Since I went off yesterday about the flooding, I think today I need to take a lighter look at the anticipated floodwaters.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I’m not a real outdoors type of woman. Sure, I love to fish, but that’s about the extent of my outdoorsiness (I know it isn’t a word). When it comes to yard work, you mention the word and I’ve got too many other things to do like laundry, mopping, plucking the hair out of my head one by one. You know, important things.
On Sunday, when I was about to start doing all of those not-so-important things, I started thinking about my pets. I have two cats and a dog. Ty, the 14-year-old cat has been voted off the island (inside) because of her…pottying problem. She stays outside all the time now. Mia, my 9-year-old Mini Schnauzer, only goes outside to potty and spend time with me…and Ty. Cookie the Hut stays inside at all times.
One thing government officials have stated over and over is that with the rising floodwaters, populated areas should be on the lookout for wildlife searching for higher ground. This could be anything from raccoons to black bears to alligators and snakes. Lots and lots of snakes. Do I expect to see bears roaming around my neighborhood? God, I hope not. Alligators? Well, my neighbor has already had a 9′ alligator under her porch and that wasn’t even for a flood. I instantly started thinking of the horrible, nasty beasts who might want to make a meal of my cranky cat and my sweet puppy dog.
This was enough motivation to get me in the yard to do major cleaning up. I spent seven hours cutting tree limbs and bushes, throwing out damaged fencing, anything that could possibly hide predators that might lie in wait for my babies. Armed with a limb cutter, a hatchet, and a saw, I attacked the thick branches of the holly bushes behind my house. Yes, a hatchet. I’m so not a lumberjack, by the way. I’m sore as hell, but that isn’t the point of this blog. No. There’s more.
In the process of doing this major clean-up around my home, I stepped on a nail (went right through my shoe into my foot), had black ants and God only knows what other kinds of bugs fall in my hair, on my neck, and down my shirt. Then I had to rumble with my neighbor’s rose bush…tree thingy.
This rose bush (tree) had nearly 1″ thick limbs that had pushed through her wooden fence to reach into our yard. The limbs were hanging low enough that simply walking would’ve had you caught in them. Since my brother was going to be cutting grass, I decided these rose branches had to go…
Little did I know they weren’t going to leave easily. Oh, no. Those branches and I rumbled. The thorns grabbed my hair, my shirt, my neck, my arms, my work gloves. Every. Single. Time. I’d try a different approach and another branch would attack. It was like fighting an octopus! I look like I went a few rounds with a very pissed off house cat, but I won. Eventually. I have no doubt people heard me cursing and swearing up and down the street.
I’m proud of the work I managed to do and yes, I’m wearing my scratches and gouges like a battle-weary warrior. Yes, I can barely move my arms and please don’t ask me to open any jars because that might do me in. Do I plan to do this again? God, I don’t think so. Next time I think I’ll just rent a bulldozer and destroy everything from the safety of a cab.