Monday, November 7, 2011

This was our first Growing Season on the land

Another installment from my husband:

“With great land comes a boat load of work”  Confucius

Ahhhh, the sun is shining. The birds are singing, the grass is growing, the trees and flowers are blooming.  I now hate this soul sapping, muscle sucking, bloody place.  We first we saw this new land it was like Christopher Columbus finding the new world.  Back then, it was fall, the sky was perfect, a light crispness was in the air and the homestead was beautiful.  There were charming little critters playfully scampering all around.  We were sold.  Who could pass up this Shangri-La?  It was our dream come true.  Sure the winter was a little snowy, but I like to shovel the snow and next year promised a new snow blower under the Christmas tree.  And now, with all of my new experiences, I could probably start the thing and even use it.
But now winter is gone. That beautiful snowy back yard has turned into a lawn the size of many mid-sized foreign countries.  That quaint little stream cutting through the back yard has become an evil twin to the overflowing Mississippi river, but without the help from the Army Corps of Engineers.  Those cute little plants we so admired were mob fronts for weeds, every type of weed known in the universe. The kind that brand the skin and tech maddeningly. The type of weeds that when you go on to the internet and ask about weed removal the responses are all filled with fear, despair and wistful thoughts of napalm.  The kinds of weeds where people answer your question with, “I don’t know, but when you do find out, let me know” kinds of questions.

So now we have a few chores that need to be done – on 6 ACRES!  But we have chosen our lot in life and continue forth knowing that we will never have a day for the rest of our lives where there isn't "something” that needs to be done.  On the bright side, we now have an inventory of tools, motorized equipment, electric gizmos, pneumatic thingys, and gardening machines that is worth more than my car. When my time comes, I damn well better be the winner in the “He who has the most tools (etc.) when he dies – wins” category. Case in point, we own an auger. Do you even know what that is?
But all of this is a set up for the theme of this section of our continuing saga.  Remember the cute little critters that were scampering around?  I have confirmed and been approved by the House and Senate to declare war.  Not just any war, we are talking the all out, land scorching, high explosive, take no prisoners type of war that will be read about in future history books, the next version of Sun Tzu’s Art of War (Kindle Version – iPad version coming soon), and to be taught at the Army War College in Carlisle Pennsylvania. 

It started last fall when I came across a recently deceased cute little chipmunk in our garden.  The same garden that is now the showcase for multiple varieties of genetically enhanced fast growing/spreading weeds.  I felt so bad for this little guy.  I scooped him up and carried his poor little dead body to the back of our property (about seven miles through mowable lawn that grows 3 inches if you look at it sideways) for a ceremony and burial.

Thereafter, my estimation is that the little dead guy had quite the family, no wait, quite the extended family, no wait – did this bastard ever stop reproducing?  I mean I’m now sure I know what killed him – exhaustion (and all those damn kids no doubt).  Maybe some of his extended-extended family came in from out of town to pay their respects to this little blight. And they liked our place so much, they relocated to our porch.  If I could collect rent money, we would all never have to work again – ever.  They cretainly work, so they must have the money for rent. They are miners, they are wire snippers, and they work 24 hours a day.  We have holes everywhere.  The tree stump near the road must be their holiday retreat – and business is booming.  When I come home there are usually two or three actually sitting on top of the stump WAVING at me while I pull in the driveway.  Sure they are cute, but everyone knows that too much of a good thing is very bad. Reports are that some of the damage they can do would be on par with termite damage.

So I do what every homeowner does, I go onto the web and look for a solution.  After all – the web knows all.  So I start Google up and type in Chipmunk – that’s it.  There is a Wikipedia page detailing the historical and biological data about our furry friends.  The other 14,756,002 entries (found in .06 seconds according to Google) were about eliminating these little scamps.  So maybe I’m not alone here.  So out of all those 14,756,002 pages (found in .06 seconds), almost ALL of them were people saying, “I don’t know how to get rid of them, but if you find out…”. 

So there are some suggestions that may or may not work.  I start to get my arsenal together.  I’ll wait until the time is right to strike.  But then the dog barked, furiously snarling toward the door. For a microscopic dog, our chihuahua has an impressive bark. I opened the door for her.  The 4 pounds of unleashed terror bounds out ... and freezes two feet from the threshold.  She then looks at me with those, “well, aren’t you coming?  I’m not doing this alone” eyes and I decide to follow her out.  Once we are both on the porch, she darts to the walkway between the porch and garage and stops, ready to strike without restraint. No warning, just 4 pounds of furry death.  All the target will see it teeth... and ears.  I would not want to be on the receiving end of that.  She might break my skin, or give me a nasty scratch. 

She scans the perimeter.  While her keen dog senses are attempting to zero in on the trouble, right behind her a chipmunk hops up on the walk way.  RIGHT BEHIND HER.  Not down the road, not peering through a floor board, RIGHT BEHIND HER.  The little overfed chipmunk terrorist is eyeballing at the tail of my guard dog.  What’s my guard dog doing?  She is menacingly staring down a weed.  If looks could kill, that weed would be dead, but weeds never die, do they?  Meanwhile, I see that tiny chipmunk gang leader shrug it’s tiny little shoulders and go back to its den of evil under my porch.  The dog has completely won the stare down with the plant, none the wiser that evil had come so close to smacking her on the butt.

Do you see my dilemma?  The chipmunks are trying to take over! This weekend starts the Offensive.  Tomorrow my long range air rifle, night vision scope, extra ammo, samurai sword (for close in combat), black night clothing-of-death, and claymore mines (note:  on the top of the mine there are the words “point this end towards enemy” etched into the metal.  I must remember to heed those instructions. 

Once the gear gets here from Amazon, it's on!



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