Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ongoing Choices and Their Costs


I cannot believe it’s Tuesday already. Time moves so much faster since I left the outside work force. And early retirement is a pleasure I strive to maintain. As a result, we have to pick and choose where to spend our money.

Expensive yard improvements are no longer in the budget, and my flower beds are a mess thanks to an abutting back neighbor’s field turned unkempt disaster. Bindweed is a big issue. So are many other aggressive weeds and even an invasive tree (!) taking over the supposed weed suppressing rocks in the middle tier of our back retaining wall system.

Years ago I made an effort to turn that central section into a garden oasis complete with trellis, meandering path, and a tiny patio planned along the way. The wisteria never bloomed, instead overgrowing that trellis until the cedar frame warped and its base twisted right out of the ground. Delicate perennials became strangled by trash growth. Only a few welcome plants remain growing within the stone, such as my little white pine, Japanese maple, and a lilac bush among a few others.

These days, with lower energy reserves and very little tolerance for heat, I lamented over these situations to SO after I mowed the uppermost rear tier this morning. What did I hear in response? Solutions which cost either too much precious time, money, energy, sweat, or all four.

As it is I cannot calculate my personal and economic resources poured into this smallish property over the years. That included a lot of the mulch SO recommended this morning that ‘every gardener use’. You see, I used to buy the expensive soil amending type that degrades into the ground every year. Now the mere thought of hauling and spreading the stuff wears me out.

And I’m the younger in this couple, so forget any real assistance. I didn’t even mention the decrepit and mildewed ivy needing removed from the north side of the garage. Somewhat heat exhausted and with verbal expression being one of my least attributes, I heard myself getting more and more shrill decrying every well meaning suggestion.

Finally SO just walked away with nothing more to say. And I hated it. The frustration ate at me while I showered and dressed.

Reasonable points came to mind and I didn’t waste time readdressing my plight at the first opportunity. The bottom line is that I’m tired of the fight set up for myself the day I chose this home and started to garden. Going back in time to warn that young woman isn’t an option. Neither is buying or renting a condominium, moving another expense and inconvenience SO dreads.

All I can do is hack away at the issues a little at a time. Meanwhile, I asked for a sympathetic ear instead of a litany of rather unworkable solutions. Rant concluded.

On the bright side, my ill advised landscaping decisions brought the best, life altering little stray cat into our lives. Before Luna found me taking a break from weed pulling back in 1999 I lacked adequate medical treatment for a pesky asthma condition. Though my furry little soul mate is gone, we still have Tilly and Jezebel. SO and I laugh over their aged antics every day.

We miss you, sweet girl
Do you have any gardening or other property related regrets?

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14 comments:

  1. I hear you. You really downsize on things when you retire. We were so young when we bought this two story house. I know you know where this is going. Stairs. Stairs and more stairs. I know at some point we'll not be doing these stairs. Our house is too big and keeping it clean is a huge effort. It was great when we were younger because we entertained a lot. Now, not so much.

    Hubby does the gardening. I hate gardening.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

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    1. Oh, I hope your day is fabulous, too! And while we only have one flight of stairs, they are steep leading down to the laundry room. A creaky right knee likes to sound out its complaint every time, now. Heh...

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  2. OH MY GOSH...that has to be the longest post I ever read by you! haha...To reply to your question ~ YES! That would be STAIRS. You see my ex and I bought our first home when I was pregnant with Cory, 32 yrs ago. After we split I sold the house mainly cause it had great fenced in yard that took a lot of work just mowing. A hill outside that was hard for me cause like you I had asthma. I developed that later in life at the age of 32 but mowing after a long day at work in the heat was something I did not wish to do. BUT...it was a one level home...I MISS THAT! Here the yard is not bad. And since I have retired due to the fibro I have taken on keeping my yard up for like you, I can't afford to hire it done. So far though I have found that cutting first thing in the morning is not so bad. I laugh when I tell someone I am on a fixed income, those are words I never thought I would use when referring to my income. I was making fairly well for my yrs with the state but my body just would not let me continue. My yard is fairly easy to maintain and I have even expanded my flowerbed. I hope to be able to keep it up on my own without issue. Here is hoping that you can little by little get hold of you issues. Take your time, go slow and start in the morning....haha....so now you have my LONG reply!!

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    1. Awww... Great reply. And this might be my longest post. ~grin~ You are more hard working than me, my dear, I have no doubt. And I'm lucky to still have my husband, who really is a standup guy. He just let me do what I wanted with the outside and only now do I learn he has his own sets of regrets, like my choice of shrubbery on one corner. Heh... Take care, my dear.

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  3. I'm sorry you're having a rough time of it. Do you have any gardening clubs in the area? Maybe getting together with like-minded individuals will give you ideas you can use.

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    1. You're very kind. And thank you for the suggestion! I have attended some gardening classes, but a regular group is not my thing. I'm happiest alone and writing, which is probably why I have so many regrets over this labor intensive mess that developed. ~wry grin~ I'm sure it will work out one way or another, even if it means the house being swallowed by vegetation. Heh... Be well!

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  4. Luna was a beautiful girl. I am glad you rescued her. My hubby is 16 yrs older than me, but he does all the yard work- and I don't feel guilty. I bet SO could help :)

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    1. I think so, and her fur was soft as angora. ~grin~ Thank you. And I'm sure you do plenty of other things that trade for that yard work. Also, I must admit to more help in gardening whenever food is involved. Heh...

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  5. One of the things I miss about not living in a house is having a garden. But, it is an expensive thing to maintain, not to mention all the work involved.

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    1. Interesting. Your lifestyle fascinates me. ~grin~ I hope you are well!

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  6. I know what you mean in regards to expenses. I quit work a few months ago (am I "retired?" now?) and had to put a halt to my potting soil and container purchases! I even told my daughter that I didn't want a herb company gift certificate this year, as I don't have places to put the plants and can't afford more soil. That stung (me saying it, not her hearing it).
    I don't regret my large yard, it's a garden canvas. I am fortunate, in that if I can't do things I have an adult son living with me (at least while he's in school) who can weed-eat and cut limbs. There are things that need repair I can't get to, or at least in the "right" way. I fixed up all the necessary things when I bought the house, plus some nice things (new windows and pretty paint), so that was my house/garden budget! I'm fairly pleased with it all, if I just remember not to step on the deck boards that are spray painted with white marks, that's where they sag! I'd love strawberries... and a pear tree... and a yard or two of planting mix delivered in my driveway... You know those Better Home and Garden sweepstakes, where you can win money for a yard update? I imagine what I'd do if I had $10,000 for the yard! If I HAD to spend it on the yard, I'd feel guilty spending that much, and wouldn't if it was just cash.
    I notice a lot of regrets over two story houses. I never wanted one, and my mother used to mention how many times you go into your bedroom in a day, and picture climbing stairs every time! Maybe I'd be thinner, or my knees would hurt worse.

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    1. Your gardens are gorgeous! I know you put a lot of work into them but do it smart by what I see, a very wise person all around in my opinion. ~nods~ Your mother sounds wise, too. If SO hadn't wanted a basement, our living space would all be on one floor and we wouldn't be dealing with a leaky cellar right now, or my creaky knee doing laundry. ~sigh~ Happy Gardening!

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  7. I do not like to garden and love it each summer when the grass finally dries and I don't even have to mow. I don't have much of a front yard, just a small space, and not that much out back either. So my main fret is only mowing and trimming edges. Not much to complain about.

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    1. You're too busy rescuing animals to garden, my dear! I hate mowing. And we need to raise the mower deck so I have to mow less but I can't get the thing to budge. ~sigh~ Be well!

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Thank you for taking time to share your opinion. Hearing from readers adds immensely to my joy of writing!