Saturday, November 10, 2007

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I love Mister Rogers, but that's not what this post is about.

We bought this house in January. Our first house with our first yard. We have small patches of lawn in the front and a huge expanse of yard in the back.

This beautimus yard landscape requires mowing, and we purchased our very own lawnmower in the spring. [Dear innocent husband didn't even realize that he bought a Packers-themed mower. He hates football and doesn't understand that living in Wisconsin makes him an obligatory Packers fan. Now he explains to anyone who sees the mower that he is not a Packers fan. I worry that he'll get beaten for statements like that.]

The mower has an attachment bag to gather clippings for mulch. Chris thinks this is the coolest thing in the world. He proudly and religiously emptied the mulch bag 15-20 times every mow session. His designated mulch pile is under the clothesline against the back wall of the garage.

Anna was born in the middle of October, and we were still in the throes of tiredness and excitement when leaf pickup occurred last week. We didn't rake our yard like we were supposed to, and we certainly didn't rake the leaves into the street for pickup. Last weekend, Chris mowed the lawn, effectively vacuuming up the leaves, and dumped the clippings onto the mulch pile.

A couple days later, a city inspector came to the property and made note of the pile. He didn't recognize it as a mulch pile but as an unlawful storage of refuse materials. We received a letter in the mail on Wednesday stating that we had three days to remove the pile and dispose of our refuse properly.

Wow, did that upset Chris! His precious mulch pile (though we don't have a garden yet) was being declared a nuisance.

Our garage is against our property line, and our backyard is not separated by fence or hedge from our neighbor's yard. That means that our neighbors, in essence, get to share the beauty of our mulch pile. I wouldn't blame them for complaining about it.

So the big question is how do you make a mulch pile look like a mulch pile and not a pile of yard waste that wasn't deposed of properly? Chris would have the answer to this question if he had remembered to call the city guy on Thursday or Friday during his office hours. But he didn't, and that means he has to bag up his mulch pile today. We predict 8-12 yard bags full of clipped grass and leaves.

In marriage you have let your spouse have their little oddities. I hate putting a new roll of toilet paper in the holder. Chris needs mulch though we don't have a garden. I tried to explain to him that the battle isn't worth it, and we should just haul the bags to the yard waste site and let it go, but, as Chris explained to me, "The mulch pile may not be important to you, but it's important to me."

Until Chris talks to the city property inspector and learns what we have to do to have a mulch storage area, our bags of mulch will be stored in our garage. I have a feeling that in a few weeks, we'll be the proud owners of a chicken wire fence in a remote corner of the yard.