Spring cleaning with the yard Nazi
“When are you going to do the hair transplant thing?” I pestered husband-head a few weeks ago. “I want you to get it done – I think it’ll be a big improvement.”Husband-head rolled his eyes.”First of all, it’s not called a ‘hair transplant thing,’ it’s called ‘laying sod,'” he corrected me. “And it’s not time yet. The weather has to warm up first.”Well, it looks like hair plugs to me, but whatever it’s called, I was anxious to begin our spring spruce-up in the front- and backyards.And I had a list a mile long. …”Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey!” I roused husband-head a few weekends later when the weather had warmed. “Up, up, up, up UP!””Here comes the yard Nazi,” husband-head groaned and pulled the covers over his head.Grudgingly, he got up.”It’s not fair – if I’m going to work outside, you have to clean inside,” husband-head bartered.Then he pointed to a large clump of fur that was nestled into a corner.”That looks like another pet,” he accused. “You have to de-hair this house.””I know,” I agreed. “It’s amazing that our animals aren’t bald, the way they shed. …”As I began the deep cleaning inside, husband-head went off to lay the sod – which, by the way, still doesn’t sound right to me.Several hours later, he came back in the house.”Check it out,” he said proudly. “I am the layer of the sod!”I half expected him to start beating on his chest with his fists.But it did look nice, and I could tell he was excited at the results.The thing about husband-head is that once he gets going on a project, he’s way into it.And the next thing I knew, he was running back and forth to the garden center, buying trees, plants, flowers, top soil, river rock, hanging baskets and bark chips.Bob Vila on the TV show “This Old House” has nothing on husband-head. …First he landscaped the yard with a dry riverbed … then he put in a lawn pond, complete with a bubbling fountain and a ceramic frog spewing water out of its mouth.”Wouldn’t it be cool if, like, the pond was full of beer and you could just put your cup in front of the frog?” he asked as we stared at his handiwork.”Yes, that would be way groovy,” I agreed wholeheartedly. ” Or we could just fill it with vodka and it could be a martini fountain.”As we come out in the morning to find a bunch of drunks lying all over the lawn …But husband-head wasn’t finished with his landscaping project by a long shot. Next, he planted a variety of flora and fauna … fixed the screen door … hung flower baskets and painted the porch floor.I smiled with approval.”You know, you’re just like my mother,” husband-head said, leaning over his shovel. “Neither of you is ever happy unless I’m working on something. …”Now you’re getting the picture.A little later, one of his buddies stopped by and just stared.”Good grief, it’s starting to look like the cover of ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ around here,” his friend observed. “I don’t suppose the yard Nazi will let you out to go have a beer?”Husband-head saluted with his hand to his eyebrow.”Heil Heidi!” he said, as he goose-stepped to the front door. “Permission to have a cold beverage, SIR!””At ease, yard monkey,” I saluted back. “Permission granted, but you must be back by 1600 hours.”I don’t know even know when 1600 hours is, but it sounded like a military phrase I’d heard on TV. …When the work week rolled around again, husband-head had a new agenda item on his way from the front door to the car.He stopped at the lawn pond and stared. Then he checked the progress of the sunflowers he had planted. Then he looked at the hanging baskets to monitor the progress of the plants. Then he calculated when he would have to mow the green, grassy hair plugs. …”Next week we’ll start on the backyard!” I cried out as I blew him a kiss.”Yard Nazi,” he muttered under his breath, thinking I hadn’t heard.Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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