Saturday, August 29, 2009

I need a bigger machete

Recently, I read about building plans for tiny houses and I thought that might be kind of cool. Our house has about 1500 square feet of living space which actually feels really large for a family of three. But while we have what feels to me as a very spacious house, we also only have our 5100 square foot lot which feels really small for a girl who longs to live off in the woods. So, I've been trying to figure out ways to use all of the space in our yard productively and not waste any.

Today's task has been clearing out the ivy jungle behind our garage. The properties behind us are up above us so the back portion of our yard is a combination of retaining walls that were built along time ago and ones we built when we moved here nine years ago. Those reach about up to my nose (which isn't very high really cause I'm kind of short) and then above that is the ground level of the neighbor's backyard and their high fences. There are two "skinny houses" built on the lot behind us and one is a family with two kids and the other is a rotating parade of renters. The last renter I used to hear out on her back porch every evening, smoking and talking really loudly on the phone about her latest conquests and how much she drank the night before and all the gossip among her (pretty boring sounding) friends. I never hear the current renter but he/she has the air conditioner on all the time even if it's only 70 degrees out. What they all have in common is that they could care less what happens in their back yard and it has been flowing into our yard for years now.

True to the 100 year old nature of our house, our garage is detached and sits behind the house. There is about four feet of two levels of ground behind there and up until about an hour ago it was all a jungle of ivy. I took a machete to it to start but it wasn't cutting as well as I needed it to (maybe I'm not strong enough to get the full effect?) Then after a particularly hard whack it flew out of my hand and hit Willow the pitbull in the head with (thankfully) the handle. So I switched to hedge clippers. One of the other joys of living in the city is you can't leave a machete in the old detached garage because there are sooooo many untreated psychotic people who roam around the city. I'm not sure how we have so many people with potentially violent psychotic illnesses in our city. It seems higher than other big cities. Anyway ...

That area is going to be part of the chicken run instead of a wasted 480 square (rectangle?) feet of ivy jungle. I'm surprised I didn't find anything except old tennis balls back there. Luckily, I had big boots on so I didn't have to worry about running into any ROUS that I occasionally see scurry through the garage. I did see some garden spiders of unusual size though. I wish I'd had my camera out back for one which was the size of a small tarantula. I've never seen a garden spider that big! If it weren't the wrong time of year I would've thought she was getting ready to build a nest to lay eggs. As it was she has been given the honorary name of Charlotte and was places off to the side out of danger of the machete.

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