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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Re: My Lawn

I've had a lot of response to my open letter to Ogden City. Allow me to elaborate on this subject.

When Kev and I bought the PH, it looked like this (problem areas highlighted):

It had been like that for a year. A YEAR. Uninhabited. Bushes with horribly huge thorns spilled over the sidewalk, ready to take your leg off if you walked by. They also consumed 4 feet of driveway that Kev and I didn't know existed.

Kev did a lot of pruning. He cut back three overgrown, disgusting bushes in the side yard. He cut down the giant juniper bush. He pruned all three fruit trees and the dying deciduous tree in the back.

I used weed killer and eliminated most of the weeds in the front patch. Granted, we didn't have much time to deal with the followup, but it was also 100 degrees this summer, which made it difficult to consider being out in the yard working when we could stay inside to make progress.

However, in the cooler evenings I can be found in the side yard a couple of nights a week raking up dead fruit guts and picking up Maddie Paddies (POOP). I mow the lawn about once a week (I know I could be better) and I even weed-wack the tough spots that grow around the power pole, mailbox and in the gutter.

I am well aware that the lawn (or lack thereof) still isn't very attractive at this point. The weeds that I killed still remain in brown patches in the front. But seriously. Kev and I are trying.

The letter from Ogden City states that as a community we need to be pretty. Yadda yadda yadda please submit a plan of action for your yard within 15 days or we'll make you pay $125. Then another $125 after that. Then $500 A DAY after that. My first suspicion is that the Realtors who sit in the garage of the teeny tiny town homes across the street got tired of not selling and found exterior factors for their problem. I kid you not, the living/dining/kitchen area of those town homes is so small that you can barely fit a bistro-style table and couch in there. Seth and I toured them and could not believe how tiny they are. I think they're listed at a minimum of $130,000 without upgrades (tile, tile, tile... gag me).

If Ogden wants a statement of my plan of action, I'll give them a statement:

See the tree top behind the house? On Thursday of this week a tree surgeon (brother of a friend!) is going to chop that sucker down since it's dying and unsafe. He's also going to haul away stumps that Seth pulled out with his truck, and he's going to take the Juniper stump out and away for us. And now that it's a safe time of year to seed the yard, that's what I'm going to do. You see, I've heard it's just a bit of a waste to throw out seed when it's still scorching hot. There's this thing called "summer" and I hear it's a really bad time to seed. These things called "books" on gardening advise homeowners to seed in spring or fall for a successful turnout. Who'd a thunk it? I do have a plan and I didn't need town home Realtors to force me into it. The real kicker is that they put their "Open House!" signs on our property, some without even asking. If my property isn't good enough to sell your town home, how come it's good enough to stake your sign into?

I know that Ogden is just trying to stay beautiful, and I know that my lawn needs improvement. It's just frustrating that Kev and I (and our friends) have done so much work, but it doesn't matter. Who cares that since April we've been pruning, weeding, mowing, hauling etc...? Plus Kev replaced every single solitary plumbing line in the entire house. And rerouted the gas line for more efficiency. And replaced the water heater. And put in more efficient fans for better energy use. And created three closets in the house so it can legally be considered a two-bedroom home. And he put a second sink in the bathroom.

When it comes time to sell this house, all the improvements we've made should ensure that a non-trashy family buys it. That, my friends, will do more for the neighborhood than a luscious, green lawn.


  1. Liv,
    You should just send the Ogden City a link to your blog. I think that'll do the trick. :) Good luck with that. And ya. Yoga made me kinda really sore.

  2. I'm more upset with the Realtors than the city. I'm sure the city only bugged me b/c someone turned me and Kev in. But can't they see how far along the PH is coming?! A cute elderly couple rode by on their vintage bikes last night and stopped to tell us how great the house looks. ANYONE who walks by and sees us out there stops to tell us how great the improvements are. Even my neighbor who's lawn is perfect thinks we're doing great!

  3. Yeah, send them the before and after pictures! You guys have worked so hard, what a joke!

  4. We could start a letter writing campaign. We can all vouch for the massive amount of work you've been doing! And it really shows too. Your house is so pretty!


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