Thursday, October 30, 2008
Sting Operation and the Big Dump
Back in July I realized the reason I always had tree limbs in my yard after a big wind was because ... I had a dead tree in my yard. There is no telling how long it's been dead. (I guess I don't look up very often.) This tree was still upright - and I didn't want it to follow the precedent another tree had established so I emailed the local utility company and reported a dead tree near their power line. Amazingly ... after about four weeks they came and cut down the tree! For free! Except they left behind huge chunks of trunks. (I promise this will not turn into a rhyme) Hot Sauce asked what I was going to do with the trunk pieces. I shrugged. It was $200.00 to have the other tree hauled away - and I didn't really want to spend the money. "I'll come by Saturday, load it up and take it to the lake!" he said. "Yay!" Then he didn't. He had three trees of his own down at the lake and more than enough firewood. In September my neighbor asked what I was going to do with the pile of trunk. "Call Wake for Warmth !" I declared in a moment of brilliance (and dyslexia). Turns out the programs name really is Warmth for Wake. *sigh* They LIKE getting free firewood ... but they will not come pick it up. YOU have to go to them. So - no solution. Then my landscaper called. "Hey Mit! The guys say you still have pieces of tree in your yard - and they can't rake. Do you need me to haul it away?" I didn't even have the heart to ask how much, I just said, "yes". THE VERY NEXT MORNING ... someone knocked on my door. "Good day Ma'am," said a thin looking middle-aged man with scruffy hair. "I've been driving down your street for a while and notice you're not doing anything with that there wood. You got any plans for it?" I explained that my landscaper was getting ready to haul it off ... why did he ask? Seems if I wanted him too, he's like to have the wood - if I'd GIVE it to him. The words "DONE!" couldn't escape my mouth quick enough. Then I called my landscape guy. He apologized for not having the tree completely removed - but the guys told him "there was lots - big" and they couldn't do it. I told him not to worry - I had someone coming by for the wood. My guess is the yard guys were trying to tell the landscape guy there were "lots of BEES" ... not "lots of big (wood left)". When I arrived home that evening, the pile of wood was smaller - but not gone. *sigh* In my door was a business card. Seems the guy who wanted the wood is a contractor/handyman. Written on the card were these words. "Came & got some wood. HUGE wasp nest by the little maple near the drive/street. Call if you need help." This was not the first time I'd heard about a nest. My mailman had reported one in the ground on the shortcut path between the two houses. Since I never walk (outside) on the path, I did exactly NOTHING about it. It seemed my time to live in la-la-la land was drawing to a close. (I had just been thinking, "Wow - it's been a while since I've had a house problem." SILLY ME FOR EVEN THINKING SUCH A THING.) I called my pest control people. Because the nest isn't attached to the house, Or IN THE HOUSE, they will charge me a MINIMUM of $130.00 to remove it. (do you hear that "cha-ching" sound?) I called back the handyman/contractor to let him know the wasps would be gone on Friday. That's when I learned my tree is a Beechwood tree. Apparently that is equal to HUGE SOFT SPONGY WOOD ... and so it's so wet that when he uses his chainsaw to cut it up - WATER SHOOTS OUT OF THE WOOD AT HIM. And the wasps?? They STUNG HIM, because he bothered their nest ON THE GROUND ... with an opening that is "AS BIG AS A COFFEE CAN". For some reason, I don't think he'll be back on Friday to get any more of my lovely free "sopping wet/non-burning wood". I'll have to call the landscape guy back YET AGAIN. I'm sure he thinks I am blond. Or cursed. Someone suggested "I" try to get rid of the wasps myself. I don't know if you remember when I got tangled up in the poison ivy/oak ... (a small $300 expenditure for gauze and tape and steroids and special soap because I am SO ALLERGIC they wanted to take me to the ER) ... but I am EVEN MORE ALLERGIC to mosquito and bee stings than poison plants. So clearly I am NOT going to try and remove it myself. There are not enough Epi-pens in the world to keep me alive. So - just when I thought life sucked ... today turned out to be garbage day. Early in the cold morning I carried my recycling to the street. I wheeled my garbage can to the curb. Then I got ready for work. And noticed I had garbage still in the kitchen garbage can. I grabbed the bag as I headed out the door for the office. Before I could make it off the porch - the garbage truck showed up. And they dumped the can. <sad face> BUT!!! He saw me. And my bag. Being a kind an honorable garbage man, he left the can in the clutches of the big mechanical hand and let me put my garbage in the can. Then the big arm tipped it upside down again. I flashed him a brilliant smile and came to work and told everyone about my "big dump". It wasn't the story they were expecting, I could tell by the looks on their face when I stopped talking. Oh well!