For those uninitiated with high plains landscaping, juniper bushes are abundant as they flourish in arid soil and spread faster than an STD on a college campus. My hatred for this vile shrub dates back to my high school years when I worked at a golf course and spent much of one summer removing throngs of this coniferous abortion. Upon purchasing our house, I knew that cutting up the overgrown junipers in our front yard would be imminent. This weekend, while the wife was playing in a softball tournament, I chainsawed one bush to the ground. The work was taxing and sweat poured from every orifice but it was also satisfying. The plan is to remove all the junipers in the next few weeks and plant more aesthetically pleasing and manageable shrubs in their place.
Aside: I have yet to finalize a method for pulling the stumps/roots out of the ground. I have narrowed it down to three ways:
- The Firestarter Method. Pour kerosene/gasoline on the stumps. Wait three weeks until root dies. Remove.
- Granpappy’s String-To-Tooth-To-Door-And-Slam Method. Tie one end of chain around root base and the other end to a truck trailer hitch (truck must have four wheel drive). Accelerate and remove.
- Aquaman Method. Saturate root with water. Remove with pick axe.
Last night our kitty threw down with a neighbor cat that wandered into our backyard (the wife described the interloper as twice her size and black). I was upstairs on the computer when I heard the ruckus. The wife bolted out the back door after the whirlwind of fur, fangs and claws to break it up. The felines were spry and the fight quickly spilled over the fence and into the neighbors yard leaving no time for the wife to hurl a broom javelin style between the cats like my late grandfather Broz. Kitty came strolling to the back door an hour later seemingly unfazed by the scrap. Further inspection revealed a bloody back paw and a claw that had been snapped off (hopefully in her opponents face). Her psychological well being seemed off the rest of the night (more so than usual) and we were concerned she tangled with some diseased pussy. To our relief, she woke us this morning in her normal manner; laying on our faces, licking our faces and purring like a chain saw. We can only hope she clawed the eyes out of her opponent and taught it a lesson.
The wife and I have spent the past two weeks cutting through underbrush, overgrown shrubbery and raking decomposing piles of leaves. While the previous occupants showered the inside of the house with the love and tenderness of a small child stroking a teddy bear (they installed new commodes, tile, stove/range and paint), they let the yard work go like a seventeen year old girl’s body during her freshman year of college. Tomorrow morning Waste Management might actually enjoy stopping at our house as there will not be throngs of black trash bags filled with four years of neglected landscaping. Then again there are three recycling bins filled with dead soldiers thanks to the goddamn the alcoholics I play poker with.
These past few weeks the wife and I have been up to our tits in U-Hauls, moving boxes, giant Tupperware containers and throngs of able-bodied help throwing our furniture around for the promise of free food and liquor (including one tattooed freakshow who has visited the new crib twice since moving day but has yet to bring over any housewarming scotch). Amidst the chaos we only lost one small mirror that the wife purchased on clearance at Marshalls. While the wife was conveniently out of town I spent the past few days unpacking, trimming juniper bushes, raking leaves, committing genocide on the ant colony in the mud room, configuring the entertainment center and setting up my office. My Dad gave me a bevy of tools; rakes, shovels, hedge clippers, an extension cord, a pruner, a hatchet, a lawnmower and a gas trimmer that came with the spoken caveat, “Don’t tell your mother I gave it to you. I just bought it last summer.” A housewarming party will be imminent. Bring scotch.
The moment of truth arrived for the wife and I as potential property owners this past Saturday; the dreaded home inspection. The first few times we walked into the house we were awash in euphoria and statements like “We could put our [furniture piece] in this corner” or “We could do [short-term project that will turn into a long-term project] this summer.” The reckoning arrived in the form of an elderly gentlemen with shaky hands and a red Geo Metro. Being as the home inspection is a make-or-break affair, I called in Big Guns (read: my Dad) to tag along while the inspector eviscerated our future residence. My old man is the working class hero of North Metro Denver, somewhat akin to Bruce Springsteen minus the gravely voice and the E-Street Band. Whenever something breaks, my Dad “Has a guy” for it. Usually that guy has a blue collar handle like Jimbo or Murph and will charge you little to no labor costs to fix the problem. The inspector was a friendly and competent man, and aside from my Dad correcting him about an electrical box and aluminum wiring being legal for certain types of jobs, he wrote a fine report. He mentioned on numerous occasions that the house was “well built” and “has good guts.” Aside from some leaky gutters, a pipe that needs tightening, a sewer line scoping and siphon valves that need to be installed on the sprinkler system, the future homestead is in solid working order. On a related note my Dad just sent over a quote this morning that his sprinkler guy Bruno gave him to install the siphon valves. He agreed to do most of the work for cost.
The wife and I have spent the past month and a half looking for a house all over Denver and her surrounding suburbs. We have seen our share of some awful, filthy and disgusting properties. Any one who has ever shopped for real estate knows the market is rife with run-down hell holes, terrible design choices (such as flowered wallpaper and faux wood paneling), homes that haven’t been updated since the Kennedy administration and box elder bug infestations that would make the scene in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom look like amateur hour. This past weekend we finally walked into a house and felt like we were “home”. We made an offer on Wednesday and the offer was countered last night, being upped a few grand and the sellers agreeing to cover the closing costs (buyers market, yo). We gladly accepted because the house is the tits; 2500 square feet (3100 if you count the unfinished basement), updated dumpers, counter tops and lighting, over sized two car garage and air conditioning. Assuming the inspection goes well we move in on March 31. I intend to do a naked moonlight ass-walk on the deck off the master suite on night one. You know, to set the tone.