Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Seeking the Silver Lining on Tuesday

The Parkway Tuesday Morning

Someone, or something, has uprooted all the succulents I had planted in the parkway!

Uprooted Succulents

The plants were all in place on Saturday evening when I watered them.  They had been uprooted by Monday night, when I took the trash cans out.  Every single one of the newly planted succulents has been pulled up and left in place.  Who, or what, could have done it?

I am hoping that it was some raccoons, looking for some yummy yams or something.  But if they were dug up by an animal, would they have uprooted each plant?  And wouldn't there be some paw marks or signs of digging?  But there are no paw marks or signs of digging.

If someone pulled them up, then, obviously who ever it was wasn't trying to steal the plants, because all seem to have been left in place.

Sigh.  I am hoping it wasn't one of my neighbors, or, in particular, not the one who tossed a piece of trash (an empty plastic cup) from her car on to my parkway, last week.  These are some of the neighbors whose garage caught fire (there are several families living at the house, some related and some not),  who planted a tree in my parkway, who play very loud, amplified music well past midnight when they have parties, and who are known to throw trash all over the neighborhood.   I happened to be looking out my window when she tossed her cup on to my parkway and called out to say, "Excuse me, you dropped something".   Her husband (I presume) picked it up, and another piece of trashed paper, while she replied, "Yeah, I got it".  But, I didn't actually see who uprooted my succulents, so I can't say for sure who might have done it.

I picked up the plants, this morning, and put them aside to be replanted, elsewhere, later.  It leaves my parkway looking sad and neglected, once again.  At first, it made me feel very sad and the initial title for this post was "Sad on Tuesday".

But then, I thought, "Oh, well, nothing is permanent", as we are taught in my religion.  All things are transient and subject to change. That includes my landscaping efforts!  And I remembered what my mother used to say - that change was good!

So, I started to look for the blessings, the silver lining! 

There are blessings to be found.  For one thing, the plants were given freely to me by my supervisor.  It's not like I paid a lot of money to purchase them.  There is no monetary loss.  For another, they are hardy succulents and they will survive being uprooted and transplanted.  And, best of all, apparently, I've been given the opportunity to redo my parkway!  I will come up with a different treatment for the parkway.  My gardener friend had suggested paving stones, some time ago.  It'll have the advantage of being a water saving landscaping solution, as well. 

In other news, daughter worked remotely from home in the morning, while I relaxed (I had taken the day off from work).  In the afternoon, I drove daughter to her focus group workshop.  It took me one hour to drive her there and it took me one and a half hours to drive home, afterwards, due to traffic.  It reminded me of the days when I used to drive her to campus and back when she was going to UCLA!  After I came home, I had a cup of coffee and a snack, and then, it was time to go to pick her up, again!  I was home for just over one hour!  Traffic was lighter on my second trip there and back.

We had dinner after we got home: sauted salmon steaks with rice and sauted bok choy.    

Today, I was grateful for:
- Being able to seek and find a silver lining
- The opportunity to re-landscape the parkway
- Spending most of the day in daughter's company
- Safe drives to the focus group workshop and back
- Phone call from an aunt

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Bring trash cans in - DONE
- Drive daughter to her focus group/workshop (and come back) - DONE
- Pick up daughter from her focus group/workshop (and come back) - DONE
- Fertilize the vegetable seedlings and water them
- Do some weeding - DONE

Wednesday's To Do List:

- Take daughter to the airport
- Go to the office
- Fertilize and water the vegetable seedlings
- Do more weeding
- Look up parkway landscape ideas

How was your Tuesday?  Do you have a parkway?  How have you landscaped it? 


  1. I love how you have been able to reframe something disappointing into something positive. I am not sure if that if a skill or a gift to have that ability, but I think its a bit like having a super power. It will be wonderful to spend some time thinking about what changes you can make, and it will be fun. Be outrageous!

    I do think that your neighbours sound very difficult to live with. Its important that our homes are a refuge and I hope yours is for you

    I am now off to a meeting humming a song from my teenage years about every cloud having a silver lining ( and its pouring today) so thank you for cheering up this little bit of grey England for me


    1. It is very much a learned skill, Siobhan, and a conscious decision. I am certainly no Pollyanna, but I am learning to seek the blessings and any positives, rather than dwell on the negatives. Glad to have cheered you up, a bit. :)

  2. Bless, maybe someone "weeded" for you. The same person who planted the tree without your permission would be my first guess. You neighbours certainly all noticed you haven't been well, so maybe they thought they'd "help".
    You might want to talk to the neighbours to discourage further thoughtless activities in your flowerbed.

    1. Very thoughtful of them to "weed" for me, I'm sure! Admittedly, the single row of succulents really didn't amount to much, but I was trying! The house next door is still unoccupied, with people coming and going from time to time. I am too afraid to say anything much in case they decide to retaliate in other ways.

  3. Sorry about the uprooted succulents. It may well have been a raccoon who will uproot the plant looking for grubs to eat and I don't think you will find any paw marks. There are no parkways where I live. I believe they are very common in California and as you probably know the homeowner is responsible to maintain the portion in front of their house but does not own! If you replant I'd go for something drought resistant or perhaps landscaping with paving stones, pebbles or similar. Your attitude regarding this loss is one to be admired.

    You did a lot of driving and seem comfortable doing so. I admit I am not a fan of driving in such conditions. Hope your drive into work was an easy one.


    1. Thanks, Sandy. Yes, the City owns the parkway and homeowners are responsible for maintaining it. There's a " residential parkway landscaping guidelines" publication, which I have printed out. I might have to rethink my initial idea of paving stones, because, according to the guidelines, I need a permit, especially since I have both an access to the water mains and a street parking sign on my parkway. The only things I can plant without a permit are drought tolerant turf or turf substitute groundcovers.

      Of course, I've noticed that several neighbors have planted various things and/or paved over their parkways, but I have no idea if they obtained permits to do so or not.

      As for the driving, I didn't mind it. It was just like old times, when I would drive for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening, taking daughter to campus and going to work and back! However, I did feel a little tired, afterwards. I am always a little nervous when I have to find my way to a new place for the first time, even when I have the directions written out! I do have a navigation system but I haven't figured out how to use it (and daughter can't figure it out, either!), so it is useless and I have something else downloaded on my phone, but, again, I don't know how to use it!

  4. Exactly what is a parkway? We don't use that term here in the way it sounds like you're using it there.

    Good for you for finding the silver lining because being sad and angry doesn't solve anything. Glad you are enjoying your daughter's visit.

    1. Live and Learn, the parkway is the strip of land between the curb and the sidewalk. It is owned by the City but the homeowners are supposed to maintain it. Often, the City plants street trees in the parkway - I used to have a big tree in my parkway, but it was cut down by the City, several years ago, because the roots were damaging the sidewalk. They repaired the sidewalk and planted some new trees, but, somehow, they didn't plant a replacement tree in my parkway! I used to have grass growing in the parkway and then, my mother planted flowers there. But then came the drought and now, it is just bare earth with the remnants of some weeds that flourished after the rains.

  5. You never cease to amaze me with your ability to look for the positive Bless, the silver lining. It would be very sad if someone had taken it upon themselves to do the uprooting so I do hope it was an animal. Let's hope they transplant well and you and you get a lovely succulent display elsewhere in your garden.
    I hope your daughter has a safe journey home. X

    1. Thank you, Jules. I try. It helps me move on. I have much to be grateful for; I won't allow a few uprooted plants put a damper on things.

      Daughter did have a safe journey home. She called me on her way to the office from the airport (she went directly to the office). I'll be video chatting with her later in the evening.

  6. Well you certainly will have less stress in life due to your religion and your handling of this! That is a good way to be!

    I love a good mystery but am not good at solving mysteries. Your plants surely are a mystery! It does look like something scuffled in and popped them out. Hopefully not a human, hopefully an animal! I guess a person could've ran a rake or something quickly across to be spiteful. Let's hope for the best and that it was an animal! Andrea

    1. All I know is the fact that the plants had been uprooted! How and why are unknown! So, time to start over! I am going to read the residential parkway landscaping guidelines I downloaded from our city's website and take it from there! :)

  7. Do you have any armadillos around? They turn up plants here all the time with their snouts and leave no real sign of digging..

    1. As far as I know, there are no armadillos in my neighborhood, but I wouldn't know for sure. I've seen raccoons and possums in my neighborhood. But anything is possible (I once saw a cayote walking down the next block, early one morning, and I've no idea where it came from!)

  8. That is odd isn't it Bless, especially if they've just been pulled up and left in the same spot. And if the parkway is yours then I really hope it's not your neighbours. Love your silver lining outlook on the whole thing though :)

    I'm really noise intolerant - it makes me feel stressed if music is blaring out or dogs are barking incessantly. Since we moved here 20 years ago we've had 4 changes of neighbour either side of us, several new neighbours across the road plus a new housing estate built behind us and I've lived in dread of one of them being really noisy. Thankfully, they're all very quiet which really is a blessing for me. xx

    1. It really is a mystery Suzanne. I don't mind some loud music, but when it is blaring at 2:00 a.m. on a weekday night (and your daughter is studying for a test she has the next day), or the windows rattle from the vibration, it tends to be a bit much. That one time they played till so late on a week night, the neighbor behind their house drove over and yelled at them and called the police! Most of the neighbors on this block and the block behind us are quiet, but this one neighbor is a bit inconsiderate.

  9. I like your approach of thinking positively instead of assuming the negative. Such a healthy outlook. Possums could very well be your culprit. I'm doubtful a person did it ... seems it would have been easier with less chance of being caught for someone who meant harm to just step on the plants rather than taking the time and effort to stop and individually pull each one up. I'm hopeful it was a hungry and/or curious critter. :)

    1. You are right, Carolyn. It would have been easier just to stomp on them. After all, parkways are supposed to be walked on when accessing or exiting from vehicles. I shall assume it was some animal and not think anymore about it. :)

  10. I wonder if you ever got to the bottom of this mystery. Whether deliberate or not, it is still a pity and I hope the plants survived in their second-choice location. Would be odd if the neighbours destroyed something which would only have been of benefit to the whole area - but then again, people can be very strange! Good for you, pointing out the littering, but I can understand your not wanting antagonise them unduly. I too have very loud neighbours whose summer use of their garden is very unsociable. They hold parties without prior warning to others on the street, for example, and even when it is only them rather than a party, they shout and scream and play VERY loud music way into the small hours. Then there is the parking on my drive... I have addressed some of the things directly, as I do not want to be a doormat, but I hesitate to get into a war with them as they could easily become vindictive and make my life difficult. So I can sympathise with you!

    1. I never did find out who or what uprooted the plants. They are doing just fine in the place where I planted them, after that, but, the parkway remains bare of everything other than a few weeds.


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