I'm trying to do the right thing. I really am. I planted vegetables, I planted drought resistant plants. I'm watering most of it with our used bath water. But my garden is filled with nothing but heartbreak and danger.
It started with raccoons. Those playful little scamps think it's a delight to dig up the grass in search of delicious grub worms. They also think my lily bulbs are a treat. Last week, Nipper heard a sound one night, and when he looked out the window, there in the yard were three giant raccoons... playing. Two of them were rolling around wrestling at the base of the slide, and the third was pushing an imaginary raccoon in the swing. I could tolerate them sharing the playground if it wasn't for the bizarro turds they leave behind. They are scaly and viscous, and impossible to clean up. On a side note we had a pet raccoon when I was a little kid. I KNOW. Raccoons aren't pets, unless you're Davy Crockett or something. But we had one. Her name was Peaches, and she lived in a cage on our back porch. I don't know how long we had her. One week, two years. No idea. I do know that she was smarter than all of us, and was able to reach outside the cage, open the lock, no problem. She also enjoyed laying on her back with her butt up against the baseboards, so she could peel my mother's wallpaper off in what I'm guessing was very satisfying strips. Oh, Peaches! From this experience, I know that these raccoons will never be stopped, and I should just let them sleep in our bed, and be done with it.
Then came the menacing squirrel. I grew up in a college town where the squirrels were not only unafraid of people, they fully expected a little interaction, and possibly a snack. Here they are not so bold. Nearly two decades in California have lulled me into a complete mad squirrel lack of awareness. When we were teenagers, my friend Paige had a squirrel that lived in a tree in her yard that was so aggressive she would have have to take detours to avoid walking past it. The dude totally had a problem with her and would charge as soon as she neared the yard. I know this was the true. I just never thought it would happen to me. Cut to me planting sad little rows of plants in our front beds when we first bought our house. This was before I hired our dreamy landscape designer and her crew to make a garden out of our dirt yard. In my pregnant hubris, I thought I could do it all on my own. So there I am big as a barn, kneeling down in the dirt planting lavender and I hear this clicking sound. It's coming from a tree in the yard across the way that hangs over the street. I can see the leaves rustling, but I don't see anything. I go back to my gardening. All of a sudden, in my peripheral vision, I see something darting under the gate. Then in a flash it's running over my feet, down the hill, back under the other gate. It was a squirrel drive-by! It ran back up into the tree and continued it's crazy clicking and limb shaking. It was letting me know that I was on it's turf, and I'd better be moving on. It took me weeks before I could go out there without bobbing and weaving, ducking and tiptoeing.
The next outdoor nuisance are the cats. Our neighborhood is filled with outdoor cats. I'm all for cats. I had THREE when I met Nipper, including a striped one named Pagoda, who could jump onto my shoulder from the floor and remain there while I brushed my teeth or put on eyeliner. She was like a circus cat, and I loved her more than shoes. Soon after Nipper and I got married, she began pooping on his pillow. I guess this was her subtle way of saying "you betrayed me". So Pagoda went to live with friends, as did the other two cats eventually, because... oh, besides the whole crap on the pillow thing, Nipper Knapp is so allergic, they almost killed him. My dad finally shamed me into giving them away during a very tear filled New Years Eve dinner. Thanks Dad. Sorry Nipper. SO it's not like I'm not a cat lover. But these little m-effers have NO shame. I could deal with a little poo in the flower beds. I get it. The guy's got to go. BUT this is beyond the pale. These cats poo EVERYWHERE! They leave their poo on the lawn. They leave it on the patio. When we got our satellite dish installed, we noticed there was poo on the roof. Seriously? This is not normal cat behavior. Are these fight club cats or something? Just before a party we had last year, I opened the front door, and there was a little pile of kitty poo on the welcome mat. Same to you jerk.
Cue the plague of locusts. When we first moved here, I was 8 months pregnant. One night I was lying on the couch in the dark watching tv when I sensed something gliding over my head. Then WHOMP, a bird hit the coffee table. Ok, not a bird, but something heavy. In the primordial portion of my brain, I knew. There was only one thing it could be. I calmly walked upstairs and informed Nipper that we had to sell the house. And I was going to a hotel until it was sold. FLYING COCKROACHES. We had flying cockroaches. IN OUR HOME. The people at Terminix said they are American Brown Cockroaches, and our neighbors, said "oh the Junebugs?" Well, I don't care what you call them. They are crunchy and they fly, and I would prefer not to share the planet with them, much less my house. Since we hired the pest control people we've not had a single one in the house. But they don't seem to be willing to create a poison bubble around my house so thick, that as the bugs fly in, they just drop from the sky. So inflexible.
This next intruder, poses two problems. I find it alarming, and Nipper won't go near it. He's not "scared" per se. He's just a conscientious objector. Two days ago, while Jack was napping, I went outside to water the raised bed. I was too lazy to actually go down below and water from the ground. So I was running the hose off the side porch. As the water rained down over the blueberry bushes, I caught a flash of silver slithering, and then LEAPING from the bed onto the wall behind. What the what??? I thought it was a snake, and then realized, that snakes don't jump. OMG. It was a giant lizard, and it was trying to hide in the creeping fig on the wall, but I could still see it's foot long tail and a CLAW. A giant silver lizard has been eating my seedlings and burrowing under my watermelon. I was blaming the raccoons. Poor innocent Peaches.
Which brings me to the final blow to my dreams of urban farming. So this next bit of injustice, I might have brought on myself. The worlds most disgusting mushroom is sprouting in my front beds. These are the beds we water with grey water from the bath. Coincidence? I don't know. We don't have fungus spores in our bath water do we? The thing smells terrible. Like fetid frog farts. It's about 7 inhes tall, and slimy. It looks like, let's just say it, a hobbit penis. What is this thing, and why is it ruining my life?
When we moved here, I was all pregnant and glowing, and nesty. I had a vision of myself like Annette Benning in American Beauty, all stepford wifey in my clogs and pearls, plucking ripe fruit and placing it in a little French basket. Instead, I'm like Rambo out there alone on the front lines just trying to save my last little bit of dignity from the animals that run this town.