Glad I Didn’t Pay Someone To Do This

Xeriscape Landscaping. (Pronounced ZERO-SCAPE). It’s a term familiar to desert dwellers who recognize the need to conserve water. The word comes from the Greek xeros, which means “dry.”

We have a xeriscape design in our backyard, where we make use of not only cacti and succulents to beautify the overall look of our outdoor rooms, but also the plants that do require regular watering are grouped together. It’s generally a low maintenance yard, particularly during the winter.

Of course, it was especially low-maintenance for us. For the last decade we’ve had a landscaping company taking care of it. Unfortunately, it seems as though this company has gone out of business. Since January, our guys—Tommy and Jerry—simply haven’t shown up, and phone calls have not been returned.

Having a messy yard was something we could live with during most of the winter. It was a cold, rainy season and we spent a lot of time indoors, ignoring our outdoor rooms.

BTW: By messy I mean an abundance of mesquite tree scrap. We have several mature mesquites on property and they are among the messiest trees in existence. If they’re not shedding bean pods, they’re shedding leaf clusters and rice-sized leaves that dry out after the winter freezes and then fall to the ground like snowflakes.

Well, it’s Spring, and there’s a party about to happen. There’s nothing like a party to get you thinking about cleaning up your house. So, yesterday, a gorgeous, sunny day in the Sonoran Desert, we enlisted the help of our kids. All four of us spent the afternoon cleaning up the scrap, and by sundown, it looked good.

Unfortunately, there was one problem. Along with the spring temperatures have come the spring winds. And this week has been very, very windy. (It’s so windy, that my bff Beaver walked off the golf course on Tuesday in the middle of the club championship!) Damn if we didn’t wake up this morning only to find a fresh new deposit of mesquite scrap littering the formerly impeccable grounds.

We have one more day before the big bash and I think we’ll wait until the last minute to do another blow. Sure glad we didn’t pay Tommy and Jerry to do what they do.

On another note, when we checked the pool heater we found that over the winter all the wiring had been eaten away by a tribe of nasty packrats, rendering it useless. The maintenance guy who DID show up today told me it wouldn’t be worth it to replace the parts.

Bottom line on a new pool heater? Three grand. It’s being installed tomorrow, and I have only one word to say about that:

“RATS!”

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