Monday, January 25, 2010

Back From Vacation; 2 More Plants Pulled

Recently we came back from a 10 day vacation, coming back to the middle of a series of heavy storms in SoCal.

While away, our gardener pulled out two more tomato plants, a week ago Saturday, Black Cherry and the second Green Zebra from our back yard, leaving the back yard Husky Cherry Red as the only surviving plant of 2009. The day after our return I found four ripe tomatoes on the plant and gave them to our Manchester Terrier. On Saturday I found about a half dozen more, split open because of the excess water from the rains, and gave them again to our Manchester Terrier.

Putting down all of the mulch before our vacation turned out to be a very smart thing. At the start of our trip I was still having back pain and stiffness but by the end of the trip it had almost completely went away. All that mulch must be leaching in to our soil, providing nutrients and ground cover for 2010.

It looks like a very good start for our garden in 2010.

But...why does something things happen around our vacation?

The night before this latest vacation, my wife was called over to our neighbor's house across the street. This is the house with the two daughters, now 3 and 2, with whom we had a falling out with their parents last year. Things had gotten better, though not to the point where we were invited over for dinner anymore.

So my wife gets a call and goes across the street. At this point I'm not paying too much attention to this, as we're packing to go on our trip as well as the fact we have company. Later on my wife calls me over. I come over and my wife says to take the two kids over to our house and take care of them for a while. Based on how she said it and what isn't being said, I took it to be “Something's wrong right now, get the kids out of the middle of this and I'll tell you later.” That proved to be accurate.

But first, I brought the two daughters over and chased them all around our house. They had a fabulous time, running, laughing, screaming and having an all around good time. I don't remember the exact time line, but eventually my wife made it back home, we fed the daughters some soup and brought them back to their residence happy and fed.

Without going into all the detail, our neighbors broke up that night and my wife was getting pulled in the middle of it.

On the night before our honeymoon there was an incident with another neighbor – the one to the north of us, Mr. Alongi. He had to go to the hospital that night (he's diabetic and at the time not in the best of health). Again, we had to postpone packing as we had to get a hold of his family to let them know what was happening and get him to the hospital. I forget if we brought him to the hospital (it might have been an ambulance that came to the residence, which is what got us involved) but we definitely picked him up from the hospital that night. We lost valuable time trying to find him at the hospital. My wife called the closest relative and spoke to her husband, whose attitude was roughly “Why are you wasting our time?”

We packed very hurriedly for our trip, tossing things into our bags.

A few weeks after our return (I believe the exact date to be November 13, 2007), my wife and our “seed lady” quite possibly saved Mr. Alongi's life by checking up on him and finding him passed out on the ground in a diabetic coma.

In early 2006, my then girlfriend (now my wife) and I planned a trip to Maui. Her brother had a time share available and we used the facilities. A day or two before the trip I introduced my girlfriend to my brother Jim (whose birthday is today) and his fiancee Evie.

Was there a problem with the meeting? No...we spent about 90 minutes together and had quite a nice time. They liked my girlfriend, my girlfriend liked them and everyone enjoyed each others' company.

When we got to the car to head home I got very quiet. In short, I immediately told her my youngest brother will find out about our meeting and get extremely jealous. “Because 1) I now have a girlfriend 2) We met Jim and Evie, we got along and had a good time and 3) We're going on vacation in Maui. He won't be able to handle it and he'll retaliate against you.” A few minutes later I added “And Jim and Evie will stop talking to us as well, due to the pressure from my youngest brother.”

While I wasn't 100% accurate, I was quite close to 100% accurate and certainly prescient.

Off to Maui we went.

Some time during the vacation (my wife remembers this as the day before we returned to the mainland) my girlfriend went shopping while I checked my messages at home.

On the machine was a message from my mother. The gist of the message is as follows: “Bill, this is your mother. My brother has told me to tell you that unless you learn how to get along, he needs to protect his children and his family from you until you do.”

I had to hear this message several times. I let my girlfriend hear the message a couple of times. I called my mother about her message as we were walking along the beach in Maui in the evening.

Everything I told my girlfriend came true, with the exception of I was the one being retaliated against more than my girlfriend.

So it appeared that Jim and my brother spoke and Jim was told basically never to speak to me again. My youngest brother couldn't directly leave a message because he had zero interest in showing his warped opinions to the light of day and instead used my mother to make the call. That also pulls my mother over to his side in his eyes and absolves him of any responsibility because it's what she said, not what he believes.

A little passive/aggressive, wouldn't you say? And how does one counteract “You don't get along!!!” You see, if you argue the fact you don't get along...that means you don't get along. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

Jim and Evie stopped answering my calls and never again have the four of us met for any length of time inside their residence. I've never seen nor heard from my niece and nephew again until their wedding. I've reported previously about how my youngest brother and their wife refused to introduce their children to either myself or my then fiancee, but still publicly insulted me to their children (and the wedding audience) when my wife went to the restroom. Jim is now very tight-lipped around both me and my wife.

Watch out when we go on vacation – something explodes!!

Oh well...

Yesterday (Sunday) we got the redwood, bolts, nuts and washers for making our raised no dig garden bed. I don't know when I'll put it together but at least we have all the pieces, save for a couple washers.