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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Resume, Yardwork and Hard Weekend

First of all, I spent parts of four nights working on a resume and fielding phone calls from her for a week with her wondering why I am in the grocery store when I have her work to do. I have written and rewritten this resume for about four years. It must have a new angle each time. I do get paid. The first time, I wrote it from scratch with a turn-around time of 24 hours and charged $35. She wrote me a check for $50. Then, Friday night, I finished and tried to email it to her. NO WAY! For hours I tried to figure out the problem.

The problem? I had saved it in "downloads." In the meantime, I had talked to the woman and had gotten numerous insults from her and her husband about my skills with the computer, time management, and how I had to redo the whole thing before I went to bed. Pardon me? You say I am so brilliant with words, brilliant with resumes, yet in the same diatribe I am an idiot and always have been. Somehow that is supposed to motivate me?

The husband at one point said, "Have you ever sent an email before?" I did not say one word. After about one minute, he started talking again and I asked him, quite innocently, "Are you trying to insult me?" Someone congratulate me on not telling him off with every insult I can muster. Someone congratulate me on not hanging up. Someone congratulate me for not just stopping working on the problem.

Exbf had been here all Friday after I had only four hours sleep. I had driven to a secret shopper job, worn myself to a frazzle after a night of too little sleep. Pressure translates into exhaustion for my body. It was not so years ago.

I went to bed about 10 pm or so Friday night and set the alarm to go somewhere on my Saturday agenda, not hers. I awoke early, sat down opened the computer and within thirty minutes and with a bit of logical thinking, figured out exactly where her blankety blank resume was hiding.

When I called her and told her I had emailed the resume and my price--$45--she could not be bothered because she was having a yard sale. grrrr Monday, a check will be waiting for me at her bank driveup window. I should make her send it to my Paypal and let it cost her so I won't have to spend one moment collecting my pay.

THEN, I had to go to the secret shopper job out of town.

As scheduled, Saturday a group from a church came to help me in the yard. I was going to have drink and goodies, but they rescheduled and came earlier than planned.

The crew

You can see that the work is well underway.

At the right you can see the bare fence, a sight I hate. Going to the left you can see the mass that has been removed so far from the fence. Then, to the left there is the mass, the glory of scuppernong and wisteria that spill from the yard behind and grow along the fence. Look again to the far right. There, you can see my short 4' chain link fence and the neighbors privacy fence. Whatever grows between the fences is my mess, my eyesore--all created by the neighbor who has since moved.
I really like the cool lushness of the left part of the fence. But it removed about 6' from my yard and kills the St. Augustine grass that I love.  Can you see the paler areas in the grass, like right in the lower part of the picture? That is where the wisteria grows along the yard. It will root every foot or so and the whole backyard could end up as a mass of wisteria with no passageway.
Blogger refuses to go along with my wish for right justification in this post.

I have mixed feelings about this sight. It is so beautiful and so ugly. There is still vegetation between the fences. I am afraid I will resort to Roundup. Otherwise, the problem will be back in full force in two years. I instructed the guy to only cut what was over her fence into my yard. I did not want him to get me into trouble for removing her greenery. He shoved nothing over, just removed "my" part. See the green along the top of the fence? That is all hanging in the neighbors yard, the one who had the two chickens who kept visiting and eating all my hens' food and laying eggs in their nest.
Let me show you the problem.
Wisteria vines are ruining the chain link fence.

The vines will completely tear down the fence.
Beware wisteria vines!
Since they are between the fences, it is virtually impossible to remove them.
I tried valiantly 30 years ago.
Today, Sunday, I am trying to recover. The lawnmower, chain saw, and the wind yesterday have started my sinus problems again! But, the yard is in better shape. The guys promised someone would come every two weeks and mow.
My goal?
To be able to take care of my yard by myself, just as I did before the knee injuries and back problems. I did it all even with fibromyalgia before the musculoskeletal problems.
The secret?
I paced myself.
Your turn
Do you have a problem area that was made into a problem by neighbors adding a structure and then leaving you holding the bag? Do you have wisteria that is, can, or might destroy a building or fence or other structure?


  1. Wow Linda your yard clean up looks great! I do understand how you would hate to loose the cool lush look but in your area plants just don't seem to know when to stop! Look what Kudzu has done in the south! Might it be possible to clip some of the vines between the fences or would pruning only encourage their growth? I am so glad that you have found a group to give you a hand with your yard. I know it is a huge relief to you.

  2. Janet,
    It is hard to get loppers or anything into the chain link to cut. I have in the past when the vines between the fence were smaller in diameter. I might just get a sawzall or however it is spelled and figure I might have to sacrifice it to save my sanity and the fence.

    Believe me, wisteria gives kudzu a run for the money. In some places the trees turn lavender, trees along the roadside. One of my trees is about 80 feet tall and I allowed the wisteria to have its way because it was so beautiful in the spring. Then, I realized I had almost killed the tree!

    The whole back fence was lavender in the spring, something I will miss.

    The woman that organized this is the one who found the group. She heard me say I had so much to be done in the yard, stuff I could not do. So, she volunteered to get it done. I was shocked.

  3. Linda, I know from previous posts how much you dislike the idea of using roundup. Resorting to using it on your property shows just how determined you must feel to be rid of that invasive wisteria. How soon do you need a resolution? I could research some permaculture articles to see if there are any promising ideas for you there.

    The lady who organized the work party is a saint. That was a very kind service she provided.

    I know what you mean by wanting to get the yard to the point where you can care for it yourself. You have a strong spirit of independence. I can imagine that many with your health problems would just give up, but not you. Kudos!

    1. Sue,
      Okay, I don't have to use Roundup. A bomb that blast the place to a scorched earth state? Have someone do the yard work in the neighbors' yards? Okay, do a little research.

      This stuff spreads under the ground. Where you see it rising above the earth, you grab it, pull up and then go toward the origin, pulling it all the way. Sometimes it is 3 inches under the ground. Then again, it runs across the ground, like where I tripped on it. But, even then it underground coming from the source. I will take pictures.

      Right now, I only have the little bottle with the squirter on it. I will take it and just spot shoot it on. It won't be a full spray with the tank. That kind of assault is just to horrendous and sad. This will be gentle.

      I also have an experiment going on with different killing methods. One is the bottle of Roundup. The other two are non-toxic. But, that is a whole post.

      Remember, I have a reel mower I love to use. I have to be independent since I don't want to go into an apartment or anyplace I don't have grass and cannot have chickens. And, there is no one to help me.


    2. This sounds like it grows exactly the same way sheep sorrel does (except it's a much bigger plant). I deal with sorrel all the time so I know exactly what you mean by your description of how it grows.

      We don't have the growing issues with wisteria here (zone 6a). But I have been searching for answers for you. First of all about the positive thing it has to offer which is that it is a nitrogen fixer so every time it's cut it releases nitrogen into the soil and the leaves make an excellent mulch for the same reason. That, the pretty blooms and the fact that it can be coppiced are the only good things I've found so far. But that's not important for your situation.

      Basically I've mostly read kill it; it's evil. Which you already know. lol

      To get rid of it cut it back and shade it out. AGGRESIVELY! Plant a fast growing species for your zone that loves nitrogen rich soil. Or, maybe build a hot compost pile on top of it after it's cut back. I'm not sure how much room you have between fences. It doesn't look like much.

      I'll keep looking for more advice. This is a start.

    3. EVIL! is lovely but left to itself, it does turn evil.

      I cannot shade it because it is mostly in the back neighbor's yard. It cannot be mulched because there was several large pickup loads. The street people got it today, and it appears the sweet sweeper/vacuum truck followed, so it was all gone by the time I was out front about 10 am.

      There are 20' runners about 1' apart across most of my yard in the back and on the other side of the house.

      Thanks for looking. I did not know about the nitrogen. I am just hell bent on destruction right now. Mostly, I am very familiar with its dangers, but it is so lovely and the fragrance is intoxicating.

      There is no way to build a hot compost pile without covering a 6'x 60' area right against the fence. The owners about 25 years ago put their wood fence right against mine. As a matter of fact, they had globs of concrete right on my fence posts. So, I went out and made them move the fence off mine. They moved what they had put up only one inch.

      I think I have done all I can if they will not remove it from their side of the fence. But, they rent, so why should they. I know the owner and he does not care.

      The Roundup I have is in a little squirt bottle where I can target leaves without having the pressurized stream you think of when you think of Roundup.

      I am looking forward to the St. Augustine grass filling in as I pull up the pieces growing over the lawn. This is my chance to finally get rid of it on my side of the fence and force it to stay away.


  4. I don't have any neighbors, largely because I don't want people trying to tell me what to do with my animals, my land, etc.

    Sounds like you were working with the guy I used to work for on the resume. He was a flaming idiot too.

    1. Harry,
      I so want to have no neighbors! It may be too late for me to achieve that goal. Actually, if I win the lottery, I can buy all the homes on the block and play where I please.

      The next time I work on this resume, I will set up parameters. She will have to pay me an extra $5 for each phone call she makes to me. Plus, I have to have a week's turnaround.

      How much land do you have?

  5. Oh we are living in parallel universes! We only scratched the surface removing ours yesterday. More will come out each day. Today I turned my attention to grapevines growing on the fence on the other side of the yard. Once I am employed again, I am thinking to pay to have the fence removed, all the stumps/roots from the grape vines ground up. Then next year, I think we will consider wisteria eradication. I like the way it looks on our side of the fence -- but it's so much work. But I also have a responsibility to the yards around us.

    We did not plant this stuff, it was here when we moved in!

  6. Alex,
    The people in the rent house behind me have sense of responsibility to neighbors. They are the neighbors who let the black chickens they owned visit my yard, eat my chickens' food, poop on tables, and rip up a tarp over the hens' pen. The owner of the property is a hands off type

    My wisteria was here when I moved here in 1977 and I love the spring display so that I let the white sort of take over the retaining wall. However, the neighbors are the ones not paying attention to their part.

    Right now, if you like the wisteria you can make a wisteria tree far from any fence and keep the roots pruned so it won't spread beyond where YOU want it.

    At one time I did work on things a little each day. That is the way to do it. I do too little each


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