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If confession is good for the soul, here is an opportunity to share your secret (or not so secret) dumb or dangerous mistakes in gardening. Sharing may help heal the hidden wounds to your pride and ego (and may even alleviate the pain of physical injuries), while also helping other gardeners avoid dangerous pitfalls in the "do-it-myself" urge to personally handle all garden chores.
Here are some of my dumberest adventures in gardening:
During the spate of hurricanes in 2004 in Florida, I became concerned about a massive oak tree with dead limbs directly above the roof of my house. Thinking I could save money by not hiring a professional tree surgeon and doing the job myself, I bought a monster 32" chain saw on eBay and rented 25 ft of scaffolding from a nearby rental center so that I could trim the tree.
It was rough going from the start, much harder work being a lumberjack than I had anticipated. The worst came when a large tree limb I had roped in the middle and cut off at the trunk swung directly down toward me and hit the scaffolding. My instinct was to step back away from the falling limb. In doing so, I stepped off the edge of the scaffold and descended 25 ft to the ground, elevator style, only without the elevator. Fortunately, I sustained only a sprained ankle, which remains more swollen than the other ankle even after a year. I could have easily been killed. One of the real dangers is that the chain saw continued to run at the top of the scaffolding, but fortunately it didn't fall on top of me. Though barely able to stand up, I had to climb back to the top of the scaffold to shut down the chain saw. Of course, I was home alone during all this debacle, so if I had required emergency treatment I would have been up the proverbial crick.
But I wasn't yet ready to concede defeat. After a day or two of rest, I cautiously climbed back up the scaffold and tried taking out some more limbs. This time a very large limb came down suddenly and wedged between the rungs of the scaffolding. I had to take the scaffold apart with great effort and saw the limb in short segments to release it from the scaffolding. I threw in the towel at this point and hired a professional for $600.
My own "do-it-myself" tree trimming attempt to save money ended up costing me late fees on the return of the scaffold, plus damage costs to replace the scaffold sections bent by the falling tree limb, plus basically wasting the $400 I spent on the massive chain saw becuase it has been in and out of the repair shop constantly and currently isn't running due to a broken cog in the chain drive, plus the $600 I ended up spending for the tree surgeon to come and finish the job. It turned out to be more expensive than if I had just hired someone to come in the first place and I could have been spared the pain and the "near-death" experience.
Another time, I was standing on the ground pulling jungle growth size smilax vines out of the top of a tree. I pulled so hard that an end of a tree limb snapped off and came down like a pointed javelin directly toward my face. It hit my forehead and missed my right eye by only about 1/2 inch. I did seek medical attention for that incident because the pointed tree limb made a deep puncture wound above my eyebrow and I didn't think I had done a good enough job of washing out all the debris that was caught in the wound. Fortunately again, there was no resulting infection nor other permanent damage, but it made me aware of the need for safety goggles, hard hats, and lots of other safety equipment I tend to never wear for jobs like that.
What are some of your "errors in judgement" where passion to get the job done fast, save money, or a larger-than-life ego caused you to pursue some less than safe activity in the garden? Your stories need not be either of the extremes of hilarious or tragic. We can all learn from each other's simple mistakes.
I am going to print this and hand it to my neighbor who is considering doing some tree work on his own after our huge storm...he wants to save money. Maybe this will be enough to get him to think the way his wife and I think he should. Just hire someone and be done with it. Luckily, if he doesn't listen, his wife is a nurse.
I certainly agree with the above advice, though it took me lots of personal pain and I ended up losing money rather than saving it on my lumberjacking attempt. When I saw what the professional had to do to bring the tree down safely, by walking on metal spikes attached to his boots onto the branch ends and cutting off small sections at a time, I knew that if I had proceeded with my plan (after removing a few branches) to just notch the giant oak and let it fall, I almost certainly would have killed myself and it likely would not have fallen in the trajectory I thought it would, so it probably would have crushed my house or my neighbor's house (depending on its whim in falling).
I've learned my lesson. Anyone in the market for a 32" Stihl chainsaw (not currently in working order)??? LOL
Jeremy, methinks you might be related to Tim "The Toolman" Taylor. LOL
I can't offhand think of my gardening mistakes. I know I've made some. Just can't remember them at the moment. So can I tell a completely different story. You'll get a big laugh out of it I'm sure.
I have a 90 lb Samoyed, a big white hairy beast of a dog. I called around to have him groomed. His hair is about 4 inches long most of the time. He HATES any form of grooming--haircuts, bathing, toothbrushing, etc. Most of the groomers I talked to wouldn't handle dogs over 50 lbs. And others wanted an ungodly amount of money. I'm just a commoner; I don't have a lot of spare change, ya know.
So I tackled the job myself. It wasn't pleasant. Sam wouldn't sit still and everytime he moved, a chunk of hair disappeared. It didn't help my confidence much that he growled and snapped at me either. But at last, the job was done. Lemme just show you before and after pictures.
Well, that was about a year ago, and the big guy is back in his glory now. And no longer I am embarrassed to be seen with him. He travels everywhere with me--to the store, the bank, etc. For a while, I wouldn't take him with me and he felt like I was punishing him. But I sure didn't want anyone to see him like that--especially since I'd have to admit that I did it! LOL
Oh my goodness Nancy, I still laugh everytime I see that picture. HARHAR Poor Sam, has his dignity EVER been restored?
And Jeremy, I thought I surely must have something to tell on myself, but after reading your "horror" story, everything paled. I am ashamed to say I giggled through the whole thing, not because it was funny, but that it was so bizarre & went from bad to worse, you know? Sometimes its only by the grace of God that we walk (or limp) away from some of the things we do.
edited to say:
Nancy, I was composing while you posted that last pic of Sam. He looks like he has recovered nicely. Well, physically anyway. LOL
Hey, Nancy. Yes, I think I do have the "more power" gorilla urge of Tim the Toolman. Another of my misadventures last December was having a public announcement carried by the local newspapers that I was constructing a light sculpture with 7,500 lights in the shape of an AIDS awareness ribbon to represent our local HIV/AIDS statistics of about 5,000 people living with HIV/AIDS and about 2.500 that had died of the disease. I found a wholesale company on-line that was happy to sell me 8,000 5-watt red & white bulbs (needed some spares in case some burned out) along with three 1,000 ft spools of wired sockets (at much more expense than I could afford except that some of the costs were being reimbursed by local groups). I came up with a design for the behemoth light display (by trial and error as usual, I'm not capable of planning in advance and drawing out schematics). The final materials used 4 sections of 4 x 8 pegboard with some of the holes drilled out larger to accomodate the light sockets in the ribbon design. These were then reinforced with PVC pipe and attached with a cantilever pivoting base so that the whole thing (supposedly) could stand at its full 16 ft x 8 ft size. I had seen all sorts of HUGE residential light displays over the years and thought it would be no problem to provide electricity.
WRONG! What I needed was 40,000 watts of power, about 10 times the amount of most home electric service. I talked to an electrical engineer friend and tried to find some way to make the thing light. The time came for the big unveiling at my house (fortunately minus the TV reporters that some of the groups had encouraged to attend). In order to light even a portion of the monstrosity, I had to chase out everyone from my house, turn off all the lights and appliances, and run about 200 ft of extension cords from the 3 or 4 sockets on separate breakers. The big moment came and I had friends stationed throughout the house to plug the cords in at more or less the same instant. I was able to fire up (and those were words I avoided using at the time) about 2,000 5 watt lights for about 30 seconds before all the breakers in the house blew. I told Christina to have the car packed ready to head for Mexico in case the groups that had helped pay for this debacle showed up at our house with tar and feathers.
I'm surprised Sam still claims you as his owner after that haircut! The before and after photos are priceless!! Was he willing to go outside and be seen by other dogs before the hair grew back. There is another thread in this forum about "Did you ever just take a pair of scissors to your hair?" But few people were willing to post before & after pix. My first attempt at cutting my own hair had results similar to Sam's Mexican Hairless coif. I just kept cutting and cutting my hair, trying to get it even on all sides, until it was about 1/2 inch long and still not even. The only solution was to shave my head! Fortunately, it was in the era of "skinheads" and I was living in NYC, so it hardly mattered, though I didn't particulary enjoy being mistaken as having taken up "skinhead" ideology by my neighbors and employer.
And PudgyM, I'm very glad you were able to find the humor in my predicament with the tree. I learned in drama lit classes that tragedy is only a hair's width away from being farce. It is our human nature that leads us to rediculous extremes. The results are either comic or dramatic, depending on the outcome and point of view. But I do hope you will feel free to share some of your own "tempting of fate" stories. I don't expect anyone to be quite as out-of-control as I can be at times, and we can all learn from each other's extreme behavior, whether it be comic, tragic, or just plain silly!
Jeremy, I must say, you got gumption! Apparently you are not afraid to tackle a super-huge task. The results may not be quite what you wanted, but no one else was attempting a huge light display, were they? However, the lighting experience does remind me of the Griswald's Christmas Vacation and Chevy Chase's christmas light fiasco. LOL
It would appear that you and I attended the same barber school! Somebody puh-leeeeease take the clippers away from us!
As you can tell from the picture, Sam was too embarrassed to look at the camera. He actually turned away from me when I got the camera out. I was laughing so hard, and the look of complete humiliation on his little face made me only laugh harder. It was a couple weeks before he began to strut again.
Does this count as dumb? I thought it was dumb! One year I grew these beautiful ornamental peppers. As they began to dry on the bush, I went out to gather them to get the seeds. So I pluck and pluck. Then I sat down and ripped the peppers open and dumped the seeds out.
It wasn't long before my hands started burning. And soon my face, where I'd wiped off sweat, was burning too. I didn't become too concerned, knowing that I'm dealing with hot peppers. But then it really began to sting! I went in the bathroom to wash my hands and looked in the mirror. My forehead, upper lip and chin were all bright red, like a bad sunburn, just like my hands. I felt like I was on fire!
I washed and washed and got the most painful burning to stop, but it took a day or two for it all to stop. After that, I bought a box of latex gloves and I use those when dealing with hot peppers and toxic seeds.
By the way, in case I get stupid again, does anyone know what I could have used to make the burning stop immediately? Surely there's something? I've read (since the incident) that milk would neutralize the "fire". Does anyone know?
Jeremy, I am so glad you are okay because I am just laughing my *** off here. I don't think people know it doesn't cost a fortune to get a tree taken down. I was suprised myself of the cost when I had a green ash cut down because it died. I haven't done too many dumb things except the step on the rack hit my self in the head thing. But if I do I'll let you know.
Butterfly chaser, you should have your clippers taken away, poor Sam!
Thanks, Butterfly, for confessing the pepper experience! That is exactly the sort of info I think we can all share and learn from. I'm glad there was no permanent injury to eyes or facial complexion!!
Here's another of my recent dumberer tactics. I promised Legit, for postage only and one of her clematis, a huge box full of my empty plastic garden pots (a large unsightly mound of several hundred pots, evidence of the thousands of dollars of credit card debt I've racked up on plants in the past 3 years since I bought my house). I checked around the local appliance rental stores for a washing machine box or other large carton. Most of the stores immediately cut their empty boxes down or compact them, so I was not having much luck. When I finally did locate a box and the guy at the store said he would set it out back for me that minute, I realized I was in our Mustang and not my old utility van. The box clearly wouldn't fit into the trunk and definitely not into the back seat. I didn't want to leave the box behind, so I finally decided I would place it on top of the Mustang, roll down the driver's side window, stick my arm out the window and hold the box down as tightly as I could with my hand inside the open end of the box. Fortunately, I was only about 2 miles from home and the route didn't involve any interstate traffic. I turned on the emergency flashers in the Mustang and went about 1.5 miles per hour all the way home. Any faster, the box wanted to become air borne. I finally did get the box home, much to the guffaws of my neighbors that happened to be out in their front yard (but they are accustomed to seeing bizarre events now that I'm in the area).
When I eventually got around to checking on-line what maximum size box the post office would allow for parcel post, I found that the required dimensions were FAR less than those of a washing machine crate. I ended up having to cut the washing machine box down to the size of a normal box that would have been much easier to find. But then I wouldn't have had the experience of parasailing through my neighborhood in the Mustang!
Oh my word! Jeremy, tell me you don't live alone! Someone has to be there to take care of you, you are clearly incapable of doing it yourself!
Let's see, there was the time I asked hubby to walk the dog and he said he couldn't because dinner would burn. So I walked the dog. And got back to find the apartment filled with smoke, all the doors and windows open, the neighbors standing around pointing, and the fire alarm going full blast. Sigh.
The time I knew my tree was going to fall in the road behind my house, so I decided to cut it down early in the morning on Sunday when no one would be around to get squashed. I went out and started cutting away, only to realize that the city bus routes all left from the garage across that street about ten minutes after I started. So there I am with a half-severed tree, praying the dang thing wouldn't fall on a city bus! Missed all the buses, thank heavens!
I have done the dog haircuts too. Two Newfoundlands and a Pomeranian-not a cheap grooming bill!
Got locked out of the garage once and had to climb through the window to get the tool I wanted. Dumb me, went out through the door, which closed and locked behind me-again. Climbed back in through the window but got caught on the sill this time and needed several bandaids.
Got food poisoning once, told the neighbor how horrible I felt. The next day I felt better and was putting up pictures with a hammer and nails. Neighbor came over and broke into the house because they heard the hammering and thought I was signaling for help.
LOL, sylvi. I locked myself out of the house, and there was a small paned window in the basement that just had a plywood panel in it. I couldn't fit through it, had to get a skinnier neighbor to get in and unlock my house. Embarrassing.
Then there was the time I was roasting a huge whole fish, for company. I took it out of the oven, inserted the mercury thermometer and it wasn't quite done. Put it back in the oven without taking out the thermometer. Naturally it exploded and tainted the fish. We had a lovely salad for dinner!
Woo Hoo! I am not alone in my lapses of conscious thinking! Thanks for sharing all. I got a great laugh from your misadventures. It's interesting how they seem humorous in hindsight, but fairly miserable at the time of occurrence.
Locked myself out of my second floor apartment long time ago, daughter was staying with me at the time. No spare key anywhere. So, I decided I could squeeze into the front entryway through the milk chute. Well most of me could. I got my head arms and shoulders through but got hung up at the hip line. (I weighed in at about 120 lbs in those days). The chute was just high enough off the floor that I couldn't get any leverage to pull myself through, and I couldn't back up.
Meanwhile, my daughter is laughing herself into urinary incontinence in the hallway watching my legs flailing around trying to reach the floor to push myself further ahead. When she finally stopped hooting and rolling around on the floor, she could hear me yelling at her to push on my feet. At last, freedom!! I had several spare keys made later that day, because I was never going to repeat that experience.
This is a fun topic! You guys are so funny and great story tellers. Since I'm new out in the garden, my dumbest gardening error so far was painting a piece of lattice for my clematis. I leaned it up against my brand new fence to paint it and, of course, I now have aqua splatters all over the new fence. Oops.
My sister and I went to DC for our uncle's funeral several years ago. Afterwards, we decided to drive downtown to see the sights. Yes, we planned on driving right up to the white house, lol. People kept trying to hit our car, "These people just don't know how to drive!" No...those cute little pedestrian crossing lights we kept remarking on that looked like real traffic signals on the corners, were real traffic signals . Lord knows how many red lights I ran, all the while yelling 'Learn how to drive!'
Same trip, we were almost arrested for attempted kidnapping. It was very cold and we saw a little boy walking without a coat on the side of a 6 lane road. Paula (sis) said we better make sure he is alright. As soon as we stopped, she started to open the passenger door and he was so cold, he tried to climb in the car. She got out to stand with him while I was going to go to a payphone and call for help. Suddenly, we were surrounded by 5 police cars 'Please step away from the child'. The little stinker was crying and kept telling them we were going to take him to his mommy. I just knew we were going to jail, but eventually they let us go...after calling our aunt who lives there to verify who we were and why we were in town. My aunts still tell people that we left the funeral early and tried to pick up a little boy on the side of the road.
Hi, apparently, his mother had been called in to work and asked the neighbor to watch him. Well the neighbor wasn't watching, so when he got off the school bus and saw the apartment was locked, he didn't know what to do and started walking. I don't know where he was going. One policeman had seen us stop and open the door and, I am just assuming, since we had out of state tags and were of different ethnicity, he figured we weren't related to the little fellow. He pulled up first and then we were instantly surrounded. I am still ashamed that we did not realize the seriousness of the situation at first and my sister was waving from the back of the police car while I took a few snapshots. I never saw it, but I suspect 'naive hillbillies' was written somewhere on the incident report.
Side note: My BIL had a business trip to DC in July of 2000 and I invited myself along to see the huge millenium fireworks display for the 4th. Sis and I were finally going to see the White House, but there was some sort of bomb threat and they evacuated. She was telling her dh later that we went to see the WH but all of a sudden there were sirens everywhere and they asked us to leave. He rolled his eyes and said 'What did you guys do now???' Ha, I guess we have a reputation.
Jeremy, can you tell a story! Very entertaining stuff. Makes me want to live near you to watch your antics! LOL!!
OK, mine are not so dramatic or funny.
I planted Periwinkle and English Ivy in my ex's yard unknowlingly.
I also bought a pack of 'mixed' peppers years ago. When one of the peppers started looking edible I picked it and took a big bite. It looked just like a tiny bell pepper. Well that little pepper was an immature Habanero! Imagine my surprise!
The really really dumb part is I did almost the exact same thing a few weeks ago! Mixed pepper pack again - it looked like an innocent banana pepper. A big bite and OM - it was worse than the Habanero! I drank so much milk and water I couldn't eat my dinner! Found out later I think it's a Chili pepper. Duh!! I finally learned my lesson though! No more packs of mixed peppers!!!
Hilarious stories, Rachel and NCGarden!! Rachel, I think your kidnapping story falls into the category of "no good deed goes unpunished." LOL
Here's another of my exploits. It is long and written as usual in my overly verbose style. Please don't let my lenghthy sagas intimidate you from making more posts in this thread. I've gotten good, hearty laughs each morning from your stories and hope you will keep them coming!
I was headed to the grocery store one day when I spotted a small cluster of people standing on a street corner looking down at the ground. I thought maybe an animal or a person had been hit by a car, so I slowed down. As I got closer, I realized the group was eyeing a dead piano.
I had to stop and find what story was behind this event. The group reported they had watched a small pick-up truck, loaded with an old 1800's antique piano in the open truck bed, turn the corner. The driver had apparently not tied the piano down in any manner (maybe he/she is watching this thread and can tell their own dumb story - LOL). When the truck had turned the street corner at too high a speed, the piano flipped out of the back of the truck and smashed into splinters on the street curb. Just a few moments prior to my arrival, the driver had stormed away from the scene in disgust at having destroyed the piano.
Already, the street scavenger vultures were descending upon the piano, removing anything that looked like it might have some ornamental or utilitarian purpose. The two old finials of the keyboard support went quickly as did the authentic ivory keys. A friend of mine has the inner hammer works of an old upright piano as an object d' arte/sculpture in his house. He uses it at holiday time to display greeting cards by sticking the cards between the piano hammers. I much envied his piano hammer card rack and had wanted one for myself. Here was an opportunity for me made available by someone else's misfortune.
I went on with my shopping, but returned a while later, armed with screwdrivers and other implements. I was able to get the piano hammer mechanism out without much problem (and I still have it, moving it around from one place to another in the garage about once a month or so -- it still hasn't found a display place in my house). After removing the felt hammers intact, I noticed the beautiful, ornate steel harp that held all the strings in place. "What a wonderful garden sculpture that would make!" I thought, and began my attempt to remove the huge screws. Some of the screws had a head on them about 1 inch in diameter and were about 4 inches long, so it took a lot of wrist action with the screwdriver to loosen them. Also, most of them had rusted to the steel frame due to ever present sub-tropical humidity over the course of a couple of hundred years. I couldn't get some of the screws to even slightly budge and some where underneath the strings and very difficult to get at with a screwdriver. I resolved to return the next day and continue my efforts.
I returned not only the next day, but every spare minute for about the next 10 days!
After about the 3rd day, removing the steel harp from the wooden frame became an obsession rather than just a whim. I felt like I had to have the steel harp or my life would never be complete again. I tried all sorts of ways to get the screws to come loose. I invented a "torque screwdriver" by combining an arrangement of a long pvc pipe with a pvc elbow on the end and the handle of a broken off segment of a flat-headed screwdriver crazy-glued into the open end of the pvc elbow with a short section of rebar steel inside the long pvc section for added strength. The additional leverage was not enough to make some of the screws pop loose from their centuries old corrosion, even after they were given a thorough soaking with WD-40.
I decided what I needed was an axe to chop away the wood so I could release the metal from the piano frame, but I didn't have an axe and was living in a rental home at that time and didn't see the need to invest in an axe. My Mom was in the hospital for a temporary illness. I left my work with the dead piano long enough to go visit her. As I was leaving the hospital that night, upon arrival at my parking place on the street, I was amazed to find an object lying directly alongside the passenger side of my car. IT WAS AN AXE! A very large axe with a long fiberglass handle. This is the most poignant experience of "ask and you shall receive" that I have ever manifested. The axe had some red and yellow tape around the handle and it looked as though it might have fallen off a fire truck, but there was no identifying marks that might allow me to return it to the fire station or other owner. I was certain that the next person that would park in that spot would surely be a wanna-be axe murder whom had been heretofore prevented from a killing spree only from the lack of a suitable sharp implement, so, in the best interest of public safety, I took the axe home with me.
My request for an axe being answered so promptly and eloquently, it now seemed like "God's Will" that I have the steel harp from the piano. I returned to the street corner the next day and began to hack away at the piano with religious zeal. By this time, the neighbors had begun to watch the madman, often cursing and yelling and waving the axe in frustration, as I returned every few hours to the scene of the piano's demise. Each whack of the axe on the wood sent a reverberating discordant loud crashing piano noise throughout the surrounding quiet neighborhood, much like what you might hear from untutored toddlers banging on a piano. A few people, mostly the retirees who had long ago realized that life was not worth living without some risk, were brave enough to venture out and talk to me to try to find out what in the world I was doing.
One of them was particularly memorable. A 70+ year old, white haired man that had dropped his wife off at the beauty parlor and found time to escape for some adventure. My shenanigans with the dead piano was the closest thing he could find for a little excitement. We talked at some length. With the dismembered, but not yet disemboweled, piano at our feet, the subject of music naturally arose. In his youth, the man had been a guitar player in a band. He had traveled all around the Southeastern states to various honky-tonks and other venues. He had encountered a minor brush with fame when his group got to play for a famous country singer of the day. He wistfully recounted his wild adventures as I continued to attempt to crank out the stubborn screws in the piano. I could imagine him in his younger day, probably in oiled back jet black hair, cowboy hat rakishly tilted, carousing and singing and romancing the ladies. Now he stood above me, swaying with a bit of instability on his cane. I could see myself in him in a few more decades, the wild times long behind me, settled into the slow decline to death. I commented on a screw that I was trying without success to loosen, "No matter the job, there's always one screw that won't budge," I said. "Yes," he agreed, "there's always one screw." We observed a profound moment of silence in awe of this inescapable truism of Murphy's Law. Other people that dropped by also felt compelled to share some segment of their life story as they gathered up bits and pieces of the piano and told me their own imaginative intentions for the scrap they were taking. I began to feel a sense of territorial possessiveness about the piano, like a lion protecting its kill from the jackals, but I managed to keep my greed in check, and did not roar obscenities nor chase away anyone that wanted some plank of wood or other tidbit from what remained of the dead piano.
As I neared the end of the 10 days of nearly constant work at trying to salvage the metal harp from the piano, I became concerned that the city garbage service might finally be motivated to come remove the piano. By this time, all other parts of the piano had been picked clean by curious or insane persons like myself. Government officials had visited the site at least once but, probably finding the approx. 800 lbs of the piano carcass too heavy for even a team of workers to lift without risk of back injury, and likely making a bureaucratic determination that "piano moving" was not listed in their job description, they had just placed some orange traffic cones around the one edge of the piano that jutted out past the curb. I didn't want all my hours and hours of effort to go to waste by letting the garbage truck haul away this priceless find. If I had returned at some point and found the last remains of the dead piano missing, I would have been totally distraught.
Aha! An idea came to me! There was no need to leave the piano on the street corner. I could put it in my truck and haul it home and finish removing the harp at leisure (if you can call slaving away at a seemingly impossible goal "leisure"). Having been provided with an axe upon request, I figured divine powers might once again smile upon me and provide me the super-human strength needed to lift the piano. I confidently backed my pick-up truck to the curb where the piano lay and I dropped the tail gate.
My first thought for moving the massive steel frame, still encased defiantly in heavy wood, was levitation, but no amount of chanting "Om!" would make the piano rise and float into my truck bed. Beginning to doubt that divine intervention would assist, I then decided I could move the frame in a zig-zag manner one corner at a time, inching it with great difficulty across the grass where it lay near the curb. I finally succeeded in pushing the entire frame off the curb. It hit the street with a loud resonant chord greatly resembling the one heard at the end of one of the Beatle's favorite hits, after the "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" era but prior to their Ravi Shankar sitar period.
After hacking away at the wood over the course of several days, I thought the frame would now be light enough to lift. I carefully bent my knees, following all the guidelines for lifting heavy objects, took hold of the piano frame at a couple of points where I could manage to get my fingers underneath it, and gave it a good UMPH! Using all my strength gained by years of gym workouts, minus the atrophy of muscles brought on by advancing years, and summoning up all my adrenalin, I did manage to lift one corner of the piano frame and drop it precariously onto the edge of my truck tailgate. The tailgate audibly strained under the weight and I thought it might snap off as the rear end of the truck sank down such that the back tires were just about resting on the wheel wells. I could find no angle of attack nor method of leverage that would push the piano any further up into the truck bed.
Since it was unlikely that Paul Bunyun would saunter by and help with the lifting, I had to come up with yet another plan, especially now that the piano frame and my truck were totally out into the street and blocking the corner.
In desperation, Lo!, another idea came to me. I could just drag the piano home behind my truck without having to lift it! I pulled the truck forward and allowed the piano to drop off the much relieved tailgate. The piano slammed to the ground with an accompanying thunderous vibrato. I placed the orange cones around the piano frame and rushed off to a nearby Home Depot, where I purchased a long nylon towing strap. Arriving back at the scene of the piano's demise, I knotted the towing strap to the rear frame of my Tacoma truck body and securely tied the other end to the piano frame. "Piece of cake," I congratulated myself.
I pulled away from the curb very slowly, the piano in tow. I had already mapped out in my head (yes, I am sometimes cabable of rational thought!) a route through the back streets that I could take to get the piano the one mile to my house with the least traffic or other annoyances. As I reached sufficient speed to drag the piano comfortably, it began to play its farewell symphony as it bounced and scraped along the pavement, a John Cage-like cacophonus, unmelodic strumming of dischords, loud enough for all around to hear. The piano did not obey my wishes and follow in a straight path directly behind my truck. Instead, it chose to swing from side to side, crashing from curb to curb with tympanic accents to its dynamic performance. I wished that I had a recording device fastened to the back of my truck to document this once in a lifetime musical treat, which I named appropriately, "Sonata with Dragged Piano." But I was not alone in my enjoyment of the improvisational score. As I moved through the community, I noticed people were called to their front doors by the sound of the piano. They stuck their heads out briefly to determine what might be the source of this odd commotion. Some stood gaped mouth, staring in disbelief at the sight of the dilapidated piano being dragged down their street in seeming punishment like a loathsome horse thief in an old Western movie. It is my supposition that, for some of them, it may have been one of the most interesting events in their lives. I imagine that they went back into their living rooms and, over the sound of the blaring re-runs of the Jerry Springer Show, got into heated arguments as to what they had just witnessed and opined their far-reaching best guesses as to why anyone would pull a piano behind a pick-up truck. I see them still today, at holiday time and family reunions, savoring the memory, "Remember that time that guy was pulling a piano on a tow rope...," and recounting the tale of the dragged piano to their children and grandchildren as folklore woven into the essential fabric of their lives.
Arriving at my house, luckily without citation nor other mishap, I pulled the piano up onto my paved driveway, unfastened it, and then drove my truck across the lawn to the curb, the driveway now being inaccessible for ingress or egress while the piano lay in state. I was ecstatic! I had conquered the dead piano!!
Within a few days, my landlord began to receive complaints from the people in surrounding houses, annoyed by what they perceived to be the eyesore of a piano skeleton in clear view near the street in the driveway. Skeptical disdain is a problem I often encounter with the unimaginative commonperson, those that can't look past temporary destruction and disorder to see potential beauty. At my landlord's continued insistence, and again with all my available strength, I managed to stand the piano upright and get a dolly underneath its edge. I wheeled it to a more inconspicuous place and left it standing in the carport.
I never got around to finishing the job of removing the wood from the metal piano harp. In the time the piano lay on the street corner and in my driveway, the frequent Florida rains had caused the wood to begin to swell and the glue to lose its effectiveness. Chunks of the wood began to fall away without any effort on my part. I was content to let Nature take its inevitable course and eventually rot away all the wood. And besides, now that the piano was no longer a challenge, I became quickly bored with it.
I bought my current house within a few months after I acquired the piano. With the help of a couple of hefty Lesbian friends and their 30 foot long flatbed trailer (something every Lesbian should have for their frequent decisions for cohabitation after the second date), I was able to move the remains of the piano to its new home along with all my other most valuable possessions. I have made the decision that this was my final move - I'm in this house until death do us part. With 1/2 acre to subject to my overly enthusiastic gardening efforts and plenty of other projects for home remodeling and enhancements, I have all that I need in this location to be completely content.
And now, the dead piano stands as "garden art," but to me seems to be more of trophy, my own version of a taxidermed rhinocerous head, reminding me that I can achieve most anything so long as I'm willing to devote the time, energy, and mental and physical resources needed to get the job done, and if I am willing to take a chance on being committed to an asylum for my methods of achieving my goals.
Little did I know (until the fact was pointed out by a musician friend) that it is the wood in a piano that creates the sound and not the strings, so the piano is now almost completely mute. Now that most of the remainder of the wood has rotted away from the effects of the sub-tropical elements of heat, humidity, and a host of wood eating insects, molds, and bacteria, there is no sounding board for reverberation. I thus had to let go of my scheme of turning the piano infrastructure into a giant hanging wind chime.
I have since found another piano frame on another street corner! It would seem that I'm karmically destined to give due respect to piano corpses in need of a final resting place. The second piano was small enough to lift more easily, could fit inside the truck bed, and didn't involve the debacle of getting it home as was needed for its larger cousin. They both stand together in a corner of my yard. Someday I plan to take them one step further and erect them on their apex, imbedded firmly in a concrete stand, and possibly paint their strings with vibrant colors so that they more closely resemble the "iron butterflies" that I can see in their shapes. For the time being, they are very tentatively upright, standing only by counterbalancing each other's weight, with some Passiflores vines beginning to weave between them and grasp hold of the broken strings. When visitors to my garden ask (and they always do!) what the strange metal shapes are, I comment offhandedly, without detail, "Oh, just some old piano harps I found on the street," unwilling to share the full depth of my intense insanity except with a few trusted fellow gardeners, like yourselves.
(Attached is Dogzilla's photo of my "piano garden art" (taken when she was at the DG Roundup at my place back in May)
(Edits for spelling and grammar and some additional paragraphs added) This message was edited Aug 2, 2005 3:59 PM This message was edited Aug 2, 2005 8:00 PM
Jeremy that's a classic!!! Thanks for taking the time to type that! Good grief I hope there's another round up down there! I will have to come to it just to meet you! Oh and sit around and listen to your stories of course!
Yes, Mobi, after decades of living a happy single life, I'm now in a committed (and that word "committed" may again refer back to my mention of the asylum) relationship with Christina. I took her in as a stray just about 2 years ago and she didn't leave after a sufficient recuperative time from her previous dead-beat boyfriend. She surprisingly doesn't drive me crazy (as most previous cohabitants have done), we seem to blend together well, and she is willing to tolerate my many eccentricities, so it looks like I'm stuck with her and have therefore decided that I might as well love her, which I now do.
She keeps giving me gentle reminders that our anniversary is coming up next week or something, but, OOPS!, I've been too distracted lately to remember what she considers the exact date of our comingling. She also has been prodding me this morning, as I've asked her to do, to get off DG and get back to my easel and crank out more paintings for the upcoming art show this coming Sunday. Apparently, she thinks it is important that I earn enough money to help keep food on the table and a roof over our heads, but I would much rather be conversing with gardeners or out in my yard encouraging my plants and often lack the discipline to give up all my other interests and distractions and settle down to paint. The opening receptions for my art shows are always scented with the aroma of fresh turpentine and have warning signs posted at the entrance, "Caution - Wet Paint."
Jeremy, What a hilarious story! I do believe that's one of the funniest things I've ever read online. (wiping my eyes)
If it didn't interfere with you earning a living, I'd be tempted to suggest that you write a weekly comedy column for us... But No, us women gotta stick together, so I'll reluctantly give up that suggestion to support Christina in her efforts to get you painting.
Howie's sitting next to me with his laptop, trying to write a blog entry. I, on the other hand, am reading through the latests posts on this thread. Poor Howie...Every so often, a loud "Hah!" burst from me, and Howie's fingers paused as he recovered from the shock. The chuckles he's used to, but the outbursts...Notsomuch.
I remembered a not necessarily garden story that's only mildly humorous.
While living in a small one bedroom apartment years ago with my 2 large dogs and 2 parrots I got up in the middle of the night for a drink of water. I hadn't been in the apartment very long. It was pitch black and as I walked back into my bedroom, BAM! I walked right into the edge of my bedroom door. I hit it square on my right eye. That's the first and only black eye I've ever had in my life! People looked at me funny when I said, "Oh this? I did it to myself!"
A funny black eye story I heard over the weekend. My close friend's sister gave herself a black eye. Can't remember how. Anyway, she's a nurse and there was a new 'law' requiring her to ask all people checking in if they were the victim of domestic violence! Imagine the looks SHE got! The way my friend told the story I was crying I was laughing so hard! If only I could tell it her way..
Ha ha! You know I tell the piano story to my 3 year old! He made me tell it to him 3 times in a row this week. I should get on DG so I can read it word for word. It's SO much funnier in Jeremy's words! Told it to my dad too and he just loved it!
I didn't tell my DH for FEAR! Fear that he'd go find a piano (or some other contraption) and insist on bringing it home, piece by piece, dragging it behind him, in the same fashion...justifing the entire escapade by saying, "Oh, sure, it was cool when JEREMEY did it!" No, no, no, not going there. DH has enough ideas of his own.
Just read this whole thread and couldn't help laughing out loud - and there were tears rolling down my face!!
The dumbest thing we've done so far in the gardening area was a walkway in the back yard. I decided that a rock walkway to the vegetable garden would be attractive. Because we were somewhat financially challenged, the decision was made to drive DHs pickup to the lake where my parents live, about 90miles away, and gather rocks from around there. Well, my son was going up there anyway for a scouting event, so he drove the pickup, and my dear old dad helped him load up rocks. Son was fairly new driver, but dad knew better - they had WAY too much weight in that truck.
When son pulled up it looked like the truck had four flat tires. We unloaded and unloaded ... It took about three weeks to lug those rocks around and "plant" them. Looks nice too. Only problem is that we like to go barefoot, and can't walk because the rocks are too rough, so we walk around our path! I mentioned to DH not long ago that maybe we should replace that path, and from the look I got, I believe we will just leave it till next year :-) Might have to do with his pet project - the side yard he tilled up completely.
First - stepping on a rake head so that the handle snapped up & konked me in the head "Three Stooges" style, raising an egg-sized bump on my forehead. Not believing I could be so stupid, I actually staggered about the yard for a few moments searching the bushes for what I was sure must be a hidden rock-wielding attacker.
Second - siting a tossed out huge container plant in my neighbor's trash, waited till after midnight to sneak out & try to gracefully snag it while my trusty Doberman looked on. I gracefully managed to knock down all 4 metal trash cans into the street in the process (which caused my "trusty" Doberman to say "feets don't fail me now" & take off for home) & although I did manage to get the plant home, it turned out to be some sort of citrus, COVERED with huge thorns, & scale to boot. Lasted about 6 months for me before giving up the ghost.
my two children always used my riding mower to take care of the yar. one day i decided to "show them" that dad could still gert the job done without them. after i had finished, i was riding it back to the garage intending to stop and open the doors. imagine my surprise when the brakes failed and i crashed into the garage door splitting the wooden door in two. not only that, but the mower sought of climbed up the door and fell back on me and i was pinned under it with the motor running. luckily i had to good sense to turn it off. my boys told me that the brakes hadn't worked for years.
decided then and there to replace both wooden doors with metal ones.
ROFLMAO!!!!! This is one of the most hilarious threads I've ever read!!!
But, everyone, watch out for Jeremy - if you read his last story, he really didn't identify his new love Christina as a WOMAN. Is she? Or what is she?? A cat??? A dog??? A ferret?? A skunk??? A rat??? (See a theme here?) Cough it up, Jeremy - what is she, EXACTLY?? hehehehehehehehehehe
Thanks to all for sharing your zany adventures. My psychotherapist was able to read the dead piano story without having me committed, so there is hope in that response, I think.
And Perkasky, as far as I can tell from recent close personal inspection, Christina is an anatomically correct female human. She continues to tolerate my "eccentricities." I no longer need to unload the van in the dead of night to keep her from seeing what the latest haul of "garden art" might be.
Christina and I met at a convenience store in Middleburg (one of our more rural Florida towns with authentic red clay roads) as a result of a Yahoo online profile hook-up. So, being the hopeless romantic that I am, my traditional anniversary gift for her is Moon Pies and Slim Jims. However, this second year we both agreed we didn't like Moon Pies and the Slim Jims jerky from last year was still frozen in the fridge (sort of like that first slice of wedding cake that some people save). I opted for a more customary gift of a dozen roses (turned out to be 13 in the bunch, which she considered a good omen - ?- gotta wonder about that) and a hand made card.
My greatest concern about the coming and going of our second anniversary of cohabitation was that my Tacca integrifolia (White Bat Flower) wasn't in bloom. It was blooming when we met and flowered again last year on time. This year it suffered some sort of die back or perhaps a prolonged dormancy and I thought it was irretrievably dead. Fortunately, it recovered and has made healthy green leaves, but no flowers. I've got to get it back on its regular blooming schedule or else I will never remember our anniversary date is approaching from year to year.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I drove down to the back waters of Middleburg to meet Christina, but sometime soon after we began our first conversation, she mentioned that she had once read a book. I decided from that bit of information that we might have a basis for a relationship, and I appear to have been correct. We had one Jerry Springer show fight early in our time together in which we both revealed our demons and ugliest sides and seem to have mutually decided that event was not much fun, so we now go about our day to day life without much friction and a lot of mutual enjoyment. At 55, I was settling comfortably into a solitary life of communing happily with my plants and making art, and not looking for love, but she came along and, being about 10 years younger than me, has added a lot of energy and interest to my existence. I think I'll keep her.
How lovely!!! Relationships like yours inevitably last. As long as you can laugh at life's ups and downs, there's nothing you can't get through. Congratulations to both of you! (Tell her I'm jealous - I'm still looking.)
hello, just thought i'd get in on the action and share one of my mishaps with everyone. infact this little incident just happened today.
being an earth conscious gardener, i recycle, and in as many forms as possible, whether it be composting, taking things to a recycling center, or finding inventive ways to reuse old things. due to the lack of a curbside recycling program in my area, and to make less trips for me, i save old soda cans and boxes, etc. in my garage until i get a car full and then deposit them at the local recycling center. it usuallys take four to six months for me to acquire a car full, and during that time period everything sits in my garage.
now, my garage, isn't a garage by today's standards...it might have been once, but now...picture one of those rustic country barns, the type that border on decay and dilapidation...it's got a few leaks, unintentional sky lights, only the occasional patch of stucco left on the wood, dirt, and spiders. I live in the "historic" part of town and my house was built around 1910. while previous owners have done an excellent job maintaining it, the garage obviously went unnoticed.
Well, i had a trade to send out to another DG member today, so i went to the garage to get a box. and i picked a nice box...just the right size, in perfect shape, no writing or anything on the outside that might confuse the post office. so, i happily packed the box with goodies and headed off to the post office to send it. I arrived, set the package down on the counter, the woman slid it towards her and picked it up to put it on the scale to weigh it...and that's when it happened...a little garage dirt and a dead spider fell off the bottom of the box on to her.
She freaked out! she screamed "what was that!" tossed the box on the counter and jumped back. after regaining some of her composure, she stepped forward and proceeded to get mad at me. she cleaned the counter the way that a person who is afraid to touch some thing would clean it...with a tissue between two fingers, arm fully extended, with her body as far away from the mess as possible. i tried to reassure her that it was just alittle dirt, all to no avail. she treated me suspisciously for the rest of the transaction. if you've ever sent a package you know that the postal worker will always ask, "are you sending anything liquid, flammable, perishable, fragile, HAZARDOUS, or ILLEGAL"...she really put emphasis on the hazardous and illegal part when she asked me that question and i don't think she believed me when i told her no.
so, now i've raised a red flag in the postal system, i'm sure. i've already warned the recipient of the package not to be too surprised when they get their box and it's already been opened and has a letter from the post office in it claiming that it was part of a "random" quality or security check.
ROTFLOL - Jess! I wish I had been a customer waiting in line behind you! The image of the arachniphobic postal clerk is priceless. Living in Roswell, as you do, I would think the clerks would have handled all sorts of alien beings in shipments by now. LOL What a hoot! Thanks for sharing.
butterqueen: You woke up the neighbors? Big deal! I just wet my pants I was laughing so hard!!! What a great story!! The only problem I see with it, Equilibrium, is that it probably isn't over, is it? HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE
OMG...I don't think that the actual video of the 'occurrence' could top the mental video that I have. I'm just missing details like the color of your undies. Are you a simple white...or perhaps a wild animal print. The cat thinks I've gone over the deep end...tears of laughter streaming down my face...I can barely breathe. You are lucky that your husband could have a good laugh...I don't see mine laughing...it could have gotten ugly around here. By the way, he has locked himself out several times (fully clothed however) and we now have a 'key safe'. Your spare key is safely tucked inside this little safe that is screwed into your house and can only be opened with a combination. Of course, you could just continue to offer really great entertainment for not only your neighborhood, but DG'er as well.
The only time I can recall getting locked out of the house was by one of my dogs.
Had just returned from a trip back to NY to pick up some of our stuff left behind from our move to VA. Our big Tennessee Plott Hound - Bruno - (nicknamed "Doodie Head" - a polite way of expressing what my husband usually called him) was so happy to see me (he's really "my" dog) that while my husband & I were outside unloading the vanload of stuff, he jumped up on the door & turned the lock.
As we stood there on the porch, arms laden, watching this huge maniacal dog jump up & down dieing to welcome me home, my husband, for some reason, did NOT find it funny when I turned to him & said "So who's the Doodie Head now??? I'm thinking you're the Doodie Head".
Luckily, we were able to snap out one of the living room screens & get the window open to a point where I could boost hubby thru.
And Breezy, I feel for you with the dog. That is exactly how I got locked out the second time. My dog saw the squirrels and wanted to charge them. Wanna nice young energetic Great Dane... blue light special that week.
I have absolutely nothing that can come close to your stories Equilibrium & Jax!
Here's a few of my not-so-grand moments...
In 1996 we had a snowstorm that shut down the state for 3 days. I went out to
shovel snow w/the garage door opener (no key) and just a sweatshirt (I get very
warm when working hard so why bother with a coat). Of course, the garage
door opener wouldn't work when I was done. My neighbors let me in their house
and use their phone. No one could come to help with the locks - the roads
were shut down. I had double key deadbolts so would have to break a window.
They were all small old multi-pane types. Argh! As I was about to smash,
I tried the garage door opener one last time AND IT WORKED.
And I've had a few "incidents" with my Kubota tractor. Its pretty big - 21HP with
front end loader. I had never been on a tractor before I bought this one so I wasn't
a very experienced driver. I took down parts of the fence around the field and
took out chunks of wood around the shed I store it in. But the fence I took down
created a nice opening and I never did put it back up. The chunks out of the
wood around the shed door are another matter.
I also took out a section of fence with my rototiller (a 5hp Troybuilt Pony). I guess
I hit a rock and it skipped out of control. Didn't have fast enough reflexes (or maybe
just too stuborn to admit defeat) to stop it before it plowed through the fence. I guess
it wasn't as bad as a my friend's episode with his tiller. He apparently hit a section
of woven fencing his wife had made - he said it was almost slow-motion as the
tiller just pulled the whole thing into its tines and tore it apart.
Yes, the piano story takes the cake. His writing style brings it all alive for me. I have lichen laden stumps here but no piano parts. I am deprived.
I haven't destroyed any property lately. My body, yes... but no property. I think I would sit down and cry if I did some of the things you did Tam. I work so hard around here that I do really get upset if I break something. I know it's just property that can be replaced and that if I'm ok then all will work out in the end but aren't those Kubota tractors more expensive than a Cadillac? And that rototiller, isn't that like over a thousand dollars? I sure hope the fencing didn't rip up your equipment. I don't know if I even want to own anything that nice with my track record. I'm not all that graceful and am definitely not all that coordinated.
My equipment is fine! Those Kubota's are expensive but extremely tough. And true too
for the rototiller. I think the scariest thing that ever happened with the Kubota was the time
I got mired in the mud near the spring that runs through the property. I got too close trying
to mow down the weeds. I backed up and no luck. I just kept getting into a worse position
each time I tried something new. I had an hour or so of panic - "now how the heck will I ever
get out of this one?" and so walked away for a while. When I came back, I decided to try
driving straight into the spring to cross it. (Of course its uphill on both sides of the spring).
I was able to finangle out somehow. But the muddy boggy soil that was the spring bed
was just gutted. I spent several back breaking hours digging it back into a semblance of
Equilibrium, I had to read your story out loud to Christina in order to fully savor the hilarity of your saga! I laughed and laughed and it only got better with the details! Thanks for being so willing to divulge your zany adventure. It seems that those of us that are contributors to this thread need to be all living together in a "gated community" -- one were we are safe from the judgemental outside world observing our antics and where we are free to pursue our madness --- oh, wait! Maybe that's what asylums are for??!
Ha, a gated community... too funny. Would we be allowed to take our plants with us?
I have to admit that I showed my husband photos of the home dog grooming job above. His comments were that he could see me trying something like that to save the $54 plus tip we give the groomer. His only request was that I please not attempt to groom any of our animals.
As far as the piano, what can I say. My husband said if that ended up over here he would toss a hand grenade into the middle of it and that would take care of that! I don't quite think he appreciated the process by which you came to acquire that fine lawn ornament.
Haven't checked this thread since around the 1st, and can't believe what I missed! ROTFLOL I have an excellent imagination, and Equilibrium's adventures ...well, what more can be said. I should probably avoid this thread until the ribs heal because it hurts to laugh - especially that hard - but good entertainment is hard to come by.
A pillow! Get a pillow and lean into it whenever you feel the urge to laugh or sneeze or cough. Nice wide masking tape wrapped around those ribs a few times helps better but doctors are sadists and won't tape you any more because of the risk of pneumonia. Just be sure to peel off the tape before you go to bed.
Disclaimer, I am not a medical doctor. I have broken more than my fair share of ribs though and this is what works for me. I tape myself! Now come back real soon stownes and maybe you could share a tasty tid bit from your past with the rest of his here??? Come on, surely you've done something up there with what has been posted here. You're amongst friends, tell us please!
Nicole, oh please share something so I don't feel like an absolute idiot. I went to breakfast with my girlfriends who know about the incident because they were the ones who told me not to change surveillance companies after they saw the bill and comments. I told them I had told about what happened on the Internet here at DG and they were shocked and the first word out of my one girlfriend's mouth was, "They don't know your name do they". I know everybody has had to have done something comparable.
Please friends; don't leave me, Jeremy, Nancy, or the others out here in this thread sharing our dumb and dumbest by ourselves.
I will have to think. Most of my stories are me running into things, falling down, and or tripping.
Here's one but I am not near the story teller you are!
Bought my second motorcycle - brand new this Spring. My previous bike was a Honda 250 rebel that cost $1,000. Never dropped it, never scratched, nothing. New motorcycle is a Honda VFR800 - quite a bit bigger and a LOT more expensive. Still not as expensive as a Harley though! LOL
Anyway, as I sat on it umpteen million times in the showroom before I bought it I just had a feeling that one day it would get dropped. It is BIG.
One weekend when my husband was out of town on business I drove up there and without telling a soul bought it!
It took 3 weeks for the shop to lower it for me. A week after I bought it I decided to drive to Myrtle Beach to see a girlfriend, by myself. I figured if that didn't get me over the fear of it's size nothing would!
Got almost there just fine. Pulled in to a gas station to smoke a cigarette of all things. Men everywhere, on motorcycles, with 4-wheelers in the backs of their pickups. Pretty crowded.
I pulled in, drove over to the side and put one foot down.. the other - welll, it went down all right - with the whole bike! Broke off the right mirror but other than that the only thing messed up was my pride!
I did learn one thing though - if you want to pick up men just pull into a parking lot and drop a motorcycle! They come running from everywhere! Whoopsie! Oh my goodness I dropped my bikey poo! LOL!!!
Oh, nice bike! I should let my husband read that story. He's really into motorcycles and is trying to get me one now, too! I have a feeling that would be disaster waiting to happen...or atleast another great story to post here!
He he he, bet you're glad you got that bike now that gas prices are hovering around $3 a gallon. If I had one I'd be driving to work on it in hose and heels with my briefcase strapped somewhere and my skirt flapping behind me in the breeze. I am cheap, very cheap and filling up my gas tank and spending almost $60 each week really gets to me. I almost feel as if I should take a tranquilizer before I go to the pumps. Maybe I'll get up enough courage to buy a motorcycle some day maybe not but it certainly wouldn't be as big as yours. Husband would want me to get a Harley or a Big Dog though because they are American made but I really don't have that kind of money laying around and if I did have the money for one of those, I'd build a two story greenhouse out back. One thing is for sure, next car has a hybrid engine and gets better than 20 miles to the gallon.
Yeah, gas prices are exactly why my husband is trying to get in into motorcycles. Which is funny because, other than his motorcycle, he drives a 79 Jeep with a V8, and I drive a little Geo that gets 45 mile per gallon. His vehicle is really is the gas guzzler.
I'm sure I can find some more recent adventures to report (such as the story behind the 25 yards of horse manure that is now steaming to perfection in my driveway), and I hope others can as well. I really enjoyed finding out that I wan not the only one living with one foot over the line for sanity.
Many years ago we lived in Italy and rented a small summer villa (cottage) in the country. The garden was huge and I was not much of a gardener at that time. We were asked by the owners to keep their gardener - we would share paying him and we would get free vegetables to boot. It was absolutely lovely finding choice, fresh veggies on the kitchen step a couple of times a week. Meanwhile, the gardener had planted rows and rows and rows and rows (get the picture) of garlic.
One morning I found hundred and hundreds of the bulbs (with the long green stalks) on the back porch steps - in the sun. Ah, poor man, says I to myself. I help him out - such a lot of work in front of him. I'll just take off all the tops and the skin off the bulbs. I thought he was going to have a heart attack when he showed up later that afternoon. Between all his gesturing and screaming I got the gist that the bloody garlic was out there to "dry". My punishment ? My hands had absorbed so much of the garlic oils I couldn't stand myself and had to go to bed with gloves on - night after night. My husband said it was a good thing he loved garlic. I tried bleaching my hands, all kinds of creams, but nothing worked. I didn't even want to go shopping I had such an aura around me. It took a couple of weeks for the odor to gradually fade away.
I seriously think this is the funniest thread I have ever read in any forum, ever! Good thing no one is asleep here yet or else my obnoxiously loud laughing would wake them! Last summer I was helping a neighbor with her backyard. The backyard fence was covered in a jungle of Virginia creeper, and other super invasive vines, including poison ivy. Now considering that I'd had a bad reaction the previous year (it was in my pine tree, but I didn't know that that's what it was), you'd think I would have learned to stay away from it with a 10 ft pole. But no...one day I come up with this "brilliant" idea to just start ripping all this stuff down (bare-handed, short sleeve shirt) as quickly as I could, thinking that if I wasn't exposed for too long, that I could rub myself down with alcohol, take a shower, and wash my clothes, and everything would be great. It had been less than an hour after my shower and my arms started to tingle. I ended up with PI all over and was on multiple dose packs of prednisone. The itching was so intense that it literally felt like it was inside my body--I scratched myself until I bled and it didn't help. It took the whole summer to get rid of that horrific rash. I guess I should be glad though. Mine felt horrible, but at least it didn't look like this: http://www.poison-ivy.org/rash/index.htm
Eeewwwwww! Those BIG blister-y ones are wretched. I'm starting to itch all over just looking at them. We never took pictures of my husband's hands and arms after he cleaned out the bottom of the lawn mower right after mowing through a weed patch...full of poison ivy. I didn't see any pics of yet another delicate spot to get PI. I didn't see it with my own eyes, but was told by the victim, of what can happen when you drop your drawers in the woods to relieve yourself. Apparently, it was a deep squat. 'Nuff said.
All joking aside... thank you so much Tamara for your poison ivy link. My kids (that I have been screaming at for years to stay away from wild parsnip, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac) were all standing here in front of the computer looking at those photos and none of them were making wise cracks or sporting the "give me a break Mom" body language. They all just stood there looking at one photo after the next with their mouths open. Those are pretty nasty photos and I'm glad you posted that link. We've got Wild Parsnip growing in ditches here now and the kids need to know that my harping on the wasn't a neurotic Jewish mother deal but the real deal. Seeing is believing. They believe now.
Hey, here's a link to a thread on Wild Parsnip. Getting too close to this plant will leave one in far worse condition than getting too close to PI, PO, or PS- http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/623148/
Add that beastly plant to your list of plants to stay away from, stay very far away from that thing.
My husband started referring to me as "The Fun Police" around here. I would be talking to the kids about something like "don't jump from trees into a moving target lawn tractor cart piled with grass clippings" and he'd be standing behind me mocking me. Made me want to turn around and bop him in the head. Let him take the kid to the hospital to get stitches in his head for trying to jump down from a tree into a moving tractor cart driven by another kid who is zigzagging to make the other kid miss his mark. I realize boys will be boys but that's just flat out stupid to me and puts them in the class of Darwin award wannabes. Aside from that I hate blood, particularly when it is one of my own kids. Anyway, I can always tell when my husband does it behind my back because the kids will stop having eye contact with me and will be looking beyond me suppressing giggles. I'm making my husband look at the photos later on when he comes home. I've been harping on them about Wild Parsip and the others for quite a few years and they always used to give me that deer in the headlamps blank stare like I'm out of my mind or they patronized me which is worse. Not this time. They took a look at those photos and none of them were laughing.
I'm glad the link helped! I found that when I was first affected by the PI, and it gave me solace that it could have looked much worse than it did! Oh, I thought of something else dumb I did. I was at my mom's trying to dig out mint that had roots down to China and also some hosta that I was going to transplant. I yanked, pulled, strained, swore, pulled some more, swore some more. ;-) And of course, I was hunched over, and pulling with my puny back muscles instead of using my arms and legs. The next morning I couldn't move an inch! My back hurt so bad that I thought I did something to my spine! My mom had to come over and take care of the kids so my DH could take me to the ER. Turns out I just pulled the muscles along my spine, but MAN ALIVE did that hurt! Tamara
Gardening, it's a dangerous sport but somebody's got to do it. Thanks to active participants like me, zone5girl, and all the rest of us out there who risk life and limb (toss head in too)... the sport will be around for spectators to enjoy for many generations.
I'll second THAT Betty Gail! I don't think I've ever laughed quite so hard as I have at these stories. I've been trying to think of something that may have happened that would "qualify" for this thread. So far, those memories are buried deep in the depths of my mind.
Thanks to all for your heartfelt contributions to this thread. You all make it so easy to visualize the stories. There ought to be a forum called "As the Garden Turns!"
edited to correct a typo spotted just as it was sending
I do love this thread...I think we should just have a whole forum dedicated to it! I remember that when I first started gardening I planted roses in a shady area, an alkaline-soil-loving plant in acidic soil, a drought-tolerant plant in heavy, wet clay, etc. The list goes on. One year I had literally over 100 tomato volunteers (in a 10 x 10 bed) and I thought it would be fun to let them all grow. That didn't work out so well. I tried to start a compost pile in the middle of the backyard (I forget my reasoning at the time) and DH had a FIT! (picture the Incredible Hulk metamorphosis) Normally, he's a laid back kind of guy, but my gardening stuff sometimes drives him crazy. Last summer, I was weeding or something and throwing stuff behind me. I somehow managed to punch the pitch fork (that was laying near me) right between my knuckles. It's felt like I have arthritis in that spot ever since. Oh, lol, I just thought of something embarassing...I was in the garden and felt an itch on my umm, chest. I scratched it and kept working, but it didn't go away. I was scared that somehow the PI had managed to make its way *there* and so I decided to check. I let out a blood curdling scream and started jumping up and down like a crazy woman! I found a beetle like bug crawling around in my bra! ***AAACCCKKKK*** I can deal with bugs, worms, spiders, etc in the garden, but once you are in my underclothing, you have gone too far! I thought I was going to need therapy after that. ;-) Tamara
In the days when I had a full-time job, I liked to take a theraputic stroll around the garden as soon as I got home in the evening. One evening, I'm looking at my flowerbeds and I see weeds everywhere. I have plenty of time before I need to start dinner, so I begin pulling weeds. I'm still wearing my office clothes, a nice blouse tucked into a long, full skirt. After a few minutes, I begin to feel an irritating itch around my waistline. I scratch it, and suddenly the itch turns into a sensation like being stuck with a pin. I frantically pull my blouse up and pull my skirt waist away from my skin. I inadvertantly pull my underwear away from me as well, and the stinging insect falls into my panties. I'm now hopping around trying to hold my panties away from me to let the insect drop out of the leg holes. It refuses to co-operate, and doggedly crawls back up to my waist, from where it finally takes flight. I don't think the neighbors saw this. If they did, they kindly never mentioned it.
Jeremy, thanks for starting this thread - it's been a lot of fun to read. And Gayle, thanks for bringing it back for those of us who missed it the first go round.
June, your story reminded me of an experience I had while gardening at a community plot some years ago. I had several bad experiences with that garden that are laughable now - like the bumble bee in my pants that stung me 8 times! Before driving home to treat the area, I had to know the bee was no longer in my pants. The only person around to help was this nice retired gentleman with a neighboring garden. I was a little embarrassed to ask Pete if he would "look in my pants" to be sure the bee was gone, but I had to know. I guess he wasn't too offended- he gave me a cantaloupe!
Once home, I discovered one of the bee's barbed legs was still caught in my underwear. I glued it onto a page of my garden journal as proof of my story and still have it today!
A few nights ago, I went back and reread this entire thread (I wasn't sure which of my many misadventures upon which I had reported). I once again, literally, had to laugh out loud with tears in my eyes for some of your shared stories. Thanks to all for sharing and keeping alive this zany confessional thread!
I can share in the stinging insect in the pants stories, though my story remained a private affair and I didn't have to call in a consultant, as did poor Debra! LOL
I was doing some paid garden chores for a longtime friend when I happened to stir up a nest of yellow jackets that were harbored beneath a rotting log. Suddenly the swarm was all around me and I was swatting and slapping and dancing like a trained bear. The yellow jackets seemed to have a sense for finding the most sensitive spots to sting. They landed in the thin skin between my fingers and on the underside of my wrist, and avoided my more Florida-sun leathered areas. One Kamikaze yellow jacket must have gone to special tactical training for finding the most sensitive spot to sting. In the midst of the attack, I felt something crawling around in my underwear, but didn't think it possible for a bee to get in there. I usually wear short pants and a T-shirt (or less!) when I'm gardening, but on this day, I happened to have on my Marine issue camo pants with the ribbons that tie around the ankles, which I suppose were invented by some military fashion designer that once had an unfortunate visitation by an insect up his or her pants leg. My uncertainty about the crawling insect sensation ended abruptly when I felt an acute burning sting in my left testicle. I realized that the Marine issue pants had a button fly and this clever terrorist bee had managed to find a gap between the buttons and had launched an assault on my most vulnerable and valuable resources. I began pounding upon my crotch, a most unpleasant sensation, as any man can attest, but possibly not as painful as a bee nip on the nads. I ran into my friend's bathroom and quickly stripped down my pants and underwear. The heroic yellow jacket flew out and swirled around my head, in a victory spiral resembling the small planes attacking King Kong on the Empire State Building, especially in that I began swatting and growling with ape like guttural roars and curses, trying to knock the barnstorming pilot to the ground. I finally did manage to swat it to death with a towel and could then turn my attention to the damage it had caused -- nothing permanent fortunately, and perhaps, like most men, additional size in these organs, even if due to a painful swelling, was considered an acceptable means of "male enhancement."
Though I usually err on the side of "live and let live" for all creatures, in an atypical fit of genocidal rage, I asked my friend if she had any wasp and hornet spray, and finding that she did (she had also been the victim of a previous yellow jacket raid, but shared that her experience had not been as intimate an encounter as mine), I proceeded to wipe out the entire yellow jacket colony, justifying whatever bad karma may result by saying I was doing it to protect my friend's small grandchildren that sometimes visited and played in the woods (but my ulterior motive, I must admit, was pure revenge and I delighted in seeing the nut nickers dive bomb to their deaths!!.
I may write to the Marine Corps and suggest they put a strip of Velcro down that fly opening. And BTW -- maybe that is why that gap came to be known as a "fly?"! I shall forever more think of it as a wicked wasp flap.
Your little nip in the nad story should be published. I'm sitting here with tears running down my face. I haven't laughed this loud in a long time. With your permission I've just got to print off a copy for my dad to read. In addition to the great subject matter, you have a way with words.
OK, with all of the talent here on DG, we need to find an editor who will collect our gardening mishap stories and turn them into a best seller. These are just too good to not share. The editor could get a % of the profits with the rest going into the Angel Fund.
Print away, Marie! I'm always happy to know my stories are enjoyed.
I've had the same idea of searching through DG and editing some of the posts (after seeking the admins' approval) to make a "throne book" (humorous stories to read in the john). There is a wealth of great humor and personal anecdotes to be found in the threads on DG. Everyone can remain anonymous, if they wish, under their screen names and I had the same thought in mind of making the book some sort of charitable cause. Trouble is, I have so many projects percolating at any one time that I can't keep up with even the basic ones (like cranking out oil paintings often enough to be taken somewhat seriously as a professional artist).
I am working on my first novel and it is coming along nicely whenever I can sit down and pound the keyboard for several hours. One chapter is down on paper and edited ad infinitum to the smallest detail for the perfect words; another chapter has begun, and the rest is still fragmented and fomenting in my fervid brain. I'm enjoying the writing process and wish I had enough financial support and stability to just focus my entire attention on creative pursuits (which would include a healthy dose of several hours of gardening each day, of course!), but haven't yet found the way to make the money flow my way so that I can just wile away the hours at the easel and the keyboard and playing in the dirt. But Spring hopes eternal...
Thanks, Janet. I wasn't aware the Artisans Forum had been created. I'll be sure to watch what is going on there and post some photos of my work -- hopefully some new paintings if I can ever get my life organized enough to paint (or just drop everything and sequester myself away from the world and all its woes for a few hours a week).
I always try to find the humor in my escapades and I'm always happy when others can find amusement also. Being able to laugh at life (usually after the fact, when I've had time to get over the hurt) is one of my best coping mechanisms for continued survival and I think it serves us well in many circumstances. I seem to spend my life careening recklessly across the fine line between tragedy and comedy (with the Karma Police Department in hot pursuit in a high speed chase! LOL).
There are a whole lot of nice folks in there. All kinds of artists using all kinds of mediums. All of them talented! One thing I really enjoy about it is that while folks are always nice, they are also very honest about their opinions, or so it seems to me anyway.
I hope you are able to spend more time with your painting. I don't paint, but sure admire folks that are able to visualize things and then bring them to "life" on canvas, etc.
Keep those funny stories coming Folks. They really brighten my day!
It will be great to check in to that Forum on a regular basis, though I already spend so many hours in the Florida Forum that I think Christina is about to beat me with a stick on a daily basis to make me get off-line and get to the easel (but after the beating, I generally wander out to the garden and play in the dirt instead of going to the easel to paint -- so many distractions, so many interests ...so little time...)
I also hope we will get some more confessions of dumb maneuvers on this thread! I feel less alone in my buffoonery when I hear that others are also tripping over the light fantastic! LOL
Just found this thread. How funny!!!!!
Jeremy...you are not another Carl Haiisen are you? You sound just like him. You book should be great. All the stories were wonderful, if you can read them through all the tears from laughter.
I also loved the one about getting locked out and the security company reviewing the tape. Ha. Oh, what a tangled web we weave...
I do not have a funny story, but a garden mistake all around. We owned this property we now live on a few years before moving...I had no excuse. I loved the natural setting...the ferns and wildflowers. I thought that naturalizing some day lillies here and there would be beautiful. So I went out and bought hundreds of dollars worth of bulbs and planted all over. Soon summer came and the lillies were coming up and hundreds of fat buds of all colors were ready to burst! I came home from work for lunch and a neighbor stopped by. I went to show her all my new lillies and all I found were deer tracks and stalks.
Moral to the story. Ck out wildlife's eatting pattern before planting. That new bow and all the hunting equipment cost me a bundle.
When we bought the little farm where I live today, the pasture had some funny looking weeds in it. My DH thought himself to be quite the farmer but he wasn't sure what was growing out there. All went well and the horses made a wide circle around the "weeds" growing in the pasture. About a week after we moved in one of the neighbors came to visit. He laughed and asked how we liked the pasture. DH said he wasn't sure what was growing out there. The neighbor laughed and said that the seller got a real deal on seeds at the farm store. They gave him a 100 LB bag of seed that they had swept up from the seed room. Only problem was about 1/3 was turnip seeds. The neighbors offered to come back in the fall and dig up the "weeds". LOL. Nope, we plowed them up and planted real bought grass seed. LOL
Recently I put my streptocarpus leaves in medium, wrong side up. The cut side must remain in the medium. Yesterday when I looked one poor desperate leaf was upside down but growing babies on the top anyway.
Another time years ago, I was demonstrating to some neighborhood kids how early poke was edible. I followed the usual approach and cooked them way my mom did in the Smokies or my dad did in Mississippi. I made the mistake of telling the kids (very impressionable!) that if not handled right or picked at the wrong time, it could make someone very sick. You guessed it! A couple of mothers called and wanted to know just exactly why I had fed a posionous weed to their children.
Mine is kind of embarassing... My neighbour had rented a huge container, she is remodelling. She told me I can put stuff in it too, so a few nights ago I wanted to put some big boxes in it that were used to ship trees to me. I didn't feel like cutting them up, and the paper truck won't take them as a whole.
Ofcourse, I remembered this in the middle of the night, so I got up, in my PJ's, and walked down the street with my huge box. Nice and dark, nobody out.
I throw the box in, and it hangs there, half in, half out, so I climbed into the container to move the box.
Right then, a police car pulled in next to it, shined it's light at me and told me to show myself. I stood up, on the pile of crap, and my pants fell down... Boy, did I feel like a dog!!! The cop asked me what I was doing IN there, and I explained, my face red as a beet!
Lesson? Buy SMALL trees!!!
I just planted some 9 packs yesterday of lettuce and spinach, plus some 4" pots of herbs. TODAY the weather forecast says that in 7-8 days it will be down into the 20's again. Was that dumb of me, or what?
Think this is the worst thing that ever happened to me. I use those wooden pallets to put my plants up on. Mangaged to get all the pallets and then wanted those heavy cement bricks to use as legs to raise the pallets up.
Now the HD charges almost two bucks for them. Too cheap to spend that kind of money for something I see layign all around town at various place.
Found me this store that had about 10 of them sitting back by their dumpster and they said I could have them. Great! I was happy as a peach.
I drove my little Geo Metro around the back flipped the font seats forward and stacked the bricks on the floor on both sides of the passenger seats. By the time I got done the bricks was almost as high as the back of the front seat and I had a bit of trouble trying to get the front seats to go back into place.
Down the road I go, all excited and plannning in my head how I can maybe try and balance two pallets on one brick and get more plant space. Now it about a 40 mile drive home. I enjoying the day and the trip when all of a sudden some fool decides to run his stop sign in front of me. I slam on the brakes. While that accident was avoided an another problem was created.
By havign to hit the brake s so fast the sudden stopping caused the bricks to shift. Instead of shifting on to the back seat they shifted forward and caused the front seats to unhignge and move into the forward position.
My body is now pinned to the sterring wheel and my nose stuck to the windshield. I was pinned , my arms were pinned and there was no way I could move the bricks. I tried pushing backwards with my body with no luck. Those bricks jammed themselve s in there in such a way that they was not going to move. I couldn't get my door opened to try and even crawl out.
By this time am sort of a mild panic. No choice but to try and drive home and get somebody to help get me out. I drove like a turtle down the roads and home. By now my body is starting to ach from being cramped in such a position. My arms are still stuck in the two to ten position and can barely steer. The worst was tryign to turn the corners. Havign to barely creep along and turn the whell a tiny little bit at a time because of limited reach with my arms and hands.
The worst was having to drive with my head stuck over the steerign wheel with my nose to the windshield. What was worse was the sudden stopping and movement of bricks caused my glasses to go flying to the floor of the front passenger seat. Now I am near-sighted. I had no seeign a great view of my dashboard , but could barely see beyond the hood of my car. My eyelids was workign faster than a butteflies wing while I trying to see what was in front of me and where the road was.
I creep all the way home, know the few folks I passed probably thought I I was drunk or something. One person decided to lay on their horn as they passed around me.
Now normally somebody in the neighborhood would be home. I drove around to everybody's house and figures, everybody is out and about doing their own thing. By now my body is really hurting, there is no air conditioner in the car, the sun is up full and it getting hotter than a fire in the car and I can't mov e my arms to roll the window down. My neck is aching from hangin my head bent forward for so long and after 6 cups of coffee that morning I now need to go potty. By this time I ready to cry.
Not having enough gas to keep driving around I finally just pulle d into one of the neighbors yards. two hours late r they came all came home. Everybody pile s out of their van and comes to hang around my car. They got a good look at me and immediately started laughing. After about ten minute s of good nature d jokes as to what I looked like and was I trying out to be a contorstionist they finally freed me. Which was no easy task. I will never have a vechile again with just two doors.
I have never lived that time down. When they se e me moving bricks around the yard, they still can't resist throwing jokes and comments down. I still going around collecting cement bricks, still to cheap to buy them when I can find free ones, but now I got me a vechicle with four doors and some big trunk space. Now I make sure that nothing is piled close to the back seat.
Wow! Starlight. What a saga! I'm glad it had a somewhat happy ending, though I imagine after being pinned so uncomfortably to the steering wheel for so long that nothing seemed happy about the mishap! It definitely sounds like the sort of debacle in which I would easily find myself from my crazy stunts. I'm currently riding around in my old van with "wedding cake" tiers of 4 x8 sheets of plywood stacked on top of cement blocks of various heights in order to haul all the bargain plants I get from a Lowe's on a weekly basis. The stacking is not very architecturally sound and I sometimes pick up so many plants that I have to stack them on top of one another on the shelves from floor to ceiling in the van. Invariably, it seems, some fool will cut in front of me or a traffic light will suddenly change and I have to slam on the brakes as you did in your Geo, resulting in a cascading avalanche of potted plants flying from the back of the van to the front all around me. Each time this happens, I imagine how my death certificate will read: "Cause of Death: flying petunias." LOL
Have you been offered a Movie "Deal" yet?! Mwahahahaha!!
The visuals are just priceless, but I AM truly thankful you recovered from this adventure!
Sure made for a good read, tho, and I can read on, as soon as I clean the coffee off my LCD screen!
Got to thinking since this thread is about what not to do here some tips on not to do for getting rid of grasshoppers.
Til a couple of years ago I never had these green chewing, plant spitting, plant destructor critters. I have no idea where they came from, but come they did. Now I went googling through pages and pages to try and find a way to combat these guys. I found all kinds of aticles that suggested some chemicals, but since I was trying to build up my population of beneficals and other good insects I decided to try a natural way. read where a good method is in either the fall or the early spring to til the ground and by laying it bear open birds would come to eat the hopper larvae in the soil.
Now knowing that me and tillers do not get along cuz I want them to go in one direction and they wanna go in another , plus the fact that alot of hard work and I have to many tre e roots, I passed on that idea.
One web site I found suggested the use of molassas and water. Cool, I'm thinking. I can do molassas. No chem's in it. My frogs and lizards would be protected. Off to the grocery store I go, Look out Log Cabin syrup here I come. I buy oodles of bottles of this stuff. I get home and the directions said to dig a shallow hole, put the syrup and water in the trays and place in the groudn and the hoppers are sure to come and will drown because the syrup keeps them pinned there.
Thought and thought what could I use for trays. Had a large area to try and cover . AH -ha. Brillant idea. Go down to the cornr store and ask the meat department man if I cna buy some of them shallow trays that they package meat on. Sure he says he will sell me some, 10 cent a piece. I buy a hundred of them. Only color he could spare was black. He needed the nice bright yellow ones.
I get home and start to gather my materials up. Now the reciepe said to mix water with the syrup. I started opening bottles of the syrup up and poured them into a bucket. Now Log Cabin was too expensive, so I got this nice thick really dark brown looking stuff. It said molassas on the label so I said, what the heck. I'll use it.
I start to add water and saw that the water just laid on the top, got me a mixing spoon and stired the heck out of it. well it did mix up for a bit but then it started seperating again. Too much trouble to keep mixing, I wante d to get this stuf f in the garden. Decided to just pour the stuf f straight from the bottle into the pan.
I get to the end of one bed, watchign hoppers fly about as I walkign through the yard. I got me a big smile on my face cuz I just know I gonna fix their high jumping hind legs from destroying my plants.
Got down on my hands and knees and started digging shallow troughs to place my black trays in. I grab a bottle of syrup and start to pour. Now I haven't used molassas since I was a kid makign cookies with my mom. I forgot how long it take s for that stuff to come out. Sheash. Hours later I now have 100 nicely placed , perfectly dug and leveled trays filled with molasses all over my yard. I decided not only to place them every few feet aroudn the beds, but also randomly aroudn the yard to catch the strays . I was so proud of myself and so happy I was gonan finally get rid of these pests. Into the hous e I go for a much needed rest and well deserved cup of coffee. Too a nice nap dreamign of coming out the next day and finding all thos e trays filled with hooper parts. How stuipd was I.
Went out the next day and checked some trays, no hoppers, not a one. Found some ants though. Oodles and oodles of ants. Ants marching too, and ants marchign from. Great I thinking, just what I needed, but I know I can deal with the ants later with grits, I wanted the hoppers and really bad by now cuz my foliage looks like a these guys had a party and ha d envited a few more friends to the free smorgasbor in my yard.
Thre e days later nothing. The ants are still marchign two by two in neat lines. A week later and still nothing. By this time, I feed up with the trays and the hoppers.
Now have you ever done something and know it is there, but you so frustrated at the time, you forget about it. I saw hoppers having a field day on my most prized Daylily foliage. There was thre e of these now huge critters hanging there munching away with not a care in the world. I saw red. My first reaction wa s to get them off it.
I didn't think, I didn't watch where I was going, I just made a beeline for my Daylilies. In the process I stepped in tray after tray of gooey molasass. I got trays stuck to my feet, molassas all over my shoes and socks and pant legs. I felt liek I was in that movie Mouse Trap. I'm yelping my head off at these nastiests I flipped oen tray up and my foot twiste d in the hole, down I went. Down into more molassas trays I go with my hands and elbows and knees as I try to catch myself.
I get to my babie s just to have the hoppers fly off. By now I am mad. I am not only covered in syrup, but I never knew how sticky that stuf f really is. I now look like I been tared and feathered only I am covered in leaf mulch, pine mulch, dirt and other gross ickies from the yard and my newly washe d hair, well it looked like a dirty dish rag.
Of f to the house I march. This is war. I get a fly swatter. Out I come with it. Back into the yard I stomp. I yelling at these hoppers. Now I neighbors lookign to see what my problem is. They are now having a grand ole time laughign at the me and new style of garden dress. They having a good time at me creatign the newest break dancing steps as I prancing and dancing around like crazy trying to hit as many of these hoppers as I can. Hint... Flyswatters don't work either. before ya get to them to step on the up and flying again.
I finally gave up and dragged my poor abused body and beaten ego bakc into the house and got cleaned up. A few days laters I was out watering and was too lazy to walk all the way to the end of the bed dragging the water hose, so I put my finger over the end of it and pressed as hard as I could and made a hard jet spray. I just happened to notice that a few grasshoppers when spraye like that hit the groudn and it stunne d them enough that I could step on them.
Oh ya, I was back to smiling. I got me the hose and as the hoppers would fly up I would spray them and run and squish. Now I going crazy. I on a mission. I squirtign and stepping and squirtign and stepping. I got so engrossed that I forgot what goe s up come s down . Time and tiem again, I would have one fly up infront of me and to make sure it didn't escape I would just spray. Do not spray a water hose directy above your head unless you want a shower.
I got soaked and still get soaked to day, but if ya got hoppers and wanna get rid of them the water hose, squish method does work.
Now you might think this is the end of the story and it should be except for one thing. Never randomly bury anythign in yoru yard that you don't put some sort of colorful marker by. All those random trays I placed aroudn the yard with syrup. Well we had had one good wind storm that blew all the leaf mulch every where's aroudn and through the yard. If ya hear somebody yeling and doing a one foot dance ya know it just me where I stepped in another tray forgoten and hidden.
My day hasn't gotten off to a great start, so I reeeeally appreciate the bellylaughs with the grasshopper story.
However, I didn't laugh at the brick story because you could have been killed. Why didn't you stop somewhere--a gas station, shopping center, anywhere with people around--to get somebody to help you out? I can't imagine driving 40 miles in that predicament. Poor you!
Bivbiv... Hope your day gets better. The reason I didn't stop somewhere is because I wish you could have really seen how foolish I looked and I was hoping to try and sneak home without to many people realizing what a dumb thing I had did. When ya live in litle bitty towns, everybody seems to know everybody. Figure d if the main local folks saw me I never really would have lived my situation down.
For some od d reason I one of them folks who generally always trie s to start my day out in a good way, but seems to be the one who usually end s up gettign themselves into some sort of strange predictiment. LOL
LOL... I love reading everybody's posts. There are several folks on the forums that have some great stories. I get such chuckles out of the other stories folks write. I often wonder is there really such a thing as the perfect garderner and the perfect garden? I know it sure ain't gonna be with me. I am just so glad that there are other folks who have times and troubles. I don't feel so lonely.
I tell ya what is that saying about bad luck for no good luck or such. I feel like that. Ya wanna know what alot of my days are like? Here is one I was sharign with some of my friends on another forum.
" Some days a gal just can't win for losing. Today is one of them days. Got up at about 2 am to finish my landscape drawing that was due today. Haven't figured out why I have that class yet, cuz while I can draw some neat precise lines on the paper, I have no sense of vision.
Well, 6am came and it was time to head to school. I racing around gathering every thing I would need up and lastly grabbed my coffee and roll of drawings. For some reason only known to my dog he decided to get up off the floor and under my feet at the same I was was coming through. Ya.. you can about guess what happened.
I tripped. It is not easy trying to fall over 90 lbs of dog with bookbag, papers, purse, coffee. My coffee ended up all over my face and hair and my nice brand new , pristine white T-shirt. My 10 hours of drawings. They kind went under me and the dog and with him tryign to get up and out of the way, his toenails ripped em. Between my hand and him they was all crinkled and scrunced up.
!5 minutes later, a quickie shower and change of clothes and I back out the door and on my way. Wondering the entire drive how am I gonna make the professor believe what really happened since my papers look like they been jammed in a paper machine and pulled out.
I get to school and to the parkign lot and realize that I need to find the post office and mail a couple of things. Asked the parking aattendant how to get there. A few rights, a curve a couple of lefts. Sounded easy enough. WRONG!!!!! I got lost, should zigged when I zagged. Finally made it to the post office and come out and find one of my brand new tires is about half flat.
Well, that just won't do, so I driving in unknown territory in morning rush hour traffic hunting for a gas station with air pump. Eurekaaaaaaa I find one. Manage to cross the busy traffic and wiggle my car in between a bunch of trucks and get to the pump. Got me a quarter out and moaned when I saw the price of air was 75 cent. Sheesh. My dog had gas bad for two nights in a row, he cheaper than that. No more change in pocket. That was one of them times ya wish they had them dollar bill slots on the machine even if it would keep the change.
No way was I gonna stand in the long line s in the gas station, while everybdy paid for their biscuits and grits to go. So into my car I start hunting. I just know there gotta be a couple of quarters somewhere. Checked the ash tray changey thing. Empty! Checked the glove box and under the seats. No luck. But ... what do my eyes see down in between the console and seats????? Glitter. Silver glitter. Oh Boy!!!! I jam my hand down there trying to get to the bottom to get the change. My arm didn't wanna fit, I twisiting it and turning it every which way , wiggling my fingers for all it was worth. Sucess! Got me some change and proudly strutting to the air tank with the required quarters only to find out somebody had one jammed in the slot and the machine wa s broke. SNIFFFFFF!
Get back in my car and limp back to the parking lot. Listening to the tire going blump..blump..blump. I running late now. I found some one with one of them portable small air tanks ya plug into the cigareete lighter. Oh Happy Day! Plug that baby up and hook it to my tire which is almost flat now. My engine running and the tire sloooooooooowly filling up. Next thing I know I hear sizzle..sizzle.. sizzle and see a cloud of smoke and green stuff pouring out under the car. Then it hit me, my radiator was either leaking or over heated. It was the second. I drop the air pump and race to turn my car off, but not before almost my whole radiator emptied itself all over the parking lot. As I watching my car beign engulfed by a cloud of white smoke, I thought, what else can go wrong today. Unfortunately lots.
Today we had, plant take up for Aboriculture. Today was Maples. Sugar, Red, Silver and a host of others. About halfway through the walk I suddendly felt pain. Now unlike most of my classmates who all run around wearing nothing but flip-flops, I had on shoes. But did that save me. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! 30 students all gathered around a tree observing it and only me... ( sigh) was lucky enough to unknownly be standing on an ant hill buried under the leaves. While I was busy taking notes and tryign to draw the leaf pattern these ants decided to do some hiking of their own... up my pants legs. They just couldn't take a walk , say Hi! and then mosey back to their home. They had to let me know of their presence by proceeding to bite the snarff out of me.
Now it not always easy being the oldest in a class, but it even wors e when you have all these young people standing there ooggling at ya while your inventing new moves that would put break dancing to shame. There goes my clipboard and papers again flying while I try and get the little devils out of my pants and out of my shoes. I spent the rest of the day in utter misery from the itching that driving me crazy.
Now, PLEASE!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!! if ya manage d to read down this far. What can I do or put on all these ant blisters. I got about 30 to 40 of them and I tried calamine lotion and it hasn't stopped the itch. I am having to sit on my hands or keep them other wise occupied to try not to scratch. I have had ant bites before but not with such a magnitude of blisters or hitching or bites. I surely would appreciate any advice.
Some days... I HATE BUGS!!!!!!!!
Morning! At least that what my clock says. After posting this thread I decided to grab a cup of coffee and stretch out on the couch while I waited for advice. Guess my long study night caught up with me cuz I fell alseep. Don't remember falling a sleep, but I must have snored my head off laying in a weird position cuz my throat feels like somebody ran them scrtchy lemon drops all up and down it. It hurts even to drink coffee. ( don't scratch!)
I missed breakfast and lunch yesterday with all that wa s happening and zzzzzz'd out before I could get dinner. Now I gotta get some throat spray before I eat and stop my stomach from yelling louder than the tv. ( think bacon and eggs, but don't scratch!)
I sitting here looking at the clock hands slowly dragging so I can run to the corner store which doesn't open til about 7 cuz I checked and don't have anything listed in the house. No Benadryl, no burbon, no alcholol no baking soda, no nothing. UGGGGGGGGGG!
Now I do have flour and in my warped mind, I wondering if flour will work the same as baking soda. It will make a paste when mixed with water. I'd give it a try but with my luck, I would probably end up with it turning permanetely hard or gluing itself to my legs like cement. I better pass on that idea, but it sounds better and better, sure hope the store opens soon. gotta scratch.. don't scratch.. gott a scratch.. don't scratch)
Looke d at my legs and boy do they look cute. Bunches of nice itchy blisters with red rings around. Wonder what kinda picture I would end up with if I took an ink pen and tried to do a connect the dots with them. Definately realized it gonna be a bit before I try and shave. My razor would probably bust all them blisters and take half my hide with them. Plus I don't have that many band-aids in the house. I do have lots of extra rolls of toliet paper though to make dab squares with though!
Finally it almost time to head to the store and load up of medicinal supplies. I have to go there and to the mechancs to make sure the repairs I did yesterday are gonna hold. Didn't have any duck tape with me . I trust that stuff to hold better than my skills. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I get there and back. Right now I afraid to stick my nose and especially my toes out the door.
Catch all later, time to go find some relief finally. If ya see somebody staggering down the road walking cockeyed and stopping every few minutes to strach one leg against the other , don't worry it probably just me. ((((((GOTTA SCRATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!)))))))))))))) "
Now I ask... anbody wanna be me for a day??????? LOL
Well, this one just happened yesterday. I was babysitting my mom's American Eskimo dog for the weekend while she was away. Her dog seemed very depressed so I thought that a nice walk might do her some good. When I went outside, I decided to go in my neighbor's (across the street) yard so I could start to envision how I was going to help her turn this weed-infested mess into a serene and beautiful garden. There was an area that I was unable to get to this past summer because it was so overgrown, so I thought I'd go back there now and check it out. I remember looking at this one plant thinking that it was too bad that the Round Up had no effect on it (should've been a CLUE that it was evil!!!), but at least it had interesting seedheads. So we start walking through this mess when I feel something poking my leg. I look down and those seedheads are sticking to me like velcro--they had barbed ends!! And then, I look at my mom's dog and about died. This poor thing was totally covered. When I tried to gently pull them out, I come to the horrifying conclusion that I will have to cut them out. Now, this dog is my mom's BABY, and to have to chop off chunks of her long white fur was not going to go over well. I get home and my husband asks me why on earth would I walk through "dingleberries" and what kind of a gardener am I to not know what they are? In my defense, I am familiar with plants I LIKE, not ones that should guard the gates of hell! This is the same neighbor's house where I got that terribly PI rash last summer. I called her and told her that her yard was haunted by some anti-gardening evil spirits. ;-) Tamara
p.s. My mom was actually pretty cool about me giving Angel a "haircut". But she did tell me that when she goes to visit my sister in Arizona, she's putting the dog in a kennel. lol
p.s.s I'm pretty sure that "dingleberries" isn't the correct term. Anyone know what plant I'm talking about?
LOL... Oh Tamara... I don't know them wicked weeds as dingleberriers, but I do know of them and how bad they can be. Poor doggy. I laughign my head off thinking of the looks your Mom's dog was probaby giving you and while you were giving it a hair cut. I hope you didn't have to give it a poodlecut. ROFL
Oh Mrs. Colla... How terrible for you. I can just imagine the horrified look on your Mothers face while you explained what your brother did. As somebody who ha d thre e brothers who were always picking on me, I hope you got your own back at him at some point.
Thanks for all the bug relief tips. Have to go to store later and wil pick up vinegar and meat tenderizer both. I am sure I am gonna need ant relief again.
Thanks again, all, for your great stories! Starlight, I'm sure you and I together could destroy the world in a few moments if we ever got together our misadventures!
This is only a minor bobble in my footloose daily delirium of mishaps, but seems to fit within the context of these stories:
I just took a new part-time job at the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens -- a wonderful opportunity for me in the horticulture department. I need to report to work by 7 AM and have been getting up at 5 AM in order to have time to pour down several mugs of very strong espresso coffee and have time to check E-Mail, D-mail, and new posts on DG. This past Thursday, I was all ready to go to work and was happy to note that I was going to be early enough for a relaxed drive for the short trip of 2.5 miles to the zoo job. As I was about to go out the door, I couldn't find my keys in my pocket. I was certain that my keys were in my hand only a few seconds earlier, but I often slip back and forth between alternate universes and am never quite sure in which reality I am living at any particular moment. I do a slap dance at all the pockets in my pants (which have extra sets of pockets to hold pruning shears and folded saws), but I don't feel the familiar clump of keys (a huge collection on a keyring which contains about a dozen keys for which I have no association as to what door they might fit, but I don't throw the unidentified keys away because I might end up at that mysterious door someday and then not have a key to open it). I went back inside the house and checked the usual spots where I am likely to drop my keys (amongst the piles of papers, unpaid bills, tossed off clothes, and other bits of clutter that occupy most flat surfaces in my house, much to Christina's dismay), but I had no luck in finding the keys in anyone of the several familiar drop points. Time is ticking away toward the appointed moment to show up for work on time, so I begin a more frantic search -- tossing things from the flat surfaces onto the floor and beginning to mutter and curse under my breath. When the keys fail to appear, I begin to curse and shout blasphemies out loud, enough to awaken Christina (she doesn't have to report to her job until 10 AM and so she generally gets to sleep in a few hours after I leave for work). By this time, I am convinced my keys have fallen into one of the cosmic Black Holes that seem to occupy much of the space in my existence, so I begin to search for my alternate van keys in a dresser drawer where I have a box of extra keys. Of course, at some point in the past, I have removed the box of keys and never replaced them and the alternate keys are also now buried somewhere amongst the clutter. I begin to curse much louder now and place my soul in eternal jeopardy for the foul epithets I am swearing against all things holy. I begin pulling drawers all the way out of my dressser and rifling through the collections of odd items that end up being deposited there, flinging the contents to all corners of the room, with my anger and frustration and yelling growing ever more intense. Christina is now fully awake and has joined me in the futile search (being very familiar with my disorganization, having lived with me for 4 years and knowing that I tend to drop things in a constant semi-coma of preoccupation with whatever whim is currently holding my awareness). Finally, as the minute hand draws ever nearer to 7 AM, I proclaim that she is just going to have to get dressed and drive me to work and I will walk home later when I get off at 1:30 PM. I phone in to let my supervisor know that I may be a fewl minutes late while Christina hurriedly throws on sufficient clothes to make the trip without fear of arrest for indecent exposure. She is none too happy about having to suddenly jump out of bed and drive me to work, but tries to maintain a good humor. We quickly leave the house in her Mustang. I mutter and curse and wail against my star-crossed life journey throughout the entire trip to the zoo, and note that there are a few rain drops falling and that I will probably have to walk home in the rain, which brings more cursing.
Because we are allowed an 8 minute "grace period" on the time clock for punching in for work, I actually arrive on time, which relieves some of my frustration. I settle into the day's routine of happily pruning back frost damage to plants at the zoo gardens and enjoy the day, but all the while knowing I have a 2.5 mile walk awaiting me after work, followed by a forced labor cleaning of the entire house in order to locate my keys (I begin to wonder if maybe Christina had deliberately hidden my keys so that I would finally be required to pick up some of the debris, power tools, hardware, and supplies I am constantly dropping when I go from one project to another without finishing any one of them.)
I begin my arduous trek after work at 1:30 PM. Fortunately, the rain has held off and it is a beautiful, sunny day. I am determined to just enjoy the walk and actually do find a moment of tranquility when I cross the bridge at the river just north of my house, and my interest is piqued by discovering that there is a commercial diving school located on the south side of the river bank (I make a "note to self" that I surely must contact the submersible trainers and take up commercial diving as yet another hobby or occupation, but I instantly realize that it will probably be sometime in the next millennium before that task would rise to priority on my list of "things to do.")
I am amazed that it takes me over an hour to walk 2.5 miles! I had somehow imagined that it would be only about 20 minutes at the most. I arrive home, somewhat fatigued from the journey, and look for the house key that I keep hidden outside. Of course, the key is not where I expect it to be, and all my calm and acceptance erupts again into rage and resentment. I fume about on the front porch for a while, wishing I could get inside for a cool beverage to quench the thirst I built up in the sojourn, but actually somewhat glad that being locked out of the house meant that I could spend the entire afternoon in the garden instead of having to clean the house to find my keys. I decide to check once again in the key hiding place and this time do find it pushed further back into the hidey-hole than is usual. Alas, I am resigned to go inside and begin to sort through the mounds of collected clutter so that I can locate my keys.
As I change out of my work clothes that are now somewhat sweaty from the 2.5 mile footfalls from work to home, I begin to empty my pockets. As I take out my wallet and sit down on the bed to remove my work boots, I feel an unfamiliar lump in my back pocket where my wallet usually resides alone. I stand and reach into the pocket and there, smirking at me, are the lost keys. I had somehow managed to drop them (for the first time, ever) into the rear pocket. In my manic haste to try to locate the keys in the morning rush, I had not felt them lodged alongside my wallet. I feel like a total fool! I call Christina at her job to let her know that the keys are safely back in my hand (temporarily, for the moment, until I lay them down in some exotic place, never to be seen again). But my feeling of idiocy is soon relieved because I realize that, by finding the keys so soon, I have, once again, gained a reprieve from the necessity of cleaning the house and I can, instead, go outside and dally away the afternoon with my beloved plants. In my delight with being able to enjoy the day outside, I do cut a sprig of Freesia flowers and place it on Christina's nightstand as an offering of gratitude for her putting up with me and for the patience and fortitude and near-deity status she displays by rising above the trash as if walking on water, and the resolve for our relationship she shows by continuing to wade through my oceans of hobbies and untidy habits. The sweet-smelling freesia branch seemed to do the trick because she took the time yesterday to shovel some of the household clutter into piles while I was gleefully attending a Spring plant seminar for Master Gardeners where I bought yet more plants I couldn't live without. Her efforts toward cleanliness relieved me, once again, from bringing some order to the chaos and entropy in which I choose to dwell.
I have often explained to Christina, my mental health therapist that I see for monthly sessions, and my psychiatrist that I can be medically excused from picking up after myself because I have what I would describe as "creative psychosis" -- the ability to actually look past any degree of debris and see only the end result that may someday actualize and reveal itself when I finally do have a chance to bring all the displaced, disorderly, dispersed, and disparate parts into a new, shining wholeness of congruent design. From my viewpoint, there is nowhere in my existence any disorganization because I consciously live today in a distant future of free-flowing fruition where everything will, in the right moment, come together in perfect harmony. I stand ardently by this attitude of prognostic faith -- (but my psychosis sure makes finding my keys a difficult task!!)
Oh, Jeremy! Thank you for sharing. I had to lie down on the floor to laugh properly...does anyone else do this? Anyhow, I can relate to the lost key syndrome. Now, I am a very tidy person (some would say anal), the sort that diligently returns their shopping cart to the collection point and straightens the row of returned carts as well, so of course everything in my house is usually in its place. But one morning, I could not find my house keys. I looked everywhere, twice. Just as I was about to lose my mind, the doorbell rang. I saw the UPS truck in the driveway, and I went to the door to sign for a package. As he was turning to leave, the delivery guy says, "You might want to take your key out of the door." Yup, there was my key ring, which had been hanging on the front door all night.
I've enjoyed all your garden tales; esp. the concrete blocks because I've acquired some paving stones the same way. I'll remember to be more careful. It's taken me a while to think up a story that I could share.
I remember an attempt to rid my garden of slugs that backfired some years ago. The garden was fenced to keep my cocker spaniel, Louie, out. It worked until one night I decided to set slug traps with empty cat food cans filled with beer. Well, Louie was always trying to sneak the cats' food. I guess the temptation was too much for him when he saw all those catfood cans in the garden. And you guessed it.. he found a way into the garden and drank all the beer.
After that, I went back to walking through the garden after dark with a flashlight & getting them with a salt shaker.
I hope you don't mind me sharing a story from the librarian who helped me locate a gardening book. I laughed so that I hope her feelings weren't hurt. She noticed a neighbor thinning a flower bed and discarding the plants on the ground by the trash can. After the neighbor went inside, the librarian gathered the plants which appeared to be chrysanthemums. She dug up a flower bed along the fence line and transplanted the neighbors discards. Later, her adult son came home and went into the backyard. When he came back into the house, he wanted to know why she had planted ragweed. Well, she was so embarrassed.
Greenbrain... LOL... I can just imagine your puppy runnign from can to can slurping up all that beer. Sure hope he didn't have to bad of a hangover the next day. Did he look at you with only one eye open asking you to whisper. : )
The second story is hilarious. Oh my!!! That is just to cute. Thanks for the chuckles!!!!!!!!!!
I am a seed collector and thought I was obsessive about it
but I think you top me on that front Starlight. I collect them and
put them on my dining room table to dry out. One day my long haired
cat decided that it'd be a nice place to stretch out for a nap. She
had seeds (and dried folliage and twigs) in her fur and all over my
house after that episode. The worst part was that I'd promised someone
at DG some of the seed. I had to pick them out of her fur to collect
enough to send.
Oh man.. oh man... I think that waterign the artifical catus has got to take the cake. That one is a real winner. I read that and look out the catus in my yard and start laughign all over again.
Hahahahah. Tam. At leats you were able to pick out the seeds. Can just imagien you having to try to explain to folks what the funny looking bits of hair is with their seeds. Mayeb you could have passe d em off as soem new extoic type. LOL
Thanks, all, for the great stories! I look forward to seeing additions to this thread each day.
I had a similar plastic cactus watering story -- I helped organize the raffle for a fund raiser here last year and the raffle prizes included the 4 table floral arrangements donated by our most renowned local florist. One of the raffle prizes went unclaimed and though I could have made a special effort to try to find out how to contact the winner, I decided that since the floral arrangement included a live phalenopsis orchid plant, and since I was uniquely qualified to provide the proper care for the orchid, my belief in "situation ethics" (i.e., finding moral justification for otherwise unholy acts) demanded that I keep the arrangement for myself. In addition to the live orchid plant, there were some other live ground cover type plants and a plant that had tiny leaves sparsely situated along spaghetti-thin, 2 foot tall, twisted and spiraling stems and branches. I thought that this was probably some exotic branch cut and added for accent, but when the branches and pinhead sized leaves continued to stay fresh and green over the several week period that the orchid remained in spike, I found myself becoming gradually astonished and amazed and very excited to have yet another wonderful plant to add to my botanical collection. "But what could the strange plant be?," I wondered. I had never seen anything resembling its bizarre, thin structure and wondered how it could support such a tall branching shape with such minimal leaves. Fortunately, I restrained myself from my decision to take a photo of the mysterious, convoluted plant and posting it on the DG Plant ID Forum, though that was my eventual intention.
I continued to daily ponder the identification of this weird plant. During this period of prolonged bewilderment, I had, by accident, left a tuber of the obstinate and invasive Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera -- http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/32235/index.html), the Kudzu of the South, lying about on a log after being plucked from the soil. Some folks have found great fun and considerable profit in selling these child fist sized withered tubers on eBay to unsuspecting buyers under the common name of "Monkey Balls," though that is about as much positive use as might come from these smothering vines. In its time of resting on the log, the Air Potato tuber that I had neglected to destroy had sprouted without soil and had sent out a long, thin searching tendril, hoping to find some nearby plant that it might seize upon, grasp in its clutches, and strangle in defiance of its own death throes. Upon seeing the tenacious dessicated Air Potato vine that so much resembled the alien plant in the floral arrangement, I thought that, perhaps, the renowned local florist was botanically savvy enough to have discovered this amazing trait of the Air Potato and incorporated it into his orchid arrangement. However, the snaking Air Potato vine was limp and sprawling whereas the plant in the floral arrangement was stiff and stood erect without any external support, so I remained unconvinced that the new botanical species was an adroitly used Air Potato, and continued to marvel at the fantastic plant that had come my way along with the Phalenopsis Orchid, which now seemed common in comparison to the previously unbeknown beauty of the extraordinary lime green stem which provided such an exquisite counterpoint to the tall spire of the Phalenopsis spike in the floral arrangement. "Oh, my!" I smugly thought, "My DG friends will be so envious of this remarkable collectors' item plant and oh, how they will covet a cutting of it!"
After a month or so, when the orchid blossoms finally did begin to fade and I determined it was time to tear the floral arrangement apart to separate the orchid and other live plants into separate pots for optimum individual care, I set about to remove the lush covering of sphagnum moss that had kept the roots of the plants concealed in the decorative basket. I saved the stupefying green thin plant for last to be removed from the arrangement since I didn't know what sort of root structure it might have. When it came time to pluck it out, to my startled discovery, when I grasped it, I found that its outermost branches had the miraculous ability to bend and remain in the shape to which they were placed! I knew that certain plants, such as Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana -- http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/23/index.html) were possessed of this incredible trait of pliant compliance in the arrangement of their flowers along the stem, but couldn't imagine that a branch of any plant could be so flexible and adaptable that it could retain the shape it was required by human intervention to hold. When I finally did pull the curious, singular plant from its mooring in the sphagnum, I was completely shocked to find that it had no roots!! Now even more mystified by the unfathomable ability of this plant to remain fresh and alive over a several month period without a trace of roots, I began to examine it carefully. To my profound surprise, I saw at the core of this plant, not the anticipated fleshy green cambium layer of soft tissue, but a bright copper wire. It was only then that my stupefied awareness turned to a recognition of my abject stupidity when I realized that, for a period of several weeks, I had been nursing and nourishing a plastic sprig!
Rather than send the diabolical thing to the trash heap in order to rid myself of the evidence of my consummate foolishness, I now display it in a prominent place in my patio amongst some ginger plants. If someone should inquire as to the identification of this strange plant, I spout off casually the name of Plasticius ignoranimus and demonstrate its remarkable ability to retain whatever shape in which it is bent. If the gardening friend is as amazed by this plant as I had been prior to my discovering its true nature, I take out my wire cutters and dutifully and lovingly snip off a cutting of the P. ignoraniumus so that they may share in its power to keep all gardeners, no matter how adept they may think they are at recognizing botanical specimens, forever growing within the humbling awareness that there is always something new to learn and existing within the absolute truth that a sucker (both in terms of plant sprouts and in human foibles) is born every minute.
Fake plants have come a long way from the plastic of the 60's. Sometimes touching them doesn't even help. This was too funny. The dog came in and put his head on my lap to soothe me through my fit of laughter.
I have a trail through our woods that many that visit here go for a walk on. I went to the dollar store and picked up realistic looking turtles, bunnies, frogs etc and put them in places where they look really natural. I thought the little kids of friends would like spotting them as they walk through the trails. The kids like it, but then learn quickly after a few embarassing times that they are fake, then they get surprized by the real ones. Just a way to humor myself.
LOL...this is all so funny! Here's just one of many stories from my life...
I had just bought a house with a fireplace. One night I decided to light the fire, using the logs that were already in the fireplace when I bought the house. It took me forever to get them to light...but finally I got it started. About an hour later I kept hearing this "clinking" noise. It was coming from the fireplace and was nails that were dropping from the FAKE LOGS that I had lit! No wonder it took so long to get them lit...LOL!
Hahahahahahaha, too funny. I want you to start my next campfire. If you can get fake logs to burn, you would be a wizzard at real wood.
I once used wrapping paper as starter for the fireplace. That should work, except most wrapping paper is now fireproof.
My mishaps are a lot tamer than some of you. Mine are strictly of the gardening mistakes type. I am forever trying to push the envelope in getting "sun" plants to bloom in part-shade. Mostly it's a failure each time, but iris can take a lot more sun than I thought and so can daisies.
My last mishap was the damage done by some fertilizer. it was in a bag, in a bucket and I left it out and rain got in it. In trying to move it and set it down near some azaleas that I planned to give a soggy handfull or 2, I dribbled the bag over some creeping phlox. Next day, the phlox was burned to crisp exactly where the dribble line went. Well, Duh! All I have to do was water it in and things would have been fine. Hope the azaleas are ok.
Woodspirit - my mom has a dead spot in her yard where she loaded the spreader with fertilizer. Apparently
she forgot to check that it was closed. So it dumped a big amount right in the spot where it was sitting. Its
literally been years and that spot just won't grow grass (or weeds).
Well I don't know if this fits but... I have a beautiful Japanese Maple that Darius gave me a couple of years ago. Anyway, it's been in a pot up until a couple of weeks ago.
Here's the dumb part!! In my head I've been saying 'Red Maple' instead of 'Japanese Maple.' Because of that I planted it in a high wind and high sun area. DOH!! WHY DID I DO THAT??????????? I KNEW it wasn't a Red Maple!!! Anyway, once it cools off this afternoon I am moving it to the back yard where it will be more protected. No harm done - it's leafing out beautifully now but I want to move it before it gets hot. My brain just insisted that it was going there and insisted it was a red...
I seem to burn things with fertilizer. Year before last I devastated a row of pinks. The next year they came back fairly well. This winter they were devastated by voles. I have been spoon-feeding rat poison way down the vole holes with an iced tea spoon.
I would say my stupidest garden thing I have done is happening right now. My son wanted to try and grow heirloom tomatoes from seed, so I thought what the heck. I won 15 different varieties, 3 seeds each on ebay for $1.00. I REALLY did not expect them to sprout...well, they have...sigh and they are doing well.
I am still not sure how many will make it, but besides those we already have 3 tomato plants and a bunch of other veggies...in a house where I am mainly the only one that likes it all and I am one of those people that if I am going to do something, I try to do it right...so what am I doing with all the extra produce? WHo knows...
I know my mom will take some, and we have to rehabilitation centers right around the corner. People even park on our street for it. I think I will set up a table and let people take what they want. I don't have the ability to get to the foodbanks in town, the ones I know of are an hour away with traffic. So, I will take them to the two homes, maybe put an ad on CL, give to my neighbors...we will see. lol
You know what's weird, Dyson? I called my county's homeless shelter and asked them if they accepted garden donations (I'm growing extra veggies this year), and the girl made some comment about how all their food is prepared offsite. I thought that was pretty odd that a place would turn down garden fresh tomatoes, cukes, etc. My other thought was to donate to our local senior center, since a lot of older people can no longer garden and would probably love fresh veggies. Tamara
probably the homelss shelter does not have a regular kitchen nor can afford to pay a cook. Our senior center has all the meals catered in by the hospital. However, they do buy a few treats or folks bring them in and those are shared. They also distribute emergency boxes of food for days the electricity may be out or other natural disaster. They have also given away night lites, red cross emergency kits, cell phone that only work to call the Sheriff's dept. in an emergency, and tomato plants from the Cooperative extension service. But neither the right kitchen facilities nor the cook to prepare meals on site.
If your local shelters cannot use it, try your local churches or even mobile home parks for the elderly and such. I am sure there are plenty of oldr people who would LOVE to get heirloom veggies that they can no longer handle to grow.
I did just realize there is a church around the corner that saved my butt for 2 years, years ago when I had 4 babies at home and a husband in school. They feed less people and have more control over the boxes. They don't prepack, many larger food banks do things in bulk and veggies get destroyed. Honestly, I NEVER got veggies we could actually use, they all got smashed or beat up terribly by the heat by the time they got in our home. Small churches will probably have better luck...
If I have a good crop of things, I think I will call them, they are local enough to me that it won't take hours I don't have to make the trips.
Of course I am counting my chickens bfore they hatch. But so far so good and the last time I grew tomatoes they were everywhere...we will see. lol
Happy, was that directed at me? If so, thank you...
No Giddy, it was meant for everyone to be aware of the needs of so many people.
I still am in contact with the director of the soup kitchen and she told me last week that things are getting very bad. More people coming in for " food baskets" and also because of the money crunch, there are less donations. It's a LOSE-LOSE situation and she is almost desperate.
Also to mention clothing. The homeless do not have closets or washers/driers. The wear what they have on and then throw it away. How much would you like to carry around in your back pack or a plastic baggie?
I see that you are in Fort Lauderdale. Have your local soup kitchen contact the local Whole Foods Market. Each store has someone to coordinate community donations. I work at one of our larger stores. We have 1//2 dozen churches and food pantry's coming. We have daily pickups. If the soup kitchen is having troubles other than materials sourcing--have them ask about 5% day and ask if any of their team members might be interested in volunteering at the soup kitchen. If the soup kitchen is church based they might not be able to help with some projects.
At the very least it wouldn't hurt to make a phone call.
OMG! I'm dying here! Jeremy, the piano fiasco just about did me in. Ok, I'm wiping the tears away and here's my tale:
I have a wasp phobia. I seem to be a wasp magnet. They seem to sense my innate horror of them and whenever I venture into the yard, they gather with their wasp buddies to have a little fun with me. "Come on guys, let's mess with Sasquatch!" So, on any particular day, I can be observed engaging in various interesting contortions, unexpected lightning speed sprints, etc., often accompanied by imaginative and colorful language.
On one occasion I decided to do DH a favor and mow the front yard. We live in a semi rural area and the front of our house faces a highway well traveled by by the local community. I'm on the riding mower and I'm thinking "Don't get too close to that guy wire with the little covered metal thingy because you KNOW that looks like the perfect place for a wasp nest". Next thing I know, I HIT the thing. Events then took on a kind of slow motion surreal quality. For a about a second I was paralyzed with horror. Then, survival instinct kicked in. With the mower firmly wedged against the guy wire thingy but still running, I swan dived off the mower, did a perfect head over heels roll, came to my feet like an Olympic gymnast and probably broke a record sprinting like mad for the door. I am proud to say that I didn't even get stung once! I couldn't bring myself to go back out to the mower and turn it off. DH comes in a little while later: "Hon, what's up with the mower?" This event also provided entertainment for many friends and neighbors who happended to be traveling by at the time. I've found that, after a while, you really do get used to the odd looks and muffled whispers.
LOL, but the your last line was the funniest. Hit too close to home I guess.
I know what you mean about the hornets/wasps. I looked out the back door the other day and one came at me and hit the window with such force I thought it should have died, but it just crawled around and looked at me. Good thing the glass was between us. I went in a made a "waspinator", it sort of helps. It is a gray bag that looks like a paper nest. It keeps them away (like deck or something).
I no longer wonder about odd looks, I just smile.
Thanks, Ladibug, for sharing your wasp adventure! I, too, am often received with "odd lucks and muffled whispers," but I take it as a sign that I am accomplishing my goal of keeping everyone completely baffled and just a wee bit wary. I get away with a lot more of my "eccentricities" that way. LOL
Years ago when I was a freshman in college I was invited to a fraternity party on the lake by one of the handsomest guys I had ever seen. I spent the morning at the beauty salon getting my hair styled and my nails manicured (including toenails), and then went back to the dorm to get dressed. Cost: two weeks allowance. After trying everything on in my closet I decided to dress in white slacks, white sandals, and a white top as I already had the beginnings of a good tan. It obviously was my intent to make a good impression.
As soon as we arrived at the lake my date opened the car door for me and I literally fell into his arms having caught my heel in his car mat. After recovering my composure, I strutted down pier carrying the obligatory picnic basket. Before I reached the end of the pier, I glanced back to make sure he was watching and walked right off the end of the pier.
I bet that guy tells that story every chance he gets. : ) Sounds like something that would happen to me.
When I was at my HS graduation, we were all seated in some kind of removeable grandstands. It had a plank you had to walk down, with little boards so you wouldn't slide and fall. Well, they called my name and I walked down the aisle in my lil heels, all prissy like, and turned to go down the plank, and preceded to skate all the way down to the bottom. I heard the whole stadium gasp. I didn't fall though. : ) I straighten up, grabbed my composer, and limped to the podium with a broken heel. My classmates tho, were all laughing hysterically.
Kyjoy, You must have gotten a pretty good allowance. Sounds like a pricey day at the spa. So, did walking off the pier impress this guy? I wanted the story to end to say that he married you.
Blue, how did you not fall. Sounds like you recovered well.
This thread is so funny, because we see ourself in every story!
Wow! Hiliarious is all I can say from reading everyone's post.
I have a brief tale here:
Two weekends ago here in Hot & Humid Sunny Florida, My DD Decides she will help me blow off Live Oak Blossoms off the roof of the house.
Ok, I agree, so up the ladder we go with a blower, rake & Broom. Rake to rake them towrads the pitch of the house , blower to blow them over to the opposite (didn't want the blossoms in my beds) & the broom to brush the grates of the gutters.
Here we are working along when up the ladder comes my 8 yr old. grandson. So I set down on the roof with him, we are talking about how pretty the view of the lake is from the roof. My DD is using the blower so its hard to hear.
Next thing you know my Boxer/American Staffshire Terrier) has climbed up the ladder & joined us on the roof.
I laughed so hard tears just ran down my face. My DD went down the ladder to get the camera for proof he was on the roof.
We waited til my DH came home from work to help us get the dog down. I used a ski vest & rope to make a harness & to safely lower him to the ground. Needless to say he now has to be kenneled when the ladders are out.
Here's a pic.
My old pit bull does the same thing. You can't leave a ladder on the house or he will be walking on the roof.
He also climbs my magnolia tree to try to get a squirrel or a lizard. The first time I saw him, I just happened to be looking out the window, and all of a sudden I see a dog in mid air. He can climb up, but he can't climb down,...he jumps. For awhile I thought I was gonna have to get a parachute for him.
Finally, over the years he has chewed all the lower limbs off the Magnolia, and now he can't climb it. : )
Can I BE any more stupid? I put the sprinkler on this afternoon, without setting the timer, and forgot all about it! DH just found it on...it's been on for over 7 hours!!! The ground is totally flooded in that area. Hope I didn't kill anything. :-P Tamara
Well, Tamara, I have to admit to the same mistake this week -- a very costly mistake since I'm currently using city water at the price of about a penny a drop because my irrigation pump for well water currently has an electrical problem. And to make it more dumb, I have several of the auto-timers that cut the tap water off after an hour or so of watering, but never get around to screwing them onto the hose bibs. The only difference with your situation is that here in Northeast Florida our soil is so sandy that all the water drains through and rarely puddles, so no flooding here. I dread to see this month's water bill, plus I have the guilt of knowing I wasted water during a dry period. I will resolve to hook up the water timers (available for a few dollars at most garden centers) to avoid this situation again!
Tamara - My DH turned on the sprinkler in the afternoon and forgot.
The next day I asked him if he noticed that the water pressure was down.
I think it was on for almost a full 24hrs. Thankfully we use spring water.
(this was a few years ago).
LOL, Lucy, almost! The poor things were probaby chlorine shocked, because the water treatment stuff I measured so carefully and poured in before I started was surely washed away. They all survived, though, thank goodness! And I now have a bumper crop of weeds...
I moved to an Austin neighborhood from Houston, the land of concrete and beautiful flower beds. I knew of deer, but to me, they were something we hunted on our family ranch!
So...I planted a veritable smorgisbord (sp?) of delights "for the deer" the first spring...mainly hundreds of little begonias. I awoke the next morning and 1/2 of them were eaten and the other 1/2 were pulled out of the ground!!
LOL, yep, it's my natural body clock. Unfortunately, I have to work around it so I can get up get to school in the morning. Good thing I take afternoon naps! Now if I can find an employer who allows that...nighty night, Connie, fellow night owl! I gotta climb into the sack now so I can get up early enough to fill the bird feeders.
Heres one of my mad moments, My husband used to work shift and on this occasion he was on nights, so I could never sleep too well, my teenage daughter had a Saterday job and always got a ride to work as the fashion shop she worked was about 50 miles away run by family friend. the night before, she got a call to say her lift was not able to pick her up so could she get the train, but would get a ride home after work, so I said to her, I aint getting up at 7:00 am while she dithers about trying to decide what to ware, then shower, then have breakfast, I asked her to just give me the word when all that was over and she was about ready to leave for the train, all fine and happy.
Next morning, she comes bursting into my bedroom and yelling, Oh my God mum, I have over slept and I am going to miss the train, so still half asleep, I run about yanking her clothes from her wardrobe and fling some toast into the toaster so she can chomp on it on the way to the rail station, she gets a quick shower etc.We live in a very small town, if you blink you would miss it) grab the car keys and now she needs money for the train, so grab wallet and race down to the rail station as daughter fumbles about for change to get rail ticket, because we were in such a pannic, I just grabed a short ski jacket and a pair of my sons football socks that were on the hall chair to be taken upstairs to put away, it was snow and ice outside as we got to the rail station, yelled, buy buy, and the usual call me to say you are safe etc, then daughter about turns and jumps back in the car, the train was just pulling out of the station, so plan b) mum, can you get me to the next rail station along the route, OH No I Huff, as I lecture her on her real lack or organisation and concideration etc, etc, next rail stop, the train goes straight through as no one is on the platform so train dont stop, MUM she cries, I have to get the train, I cant let the boss down, they are real busy on a Saterday, right I said, we will outrun the train, miss the next stop place and the next stop after that, we will get the train, I am driving like a bat out of hell while daughter tries titativate herself with lipstick etc, so the plan has worked, we pull into the station just as the train arrives, the gate into the station on our side of the track is frozen due to the low temp, and we see the train slow down, so quick as a flash, I jump out from the warm car, clasp my hands together so I can leaver daughter up and over the gate, works a treat, she dashes across the rail line and I watch her sit down on the train, so I wave and wave to her with a huge grin on my face as I am so happy that our master plan had workrd, only to witness her look away in the opposite direction from where she left me standing.
As the train pulled away, I could see my darling daughter shoo me away with the gesture only teenage daughter could master, as I thought to mysel, ungreatfull little madam, just wait till she gets home and asks for a lift to her friends or wherever, she can walk, no way will she treat me in this way, how uncaring does this child of mine get after this start to the day. Then the realisation hits me, I am standing in a busy market town 16 miles away from home, in my pale green nightdress with a short blue and red ski jacket and dark blue/white striped football socks up over my knees and a pair of sheepskin slippers on my feet, it has started to snow again and I am freezing cold, I take a quick glance around me as the rail station, by now is getting very overcrowded with people going off to work in various different locations, but looking at this mad woman dressed like everyones nightmare, hair still standing on end and looking like an escapee from a mental hospital. so I just thought, oh well, igrore, walk boldly back into the car and act like this is a normal occurance, so that I did, reversed car out from the station, got on my way, and was happy in that from my position in the car, no one else would know that under my jacket I had all this nightware on as from the window, I looked fine I thought. Got about five miles along the road home when the car just comes to a halt, right at a set of traffic lights and a school, on a main road and traffic going in all directions, so I panic, what the heck could be wrong with the car, cant be cold as it has run along the coast road for about 16 miles, cant be battery as I needed my lights because of the early morning darkness, and anyway, my lights were still on, so I try to start the car, just nothing much happening, try again and again, still going nowhere, then look at the little lights on the dash and sure enough, I have ran out of gas, cant call home as husband wont have arrived home from nightshift yet, son wont even hear the phone, so what the hell can I do, I am starting to block the road now and people are honking their horns to get this woman driver off the road, I sit and ponder for a short while and pray like I was a demented nun who got cought steeling candy, I am now freezing to death as the car heater aint going and I am ready for tears, so I need plan c) got it, I will tuck my nighty into the football socks so it will maybe look like I am dressed in a pair of cut off pants, all be it thin and totally inapropriate for freezing cold weather, but hey, we cant all look like miss world at this time of the morning, in this weather AND after the traumatic start to the day, on the opposite side of the cross roads at the traffic lights, there is a gas station, looked in my wallet and have enough cash to get some gas and get me home, OH BOY, the sigh of releif, I was all overcome as I had no cards, bag or anything with me as I thought I was just driving 5 mins from home, so I felt sure that I could just push my little car over the traffic lights and into the gas station, but still prayed that some night in shinning armour would gallop up and shove my car into the gas place for me, AND me still inside the car, Well where the hell is there a night when you need him, NOWHERE I can vouch for that, so out from the car I get with my nighty tucked into my very fashionable football socks, road is all icey, slippers have smooth soles and legs wont work as they are like strapped together inside socks, so slap, down I go, flat on my backside, traffic swerving around me and fists shaking from car windows, two guy's putting there fingers to their skulls indecating I am mad and drive on, pick myself up, dust all the wet snow from my clothes or the lack of them and said to myself, Stuff the world, I am gona get this car over that road into the gas station if it kills me, so I did, to looks that could sink a battle ship. My backside so cold it could freeze the three brass balls off a pawn shop and into the gas station I went huffing and puffing in between doing the skaters waltz all over the road, got to the gas pump, jumped back into my car and then discovered there was no one to serve the gas, it was self service and you had to pay at the kiosk over the other side of the gas station, only one other man getting gas, so I thought I might just brass it out and do what I have to do, so filled the car with gas, strolled over to the pay place and as I aproached the counter, the guy who was paying for his gas was telling the casheer that there was a woman sleep walking and she was taking her gas, and had better watch out as woman may not pay, OH replied the cash lady, here she is to pay now, so I just said, good morning, is'nt it a cold day, I'm afraid I'M in bit of a rush, so would you mind if I just pay and get on my way,
Drove home with tears running down my face as I was so cold, hungry and just annoyed at peoples lack of understanding that these things happen, got home, had cup of coffee and changed into frsh nightwrare, crawled into bed to hear my husband say, God, your so cold, where in heavens name have you been your car was gone when I got home, tell you later was the reply, later that day, my husband was down in our little town and met a friend, this friend excitedly said to husband, you'll never guess what I witnessed early this morning, A woman, trying to push a car along the road in the freezing ice and snow, waring a green nightdress and socks and slippers, she must be mad, she could have froze to death, so surprised she was'nt picked up by the cops, think she must have been a pro and worked late or something, to which my husband quietly replyed, no she dont work, that was my wife. So we were the talk of the town for a couple of days, the end of the story is, I have never ran out of gas again even 25 years later, Daughter by the way called me that morning but I was too cold to make it to the phone, boy was she mad, she thought something had happened to me on the way home, YEH RIGHT. WeeNel.
Calif_Sue Northern California United States (Zone 9a)
Thanks, weenel, for sharing that epic adventure! I think we are two of a kind in our determination and disdain for the normal (uncaring) folk of this world. My latest similar adventure was going to pick up Christina at about 5 AM from an overnight emergency room visit. In my half asleep awareness of the dark, I managed to turn too far to the left and hit a median that blew out both the tires on the passenger's side. Nothing else to do but to drive about 4 miles home on the rims with the rubber of the tires flapping against the wheel wells as the tires were sliced to pieces. At one point, the rear tire came completely off and went rolling down the road in front of us as we were only going about 3 miles an hour to try to avoid too much damage to the vehicle. So, it seems we have both had our "mornings made in Hell." LOL
Well Jeremy, My husband and I visit Florida quite often, I love that area, but not sure if the state is really big enough or ready for you and I to be on the same road at the same time, but think of the havoc we could create, best stay on on the safe side and we should just give a casual wave as we pass any misshaps as I feel sure we will know who has caused them, hope poor Christine was OK after her visit to the emergency room, dont know what would be worse for her, whatever took her there in the first place, or her return journey with the wheels scrapeing along the streets, she must have the patience of a saint, aint love a funny thing though, I have more histerics that go on in my life but will save them for another day, take care both you and christine and good luck, I somehow feel your both gona need it. WeeNel.
Jeremy - This is really a fun thread...loved everyone's stories...Once I tell you my humbling experience as a new vegetable gardener quite a few years ago, I will have no credibility ever again, but humility is so good for you...right?
I was living in Greensboro, NC at the time...new wife and mother...new home...thought I'd plant a little vegetable garden along the back fence. Put in a puny little patch of something (can't remember what I planted now). A few hours later, my next door neighbor - who had a significant garden on the other side of the fence - called me over to the fence, commented on my new garden, and said she wanted to share some of her leaf lettuce with me. I thanked her , took the leaf lettuce and continued to stand and chat for awhile. Then when it was about to get dark, I said, "Well, it's getting dark, so I guess I better get these planted..." She gave me the strangest look...and then said..."But these are just leaves I picked from my plants for you to have for your salad." The whole time we were chatting, I was actually trying to figure out how to stick the flimsy leaves into the ground without them falling over!!! " Oh My...:)
I can only imagine what your neighbor would have thought if you hadn't mentioned that you were going to plant the leaf lettuce and she had looked over the fence the next day to see her gift of salad fixins spread across the dirt.
Very funny, DBrook! Just goes to show how we all learn to grow, both in the garden and out. LOL
Jeremy - I cringed every time I thought of exactly what you said...If she hadn't said anything, I would have trenched 'em in and hoped for the best. She probably would have summoned tour buses to witness her idiot neighbor's folly. One good thing...I keep myself in good spirits often just from being able to laugh at myself - but THIS blunder pretty much tops the charts for me! But in defense of my trenching idea...you can do that with Christmas cactus and African violets...so who knows if it would've worked!!?? [Roar of laughter at myself again...] I won't be trying it, by the way...:) I was young, 20- something and so, so innocent then. At the time, I was actually embarrassed...now...well, it would take more than that...I'm much more centered now, having just passed into a new, more mature decade...
Cparts and Lucy...laughter is so good for you...glad to help!! :)
It is funny, because we can understand. We have all done stuff like that. I just choose to forget my mishaps/ignorance.
This one happened a few years ago when we moved into our new house. The phone company had installed our phone with a temp line, as the permanant one would be buried. So we had this line laying around for a couple months.
As the weather got nicer, I was getting upset at moving this line every time I wanted to do something in the yard, (garden, mow, etc).
We wanted to build our deck in front and I got fed up. On my lunch hour, I drove home and proceeded to call and complain. Well, you know, type in your phone number, press 1, blah, blah, wait. Talk to a person, say your phone number again, and transfer to another person.
After typing in my phone number 5 times, talking with 4 people and waiting on line for 40 minutes, I was connected to the right person, I was getting pretty hot under the collar by now, and was not really that pleasant to this nice lady...who told me that the guys had put in the permanant line this morning according to her records.
I looked out the window. Sure enough. The loose temp line was gone and I was hooked up.
I had to eat crow on that one.
As mentioned on another thread, I just had to pop into this one.
When we first moved to the country, my gardening was, to say
the least, minimal.
One of the first projects I tackled was making a walkway from the
yard to what I envisioned later in life as 'the garden'.
In digging rock, moving rock and clay soil, it occurred to me the
rocks used for edging would not be level, so I grabbed a handful of
weeds I'd pulled to provide the extra height. After all, the plants would
be buried under the rock, they would decompose and nourish the
Years later I would learn that I had indeed 'planted' Johnson grass
beneath the rocks, and there was nothing 'decomposing' about them.
Going back to the theme earlier about climbing in windows because you are locked out... A good friend of my mother's locked herself out. They asked me to go in thru the window and unlock the door. As I went thru the window I remember thinking, what's the big deal... until I realized I was over the top of stairs once inside the house. THAT would have been valuable information to know BEFORE I let go of the window sill.
We've all been there. Done something not exactly genius & then looked around quickly to make sure no one saw.
You certainly have a knack for telling a story. I have had to share this with my DD, not much of a gardener (yet) but
I'm working on her. She thought this thread was just hilarious. My antics are nothing compared to yours, but STUPID none the less.
I remember the time I was backing our van out of the drive. Not bothering to look behind when turning into the street, I hear a loud crunch. Then looking in the mirror, noticed that is exactly where my son's nurse decided to park her car that day. She certainly was a site, driving off later that day with her bumper hanging out her back window. Wouldn't fit in her trunk. My husband did not see the humor in this at all.
Another time, to save time I decided to stand on an overturned bucket instead of getting a stepstool to get down a hummingbird feeder. Not the best idea in retrospect. Needless to say the bucket tipped, and I fell off landing on the edge of a concrete step. The Dr. confirmed a blood clot about a week later.
hahhahaaa! Such diplomats you two are! I haven't read all the stories yet, but WeeNel's is making me roll! It is so something I'd do - especially when I was younger and less experienced. Now I keep everything in my vehicle for every emergency (almost).
There is the time I was dancing in Capitola, CA and my dress fell off. Not much under it, like one tiny garment. Do you think anyone noticed? Or the time a brand new discount store dress unravelled at the waist during happy hour somewhere down in LA County-and it came completely apart from the top. I hadn't noticed that the little string I was pulling was so important! Hmmm...Or maybe the time at the hot springs in Steamboat Springs, CO where someone took my t-shirt. It's a clothing optional place and I was about 250 miles from home (no back up shirt). I tend to have clothing issues. Oh yeah, I don't partner dance much, at least where I connect with the other person, not since on a swing move I ended up in the band. :-)
My chainsaw faux pas are not even close to Jax's extremely frightening tale, but I've had my share of scares and darn lucky breaks!
Oh...how about the time in Santa Cruz heading out to the flea market (I was/am "Leave the Flea to Me") with my little Ford Fiesta and loaded 4x7 utility trailer from the little mountain cabin I lived in, when I neglected to secure the hitch? On the seriously steep incline which was the one lane driveway (one side was long drop, the other hillside), the trailer came off the car. I had secured the chain, so it stayed attached and was heavy enough to jolt the car kind of backwards. The back end of the trailer dropped to the ground, hitched pointed to the sky and it rolled into the back of the car, slightly jack-knifed, fortunately missing the window, though denting the car. I was alone with no one to call (I always live in the boonies), dog in the car, and pastured horses watching the show. Not sure now exactly what I did, but somehow got out of the situation and I know it wasn't with brute strength. In those situations, I mentally call on everyone I know with the knowledge(or maybe the common sense) I don't have.
Oh-then there's the hole in the gas tank situation out in the desert about 30 miles outside of Las Vegas in which I used chewing gum, twigs, and leaves to plug the hole. (THat lovely area is now an expensive housing community). Drove around like that for 3 days until I could get it fixed.
Hmmm...the time the riding lawn mower jumped up and turned around on the hill here with me on it, trailer attachment and all, on its own? This was following many trips down the hill during which the brakes did not work, so I had to ride it down (OH MY DOG!) and aim for a soft pile of weeds to slow it down (I was hauling a lot of heavy stuff down to what was the garden at the time).
Now when I do dangerous stuff, I have the phone handy. Sure don't know what 9kittymom will do from Oklahoma, but at least she'll be informed...lolololo...she's first alphabetically on my phone (called her from the roof last week - so afraid of heights, but, gotta do what I gotta do).
I'm thinking to eventually change my name to Fopaaz (get it?)
Now I'll shut up. :-)
I know this thread is a few years old... but I have a story to tell that I'll never live down.
Hubby and I had a retainer wall built (professionally) that stands 10' tall on one end... it's 280' long, in a horseshoe shape. The drainage pipes are about 12' apart around the wall at the ground on the lower level. Until we got the sod set in the lower level, we had rivers carve into the dirt at each drain pipe whenever it would rain. We managed to fill each of the rivers, a little at a time until it all leveled out... but it took months. The only "river bed" we couldn't get level was the one at the end of the wall... the lowest end of the property. We decided that all the dirt we filled in that place was just getting washed back into the lake.
While hubby was at work one day, I decided to take matters in my own hands, and tell him about it later.
I decided to make it into a dry river bed with river rocks. So, I set out in the pick up truck to the rock yard. I chose my pile of rocks, and figured I was only getting a 1/4 yard load, so I can save the $50 delivery fee and just have it loaded in my pick up.
I got home with it just fine... although, I think the load stressed my shocks to their max. I backed the truck as close to the wall as I could, and threw the rocks over the wall to the lower level. Then I got in the pick up to pull it out of the yard, and onto the driveway... and I was stuck. The more I tried to pull out of the hole, the more stuck I got. Neighbors came out to help. I had lumber under the wheels... we tried a chain and another pick up to try to pull... no matter what we tried, it just wasn't happening. I had to call a tow truck. It ended up costing me $105.
I think I'll have it delivered for $50 next time I get a bright idea.
BTW... hubby woke up the next morning to go out and see this expensive river bed he just paid for... and all he saw was rocks laying all over the lower level... he was not a happy man.
Hi, all. I've not had any major mirthful mishaps lately. I wasn't able to find much fun in my worst episode of late: stepping on a rusty nail last November and spending over a week in the hospital with a MRSA bacterial infection, then two months of home health care with 24 hour IV antibiotics, resulting in an allergic reaction to the antibiotics that caused "red man syndrome" which equated somewhat to having a chemical peel from the inside out. For those of us with a tendency toward accidents and twisted incidents of misfourtune -- please! PICK UP ANY BOARDS WITH NAILS from your yard! I had no idea such a brief and seemingly insignificant instance of carelessness could result in such a prolonged ordeal!
Coming close recently to a near miss collision while trying to implement a "money saving idea" -- I jumped on the chance to get some sliding glass door panels offered for free on Craig's List. I've used recycled sliding glass door panels in the past to make a nifty greenhouse. Upon arriving at the residence of the person giving away the glass panels, I backed my old '79 Chevy van (that has a 12 ft cargo space and is nearly 20 ft long in total, somewhat similar to driving a Greyhound bus) toward the stack of glass panels. No, it was not the stack of glass panels that I almost hit -- far worse -- I came within a few inches of taking down the supporting aluminum pole for the glass panel donor's RV storage building. Fortunately the man giving away the glass panels, perhaps sensing I was definitely a dufflus, had stayed nearby to monitor my activities. As I backed my Sherman tank-sized van ever closer to the circus tent-sized RV structure, I was carefully watching the side mirror to the right but neglected what might be behind me to the left. The homeowner began to make a series of short burst shouts of "hey, Hey! HEYYYYY!" that increased sequentially in volume and were ever more heavily laden with a desperate gasping guttural fear that finally got my attention just before the rear of the van collided with the RV storage building pole. I can only imagine the scene if I had taken down the pole and the entire 30 ft high aluminum canopy had come crashing down. That would have made the free sliding glass door panels probably some of the most expensive glass outside of the Notre Dame Cathedral windows. LOL
The sliding glass door panels, now that they are safely home, will be used to create another greenhouse. I will keep you informed if that planned project coalesces into some catastrophic karmic event.
I've had this on watch ever since I first came across this thread over 3 years ago, I was in stitches with some of the first long and detailed stories! JaxFlaGardener, your dead piano story on Aug. 2 '05 and the wasp story Feb 7, '07 arel my favorites as is WeeNel story on July 12, '07.
Oh my, the fake cactus post reminded me of my "fool me twice" experience with our hardware store that also happens to sell "plants."
Not really the green thumb at the time, I randomly picked up a potted cactus while shopping for other general house supplies at the store. It was little and rather adorable, with a single bright pink bloom. Determined not to kill it (like all my other house plants RIP) I was planning to be diligent about light and water. Well . . . that cute little pink flower fell right off after the second day. I guess the GLUE didn't hold up. Yes, I bought a cactus with a flower glue-gunned to it. Who does that? Not just me for not seeing it, but them for selling it to me. Sigh.
But it isn't over yet. Come the holidays, I'm at the same store, and I can't help but pick up a little green poinsettia they have on display in the front--you know, the goofy foil-wrapped ones it the plastic pots. Again, water and a good spot in the window, but each day it looks sadder and sadder until finally I just get fed up and pull it out of the pot and . . . what's this?---NO ROOTS? Argh. Yes, hoodwinked again. They simply chopped off a piece of poinsettia and stuck it in a little pot of dirt, selling it to me for $5.99 plus tax. B@$^@*#$!
Jennie, I hope you took the poinsettia back and complained to the manager.
My DH and I were once duped with the glued-on cactus flowers and returned the plants. I think the growers are to blame for that little trick, and the stores shouldn't buy them. It just seems so dishonest, doesn't it?
[quote] resulting in an allergic reaction to the antibiotics that caused "red man syndrome" which equated somewhat to having a chemical peel from the inside out [/quote]
I now know just how lucky you were with this. A dear friend of mine went through this. She fought for 2 years and her kidneys ended up losing the battle. We lost her last fall. She started with antibiotics for an infection in her thumb.
Now Jeremy, it's been 2 years since your last misadventure, are we to believe you are living an uneventful life? Somehow I doubt that... ROFL
Sorry for the loss of your friend, mornin_gayle. I guess I was lucky that my allergic reaction was not more serious than an agonizing itch with skin peel for about a week.
It is great to see this old thread revived again! We all have had some fantastical adventures! And others new to this thread are certainly welcome to confess your own dumberest epic tale.
Let's see - I'm currently collecting every piece of styrofoam I can find in order to build a Disney World type facade in a corner of my garden. This latest obsession had me going down the highway with two marvelous 6 ft x 6 ft chunks of styrofoam that I salvaged from a machine shop dumpster, then strapped to the top of the Mustang for the few miles home, hoping in the process that I had not invented a new form of ultralight airplane. I nurtured a twig for quite a long time that I took out of a florist arrangement and marveled at how well it came through all seasons, only to realize some several months later that it was a very convincing plastic plant. I was the "winner" of a free, used above ground swimming pool on Craig's List, with the caveat that I had to take it apart and haul it off. Somehow I was not imagining a 30 x 25 ft x 5 ft high pool when I accepted the offer. It took about a week of several hours of work to get the pool into pieces. The fact that I had no idea how the pool was constructed did not help much in the dismantling process. It all went fairly well until it was time to roll up the very long sheet of aluminum siding that supported the pool liner. The aluminum insisted on kinking and buckling rather than pulling out easily in a straight line. I found myself wallowing in the slimy mud pit left by removal of the pool, drenched and covered in black soil and green mold, cursing and wrestling with the aluminum as if it were some elongated wild alligator to be tamed, enough so that the lady of the house became terrified and called her husband home from work to deal with the raving lunatic in the backyard. By the time he arrived, I had finally subdued the metallic beast and had it rolled up and tied securely, ready to be hauled away. The next adventure awaits in trying to reassemble the pool. I imagine that when I take the bungie cord off the aluminum roll, it will probably recoil like a tightly wound spring and fling me across my neighbor's fence.
When we moved into our home my parents had invested 10 years of plants into the back yard. Due to our very young children and busy work schedules we couldn't maintain it's beauty and had to remove much of it. I was so sad as were they. Not 2 years later I aquirred a rare neurological pain syndrome RSD which has changed my life and has given me plenty of time to be in the garden.
Looking back I may have had to reduce and share some of the plants we had but certainly I could have gone about it differently and less hastily. 10 years later I've never been able to rebuild what once was here and I could have learned so much from all the plants Dad left to me.
Now I look carefully at every plant and make sure there is no way I can grow it before it leaves the garden.
A weed is only a misplaced plant."
"What is a weed? I have heard it said that there are sixty definitions. For me, a weed is a plant out of place." -- Donald Culross Peattie
"What is a weed? A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." -- Emerson
"Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders." -- Henry David Thoreau
Hindsight is 20/20... if you had not developed the health issue, and left all the plants in place, you probably would be wishing you had given the plants away sooner so they could survive at some other household and be appreciated. You did the best you could under the circumstances with the information you had at that time. That IS the best any of us can do.
[quote="psychw2"]Hindsight is 20/20... if you had not developed the health issue, and left all the plants in place, you probably would be wishing you had given the plants away sooner so they could survive at some other household and be appreciated. You did the best you could under the circumstances with the information you had at that time. That IS the best any of us can do. [/quote]
You are so right. Sure would be great to have 20/20 vision more often, lol . Thank you for your words of wisdom they really helped to remind me not to live with regret nor to live in the past for neither will help me be a better person today or tomorrow.
Speaking of 20/20 hindsight... we sold a couple of items at Dad's estate sale on Saturday that we learned Sunday afternoon that we NEED to have to do the staging of the house when it's ready for sale!! RATS!! LOL
I just learned what a drain field is and where mine is. I also learned what NOT to do to them, which includes much - if any - gardening on top of them. Guess where I put one of my favorite gardens almost 8 years ago? Yup. On top of my drain field. So I am in the process of moving rocks, stepping stones, heavy pots, and any deep rooted plants. I'm feeling mighty lucky that apparently no damage was done. Mighty lucky indeed. (Neither my late husband nor myself knew a thing about septic or drain fields - not even enough to ask questions . . .)
Hi, Whidbey and all. Our water table is so near to the surface of the ground in Florida that most drain fields are built up like "Indian burial mounds," creating minor hillocks in otherwise totally flat terrain that are difficult to blend into the landscape.
Some suggestions for a drain field: Banana trees have very limited, soft root systems and love the nutrient rich soggy soil of a drain field. Fig Trees, also, send most of their roots across the soil surface without going very deep. My Mom had a massive Fig Tree growing at our kitchen window off to the side of the drain field. It always produced more figs than we could eat, and provided plenty of food for fruit-loving birds. But a "dumberest" mistake to avoid is, don't put a fig tree too near a house foundation or the fig roots may jack up the house and destroy the foundation.