momzonroof

… she's not coming down 'til it all makes sense again…


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Br’er Rabbit

brer-rabbit    I have 4 minutes this morning, onaccounta someone forgot their gym shoes, so I get to run ’em down to the school..

Yesterday was for slaying dragons. The bushy, prickly, thickety, scratchy, pokey, grabby, wrappy, kind of dragon… Giant thicket of briars and bushes and scrub trees and grapevines, oh it’s Bre’r Rabbit paradise, grew up along the pasture fence, and was already threatening to pull the fence apart. Originally, this is my story and I’m sticking to it, originally, there was a patch of milkweed there, which I was allowing to grow what fer feeding the Monarch caterpillars, as an homage to my mom, Patron Saint of the Monarch Butterfly… And also because butterflies are forces for GOOD. So I asked hubs not to mow or weedwack the milkweed patch…

But then a couple scrub trees started growing there amongst the milkweed, and you know what they say about scrub trees, “a stitch in time saves nine”, which means, you should clip ’em when they’re young, when you can just use little pruner shears, because holy mamma, do they get thick and woody and downright TREE-LIKE real fast! And me without a chainsaw!

I was taking a little break from my continued epic battle with the wisteria… (I’m to the point with that where I now realize that it’s gonna take me about 5 years of continued vigilance and hacking and digging and throttling and smothering, to actually beat that thing. It is entrenched.)… so I needed a break, because I was feeling a little tiny bit…sigh… depressed…exhausted…resigned…

Hey wait, NO, I wasn’t taking a break, I was actually dragging a tarp full of wisteria cuttings around back of the pasture, but I was also depressed, exhausted, and resigned.. and I looked at that mess of a thicket and I thought, “Hmmm… I bet I can eradicate THAT thing too, while I’m at it..”  Doesn’t make any sense that I thought that.

I didn’t measure it, but if the whole patch wasn’t at least 10 ft by 20ft I’ll eat my hat. I grabbed the pruners and started slicing and thrashing my way into the heart of the beast, Once inside,  I could see that it was 3 trees growing up and over the fence, plus grapevines appearing from nowhere, JUST OUT OF THE GROUND underneath the trees, reaching up into the branches and over into the fence, all through it, strangling, ripping, pulling… Plus assorted briars and brambles and Virginia Creeper and poison ivy. Let me say this about trees that you’re considering cutting down with a hand-saw: They will always appear to be much more “doable” than they are. Your estimation of your cutting abilities will be HIGHLY overinflated. Your estimation of their GIRTH will be wildly underestimated. This combination will result in much exertion, sweating, gesticulating, and cursing. And giving up. And sitting down. And getting back up and taking another wack at it. More cursing. More sitting. More cutting. it starts to form a pattern and you get in the zone and you just go with it, and at some point you quit believing that you can cut through that tree, but then suddenly the saw lurches through, and the tree falls and you fall the other direction and then you might find yourself on your butt, laughing in a sorta hysterical, involuntary, measurably relieved  way.

In the end, all I could really do was slash the strangling woody vines to free the fence, cut down the trees and let them fall where they may, and then leave the whole steaming mess to dry out in the sunshine.  I’m hoping in a couple weeks to be able to light a match and be done with it.

Some things seem impossible, and so you start to walk past them and hope they’ll go away. That only works for a while, and also tends to allow things to grow even more outta hand. I’ve learned this lesson before, countless times,  I’ve learned it about vegetables rotting in the vegetable drawer, mountains of laundry mildewing in the basement, unpaid wage taxes, and I’ve learned it about people…  I  must really love moving mountains. I sometimes wonder what it must be like to be one of those people who takes care of things when they first come up… who dot their I’s and cross their T’s and cut their lawns in those amazing diagonal cross-hatches.. they dead-head their dahlias, sweep their sidewalks, and prune their apple tree branches BEFORE the fruit grows so heavy it bends and breaks the branch…

But do you know anyone like that who isn’t also a giant anal-retentive MARTHA? Me either…


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Every time I see that little frog with leaf umbrella he charms me all over again… he’s so… what is he…smug? You would be too if your were the inventor of frog umbrellas.

There’s a rumor that goes around in our family, my mom perpetuates it, but she says that her Great Grandpap Vannauker was the original inventor of the umbrella, but some other dude scooped him on the patent. And so, didn’t we narrowly escaped the scenario in which, on a rainy day, you might have been advised to grab your VANNAUKER on the way out the door… Also, we Vannauker descendants narrowly escaped being multi-bajillionaires…

Poppy snores on my kneecap, unimpressed..

Yesterday I was ruing the day my dad gave me three wisteria starts… Why THREE? Why did I accept them? There’s a lesson in there, when someone hands you three of something, you don’t have to take them all. You can decline, or deflect, or demure.. something… Or you can share them. Wisteria is one of those things that just keeps on giving and giving and giving.. It’s like that Friendship Bread that goes around sometimes…  I planted one wisteria to climb the back porch pergola. That’s where I should’ve stopped. Oh sure it’s beautiful and lush and green and oh the gorgeous purple blossoms… Because it’s a challenge about three times a year, hacking it back away from the table and chairs, all those needy creepy vines, reaching, ever reaching, demanding attention, tickling, licking and curling around your arm when you’re trying to enjoy your corn on the cobs… Wisteria can be downright creepy.

Here’s why Dad was gifting me with wisteria, because he had to dig up his wisteria that was creeping all over his house and threatening to lift the roof and whatnot, he had to move his 40 miles from his house, literally, he moved it to the cottage at the lake! And probably because I said something off the cuff like, “Oh, wisteria is so pretty, I wish I had me some…”

YEsterday I wrastled with a wisteria that was allowed to grow unchecked for 10 years around the stump of the Tubby tree.  (Tubby was the dog who lived under the Tubby tree back when my mom was a girl). I didn’t know what to do with it when Dad gave it to me, so I planted it at the Tubby tree, and imagined a wisteria covered stump, oh wouldn’t that be adorable? No. It would not. Not for one minute was it ever adorable. It never flowered until it reached up into the pussy willow and started to strangle the pussy willow. THEN it flowered in triumph! It also grew into and over the horse fence, and tried to break my horse’s neck. Here’s me, standing at the dishpan, not a care in the world, just la dee da, washin’ dishes, jammin’ to Classical QED, and here’s my tiny horse, I just happen to glance up and notice her in the pasture, moving back and forth in a strange manner, along the fence, back and forth, back and forth… I’m used to seeing her scratch her big horsey butt on the fence, she’s nearly ruined whole sections with her little scratching shenanigans, but this was a different motion for some reason… Something told me to move fast. There she was, mincing around, with a woody wisteria branch about a half inch diameter, which means that thing was STRONG, wrapped around her neck, and she’s not quite panicked yet, she’s still exploring her predicament… but when a horse panics, they bolt, it happens so fast, and they’ll break their own neck or their leg. So you know, you untangle your horse, and you go back in the house and send your husband out to hack down the wisteria while you stand alone in the bathroom and cry… some situations… are trying… 

I’ve worked on it two different days now, a couple hours at a time, and I probably have two more days to go. Took about 20 sizeable branches out of the pussy willows, cut wisteria out of the pasture fence, the bushes, the compost bins, and the white picket fence. I’m documenting this, because it’s a huge process, and I don’t want to forget, and I want everyone to know, especially the wisteria, that even though I know it won’t be easy, and it may take several years, I WILL WIN. You hear that wisteria? I will triumph over you. I will vanquish you. Just ask the saw-grass that used to be where the pussy willows are now. That’s right, you can’t, because I vanquished it.

Oh, I should ask, before I obliterate, destroy, and dessimate it, does anyone want a wisteria start?

wisteria-wearing