Last year – or perhaps it was two years ago – I decided that my house looked like a serial killer lived here. Not just a serial killer’s GIRLFRIEND (I heart you, Dexter), but a reclusive serial killer who probably chopped up hookers to make light fixtures out of their boobs.

The overgrown shrubbery had practically obscured all the windows in the front and I intended to remove them. All 958 of them.

I’d bought myself a pickax and a number of loppers capable of removing my fingers with a quick motion and set to work. I did manage to remove a few of the bushes myself before I paid the neighbor kid to remove the rest. When I’d started the process, see, I hadn’t expected that the early landscapers would plant so many fucking bushes atop each other.

But they did. Thanks, old landscapers.

After my neighbor was off spending the check I wrote him on a new iPod, I surveyed my lawn. Clearly something had to go in the gigantic trench the bushes had left behind. But…what? I’m no arborist or botanist and frankly, by that point, I’d rather have gouged out my eyeball with my pickax than replant some.

I made mention of this requirement to The Daver.

Me: “It looks like we’ve dug a foxhole in our front yard.”

The Daver: “Yep.”

Me: “Like any moment, World War II vets are going to pour into the holes and start shooting at the neighbor’s dogs.”

The Daver: “Yep.”

Me: “Or maybe a moat.”

The Daver: “Yep.”

Me: “But it can’t be a moat without a fire-breathing dragon and some cannons. Can we get a fire-breathing dragon?”

The Daver (not even looking up from his work): “Nope.”

Me: “Well, I need to replant some shit in there.”

The Daver: “Yep.”

Me: “Maybe some of those plants that eat people.”

The Daver: “Nope.”

Me: “Okay, then what?”

The Daver: “That’s your job to figure out.”

Me: “I hate planning.”

The Daver (now looking up, exasperated): “You need to sit down, figure out what will grow in there, the supplies you’ll need to install them, the places you can purchase these plants, and how long it will take you to put them in. I want an itemized list.”

Me: “Hrms. Maybe I can put the old, dead bushes back.”

The Daver: “Nope.”

Me (flicking off the back of his head): “Bite me.”

Asking me for an itemized list, cross-indexed and color-coded is a lot like asking me to turn into a bullfrog. Much as you might like it, it just ain’t gonna happen.

So my foxhole sat through the winter, sadly unoccupied by any roving WWII vets or fire-breathing dragons.

This spring, rather than broach the subject again, I simply went to Lowe’s and bought a bunch of flowering shrubs, giggling because the term “flowering shrub” sounds like a wicked STD.

Feeling particularly eye of the motherfucking tiger, I planted them a couple of weeks ago. And when I did, I realized there was a conspiracy afoot.

I needed to buy dirt.

Let me say that again: I needed to buy DIRT. Somehow the shit manages to find it’s way into my carpets and all over my children, and yet, I had to go spend real dollar bills on DIRT. In fact, I needed to purchase a substantial amount of dirt. Clearly, this was The Man keeping us (me) down.

It was also bullshit.

I haven’t exactly BOUGHT the dirt yet, which means I now have what appears to be a foxhole with shrubs growing out of it. I suppose the roving WWII vets will be pleased that their foxhole has been decorated with some fancy new shrubs.

Even with the occasional rain of bullets from down below, I’m certain my neighbors are thrilled that it no longer looks like a serial killer resides here.



Who wants to come over and fill in my foxhole for with me?

33 thoughts on “Home….Improvements?

  1. Your poor bushes are gonna die! And there’s nothing worse than a dying bush – that’s what happens when you get “flowering bush.” Your bush dies. Or maybe it becomes flaming bush. I’m not sure.

    P.S. If you actually live near someone doing construction, they will send over a dump load of dirt for free. If some pretty little thing asks. Like you. Who needs dirt for her bush.

  2. If I only saw that last sentence, and not the rest of the post, I would think it was an odd euphemism.

    Foxhole, eh? Um, ok. Tally ho!

    Oh, and now I want a boob-lamp. Any serial killers selling one on craigslist??

  3. Two years ago I made a grand plan to put a cactus garden in the backyard. Until two weeks ago, it was simply a dirt hill with rocks around the border. I FINALLY put plants in…now I have to wait and see if they die on me.

  4. my mother once went to her favorite garden supply place, and encountered a woman wandering around the azalea department shrieking “where are your bushes?”. Maybe you had to be there. But “where are your bushes?” is one of those lines in the family lexicon now.

  5. I am going through the EXACT same thing!! And I can’t believe I have to pay for dirt and it’s cheap and all but come one it’s DIRT! My youngest son is named Pig Pen because he is covered in DIRT!! Maybe I should shake him off in the flower beds. Hmmm it’s an idea.

  6. Huh. I’m going through the same thing. Except instead of a trench, I have 23 years of overgrowth on the back hill. Which once held a wall. Held together with railroad ties. which are now everywhere.

    I want magical garden imps. Or gnomes, or fairies, or something. Cuz there’s no way this is getting done without magical aide.

  7. And this is why I still have crappy pine-needle/bush-like things in my front yard (I have no idea what they are they are so ugly — even our home inspector suggested getting rid of them when we bought the house 8 years ago. They are that bad.).

  8. Clearly you need to empty your vacuum cleaner bag into the foxhole. Unless you are like the 28 of 100 audience members surveyed for a recent episode of Family Feud who claim the vacuum cleaner as an appliance never likely to be actually turned on in their household. In that case perhaps the neighborhood kid is saving up for an iPad.

      1. I know they exist because I have been in their homes. Usually I tear up and start sneezing within minutes of my arrival though, so I can’t give you a detailed eyewitness report of the ensuing housekeeping mayhem.

      2. A. They are all bachelors.
        B. They are trying to get on one of the hoarding shows.
        C. They have a toddler who thinks he is a dog and does all of the floor cleaning.
        76. They were on a meth binge during the survey and didn’t want to admit they had disassembled the vacuum to turn it into…whatever they turn things into.

  9. At least you didn’t have to buy shit. It seems every time I end up getting suckered into a gardening/yard project I have to buy bags of cow manure. Really. I now have the world’s most expensive tomatoes growing in a bag of crap. But they do taste good.

    Hope your bushes live–give them a good trim (or wax)–sometimes perks things back up.


  10. I know how you feel about buying dirt! I went to an open dumping lot from construction guys and “stole” some. My husband said it was stealing. I want to know how to can steal DIRT! Oh wait. The buggers that “sell” it at Lowe’s…

    I think it’s a conspiracy.

  11. I read this post and all that goes through my mind is “did she just plant shrubs in the foxhole left behind from pulling up shrubs?” I know I know, they are different, but still it gave me a giggle. Mostly because I have two brown thumbs and am lucky to keep my cacti alive!

  12. half of our home improvement projects end up with me getting “flicked on the back of my head” because I just work here, and these executive decisions need to be made by someone above my pay grade. When The Empress finally makes up her mind, I try to follow instructions so that we don’t have issues down the road.

    You should just get plywood cutouts of a chain gang working on your “trench” and tell the neighbors you’re in good with the sheriff if they need any landscaping done.

  13. Now the only thing I can think about is Monty Python: “The Knights Who Say ‘Ni!’ demand a sacrifice… We want- A SHRUBBERY!! You must return here with the shrubbery, or you will never pass through this wood…alive (One that looks nice, and isn’t too expensive).”

    Maybe you could stick a sign in the dirt you have to pay for, reading “The Knights Who Say ‘Ni!’ Were Here.” Or, something.

    In general, I have a hard enough time keeping my urchin charges alive day after day, much less anything botanical. The Envy, it is not mine. :/

  14. It was a year ago.

    Can’t you just level the ground a bit (foot or two) lower?

    Or, you could just wait until the bushes grow up and cover your windows. By that time they should wide enough to cover the moat/fox hole.

  15. I misread arborist as abortionist and was working pretty hard to find the connection bewteen that and bushes and foxholes. Trust me, you do NOT want to be a party to what goes on inside of this bean on a daily basis.

  16. OMG SQUEEZE ME! I have not actually read past the first paragraph yet but the image of my boobs being made into a light fixture is hiFUCKINGlarious. I’ma be laughing about that one for awhile.

  17. I’ll roll around in the hole with you. Wait, what? That wasn’t the question?
    Can I bury my toddler in that hole? Or perhaps it’s big enough for my boyfriend?
    Why didn’t you just post a bunch of signs in it with “Shut your whore mouth” and “Not your bitch” painted on them. Free advertising my dear. And coolest lawn ever. Just make sure the children don’t play out there anymore.

  18. a) Discard the flowering shrubs.
    b) Install a pool liner.
    c) Fill with salt water.
    d) Stock with sharks.


    a) Discard the flowering shrubs.
    b) Install a pool liner.
    c) Fill with water.
    d) Install pool slide from bedroom window.

    Your choice.

  19. We ripped out our Koi pond a few years ago because the stupid neighbor cats (who don’t stay inside despite living in town– ARGH!!) kept coming over and fishing our pond, eating the fish & leaving fishie remains. We now have the huge foxhole in front of our big front window… I do not want to buy dirt either and so now I have weeds growing .. because yeah, weeds grow in anything.

  20. Dirt like water is something you shouldn’t have to pay for! That and all the damn channels on cable you don’t actually watch but have to pay for just to get the 5 you do watch.

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