Dogs do Halloween too: my sister’s Dave

Secretly he preened, knowing the girls in the neighbourhood would be jealous.


I’m throwing in the rake

It’s the day after Halloween. We had a blast (photos to follow, maybe, if they’re any good at all). But to get to Halloween decorating, I had to venture into the backyard to fetch the rake, to make piles of leaves, to stuff stray body parts and wigs into, to make part of the front lawn look like a zombie resting place.

Don’t misunderstand me. I see my backyard every day from on high, from the Romeo and Juliet deck that towers over the yard. From that vantage point the grass never looks really tall, and you just see the tops of weedsflowers and the odd dog toy. Sure, the raspberry bushes are overgrown, but whose raspberry bushes aren’t unruly shoots and brambles?

So to gain access to the backyard and the rake, I had to go down the path between the houses, and encountered this:

This passage sealed the fate of the zombie leaf pile on Halloween night, and led directly to my decision to abandon the backyard fall cleanup

A week and a half ago there was a phenomenal storm that ripped a huge branch from the front maple. It landed on the car, with one end on the front yard, over the car and the other end touching our neighbours’ tree in the centre of their yard. It took two strapping lads to drag it and stuff it between the houses, because the wind was so fierce we figured it would keep smacking things on its way down the street. I wrote a note to number 1 son and his friend to please cut the branch down and bag it for yard waste day removal. Fail.

So I picked my way around the tree and saw my backyard from ground level for what could be the first time since the end of summer. Great horny toads! What a disaster! I’ve been asking, suggesting, prodding, threatening, even the n-word that is forbidden in my home to describe anything I do (na**ing), but no one has done anything but pick raspberries and throw toys for the puppy for the last two months, and it looks it.

It all comes back to the mum. Read the ads, make the list, cook the meals, clean the meals, buy the clothes, wash the clothes—now not only would I be raking the leaves back here, but pruning and thinning and grass-cutting and then sawing and hacking these branches down to size too.

So this morning when I opened my mail and saw one of those deal emails for a fall yard cleanup, I said NO. Actually, I said YES, I will buy this, and NO I will not get stuck doing more work around the house than I already do. So, I paid $59 (regular charge for the service is $189) for someone else to rake, bag and drag the leaves away, trim and prune my lilacs, forsythia and raspberries, fertilize, de-weed and cut the lawn.

I have felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders, and back, and back of legs and triceps, biceps and deltoids too. I feel like a wealthy woman (the charge went through, so why not??), because for a few hours, I will have a yard man or woman. I have never had one of those. I’ll bet it feels great.

Til next time, or when I get Halloween pics from my phone.