17 July 2010

Growing... vertebrally speaking

It all started about a week-ish ago. I received a bizarre call from a psychotic woman, and almost everything in my life went downhill from there.

A few weeks ago, I took my car into 9th St Radiator and A/C to have the A/C compressor replaced.

I had taken it in to the same place last summer when it stopped working. No one could find anything wrong with it. Finally, the mechanic said it needed replaced at a cost of $650. I didn't have the funds at the time. I went without A/C.  You do what ya gotta do, right?

I sold my youngest child and came up with the funds... which had somehow increased in a year to $850.  It worked for a little over a week - thankfully long enough to drive up to Wyoming and back. Then it stopped working. Just stopped. the day after the dragon lady called me. Me thinks her evil witch powers are great. The dark side of the force is strong with that one.
She attended the all-day seminar.
I have a catalpa tree growing in my back yard. It's just a little sprout. It is nicely snuggled in the corner of my property. I like it. It'll give wonderful shade in a couple of years.  My goal is to make a back yard retreat - hidden from snooping eyes... speaking of snooping eyes. My next door neighbor - who is 86ish now, told me she didn't want me growing a catalpa tree - she sees them as messy and doesn't want it to litter her yard. She asked if she could cut it. I told her I'd like to let it grow out a bit, then I would have it trimmed up in about a year - once I knew it would survive.

BTW - I know all about neighbor's trees littering one's yard. Boots has two humongous sick elms which litter my yard with sticky dead leaves all spring, summer and autumn-long. Whenever I step outside barefoot to change the water hose position, I have to peel layers of blechy leaves off my feet. I'm just saying - it's the price of living in a neighborhood. You deal.

When my A/C stopped working, I called the dude at 9th street. I took it back. Seems it's a hose - the high pressure hose - which is leaking and they didn't know it had a leak until the pressure reaches... blah, blah, blah. Twixt I asked, "So, could it have been the hose all along, and not the compressor?"

Didn't really get an answer on that one.
What we have heah is a failure to communicate...
He did state someone must have leaned in on the hose and split it.
"Cool," said I. "Considering you and your boy have been the only people under my hood in over a year. Do you think maybe one of you may have split it?"
"... just let me know when you'd like to get it fixed, or what you want to do about it."

OH! And a big fat BTW! The hose itself supposedly costs over $100.

Let's do the math - $350 last year for a "let's try it fix" which didn't. $850 for a new compressor which worked as well and as long as the "let's try it fix" - and all the time and energy and doing without wheels. Um. Shall I run back up to 9th Street Radiator and plunk down at least another Benjamin? I'll jump right on that derailing train!

(What's a girl to do? I'll let you know when I figure it out. As for now, I really am one hot momma!)

With all the minutia going on in my life, it felt as if my life was a stacking up like a pile of cold pancakes of despair...

they're just drippin' with despair
...when I stepped outside yesterday on my way to work and noticed my baby catalpa was sheared on the neighbor's side... over 9 inches into my yard.

One might say it's such a stupid thing to get upset about - but it made me cry.  I can't explain it. I just started bawling. Like a frickin' baby - and I couldn't stop.

I wrote a note to my un-home neighbor (and it's verbatim - I saved it. I can prove it):
"Hey Boots - I hope you're doing well. I asked you to please not cut my tree because it's still so little. Please don't. I don't want it to die. Thank you. I appreciate it. - Sandi"

When I came home from work yesterday, Boots was still un-home, but I had an answer written on the back of my note, taped to my back door, written by her daughter.

"Sandy"... yeah - she didn't notice I spell my name with an "i" because like most self-ass-orbed people, they just don't give a damn about anyone but themselves, their things and their wants... [Disclaimer - I don't really care how you spell my name, but if you get a note from Ethel, you don't want to reply to Myrtle - I'm just saying.]

"Sandy - I spent almost 2 hours last week trimming the bushes that had grown over from your side of the fence onto Mom's side preventing her from easily getting to her trash can and alley access. Our trash man hauled away 3 cans full of the trimmings. Please keep the branches trimmed from now on. Mom has told you that she doesn't want the catalpa branches to come over onto her property because catalpas are a messy tree. Please keep the branches trained to your side. (By the way - I have seen a calalpa [sic] resurrect itself from a stump. They're impossible to kill.)  - Cathy"

I called the city and asked about the municipal code on such matters. An officer of the law came out to inspect the damage.

I learned quite a few things from Officer JC yesterday afternoon:

Did you know it's not your responsibility to keep your bushes off your neighbor's lawn? That's on them. If they don't want foliage to intrude on their space which may prevent one from trashcans and alley access... they alone are responsible for clipping them, or moving their trashcan to a more accessible area - whichever is easier. Oh - btw - the bushes she's complaining about - not that it matters much - are out of control sprouts from Boot's own elm trees. I've tried everything to kill the buggars, to no avail.

If your foliage is intruding on their space, they are allowed to cut it - even if you don't want it cut. But... and she has a big butt... they are NOT allowed to venture even a millimeter over onto your side of the property. By coming in 9" from the fence line onto my legal property to trim my baby catalpa, wonder woman plopped herself down in the "WRONG!" category.
...to be a good neighbor.

The irony here is I've done so much for Boots when she needs it. When she needed something done in the past, Boots would call me. I'm heartbroken Cathy had to trim the bushes for her 86-year-old mother. Oh, the humanity!

Officer JC gave me a little courage. I wrote another note - because Boots is still un-home. I'm thinking she's on vaca and her LOVERLY daughter is taking care of the place while she's away.

"Cathy..." I maybe ought to have written "Cathi"... hrm... too late now. Anyway -
"Cathy - According to municipal code, any branches which hang over to your (Boot's) side of the property are your responsibility - Not mine. As for my tree, you are not legally within your rights to reach over to trim my tree. You may only cut branches and leaves which hang over your property. Please refrain from clipping my tree in the future. If you feel a leaf or random branch which hangs over your property causes you strife - feel free to cut it - as long as you NOT venture over my legal property line. By the way - I don't want a stump in my yard - I want a (not-deformed) catalpa tree. - Sand i"

Some of you (most likely including Ms. Guided) may incorrectly state it's Karma coming back at me full force. I disagree whole-heartedly.

I think the Universe offers situations which, by how we act, can either teach us to be stronger or allows us to whimper away, defeated and a lesser person.
Defeat isn't always this cute.
Ms. Guided started it by shrieking sick accusations via Ma Bell. I did what I always do when anyone yells at me over the phone: I hung up - and whimpered away a defeated and lesser person. I ought to have stood up for myself and told her what a sick, deranged individual she was for even considering such. The lesson may have stopped there.

But I didn't. I reacted ...well,  I'm not very proud of the way I handled that situation - therefore the Universe stuck another test in my path - my broken A/C. I still haven't faced that challenge.  So, once more my personal rights have been violated in the shape of a vulnerable baby catalpa tree.

I think I'm finally learning the lesson. I feel my spine strengthen a little bit every day. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

In Joy & Enjoy
OMG! JD! (for no reason what-so-ever)



hahahahahahahahahaha--- who is Ms Guided??? forget the karma crap-- it's O-v-e-r...been o-v-e-r for a long time........

Sandra Miller Linhart said...

You're telling me?!?

Ms Guided is just that; poor unfortunate soul... in pain... in need...

It's no matter - her life doesn't touch mine.

Yours does, however. Beautiful Soul that you are! :o)

zirelda said...

You go.

BTW, leave her yet another note with Cathi, I really don't appreciate all the mess your elm trees leave on my property and would really appreciate it if you would keep them trimmed from now on. Either that or I can send you the bill for having the shellac scrubbed off of my belongings.

Just a thought.

Sandra Miller Linhart said...

too funny! but, true. Very true. The paint on my car will never be the same. Look at it this way, tho - If anyone hits my car, the protective coating of tree urine may very well keep it from sustaining any real damage.

pass the popcorn, please!