The Plant Killer, "Sunflower Club" & a Contest

By Cindy Beck
© 2009

The Plant Killer

I should have known better than to plant several small sumac in the yard, because I live with ... (menacing organ music) ... the Plant Killer! Otherwise known by its scientific name as F. Russell Beck.

It seems like only yesterday, in the crowning achievement of my life, that I actually grew a softball-sized watermelon in my garden. That is, until my husband came along with the Mega-Tiller of Death and ran the melon over, splitting it in half like a ... well, like a ripe watermelon ... and leaving it to die in the hot sun. (Click here to read about it in "The Parable of the Watermelon.")

Russ claims it was an accident. Knowing him, I'm sure that's true. He would never intentionally do something like that. However, his subconscious must lie awake at night, planning the demise of my yard and garden. Otherwise, how could it be that a man who can walk a straight line with his eyes closed, mows in a zigzag that takes out every plant on the entire block?

Well, okay maybe not the entire block, but only because we have a big vinyl fence that goes around the yard. If not for that, he'd mow right past the property line and over the neighbor's eight-foot plum tree. If the neighbors are wise, they'll put their above ground swimming pool on the other side of their yard next year, because I've seen Russ and his wild mower crash into our vinyl fence several times this summer.

On Sunday, I walked out to look at my lovely little sumac grove. The lawn chairs, chicken wire, and old satellite dish that I'd placed around them as protection had been for knot. Yup, my cleverly designed protective devices were heaped off to the side in a tangled knot.

Using my excellent sleuthing abilities, I recognized the tracks that circled around the yard and serpentined back to the sumac. Lawnmower!

I hurried over to my grove, knelt on the ground and ran my hand over the closely clipped grass. Nubbins were all that remained of my little trees. The heart-rending cry that followed caused passersby to cover their hearts in sympathy. Who knew Russ could cry that loud?

I'm continuing to water, fertilize, and pray over the murdered sumac, in hopes they'll come back from the roots. I'm so desperate that I might even try a voodoo spell. The kind that involves sharp pins and a little doll made in Russ's image.

In the meantime, I've devised a plan. One that will work far better than piling junk around my plants to protect them. The next time the Plant Killer's subconscious starts plotting to mow over my trees, I'm going to pull his plug.

What? No, not that plug. His lawnmower's plug.


Last week's contest winner: Only one person guessed correctly that statement #4, "My favorite position to play in softball is outfield" was false.

My favorite position was not outfielder, but CATCHER!

Rachelle Christensen wins one of the two prizes, a mini first aid kit. And since that still leaves another first aid kit, I've put the remaining names into the random generator, and it pulled Ronda Hinrichsen.

Congratulations to you both. I already have Rachelle's address, but Ronda, would you please email me yours? Thanks!


"The Sunflower Club" and a Contest

In conjunction with my planting tale of woe, I'd like to mention a book that I recently received from Gretchen Holland, while at the LDS Bookseller's Convention a couple of weeks ago. Gretchen wrote a cute book for children called, "The Sunflower Club."

Here's the blurb from the back of the book:

Jenny and Jacob look forward to summer vacation every year, but this summer will be different. As the twins prepare to turn eight and be baptized, their Grandfather introduces them to a club. They begin to understand that they can join the club too, IF they learn some important lessons. As small sunflower seeds arrive in the mail, Jenny and Jacob's special adventure begins. With the help of their Mom and Dad, their older brother Alex, and, of course Grandpa, this summer will teach them important lessons about faith, trust, love, work, and sharing their feelings with others as they get ready to join "The Sunflower Club."

Gretchen was so sweet and gave me an autographed copy of the book to use as a prize in a contest.

So ... here's how to enter to win:

1. For one entry, leave a comment on this blog post.

2. For two entries, leave a comment here telling me you plan to leave a second comment about the contest, along with the link to my blog, out at Facebook. And then remember to actually go out and post that at FB. (You're on the honor system here.)

I'll pull a winner at random, next Monday. Good luck!

(And thanks to Gretchen, for donating the book. You can purchase Gretchen's book at Amazon.com.)



Watchman said...

Ha Ha! Now I don't feel so guilty about my swath of rubble. I traded the mower in for mulcher to help disguise the evidence.

You might try growing next year's garden in the back seat of an old SUV or '57 Chevy.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

That looks like a really fun book, Cindy! Enter me! :)

Nichole Giles said...

I don't need the book, but love your silly stories! Poor Russ. He must feel so bad about giving you more material to use against him.

I'll go out to my yard and see if some of my garden fairies are willing to come help your poor, mowed plants.


Triple Nickel said...

Actually, I'm impressed Russ would go to the trouble to move things while mowing. I leave things where they are. So yes, our trees grow tall, but the grass around them grows taller!~
Kudos to Russ for effort!!!!!!!!

Karlene said...

I don't want to win the book. I don't need any more books.

I just wanted to say that my DH and Russ must share genetic material because he does the same thing. I have a flower patch that he regularly mows down, thinking it's weeds. I don't think I'll ever see another daisy again. :(

Rachelle Christensen said...

I already have this cute book so someone else can win it. :)
I wouldn't have guessed right without your mom's clue, thanks Roberta. :)

Poor Russ and his evil lawnmower. good luck!

Shirley Bahlmann said...

Hey, that looks like a fun book! I can go out on the back lawn and sit under the shade of my beautiful leafy giant sumacs to read it!
Oh, yeah, I'm going to try the Facebook thing, too. Cut... copy... paste... yeah, that should do it!

proudgranny said...

My Hubby is pretty good with the lawn mower, but get a pair of clippers in his hand and look out! This year I have more fruit on my pear and plum tree, because He was too busy to cut them last spring. They have been in the ground for 15 years and I finally got fruit! I have convinced him that he can have the clippers after I pick the last pear. I'll try facebook, but let Shirley have the book if I win--She's the one that alerted me to you.

Ms. Cindy said...

Looks like a good book! Thanks!