Jul 12, 2014

Slow Going

I've been sitting here for the last half-hour trying to come up with something inspiring, witty, or profound to say. Nothing's coming. It's been one of those draggy summers here in our corner of Carolina so far. Every member of my family has spent the majority of our days sacked out in the den, mostly watching mindless hours of TV while playing games on our electronic devices. Sad that it's come to this. We used to turn our noses up at people who were permanently attached to their iPhones and tablets, and we got into the game late. But here we sit, in slothdom. And we eat. And smack at bugs we can't see. Occasionally, one or two of us will laze our way into the playroom for a game of pool or to play a little music.

I'm going to make myself get up in a little while, as soon as my Ibuprofen and triple dose of super vitamin D kick in. I have a couple of errands to run, that I've been putting off, and dreading still because my car will be hot. Thats' another thing I need to take care of, recharging my air conditioner. I'm not just lazy. Well, yeah, I'm a little lazy, but I just don't feel well in general. I'm seeing doctors, going for various tests, all getting at nothing so far. And I've become preoccupied with various tasks that need doing around my house. I'm not doing them, just thinking about them, and fretting over the fact that I'm not doing them. I do plan to attack one odious task today, though. I'm going to start step one of my Tree of Heaven eradication program in our back yard. Whoever named those awful, awful, invasive plants was being a real wise guy.

Tree of 'Hell' deserves its own paragraph here. I'd never heard of them until I moved into this house and noticed something was taking over my yard and sprouting out all around the brick perimeter. It took a while to identify them. I described them to someone online, and she said I could tell if I was dealing with Tree of Heaven by breaking a stem and taking a whiff to see if it smelled like burnt peanuts. That was the smell, all right. It's repugnant, and clings to your hands. I soon discovered that getting rid of the thing is no easy chore, and could take years. The problem is that they spread easily by their seeds, can grow in any type of soil (or rock) or sun conditions, and have roots like you wouldn't believe. I was astounded when I tried to pull up a foot-high sprig a week ago. As I pulled, a root about 3/4 inch in diameter emerged, running through the ground laterally. Slowly and carefully, I stayed with it. It just kept going and going, and I ripped up a considerable amount of soil as I went. Eventually, it snapped off, though I'm sure I didn't get all of it. The freakin' root was nearly five feet long! That's when I knew I was in trouble, because I have hundreds of those suckers in various sizes spread throughout my yard. 'Suckers' is what they're actually called, the little ones that pop up from undealt-with roots of trees previously chopped down. Most of the larger ones in my yard won't budge, because their roots are now extending into the foundation walls. I try not to think about what that network looks like underneath, or how much damage those nightmarish roots could be doing. After a little research last week, I found that the recommended course of attack is to liberally spray the base of the plants with something called glyphosate concentrate. I put in an order for it at Home Depot, and it arrived for pickup yesterday. I'm ready to get at it. I'm told this regimen is something I canexpect to carry on for the next few summers to completely eradicate the nasty things. Great.

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