Glazed Over…

Where to begin? In the aftermath of the rigmarole that was the evil holiday that starts with an “H”, like hell does, the pre-birthday party and the actual birthday (also election day), apparently the accumulation of sugar resulted in this (big surprise)…

The bug caught a bug and missed two days of school which included one day when she, acting the trooper, insisted on going and then barfed on the way there. Of course, I did not escape unscathed and had a rough week of working ill and not sleeping… so far Mom has escaped the malady. Here’s the bug in a birthday morning frenzy…

Yesterday, despite us both being under the weather, was a very busy day and since my glaze load is at 202 degrees as I type this and was really hot yesterday, we decided to get a bunch of the bug’s pieces glazed for next week’s glaze load. So we headed to the studio and had a pretty productive, albeit logy, afternoon. Here’s some pics of the shenanigans…

Here’s a shot of the demon dog titled “suspicious minds”…

Warning: For you short post readers, you might want to stop here. The big event of the day was the removal of a relatively large black cherry tree from the back yard. It requires a little story that reminds me of the Frost poem we read in high school that includes the line “good fences make good neighbors”. The house next door is owned by a couple that are the 4th owners in the last decade. The first couple of these 4 were elderly and they had a nice black cherry tree in their back yard next to the fence with peonies all along the fence that had to be at least 25 years old. At one time they threatened to cut down the cherry tree and although I hoped that they wouldn’t because it was rather beautiful and the blossoms were wonderfully fragrant in the spring, it was their tree and I had no say in the matter. They opted not to cut it down (probably because of the expense). The second owners of these 4, had a gas leak and the trench they dug in their front yard killed my Japanese Pagoda tree that I had in my front year and had waited 10 years for to bloom. Que sera, what could be done?… there was a gas leak. Then came the third owner. She hired a young man out of college (business school) to be her gardener. It was early spring and in the front yard there was an ocean of daffodils that ran the entire length of their porch. When they bloomed, the yard had a shock of yellow that was a distinct signal that spring had arrived. The gardener dude started work about 4 or 5 days before the daffodils were to bloom and showed up with a tiller. I was on the porch out front wondering what he was going to till because it was either the grass in the yard or the daffodils. I introduced myself and he said he was the gardener. I asked how long he had been a gardener and he admitted quite openly that it was the first job he’d done and he was gonna use his business degree to start a gardening business. Eventually, I asked what his tiller plans were and he motioned that he was gonna till the patch of almost pregnant daffodils. What are you gonna put in there? I asked. Mulch. Just mulch? Yep. I diplomatically asked in an “around-Kelly’s-barn” kinda way (that is essential in the south) if he knew what he was tilling up. Nope, just gettin’ rid of ’em and puttin’ down some mulch. I asked if the owner knew how beautiful they’d be in about a week since she hadn’t been there during the spring months yet. Don’t know. So, I butted out. Next week, gardener dude was in the back yard tearing down the wire fence that separated our yards. The peonies were all sending up their reddish sprigs at the time. He struck up a conversation about the fence letting me know that he might trample some stuff near the edge of the yard. I asked his plans again and he said, gonna do the same as out front all along this fence, motioning the the 30 foot section of mature peonies. I asked again if he knew what he was tilling up. Nope. At this point I couldn’t help myself and told him what they were and that if he was gonna till them, did he think the owner would mind if I dug them up and transplanted them to my yard. (the owner was never home by the way). He said he didn’t care and she wouldn’t either. I believed him. I dug as many as I could and put them everywhere I could find a place. After tilling up the rest and laying down mulch, about a week later, gardener dude was gonna replace the wire fence with a 6 foot wooden fence. He started by the back of my neighbor’s house and just put sections up until he realized after a half a day’s work or so that he was aiming the fence on my neighbor’s side of the cherry tree. At this point he would either have to start over or make a “U”-shaped detour of fence that jutted into my yard to enclose the cherry tree into it’s rightful yard. He came to me an asked, do you mind if I just have the fence go on our side of the tree instead of yours? In a moment of weakness, not remembering Mr. Frost’s quote and having already absconded with about a dozen clusters of peonies I agreed. Of course I pointed out that at the trajectory he was making the fence, he was also giving me about 4 or 5 feet of my neighbor’s yard on my side of their fence and that he would definitely have to clear that with the owner. Later, he said that he did but I seriously doubt it. Anyway at the time, it seemed a small concession. So my yard was a bit bigger and the tree was on my side of the fence. Then a couple weeks later, a concrete truck showed up and poured a large slab that filled half their back yard. Interestingly enough, within a week of the slab being poured, I woke to jack hammers. There was a crew busting up the slab. I couldn’t get over the money spent and wasted. Immediately after clearing the debris, gardener dude showed up and announced that he had given up on the gardening business and he was gonna be a builder and he had been hired by my neighbor to build a garage. So here come the backhoe and excavators who, coincidentally, sever about 40% of the roots of the cherry tree just as the previous owners had done to my Japanese Pagoda tree. I crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t die but the next spring it was obvious that it wouldn’t last more than another year or two. So, now I was in a fix because I not only wasn’t gonna cut it down on principle but I couldn’t afford to anyway. I went to the previous neighbor and politely pointed out that even though I had acquiesced in their positioning of the fence, that the tree was theirs and it was dying and that I felt it was their responsibility to deal with it. She simply stated that they knew it was gonna die when she moved in before the fence or garage were even built. Of course, considering her gardener dude’s knowledge of Kentucky flora, what could be done? Then the for sale signs went up a year or so later. I pled (naively) with the realtor to alert potential owners of the cherry tree dilemma and he assured me he would. After the papers were signed he admitted that he had lied. So, I’ve been waiting for mother nature to slowly get rid of the tree, dropping limbs in both our yards every time there’s a storm. Then, out of the blue, my newest neighbors tell us that they’re gonna have tree work done and the cherry tree would be coming down. So it’s a done deal as of yesterday. Here’s the bug amongst the rubble (my friend is coming to get the logs to burn in his fireplace)…

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10 Responses to “Glazed Over…”

  1. meredith@whynot Says:

    first off that sprout of yours is getting tall!
    I am amazed at people and how naive ( stupid) they can be.
    When I read stuff like this I think- just best to stay where I am – no one lives next door but rabbits, squirrels and deer- and some fish.
    Although the squirrels can sometimes be lousy neighbors.

  2. Michael Says:

    I’d love to have some of that cherry to burn in my wood kiln. My daughter’s in Louisville. Maybe she could fit a chunk her carry on luggage during her flight home for Thanksgiving.

  3. soubriquet Says:

    Oh my.
    Some years ago i had to cut down a smaller cherry tree, and chopped it up and gave it away as firewood.
    A friend who is a woodturner was horrified, told me to check with a timber-merchant he deals with. They confirmed, cherry, or pretty much any fruit-tree’s wood is of value, If I ever had another to cut, I should call them. They’d have sent a truck, felled the tree themselves AND paid me good money for it.
    That’s a good sized cherry, what a sad thing, to see it burn.

    • jim Says:

      hey soub, i’m of like mind although about a decade ago i was assured by a friend with a sawmill and others that i called that there was no way one would risk their sawblade on any tree within the city limits. times may have changed though… i remember being a bit incredulous even then as there are some really nice old cherries and black walnut trees around.

  4. soubriquet Says:

    A crazy story though, a sad attrition of green things. Your neighbours seem to hate the idea that things might blossom and grow in their dirt.

  5. cindy shake Says:

    That was a huge tree! Cherry is lovely wood but yes, it can be a drama to try and do the right thing with a huge stack of logs…best just to get them the heck out of your yard as painlessly possible! Looks like it was a nice way to spend a couple of days under the weather 🙂

  6. Kristen Says:

    I cringed when you mentioned tiller and daffodils in the same sentence, and again when the peonies were in jeopardy. Both are favorites of mine. It calms me to hear at least some beauties were salvaged from your neighbors’ indifference and the “landscaper’s” ignorance.

  7. Robert Young Says:

    Man that’s a big tree! Wish I could have some of the wood for a desk!

  8. Jovile Says:

    always nice to see kids involved in ceramics

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