Tag Archives: garden

Kanye West: “Weed Digger”

It’s been awhile since I’ve serenaded you with veggie verses, so it’s my pleasure to present to you my take on Kanye West’s Golddigger,” with a gardening spin.

 Weed Digger”

weeddigger

She gives me veggies, when I’m in need

Yeah she’s a gardening friend indeed

Oh she’s a weed digger, way over town

That digs on me.

Chorus:

(She gives me veggies.)

Now I ain’t sayin’ she a weed digger (when I’m in need)

But all these plants are getting bigger, bigger.

(She gives me veggies)

Now I ain’t sayin’ she a weed digger (when I’m in need)

But all these plants are getting bigger, bigger.

Get down girl go head get down (I gotta leave)

Get down girl go head get down (I gotta leave)

Get down girl go head get down (I gotta leave)

Get down girl gone head

18 plants, 18 plants

She got one of every kind, about 18 plants

I know somebody putting stakes up for all of those beans,

Her green thumb mamma helps secure it so that it never leans.

You will see her there outside on any given day

Digging up the dandelions out from the clay.

She was supposed to buy some new clothes with some of her money

But went down to the greenhouse and got seeds with that money

Now she keeping her plants safe from that meddling bunny,

So that it doesn’t eat the greens she bought with all of her money.

If you ain’t no punk, holla “We want turnips!

WE WANT TURNIPS!” Yeah.

It’s something that you need to know

‘Cause what you’ll see when you go to her home.

18 plants, 18 plants

And in her flowers you can find a happy little gnome.

Chorus:

Now I ain’t saying she’s a weed digger (she got needs)

She don’t want her yard to suck, so she pulls those weeds

Her OCD compels her every day to rake up the leaves,

There’s green beans in the back, so she rolls up her sleeves

She got that ambition, baby, look in her eyes

This week she’s picking peppers you would normally buy.

So, stick by her side

I know this girl is crazy, but the garden is nice

And she gonna keep weeding and trying

But you stay right there

‘Cause when you need some good tomatoes she is willing to share.

Get down girl go head get down

Get down girl go head get down

Get down girl go head get down

Get down girl go head

(lemme hear that back)

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Talking Dirty

If you’re new here, I should tell you that I love my garden and flowers.

The OCD in me takes immense pleasure in dead-heading petunias, picking green beans and pulling out weeds (in both my yard and any other surface that makes me feel twitchy—it’s actually really a curse.)

While Michigan weather is unpredictable, it’s usually a safe bet that you can start planting things any time after Memorial Day, which means we’re getting down and dirty around Chez Abby these days.

But a few trips to the greenhouse and Home Depot combined with my useless need to make puns have enlightened (questionable word choice) me to the fact that the simple act of gardening could also be a great bed to plant the seeds for a budding romance—or at least leaf a good first impression.

So if you’re someone like me whose relationship status is often: “Drunk on allergy medication and just cleaned out the cat’s crap box,” this guide might be just what you need to get down and dirty.

Get Down and Dirty

The most important thing to remember is that no trip to Home Depot (or similar home improvement store that will make you feel like you need all new handles for your cabinets) is official until you loudly proclaim either, “I just want a good stud finder!” or “Where my hose at?”

This establishes your mission—not to simply find tools or get kelp for your yard, but to find someone who will be mowtivated to maybe plant one on you (wink, wink.)

When approached by a possible suitor, be sure to lure them over to the gardening section, as making initial contact around the nails, caulk and nipples is a bit too forward these days—and the puns are entirely too obvious. You’re screwed.

See? Way too obvious.

Once you’ve secured your position in the Garden Center, casually mention that you’re an entre-manure who wants to create Miracle-Gro for small boobs. If they don’t get your humor, move on, as brilliance cannot be wasted on those who can’t till it like it is.

But what’s that, you say? They dug what you said?

Then with the fertile groundwork planted, continue to cultivate the conversation by sharing that although you’re “a bit rough around the hedges, you’re really a kick in the plants” or that you “just finished trimming your bush and are looking for veggies that will ex-seed all your expectations.”

They will probably counter with something that sounds like, “Umm…I’m rooting for you—ha, ha—but I thought you were looking for the aisle that contained cow shit for your garden.” That should be interpreted as, “I think that weed make a great pair.”

But if you’re forced to leave without your stud finder or hose, don’t feel too bad. Remember, it’s the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and at the end of the day, you’re still single and ready to shingle.

gnomes

And of course, there’s no place like gnome.

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Thanks again to everyone who has shared and will continue to share—hint, hint—the news about my new book. If you read it and don’t hate it, I would love for you to write an Amazon review. If you hated it, then you probably hate my blog. And raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but that’s okay. Some people are weird. Don’t feel bad.

Anyway, the winner of the Amazon gift card as chosen by random.org is Marie! I’ll send you an email today.

Crazy Neighbor Lady

Do you know how crazy a girl looks when she spends 30 minutes running around her yard after a bastard groundhog? My neighbors do, as I’m pretty sure I’ve set some sort of speed record by sprinting from my deck to the feeder dozens of times this summer.

It would probably go unnoticed if I didn’t make the high-pitched noises that I do, but I feel they make my maneuver effective.

Anyway, I thought about this the other day when I was scrubbing the bird bath and singing a song I made up about how Cinderella was full of shit and that those feathered freaks never actually helped with the chores.

Just moments before I bravely broke up a domestic dispute between two small woodland creatures, preventing a new episode or COPS: Chipmunk Edition, and then trudged up to the front of my house to fill my watering can.

As the neighbor kids rode by on their bikes, they greeted me with, “Hi, Miss Abby.” I said a very non-specific “hi,” as there are three of them in that house and even after living next door to them for five years, I can’t be expected to tell them apart and remember their names every time.

But…Miss Abby.

I realize this is a polite address and much better than “Ma’am” or “the witch that dives behind the couch when we ring the bell to sell her cheap crap for school that nobody needs,” but it still made me feel really old.

Since crazy neighbor lady passed away last year, no one has moved into her house yet and things have been relatively quiet. There’s no sound of her smoking and hacking into her bushes at 2am or yelling at her well-dressed dogs to “make poo poo” in the middle of the night before stealing my tomatoes.

Yes, you could say things have been quite uneventful.

But it was the combination of the “Miss Abby” and the fact that I was flinging weeds into her yard that made me realize that in her absence, I AM PROBABLY NOW CRAZY NEIGHBOR LADY!

There is mounting evidence to this suggestion.

First of all, I’m a single woman living alone who doesn’t bring home a bachelor every weekend. I spend a lot of time outside in my yard and get ticked when the kids play basketball at midnight. I have a cat. I’ve been known to yell at inanimate objects and rearrange my yard gnomes so they get a new view from time to time.

But that’s all normal, right?

In my defense, I don’t drink or smoke, so you won’t find me passed out on the porch with a smoldering cigarette threatening to start a small fire. As for the cat thing, I have one—which is more than enough—and I don’t dress it in a sweater and put it on a leash like SOME people I knew (may Crazy Neighbor Lady RIP, of course.)

I also don’t expect the gnomes to talk back, which I really think is the true deciding factor in this situation.

So for now, I will continue to believe that I’m just “Miss Abby,” the single gal who cares for her garden and interacts with the wildlife in a reserved and dignified fashion.

Right, boys? Right, they agree.

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Side note: I will be traveling for work Saturday until Tuesday, so try and get by without my constant tweets and updates while I’m gone. However, if you are in New York City, I will be signing books outside the Barnes & Noble on Monday from 10-11.

But seeing as I don’t have permission to be signing books outside the Barnes & Noble and they don’t actually carry my book, I’ll probably only be there until they kick me out or I get arrested.

You Do What You Can

June brings with it several things, among them the 4-year anniversary of me buying my house and my 5-year anniversary at work.

When it comes to my house, I love it beyond belief. Aside from the normal issues like mortgages and appliance defiance, it’s truly a place I adore.

house1

Not the best picture, but you get the idea. It exists.

Being single by choice, I’m grateful for my job and the fact that I can work and maintain this sense of independence, which brings me to the point of this post (other than showing you pictures of my flowers.)

There’s no shortage of “inspirational” tweets and posts from women who encourage others to escape the rat race and go after their dreams. They share their stories about  how they were unhappy with their traditional job and knew they were destined for something more, so they quit and pursued their passion.

gnomes

Hello, boys!

I commend them for their work ethic and think it’s amazing that they are able to go after their dreams. In fact, I’ll throw it out there that I’m a little jealous—who wouldn’t want that? 

But at the risk of sounding like a witch, I sometimes find these quips a little more annoying than inspiring. Why? Because along with determination, these women often have one other important thing in common — they have a (financial) safety net, often in the form of a husband. 

What does that have to do with anything?

While I know having a husband doesn’t guarantees financial security—don’t hate me yet—they more often than not have a partner that provides relative stability and benefits. As a result, these women can take more risks without worrying about how bills will get paid or their future retirement plans.

backgarden1

You don’t have to water rocks.

If their lifestyle and survival depended only on the income they brought in themselves, they might not be able to give up that stable job as readily as they suggest.

That’s why hearing, “If you’re not happy at your job, quit! Life’s too short not to do what you love!” often rubs me the wrong way. While I agree with those sentiments, the fact of the matter is that I—and many others, married or not—have to put realistic obligations before artistic inclinations, health benefits before intrinsic benefits.

Now I’m in no way chiding these women who have worked extremely hard to do whatever it is that they’re doing. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I think it’s great that they know what they want and have the freedom to go after it all.

basket1

FYI. Miracle-Gro only works on plants, not on cleavage.

I’m also not playing the victim, as there’s no limit on what I can do personally or professionally—if I ever figure out what that is. But I realistically can’t pay the bills by blogging, teaching yoga or selling organic vegetable paintings (and not just because I can’t really paint and am not certified to teach yoga.)

So there are times I feel guilty and like I’m “settling” when I read what they write. But then I remember that for some of us, it’s not as easy as casually saying goodbye to the practical and hello to the passion.

backflowers1

We all make choices, and I remind myself that I do the things I have to so I can have the things I love that make me happy.

And sometimes, that’s all that I need.*

*However, if there is a rich old geezer out there with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel looking to fund my hippie habits, have your people call my people. 

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Pet Cemetery

Neighbor’s cat passed away. Just buried it in my backyard. He’s wearing a sweater. Carry on.

This was my tweet the other night as I sat at my dining room table, just a bit before dusk, when I looked up and saw my mom and two friends walk out to my garden with a shovel and a large lump wrapped in a blanket. I knew what that meant.

It was time for a pet burial.

catsweater

This isn’t him, but it looks a lot like him—only, you know, alive—and I needed a visual.  Play along.

A Little Background

My mom has a pet cemetery that is currently home to everything from our cats  and birds to friends’ pets that needed a final and proper resting place. All are buried with their favorite “thing,” be it a toy, a blanket or a treat.

This includes my late neighbor’s dog who we buried a couple weeks ago on a dark rainy night, clomping through the muddy back yard with a shovel and a bundled up blanket. We concluded the event by serenading her with “Gangsta’s Paradise,” as it was in my head for some reason and “raising the roof” fit the mood.

Surprisingly, my mom’s neighbors haven’t called the cops. Yet.

We haven’t run into many issues, save for having to keep my bird in the freezer for three days or having to cut holes in a shoebox for my pet rabbit when I was in elementary school. Evidently rigor mortis couldn’t wait to set in until after I got home from wherever it is six-year-olds go, so the little rabbit’s legs were sticking straight out by the time we tried to put him in the box.

We cut some holes. We worked around it.

Some people might think we’re crazy—I wouldn’t argue with that claim—but I would argue it’s not because we care about our pets. They become members of the family and deserve a proper goodbye, just as we deserve to mourn them. We plant flowers, we place markers, we know that they were loved.

Sam I Am

That brings us to me sitting at my dining room table, watching this cat burial.* *It was cold. I stayed inside. Respects could be paid later, as he wasn’t going anywhere.

The normal view of my birdfeeder—often surrounded by squirrels drunk on fermented fruit and power—was instead filled with my mom and my late neighbor’s two best friends. They were there to bury Sam, a 16-year-old 25-pound cat who had lived with all of them at some point.

Seeing as he lived next door to me for a while and liked me better than crazy neighbor lady anyway, it was thought a proper burial spot would be in my garden.

Things appeared to be progressing normally until I saw my mom hand Sam off to Jeff and pull something bright red out of a bag. There was a little bit of discussion before Jeff unwrapped the blanket and held Sam up by his armpits.

At this point I was intrigued.

The next five minutes involved my mom carefully trying to finagle what appeared to be a bright red dog sweater over the head of a dead cat as Jeff tried to keep Sam up in the air and maneuver his legs through the holes.

When at last it appeared Sam was “warm and styling up in heaven,” as my mom would later tell me, he was raised up in the air for final approval before being wrapped back up, placed gently in his new dirt bed and sprinkled with catnip.

A stone angel marker now designates this space, both to commemorate his furry little soul and to warn me not to dig there when I plant my spring seeds. There was a minor incident a couple years ago that involved planting flowers and hitting a shoebox, so it’s better safe than sorry.

But don’t worry.

Nothing larger than a 30-pound cat has been buried at my mom’s.

When the day comes, Gram is safe.

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Tweet, Tweet

Well, I caved.

I must confess that you can now count me among the more than 200 million people that attempt to communicate, amuse and enlighten in less than 140 characters.

And because that sentence is longer than 140 characters and I’m suffering from Motivation and Inspiration Deficit Disorder (MIDD) — it’s a real thing if I say it is — I decided to write up a post.

My name is Abby, and I joined Twitter.

Considering I’m years behind the popularity curve on this one, I realize it’s not a big deal. However, for me, it kind of is if only because I was so adamant about not joining Twitter for so long. Plus, I like to overanalzye things and figured this was another one to pick a part and find a deeper meaning for.

So why the Twitter timidity?

For a while I maintained that I had better things to do with my time, which after a day on Twitter I still think is probably the case (but it’s fun!)

Anyway, I didn’t see the point in spending any more energy on something else that would distract my already distracted thoughts from the important things I should be doing (like catching up on Kitchen Nightmares and protecting my flowers and fountain from crazy chain smoking neighbor lady and her flammable cocktails.)

She swears they’re thriving because she chants over them with her morning coffee.

So when everyone told me it was a great way to connect with people, I countered with the fact that I was already on Facebook. When they told me it was a great way to meet new people and find new opportunities, I countered with the fact that I was already on Facebook. You can see where I was going with my argument…apparently to Facebook.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the main reason I wasn’t jumping on this bandwagon was because I already felt left behind. I felt like I missed the boat and treading water was easier than dipping my toe in the deep end. Plus, I really had (have) no idea how it works in terms of making the most of the features.

However, the more that I read things about it from people I trust and respect — enter more overanalysis — the more I realized that it really could be beneficial and not just another time suck to distract me from the fact that I’m creatively constipated.

So I’m taking my own advice again and only posting on my blog when I feel inspired—once a day or once a week—and Twitter looks like a great way to still satisfy the attention whore in me by sharing a few witty lines and reading the great links from others.

To be honest, I really like it.

Considering it’s only been a day, it’s safe to say I’m still in the honeymoon stages of our relationship. I haven’t been annoyed with metaphorical toilet seats left up or dirty dishes brought right next to the sink but not actually placed in the water. While I only have a few followers and still feel like the kid that joins the class in the middle of the year and is three steps way behind, I am feeling my way through and trying to figure out how to make the most of this new medium.

I don’t plan on following a million people — I don’t need any more obligations and actually like writing and breathing outdoor oxygen — but if it can connect me to more people that make my life a little richer, a little more inspired and my blog a little better, then it will be worth my time.

If it’s not, no big deal.

But I can be pretty damn funny, and with only 140 characters I have no obligation to explain myself.

Tweet, tweet.

Any Twitter suggestions or things I should know about?

CSI: Pond/Fountain thing

For the past couple of weeks I have been enjoying the soothing sounds of a gentle waterfall. No, I have not neglected to fix my runny toilet once again, but rather I speak of the fountain/pond in my backyard oasis.

We—and by “we” I mean my mom—got it running once again with the help of a new pump and some elbow grease, and the gentle tinkling of the streaming water has been providing a relaxing background as I swat off the bugs of summer.

Well, that went down the crapper.

pond1

The damn things sprung a leak—again—and has since emptied itself out to reveal a new spot for annoying white fuzzies and tree debris to congregate. I’m not quite sure why it happened, but I would like to blame something other than the fact that it simply sprung a leak.

Enter CSI: Pond/Fountain thing and the short list of suspects.

The Diva Chipmunk

When I left for work the other morning, there was a chipmunk frolicking near the crime scene. Due to my excitement at getting to work at 6:30 a.m., I failed to inform him that I was not running a private spa for small woodland creatures. It’s possible that if he chose to swim laps with unpedicured nails, the liner of said pond could have been torn.

However, I feel the small woodland creatures enjoyed the pond as much as I did and doubt this was an impulsive act to display disappointment in my failure to supply little fuzzy robes, acorn appetizers and complimentary slippers. I have eliminated all diva chipmunks as suspects.

The Masked Menace

While I have a soft spot for small woodland creatures, I have no such feelings towards large bastard raccoons that destroy my birdfeeder and refuse to fear me.

coon

The first time I looked out my window and saw this thing climbing up the stairs, I thought it was a bear. (Never mind the fact that we don’t really have bears in my area.) This beast is huge, and when I ran out flailing my arms and making crazy sounds, it simply moved one step lower and looked positively bored. I swear I heard it sigh before slowly retreating, only to return the second I went back into the house.

So while I would love to nail this sucker to the wall for the crime in question, considering there is no food involved, I don’t think it would have the motivation—other than to piss me off.

Ernie the Gnome

With Ernie, jealousy could most certainly be motive. Uncle June gets a fair amount of mini-face time on the blog, whereas Ernie only appears in warm-weather situations.

ernie

It’s very possible that these feelings of inferiority could have manifested themselves into a vindictive act of vandalism, but alas, he would have been destroying his own little humble abode. I feel he must be eliminated from the suspect list as well—along with the turtle.

Long Shots

I thought about blaming the neighbor kids, seeing as they have been wandering around the neighborhood with their improvised nunchucks and potent pellet guns. But they haven’t really ventured into my yard since I moved in, at which point in time the  little mouth breathers rode their bikes across my front lawn and dug holes in my backyard because the old owners apparently allowed that.

I calmly told them that I didn’t allow that behavior and was not above installing an invisible electric fence to prevent a repeat occurrence. I then added that both Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy had died tragic deaths as a result of their reckless excavation and bicycle operation through my yard.

With that said, they now call me “Miss Abby” and only come over when selling overpriced products for various Scout troops and cults they belong to.

So they’ve also been eliminated as suspects, leaving me right back where I started from—an empty pond and empty leads. But this investigation has not been for naught, as I’m thinking the neighbor kids might be included as possible allies in the war against the raccoon.

coon2

Let’s put those nunchucks and pellet guns to good use, shall we?

*No animals were harmed in the writing of this post, nor will they be harmed in the future. I can’t speak for any psychological damage that may have resulted from finding out the Tooth Fairy is not real.