Monday, August 11, 2008

A.J. vs. the Wisteria

Determination, perserverance, stubborness, hard-headedness? What ever you call it, A.J. definately has it.

You see, when we bought our home 4 years ago, we inherited a Wisteria vine. Well, actually SEVERAL Wisteria vines, but one in particular worth mentioning. The previous owner told me that the vine was planted almost 15 years ago and took forever to bloom.

What a nice thing to inherit - NOT! This thing is relentless!!! Every year, so far, it just grows and grows and grows. It attaches itself to the grapes, grows through the yard, attacks the Forsythia shrub. What a great grower, only problem is - when the original owner planted it, she/he, placed the "tiny" rootball mere inches from the retaining wall. Now, several years later, that tiny sprig is huge and not so good for the retaining wall.

So, this past April, with much hesitation - 3+ years worth - I decided it was time for the late blooming Wisteria to go. It's my yard now and it is much less costly to replace a wisteria than the retaining wall. I admit, however, a little bit of remorse, as I hate to kill any plant that has lived such a long life and is so full of vigor, but I've pruned and pruned and pruned and this thing is just out of control...

A.J., the hard worker he is - he is always willing to help - jumped on board and helped me get rid of it once and for all. I hacked the thing down - more like severed all its rogue limbs growing in every direction. Then A.J. took it from there. Wonka dog, sank his teeth in the fun too!

First, he began to dig out the root ball. He dug and dug and dug and then dug some more. That kid had found his match when it came to determination, perserverance, stubborness and hard-headedness. A.J. vs. the Wisteria. It was on.

After a whole lot of time had passed, it began to get dark. I finally went in the house and told A.J. we could finish in the morning. A.J., not wanting to let the Wisteria win, refused to come in. He just kept digging and digging.

After a while, he had dug UNDER the other angle of the retaining wall, removed a railroad tie step and kept digging. Finally, I had to insist that he just chop off the root and come in before the mosquitoes ate him alive.

So, here is the "chopped-off" version of the root. You can see Wonkas chewed up football for scale. Who knows how far it still grows...

p.s. It's now August and the darned Wisteria lives! There are 3' vines creeping their way through the yard where this one grew.....A.J.!!!! HELP!!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Model" Citizen....

So, this 15-year old wants to be an model/actor and I will support his interest-of-the-moment. Why not? We seem to be a family of risk takers and succeed or fail, life is too short not to try. Right!?

I guess the first step will be to get some head-shots and meet with the appropriate sources. He told me yesterday, after a quick shopping trip to the mall, that if he won the lottery, he would go on a clothes shopping spree and buy lots of shoes "cause I like shoes!" And he would go to film school and acting school...

I've always known he was a class-clown (as voted for the yearbook - class clown and most outgoing!) and loves being the center of attention in school plays and what-not, but to hear him actually vocalize this interest... I'm there to do whatever it takes to support him. He's told me on many occasions that he was going to be a moto-cross rider, a professional skateboarder, go into the Navy, save the trees and take care of the earth, but this might be right up his alley. Who knows? I guess only time will tell.
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