Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Mom's "To Do" List ... or How My Parent's Tried To Kill Me

Even a gator likes flowers once in a while.

I'm sitting in the St. Augustine Barnes and Noble store, slurping an iced green tea and soaking up some free WIFI this morning.

Mostly, I'm recovering from the errand/job list my Mom gave me yesterday. It didn't start out so bad ... " Trim the hollies from the west end of the house, take out a trash elm tree that was growing where it wasn't wanted, run a store errand..."

I got started early on a hot morning (heat index 105) and made quick progress on the first holly, but the second holly was a bear with multiple thick trunks that were growing over the roof. I didn't think to bring my chainsaw, so I spent some time and energy cutting substantial diameter holly trunks with a hand pruning saw.

Every once in a while Mom would come out and find something else I could take care of while I was there. It seemed there were lots of unwanted trees popping up in her plantings.
So I would leave the holly to deal with various tree interlopers that she pointed out. One of these was pretty big, having gone unnoticed for a few years as it crept upwards through a huge azalea.

After each junk tree removal, I returned to the big holly. These are English Hollies and they are beautiful when ripe with red berries, but they are wickedly pointy. I have vivid memories of my bare kid feet being impaled repeatedly long ago and I swore I would never plant this tree when I had a place.

I have kept that vow, trust me.

The cutting of the branches wasn't really the biggest headache, it's what to do with the branches that makes a lot of extra work. At PFHQ, it's easy ... you trim the branches and haul them out into the woods to make a brush pile for critters. Over time, they breakdown and as they do, the wildlife enjoys the shelter.

That is not the case in suburbia of course. The limb pickup truck only comes on Monday and no limbs can be longer than 5 feet ... so right away there's extra cutting to do.

I did get the first load of stuff down to the curb just as the limb truck came by, so at least some of it left the premises, but yowza, by the time Mom and I knocked out all of the things on her growing list, I had produced a huge amount of cut debris.

Did I mention she thought the azaleas needed pruning too? Did I mention there are a blue million of them in their front yard?

They did feed me some Sonny's BBQ for lunch, so I guess they weren't really trying to kill me ... and they did share some bodacious Pecan Praline Cake with me too.

Somewhere around sunset, I had all the tools put away and the branches semi-neatly stacked for my big brother to haul away in his ginormous truck. The yard never looked bad, but now it's a little neater and the hollies are safely away from the house ... and I survived, so it all turned out pretty well in the end.

Around 8:00 pm I cleaned up and ran those store errands for Mom. Today we are going to install a fresh pond pump in her goldfish pond and reglue a rearview mirror in the van, so this day is a piece of cake.

So, THAT is why I didn't get a post up yesterday. I was a little busy and with no internet at Mom and Dads's place, I ran out of steam and crashed fairly early.

Not on the floor though ...

... not like these two back at PFHQ. As if Bear couldn't endear himself any more to me ... finding him sleeping, tucked into his boy ... well, that drip you hear is me melting.

And finally ...

It seems that the Travel Channel stumbled across Pure Florida and they sent me an email about a new series that will be featuring Florida tonight at 10 PM. I haven't seen "Bite Me With Dr. Mike" yet, but I'm going to catch tonight's episode.

It sounds great and any show about a guy grabbing bitey critters in Florida is my kind of show.


Anonymous said...

The Bite Me show Mike is a crazy man!!! I wouldn't be surprised to hear him say "and now I'm going to let a banana spide bite me". We've seen it and you will enjoy it!

SophieMae said...

I saw part of a Bite Me show once... he's crazy! Got hisownself bit by some freaked out monkey. I hope he has crocs on the show. I'd give just about anything to shoot some of those guys.

SophieMae said...

Oh, and PS... pat yourself on the head and repeat after me... 'Good son, good son'. 8-]

tai haku said...

The bite me guy is the guy who gave himself intestinal worms and then showed them to the world immediately after exit isn't he? Sounds awesome!

robin andrea said...

Crikey mate, I've never heard of Bite Me Mike, but I hope he has a longer life than what's his name who is already dead, impaled on a stingray.

You're such a good son, FC. I can only guess how much your parents appreciate you.

Anonymous said...

Does the Travel Channel want you to host Dr. Mike and show him where all your gator haunts are???!!

You are a good son!!

Traperjeff said...

The bite me guy is a LOON! I don't even let mosquitoes bite me on purpose.

Pablo said...

#2 Son is "worried" about us. He tries to do this or that little chore when he stops by (and we do his laundry). He said we ought to make him a list of chores so he can "help" us.

I thought maybe I could make a list with things like:

Push chair into table.
Retrieve leaf from lawn.
Adjust TV antenna.
Move book from one shelf to another.

And so on.


threecollie said...

You are surely a good son.....

cinnamonbite said...

"Pecan Praline Cake..."
What the...??? You post something like that without a recipe? I thought you were a nice guy?

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Quit yer whining!It's your mom fer Gawd's sake!Look at all she went thru raising you.
Seriously,you are a good son.She must be very proud of you!
Will try to stay up and watch the "Bite Me..." show.
And who hasn't heard of Pure Florida?

kathy a. said...

teh cuteness of the 2 resting boys is overwhelming! great of you to help your mom out -- i'm pretty sure she isn't trying to kill you.

pablo, if you get tired of your son, can i borrow him?

Cathy S. said...

Your mom and my husband must be related. He always has a to do list for me as well! No rest for the wicked.

Bugstsm is my word verification. Sounds like a definition of Bite Me Mike.

Anonymous said...

Good morning,

Dr. Mike is crazy! Watched a bit between my fingers. When I started to go to bed there was a spider on my wall. Killed it quick enough!


Bill said...

Kevin and I both own chain saws and would be happy to lend one out. Probably would save your arm a little. Just a thought next time you are in town...
I have a ginormous pile of stuff at my curb almost every week for the yard guys. Sometimes they leave me nasty notes.
You are a good son.


Miz S said...

Just think how extra-muscular your arm will be after all that sawing. I hope you don't end up looking lopsided.

amarkonmywall said...

MIz S...

At first glance I thought your dear mum was asking you to remove a gator from the premises. An English Holly is worse. We had them in Michigan and I'm with you- never again.

A Bite With Mike- I'll make that my last bit of TV for the week before heading off to a happy week without. I still say, or say again- you did a mighty fine job on that fireplace and mantle and it has just lovely art work on it, too.

Bear. I actually thought this morning that he and the Snarl have much the same personality.

Floridacracker said...

I enjoyed it!

Shootin monkeys or film crews? Not sure what you meant.

Now that is dedication.

One of the hazards of grandstanding with dangerous animals huh.

I don't think they would go for unstaged animal encounters.

Welcome! Smart move ... mosquitoes are deadlier than any gator.

You left off "clean comfy chairs at RR"

Gave them enough worries growing up, this is my happy penance.

I hear ya. I will get that up at Pure Florida Food soon.

Chris and Jon,
I was whining tongue in cheek, but it still counts as a whine doesn't it?

Kathy A,
Yeah, she fed me such good chow, that I'm pretty sure she is not trying to get rid of me.

Cathy S,
The flip side is if I had gotten over there more this summer, the list would have been much smaller!

"...watched a bit between my fingers" that seems pretty appropriate ... bit fingers and Doc Mike.

That thought crossed my mind, but I figured you guys were out earning a buck!

Miz S,
Yes, the BOWsawFLEX is a good workout! Just remember to alternate arms.

Floridacracker said...

We are of one mind regarding English Holly. The Snarl surely has a joi de vie to the nth power, something Bear strives for ... Both seem to be big hearted too!

Floridacracker said...

To all,
I have to add this too. One of the things that happens when these "expert" shows wind up in your backyard, is ... you spot things that just ain't right ... like when Survivor Man visited a Georgia swamp and smeared himself with mud "to keep mosquitoes away".

Nah bro, that ain't gonna work, that's rurban legend crap and you got nasty dirty for no reason.

Along that line, even though I enjoyed Bite Me and will watch it again ... there were obvious staged encounters ... an unprepared gator recovery from a drain pipe using a shoestring? The whole scene would be illegal and who goes after gators without a noose or other equipment ... um, and some experience.

The burmese python seemed mighty tame, and convenient.

And since when can you walk up to a wild,( possibly rabid here in Florida) skunk and calmly pick it up?

Staging encounters is nothing new in wildlife documentaries, so it's not like Dr. Mike is breaking any traditions there ... nor is it necessarily a negative thing, it's just not REAL when you do that.

My opinion: Fun show. Doc Mike gets points for getting in there and up close with the critters. I'll watch it again ... with a dubious Spocklike raised eyebrow.