The week started out wonderful with more cousin time but alas, the wonderful didn’t last. But I’m going to start with the happy because I can’t fix stupid.
On Monday I met the cousins at my new favorite restaurant – Culinary Underground – for a yummy late lunch. As always, it was fun to see them and I’m glad they could do lunch because I had already arranged mowing orientation after work with Erica’s kids. They would be my replacement for Denny and I was happy about that. Erica’s kids not only have mad skills but are super conscientious and diligent. I love having them help at my house. So after work, I left them to mow and weed whack, something that’s never happened in my yard, then headed to knitting, which is always a highlight of my week since I love my knitting friends. Heidi had just gotten back from Niagara Falls and hit Bulk Barn for a kilo of OMG’s for me. I only had time to grab a yogurt for dinner so was hungry when I got home and ate a bunch of junk, including OMG’s of course, since it felt too late for real food. I also finished my cleaning lady prep a day early, which was a first. So much food and productivity that late left me struggling to fall asleep but at least I could cross yard work off my list.
I was pretty tired on Tuesday but mustered energy for a marathon of errands over lunch. I dropped a back seat load of donations at Goodwill, dropped my fave Birks at the cobbler to be fixed for my trip, hit ShopKo to buy stretchy yet socially acceptable pants to wear on the plane, did a return and purchase at Menard’s and went through Taco Bell drive through for a grilled stuffed burrito. All that in 1 hour and 10 minutes – not bad. After work I was going to Brenda and Michael’s for dinner with the cousins since they’d be leaving before dawn on Wednesday. I arrived to the yummy smell of beef ribs on the grill. Debbie had been cooking all day so we had mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, garlic/cheese bread and homemade BBQ sauce to go with the ribs, which were so big they looked like something from the Flintstones. We finished off with strawberry shortcake from scratch, of course, because it was Brenda’s actual birthday (we’d already celebrated on Saturday.) We sat on the front porch visiting until the bugs drove us inside. Since it was almost 9:00, I bid them farewell and headed home. I so love my cousins!
Wednesday was a lovely day. I used a BOGO coupon at Noodles for lunch and took the 2nd entrée home for another meal. I enjoyed being back in the pool for the first time in a month and was going home to a clean house so was looking forward to a nice night. Well, I drove up to my mailbox and could see that something was wrong with my crabapple tree, which is the centerpiece of my front yard. I got out of my car to find that someone had hacked off all the lower branches and they were in a pile under the tree. I was standing in shock when my neighbor stuck her head out her window to say Dwayne (from the halfway house) was working in their yard and had pruned my tree. I don’t think she was prepared for how angry I was so she came out to talk. In the 20 seconds it took her to come outside, I was over the speechless shock and let the words fly. On what planet does someone trespass in someone’s yard and start hacking at their tree? I could not fathom how Judith let this happen and it didn’t help that she took zero responsibility for it, blaming Dwayne. I was so livid (I’ll admit a few F-bombs flew) that I told her I needed to go inside. That’s when I started crying. Because this tree is my favorite and if you’ve read this blog for awhile you’ve seen the pics – blossoms in the perfect pink in the spring and bare branches with hanging fruit being eaten by birds in the dead of winter. I LOVE this tree and have carefully pruned it to a gorgeous, natural shape so it was beautiful all year long. Now it was lollipop shaped and the worst part was every single cut he’d made was a butcher job so all those branches would have to be repruned properly, which would take off even more of the wood. Again, who does this? So much for my nice night at home.
When I woke up Thursday, I took one look at the tree and burst into tears again. Then I went out to find that he’d also cut down the entire thicket of Wahoo trees by the alley and the trees, mostly weeds, at the top of the driveway. He’s also filled up my trash can and another can with branches. Since it was my last trash pick up ever (I’ve cancelled my trash service so they’ll be taking the can away while I’m in Scotland), I had planned to fill it myself with trash from the garage. And the spare can, which I’d used for recycling and had just emptied into my recycling bin so it was empty by the house, would never be picked up because the trash service only picks up their cans. I clearly needed to have a real discussion with Judith when I was calmer. I’d have to wait some time for that though because I was still madder than hell. It didn’t help when a semi completely ignored a yield sign and almost killed me on the way to work. I did have a nice lunch with Dodie and then hit HyVee on the way home. At least the sight of the tree didn’t leave me in tears so I was getting over it. My tree would never be the same mind you but I was moving on.
I did talk to Judith on Friday morning as she was leaving for work and got nowhere. No responsibility taken but I needed to move on. I wasn’t crying at the sight of it anymore and my relationship with Gerard and Judith was more important than a badly pruned tree. After a nice day at work on Friday and errands on the way home, I was in for the weekend. Since it was my last weekend at home, it was all about getting ready for my trip. I wasn’t going to start packing until later next week but there was still plenty to do both inside and in the garden. All good.