top, but I’ll get to that. I probably added a little too much baking soda paste to the white paint and I’m sure I should have sanded the whole piece first – which I didn’t – but all in all, I’m happy with it. I found the recipe for the paint here.

 

The part where I tell you why my neighbor dying affects my Making it Happen momentum:

I will be blogging about this in more detail in a couple days, but the short story is, when I say neighbor, I mean the person who shares this residence with me. I live in an old Victorian that is split into two apartments and offices. Both apartments and offices share common areas, so my neighbor is not someone far away, but a person I see everyday and whose kitchen I need to walk into to go down to the basement to do my laundry. Communal like that.

For the last three years my daughters and I have shared two bedrooms and one bathroom, not the worst life by far, but with the death of my neighbor and the other half of the house opening up, we will be expanding into two more bedrooms, a large kitchen and another bathroom. All four of these rooms are in terrible shape and will need much work. Hence – why things are kind of in a flux right now.

My goal, after painting the vanity was to redo my BEDROOM (B for A to Z Challenge). However, my present bedroom is now to become my ten year old’s bedroom – I’m moving down to the second floor, etc. What this means is:

Projects for this week:

Gardening. I’ve got a black thumb, but my neighbor left some nice little plots that need to be cleaned up and planted.

garden 4

There have been tomatoes, peppers and flowers in here in the past. Any suggestions for good things to grow in the Northeast? Keep in mind my Black Thumb.

Garden 2

My own little plot. I’ve only ever gotten cilantro to grow here – I planted wildflowers in the Fall – we’ll see how they work out.

Grandmom's rose

My Grandmother LOVED pink and LOVED roses. She moved these roses from house to house three times before moving them here in the early eighties (She lived in this house for many years.) I cannot wait til they bloom again, this picture is from the Fall.

I realize the news of my neighbor’s passing is glossed over in this post, the reason being, I have an entire post dedicated to it already written and ready to post in a couple days.