Why I’m A Writer Instead of A Landscaper

OK, so the hedges in front of my bedroom windows were approaching redwood status. I’m figuring, how hard could it be? I’ll just head next door and ask The Master Gardener if he has a hedge trimmer and bing, bang, boom, I’ll take care of it. I knew better than to ask The Gospel Singer to do it, because even though he would be willing, A) he’s a musician, not a handyman (AT ALL) and B) by Christmas, I would still be waiting for him to get around to it. I’m not bitter. Just experienced. Bless his heart.

The hedge trimmer looked a little big and toothy, but I didn’t let that intimidate me. I’m not overly fond of loud electric things that can cut your hand off, but hey, we’ve braved a shark attack already this summer, so I don’t scare easy. Here’s a picture of that bad boy:

And here’s the daunting task before me:

Easy peasy, right?
(OK, this might be a good opportunity to tell you about the first time I ever trimmed Madi Rose’s bangs. She was two. I was inexperienced. I didn’t know that, like singing the Star Spangled Banner at a sporting event, starting too high is a fatal flaw. It was a learning experience for both of us. I learned to take her to a Super Cuts next time and she learned to answer me when I asked her “What kind of haircut did Mama give you?” with a brand new word– “Dorky!”)

This story will make more sense to you in a minute.

After a few years little while, I had whittled it down to this:

See? You wouldn’t think a straight line would be so hard. However, I WAS having to hold the dang trimmer up over my head and kind of cut by ‘feel’… (Which still doesn’t explain poor two year old Madi’s bangs, I know.) At any rate, that’s as far as I got because just when I was making headway and had accumulated an impressive brushpile…

I somehow managed to hedgetrim the crap out of the electrical cord. In a mighty way. Like, this:

So I called it a day, went out and bought a NEW shiny orange electrical cord and I’m letting Russ finish it when he gets home. Musician, schmusician, he can’t do any worse than I did.

The end.

13 Responses

  1. Ben Jones

    Hello Tori,
    Forgive me for laughing. That sounds like something that would happen at my house. Like your husband, I too am a Gospel singer and songwriter. Not as a profession like Russ. I am actually a draftsman for a survey company. My wife would have done about the same thing, with both the hedges and the hair. After cutting my hair for the last 20 years and the hair of our 8 children she actually does a pretty good job. I had the privelage of meeting your husband in April of last year in Bakersfield. I was talking with Bill and Russ introduced himself to me. I need to get in touch with Russ, but I will do that later. Right now I am still enjoying the bush incident. Just look at it this way, you could let Russ know you were using your poetic license in your interpretation of how the bush should look, in the same way he sings a song how he thinks it should sound. Which I thoroughly enjoy watching and hearing him sing. The passion that comes out with each song seems to be how the songwriter intended it. As a songwriter, I can appreciate that. As a writer I know you do exactly the same thing, you just don’t turn it into a music concert like Russ would. Well I guess I will let you go. By the way how is your daughters shark bite healing up?

    Ben Jones

  2. gracelynn

    Precious Tori! It is no worse than what I would do honey. TRUST ME! Just ask my dad if you need proof! Hey at least you had something electrical to do it with. I use to have to trim my grandma’s holly bush with those old-timey clippers. Yep. Let’s put it this way – I’d go to school and the teachers would think I’d been slapped by someone with barb wire and the kids would ask me did I get in a fight with a cat over the weekend or something? Didn’t matter that I wore long sleeves either – the bush usually won the war. And as far as ruining the electrical cord, welcome to my life. In fact, I may have just broken the air conditioner up here in Dad’s office so I have a feeling it’s going to be a long night LOLOL. At least you didn’t get shocked!

    Oh and don’t work Russ too hard now! He needs that terrific voice of his in good shape! ;)

  3. jensings

    I got really sick of waiting for RVS to trim the ginormous yews in front of our house. (I’m actually pretty decent with the hedge trimmers, I’d just been pregnant or nursing forever and hadn’t gotten to the hedge.) So, about seven months pregnant the second time, I had had it and got the trimmers and the extension cord. Which I cut, same as you. First time I’d ever done that, and I have to do it while I’m seven months pregnant and listen to my husband rant and rail about how I shouldn’t have been out there doing that in the first place. Well, no, I guess not. But I thought I might want to walk down our front steps or something.

  4. LindaB

    I am laughing out loud here!! I wish I was there—–I could do that for you now—–I’m pro status…..in my own mind. Which is all that matters, really.

    I used to prune my shrubs with the hand clippers and it took forever and was giving me carpal tunnel. And then my thoughtful husband gave me an electric hedge clipper like the one you pictured above. (I’m not naive–he had ulterior motives—–he HATES to trim bushes. He wasn’t being generous and sweet—–trying to make my life easier.) I trimmed away for a couple years and was very successful. My bushes were the best around……according to me. Then, I turned my pruning attentions to the trees in my yard. You can’t lob off a tree branch with hedge cutters. You need something with more bite and power. I began to lust after my husband’s chain saw. I saw it daily in a box with handsome pictures of trees on it sitting on a shelf right in front of where I park my minivan in our garage. That only intensified my obsession—-it was so available. I knew better than to ask hubby if I could use it——he would just say no, it’s too dangerous, and that he would do it himself when he got the time—-which every wife knows means right after the next ice age. So one day, I could stand it no longer and I got that big mother cutter out, along with the instruction booklet, and took it out under one of our trees that was especially “unruly”. It had one big branch that juted out into thin air and made the whole tree look stupid. I got a ladder and positioned it under the branch. I managed to get the thing started and climbed up the ladder and began to saw. I was doing great too. I made just one mistake——one shouldn’t saw on a big branch that one is directly underneath. I sawed through it, it fell, it struck the ladder I was standing on, the ladder fell, I fell, the chainsaw went one way and I went the other—-thank goodness——and it scared me to death! I scambled to my feet quickly before the neighbors saw me. How embarrassing. I thought the tree looked so much better though. I wasn’t going to tell hubby about this incident—–it would only alarm him unnecessarily. (And he would chew on me for days.) But he found out. Not that he noticed the tree looking so much more symmetical, but that I didn’t put the chainsaw back into the box like it was suppose to be. (It’s the curse of living with a perfectionist.) He then removed a part so I could never start it again by myself. (My kids persuaded him to do that cause they were afraid of a repeat performance and maybe a hospital trip.) I was mad for a while, but then I read about other fatal chainsaw accidents and thought it was for the best.

    Enjoyed your pruning attempt, Tori! The good thing about pruning shrubs is—–they grow back quickly and cover any mistakes you might have made. Like children’s bangs.

  5. emilythemom

    oh my gosh, I have been making fun of my neighbor’s bushes looking just like your after picture for a month [nevermind that mine look worse than your before picture] and now I’m starting to fee guilty about it….

  6. auburn60

    This story reminds me of our experience a few years ago. It was right after I had a hysterectomy. My in-laws were here and my MIL is always looking for some way to be ‘helpful’ when she’s here. I would prefer that she follow the example of my FIL who watches the Weather channel 24/7,however that never happens. Mary Ann decided the bushes by the garage were too tall,so she got out the hedge clippers. When she finished there were a few bare twigs left but that was about it. Then she went to work on the boxwoods in front of the porch. She also fertilized them with some kind of weird home-made concoction. Several of them died shortly thereafter and we had to replace them all–they had some kind of root rot.She tried to plant bulbs and hit the drain field where the septic system is.I woke from a pain-killer induced nap to find my yard looked like something from a Chevy Chase movie. We were several thousand dollars lighter after all her ‘help’.
    You all thought I was kidding when I said these people were material for my future book.

  7. tori

    OK, I think I write this blog JUST so I can read your comments!

    BEN!!! Welcome! Thank you so much for de-lurking– I just love it when new readers speak up!

    So according to all of you, I am not alone with my trimming issues? Thank you, I am now having a much better self-image day.

    And Linda? ‘Big mother cutter’ is my new favorite phrase!

  8. LindaB

    LOL My bad?

    No one needs to answer that—-it’s rhetorical……unless you’ve had a big old ephiphany! (I’m trying to use that word at least once a day so I won’t forget it.)

  9. BrownEyedGirl

    LOL I’m glad I’m not the only one that screwed up my child’s hair :o) The first time I used clippers on my son at probably age 9, I used what I thought was the same setting as the stylist. Wrong! At first swipe ,at the nape of his neck, he heard OOPS. Right down to the scalp. It was filled in with brown eye shadow for a few days – luckily his hair grows really fast !

    I commend you for attempting the shrubs!! My husband is a procrastinator too.- Good thing he’s cute !!
    Hopefully Russ gets to the job quickly for you- Is using a power tool enough motivation?? Guys love power tools, but then again it means work ! Gotta love them!!


  10. karen48

    When I was married, it was much easier to do it myself. And I did a lot. You should see the trim I tried to put on the closet one time. rofl We’ll just say my mitered corners didn’t quite meet.

    As for hair cuts, I will never forget the time my oldest was getting a hair cut from his dad in the kitchen. I was in the living room. I heard him say “oops”, and I knew that Mike’s hair was not going to be pretty.

    I’ve enjoyed reading all of this today. lol Great stories.

  11. belinda

    I needed a laugh and THANK YOU ALL!!!! I do have to tell on myself because I have trimmed the hedge that goes up both sides of the sidewalk up to our front door. The first year, I did not do so bad and was kind of patting myself on the back. Look out year #2…after I finished trying to make them individual bushes instead of a hedge, they looked like they were parallel parking, lots of bald spots on each of them. They were really sad. A lot of people got good laughs out of my trimming job. Thank goodness they grew back but Troy has taken up the trimming ever since then. So maybe Russ will step in and do the same for you? We have gone from individual bushes back to the hedge. Hey we try right? You have to give us credit for trying :) I’m sure it is not that we have given up on others doing it? Surely not!

  12. Barbara M. Lloyd

    I wonder if there is a mother alive with a daughter, who has not ruined hr bangs? And, more than once…..it is particularly disturbing to both when the daughter is old enough to be embarrassed….and this starts very, very young.
    But my story is about a time when our older son was cutting my husband’s hair out on the patio. My son received a phone call, so I simply handed him the phone and he kept on cutting dad’s hair. When the job was finished, our son came into the kitchen and took me around the corner, hardly able to contain himself with his laughing fit, tears streaming down his cheeks. He said I was not to react when I saw his dad’s hair….more specifically the back of his head….and he wanted to warn me now. My poor husband had a chunk cut out of the hair on the back of his head about the size of a fifty cents piece. He was thanking my son for such a good job and I was being tortured with my efforts not to bend over and die laughing. We didn’t tell my husband about this until years later….I believe it was after he had retired from work. We have marveled at how this man could go to the office every day and no one there ever asking him about the hole in his head.

  13. » Welcome to DEEP THOUGHTS, Monday Edition. | babybloomr

    […] much as I enjoy writing about the fascinating events of my fascinating life, you know, like, clipping hedges, rotting my brain with bad TV and the bathroom habits of passive-aggressive Yorkies, occasionally […]

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