The Last Thursday, 8-17-23

No more Thursdays On Main until next year – it’s been so fun! I put Red in the car show tonight so I couldn’t leave early and it was chilly. We all had sweatshirts on – temperature in the high 50’s. Brrr.

The guy in blue danced for 2 straight hours – barefoot!


I’ve enjoyed your thoughts about weeds and yard work. This is the vine that gives me fits – does anyone recognize it?

For those of you who think I could hire somebody who might be looking for work, listen up – nobody that’s out of a job around here wants to work. Every single business is looking for help – signs on every window. There isn’t a kid in North Iowa who would willingly do hard manual labor like pulling weeds. If I want to live here on this farm it comes with a price – one I’m willing to pay if I want to maintain my property and that price is hard work. Would we want to move to a condo?

Several readers recommended products that I’m going to look into and tomorrow it’s back to pulling weeds and cutting down volunteer trees. I let it go too long and now I’m paying the price. Nobody’s fault but my own.

By next week I’m going to have two fabulous finishes to show you!!

I had to have an easy day today and tonight was great fun. Now I’m off to feed Gracie and Greta. Thanks for your feedback and comments!

88 thoughts on “The Last Thursday, 8-17-23

  1. Pamela Dempsey

    I wish we had 50’s for temps! Got up to 104 today and tomorrow supposed to get to 107, that high for 3 days and then still over 100 temps all week. Don’t feel like doing much at all. Turn me over, I’m done 🥵. Don’t recognize the vine. The tree guys dug another hole for knocking down our bluebird house but they damaged the pole so will have to get another one. When the heat has subsided….. please be careful out there 🥰

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pamela – surely they’re going to pay for the pole and see that it’s installed! Very careless of them. I don’t know how you’re all surviving that heat! I can’t even imagine it.

  2. Jeanne in Colo.

    Dear Mary, I think I posted on yesterday’s blog too late for you to read it. But I wanted to warn you again about using some of those weed sprays. Most of them are very toxic to pets. We sure don’t want Hazel or Keeper to get into them. Even chewing on a stick with spray could be hazardous. Forgive me for sending a duplicate email, but I’m concerned about the effects of the weed killer sprays, not only on pets, but also on humans. Take care Mary. Thank you again for a blog that we all love. Jeanne in Co.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanne – yes, am very aware and it’s one of the first things we check but living in the country necessitates using some chemicals that lots of people don’t find necessary. I can’t possibly pull every weed on 10 acres so I have to rely on some spray or we’d be living in a jungle. We are very careful with any poison put out in the barn – chickens, goats and geese are right there. I’ll never forget when Orkin used a broken bait box right in the area the dogs snoop around in. How could they be so careless? We use several weed killers depending on where I’m working and yes, we use Roundup and 24D. If I lived in a dry climate with poor clay soil and a small yard I wouldn’t have to do this. Please be assured I am very careful and I do the majority of the spraying because I won’t let Rick use the big tank in the golf cart to sit there with a wand and shoot the stuff in the “general” area hoping to hit the right weed. Putting my dogs in danger is the furthest thing from my mind. Last night at 11:30 Hazel cornered a possum under a garden cart and I had to drag her out by her back feet and lock her in the house. Now that’s what I call dangerous to her well being and all three dogs were right there ready to pounce. I could not be a witness to the killing of that innocent animal.

  3. Debbie Miller in SC

    I think your vine is called climbing bittersweet nightshade. Libby is adorable-is she a dachshund? I had a pair of miniature dachshunds for 16 years-brother and sister. I had sent you pictures before. I had to have Woody put down year before last and then Maggie died last year in October. I miss them terribly but just can’t bring myself to adopt again.

    1. Cynthia from SW MN

      I agree that it is black nightshade, should pull out fairly easy. Long roots.

      1. Lori

        Right, nightshade, very invasive. It is good to get rid of it before it has berries/seeds.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Debbie – I’m so sorry! I think I can even remember the name Woody. I’m sorry that you don’t adopt again. There are so many dogs and cats that need homes. Yes, Libby is a baby – 4-5 months old and so sweet!

  4. Martha W

    Oh Mary, I can relate to the weed problem. In July I was shocked when I saw how many BIG weeds had grown at my daughter’s place in North Dakota. I purchased a sprayer and Ortho Vegetation Clear and started spraying. Alot of that darn iron weed didn’t even get phased by the spray…even though I sprayed some three times. I suggested to my daughter that her husband should mix it up again but double strength. I can understand your wanting to stay in your home forever. My 99 yr old mother has said she’ll be carried out of her farm home feet first. I enjoy seeing all your photos and reading the blog and comments.

  5. Montana Kathy

    Mary, your comment about not being able to find anyone willing to do yard work really resonated with me. Here in Montana, we cannot get anyone willing to do anything! A retired neighbor (a widow) put up a notice in town asking for anyone willing to mow her front lawn; she said she”d pay $20 an hour and her lawn is not that big – yet she got no replies! Not even high school kids saving up for their first car were willing to do it! And we’ve been trying for 3 years to get a roofer (or any worker) to come out to finish the roof on our garage addition (our builder got too busy with bigger jobs and never came back!) – it only needs less than an hour’s work to complete it! There”s no way my husband can get up the ladder and do the work without killing himself! And it’s too small a job for anyone to be bothered to come out. We’ve tried everyone! The small thing goes for ANY repairs that need doing. as all our neighbors have found out also. Everyone is complaining, and as most of us are retirement age who live on the mountain, it”s become a big issue. What is with people not willing to work anymore? Montana has its fair share of unemployed people, yet no one is willing to do odd jobs to make some money. It’s hard to understand. Sigh🙁…

    1. Lindah

      Yes, same here, We cannot understand this complete lack of work ethic. It seems like the higher the minimum wage goes, the fewer workers there are.

    2. brendalynne1

      government handouts. it is easier to drive noisy cats and motorcycles, play video games, zone out on drugs and collect checks that other people are paying for through taxes than pick up a tool or break a sweat helping someone or holding down a job and paying for things with funds one has worked for.

      i guess it is more fashionable to be a bum.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Brendalynne – Amen! So why dont we find a politician who will put a stop to handouts? I don’t want to talk politics here but isn’t that the answer? Stop the handouts!

      2. Jan Hebert

        So true, Brendalynne! Why are people still collecting??? Grrr…don’t get me started! Jan in MA

    3. Janet S

      IF you haven’t paid in full – don’t until the job is done. Any reputable builder would come at the end of a day or weekend to finish up such a small job. You could post his lack of finishing the job on a community website to let others know. Another option is to call him until he is sick of hearing from you and finishes what he started and was paid for.

    4. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – it’s our world today of entitled young people, I think. Their parents give them enough money so there is no work ethic. And parents don’t insist on them working. I have many of those small maintenance jobs and nobody will come. And I see you’re in the same position. It’s too bad we all don’t live in the same area – we could form a work force just to help women – all of us together could do it!

      1. Beamer's Mom

        I was talking with a co-worker today who is from Osage. She and her husband both have full time well paid jobs, 3 kids around H.S./college age, and they bartend 1 weekend a month for fun and to help the owners. She told me that the kids in the kitchen sit and look at their phones unless they are actually making a pizza. The owner is afraid that if he gets after them they will quit. When in the world did things get so bad that Employers are afraid of their Employees?? But, sadly it has happened. I’m not sure how we ever get back our former world.

  6. Lindah

    OH, my! Did you say the word ‘sweatshirts’? And did you mention upper 50’s? In August??? Oh, I’m going to swoon. I’ll be knocking on your door for BnB very soon because our low temps are in the 80’s. And we are so hot. Who knew, when we moved here to take care of grandma, how lonnnng and hot the summers would be. It is too funny. What price to pay for mild winters, eh? Grandma loved it here; perhaps I will too when I am 90.
    I look forward to your post every night before I turn in. It is always so interesting.

    1. Lolli

      It will be in the 90s here all next week with higher heat indexes. Don’t pack your bags yet.

  7. Candy

    OMG, Mary … I think your vine is Kudzu. We saw it when we travelled through Tennessee and Mississippi… it covers everything. You can learn all about it, and hopefully how to get rid of it, if you google it. They call it “the vine that ate the south” … yuk!

    1. Cynthia from SW MN

      The purple and yellow flower is the identifier, plus I think kudzu has larger leaves and grows way faster than nightshade!

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Cynthia – I can’t wait till tomorrow to look at this vine again. I really have no idea what it is but I’ve been pulling it daily and I don’t believe I’ve ever had any bad side effects.

  8. Sandy McPherson

    Hi Mary, when l was young we would dance and sing till the early hours every Friday and Saturday night! Still my mood enhancer, the old records,not good on singing now! There should be some work before benefit scheme, too easy to put your hand out !Looking forward to some Queensland sunshine tomorrow, will send photo of millie (now known as Eileen) Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  9. Karen Knutson

    In your picture of the guy dancing for 2 hours. I had to chuckle at the advertisement on the window in the background. WE SELL MODA FABRICS. kind of an ironic coincidence. Hee hee.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Karen – yup, it’s my closest source for Moda but selection is limited and their turnover is very slow. I shopped there before the band started – of course.

  10. Regina "Rene" Parson

    Your plant looks like a invasive one we have here in PA called “Mile a Minute”. We have been fighting it for years. We spray and pull year after year but it still wins every year in some corner of the yard. I have been reading and enjoying your blog for a few years. Thank you for the hard work. Rene from very rural Big Cove Tannery, PA

  11. Lynette in Orlando

    I have a similar vine I have to deal with thanks to a neighbor that has let it go rampant in their yard. It has encroached into mine and it is a constant battle to get rid of it. It’s intwined itself into my bougainvillea — a beautiful but very thorny bush — trying to extricate the vine I look like I’ve been in a battle with a wild cat even with wearing garden sleeves…… ugh. Lately it’s just been too hot to be out there let alone out there with garden sleeves on. I’ve just decided with the yard there’s always something to clean out or weed…….. view it like eating an elephant — one bite at a time. Have a great day!!!!

  12. Mrs. Goodneedle

    Libby! ❤️🐾🐾 It’s the same way around here, no one wants to work anymore. It’s hard to believe. I’m proud to say that both of our grandsons mow the lawns at their homes and do any yard work that’s required, even pulling weeds. Our kids were raised that way and I’m so glad that they’re carrying on with their own children. In our neighborhood there’s a family with two teenage boys and they hire a lawn crew. I asked the Mom one day if their sons ever mowed and she told me that she thinks that’s too dangerous!! Seriously. It’s a different world today, sadly.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Mrs. Goodneedle – I tell Libby about Augie every time I hold her – ha! You are to be admired having raised kids who are then raising their own kids to know what work is. Too dangerous? When I was preteen my dad bought the biggest deck push lawnmower he could find and I mowed our huge farmyard with it. The year I left for college they bought a riding mower. I will never get over the injustice of that as well as them taking a white cat into the house when I couldn’t have one all those years.

  13. Connie R.

    My husband has an app on his phone that identifies plants. It is plant identifier app from Apple. I don’t know much about it but, you take a picture of the plant and the app tells you what it is. Amazing.

  14. Linda

    I don’t know what the vine is but there is a free app for your phone called seek. Just use like you were going to take a picture and the plant name comes up.

  15. Terri S.

    I found this on a web site for Bittersweet nightshade. It is difficult to ever be rid of it because of the bird’s assistance in speeding the seeds. I know, I have it too!
    “………… Though toxic to people, bittersweet nightshade berries provide an important fall and winter food source for birds, who happily eat the fruit and spread the seeds. With this dissemination help, along with creeping, rooting stems, the plant has become a stubbornly noxious weed in much of the United States. It’s a resilient little plant that can grow in denuded soils and low-light corners. Dense mats of the plant provide habitat for small animals, which may or may not be a welcome service. Those animals could be chipmunks or rats!………..”

  16. Kathy in western NY

    A group of young people were all bent over weeding beautiful entryways to a plaza yesterday and working faster than any juvenile I have ever hired. No standing around reading texts. There are some who will gladly do this work and I support it. Last year a farming friend was shouted at by a woman at a local farm market for her field workers and my friend defended the farm workers as being ambitious with completed documents wanting to work, being there on time every day and doing what others in our country chose not to do. I as a youngster did some farm outside work but after all the heat and bugs I decided I would babysit night and day instead to earn money which I did. I will stay in my home as long as I can too Mary as luckily I am in a good place of people offering help to us and we haven’t encountered issues other than waiting 6 months to get our metal roof installed last summer.

  17. Joy in NW Iowa

    Your vine doesn’t look like ours. We are becoming covered in the ditches, on the trees, in the creeks with what is called wild cucumber! Nasty! And a lot of farmers really don’t care anymore! Plus, there is water hemp in the fields, and farmers don’t fight them either. Well, some farmers. My hubby is a weed warrior!
    I sure enjoyed the cool! Thankfully it was nice out while the Michigan kids ere here. So fun, and the time just went way too fast and now they are home and canning tomato soup.
    We don’t have any appointments today so we get to stay home! Yippee!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – today is a home day for me, too, but I’ll have to pull weeds – and bed the goat pens. I have one goat who’s going downhill fast.

  18. Linda in central IA

    I’m surprised that no one mention the blue Dawn weed killer recipe: mix together: 1 cup of salt. 1 tablespoon of blue Dawn dish soap. 1 gallon of vinegar. Spray! It is for a specific location like fence lines or weeks in driveways – like you are doing now , not a broad general spray Cheap, doesn’t harm animals, effective. The satisfaction of a beautiful yard after all the hard work is so satisfying and a person appreciates so much more what they have. We’re down to one cat – Leon is 14 now and sleeps most of the time. But he is a loyal follower around the house, and keeps our laps warm. Hubby says no more pets – little does he know! But maybe I’ll adopt an older cat or two instead of young ones. I ‘m not a fan of cooking either – hours of shopping, putting away, preparing; few minutes of consuming; then cleaning up and the end result – just some poo! Just not the same as working in the yard and seeing the gorgeous results. Love your blog and the pictures. Great morning starter for me.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – I think maybe I’ve had this recipe in the past and have forgotten about it. Thanks for the feedback – I’m back at it today. It’s always been my intention to adopt seniors just because I hope they’ll die before me and not be left.

  19. Diane,Sqyeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    WelI am happy some readers know what the vine is. Looks like a green, leafy vine to me. Obviously, you could put my knowledge of gardening in a thimble and have lots of room leftover! 😹. The Thursday event looks like lots of fun-sorry they are over. We have many lawn mowing/snow removal companies that hire HS and college kids. Our four grand kids all worked—mowing a golf course, selling and general work at a golf course, HVAC company, and intern at two towns doing everything! It is 59* here whike I am enjoying the blog and my coffee. But, up to 91* this week😝. Thanks for writing and sharing your life and pictures,Mary😍

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – sounds like somebody there can find young people to work. I did have our church youth group help pick pumpkins last year but only a couple kids showed up.

  20. Carla

    Hello all, and Mary! I appreciate all the comments on my peeing kitty. I’ve had cats with utis before and it’s not fun. This girl though, does not have one. It is deemed to be behavioral. She pees big puddles on a vinyl floor. She will pee on most any article of clothing left on my bathroom floor. And then fun, fun, fun, she decided to target the aforementioned afghan. She was not always this way. So thanks all for the kind advice, but I think I’m doomed unless there is a cat psychologist amongst your readers lol. Good luck getting rid of that vine. We’re battling bindweed and Virginia creeper at our family home. My son has been burning, which seems to kill the bind weed effectively. We’re going after all the invasive plants. We have Japanese knotweed in our sights next, after I harvest some roots.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carla – there’s a diffuser that emits something – I had them years ago. I’ll check if it’s still around. I have your problem, too. Don’t ever leave something on the floor! But who of 8 cats is doing it?

      1. Mary Says Sew!

        Sounds like the hormone, sold as Feliway. One form is a difuser that plugs in an electrical outlet.

        (Doesn’t work in our house – I’m allergic to it! Good grief)) ;’)

    2. Dot

      Carla, my daughter has three cats, and one of them would pee in inappropriate places. She got a prescription for Prozac from her vet, and gives him half of a little pill, every other day. She uses a Greenies Pill Pocket cat treat to hide the pill, and he happily gobbles it up. As long has he gets his meds, he doesn’t pee anyplace but the litter box.

  21. Dorothy in Chicago

    I have those weeds with the purple growth in my yard too. They grow like a weed!!! Ha!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Dorothy – how do you get rid of them? They’re very persistent

  22. Lorraine

    I have a vine that looks like yours and I call it “creeping charlie”. Have no idea what it is really called. But it is a pain in the behind! It grows so fast and isn’t even pretty-just green.
    I agree that no one wants to work anymore. We have signs in every business where I live that are hiring and not one person will apply. I went to a sandwich place to get something to eat and a sign on the door said
    “no staff showed up-Closed”!!! Amazing.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lorraine – this is not creeping Charlie – that weed is a round leaf that takes over a grassy lawn and is also miserable to get rid of. I never had any in my yard until I got some fill dirt for my ditch and with that dirt came Charlie.

  23. Rosalie in Texas

    Mary, I totally understand that you can’t get help to do farm chores! We tried about 5 years ago to get church or 4H kids to do the goat shelter clean out for a donation or hourly and no one wanted to work. Now with the hourly wages up at $15+ hour for McDonald’s why would anyone want to work in the heat snd dirt?
    I’ll keep doing it as long as I can. Fortunately my grandson snd his wife live next door and I can ask them to help at times. For my birthday present, I had them dig up a buried piece of fence and replace it between 2 stalls! I’d rather have a chore done as a present than anything else!!!

  24. Judy A.

    Hey, could your weed be black nightshade? Not sure if that’s the right name, but my neighbor had what you have, trailing way up high in a pine tree in their front yard. Unsightly, bearing flowers, then berries. When they left on vacation, I went at it. I don’t remember that it was difficult to get out. I don’t think they ever knew. 🙂 I actually LOVE pulling weeds, especially after a good rain, but my back just doesn’t cooperate anymore. Google says a good layer of mulch should keep it in check. I sadly think you’re past that.

  25. Jan Frank-de Ois

    I recognize that weed, but I want to know the name too. I diligently tried pulling it all from the ferns & phlox on the north & east corners of my house last year. I swear there’s MORE this year! I should go to the Iowa State Horticulture website(?) or phone in on their Hort Friday @ 10 a.m (?) on WOI-AM.

  26. Tanya T. in Houston

    School started this week. All the high school Harrys at the YMCA during the day left. When Sweet Husband mentioned it to the male employee on duty, he said, “Yea, they all think they should buff up to impress the girls. I always tell them that they will attract more girls and get better exercise if they will just learn to dance!” Maybe your guy in blue took a page from that book!!

    Send some of that cool air our way, please!

  27. Jan Hebert

    Our invasive vine is called “Black Swallow-Wort” and it looks a lot like yours Mary but has pointy seed pods that resemble milkweed pods instead of round ones. It’s actually a member of the milkweed family and is spreading everywhere! I’m not sure but believe that grazing animals avoid it – good thing because it’s suspected to be toxic to mammals. I have tried the recipe that Linda mentioned – I use horticultural or cleaning vinegar with the dish soap and salt. It has a higher acidity level – I think it’s 30% or more. That really helps and it’s best to do on a hot sunny day. Probably need multiple applications – my poison ivy came back with just one spraying. That’s the other weed I’m fighting. It, too, is everywhere! And I’m very allergic to it. It’s funny, everyone around us hire landscape companies to do their yard work. We (mostly it’s Peter – I’m not much help in the heat and I have been told that it’s time for that total knee replacement!) are the only ones out there mowing our own yard, weeding, raking, etc. But we like doing it! They all hire someone else and then go to the gym! Jan in MA

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan – I consider my yard work exercise so I don’t have to go to the gym! It’s not nearly so glamorous and my clothes aren’t cute leggings and tank tops but the work is hard. Maybe I should go to the gym during the winter?

  28. JustGail

    As Debbie Miller in SC said it’s climbing bittersweet nightshade.

    A long time ago, I saw a tip about killing bind weed – put the growing tip in a jar with glyphosphate, and cover, let it sit. Because I was afraid the cats would knock a jar over, I tried a modified version and put a paper towel in a resealable baggie, sprayed a good amount of Roundup in the bag. Enough to get the paper towel soaking wet all through, stuff the bindweed tip into the bag, and sealed it as much as possible. It worked on a bindweed that was too close to a hydrangea to be spraying. I wonder if this might work on your fence? Unwind it, and stuff the ends into bags. It will look really odd but if it kills the whole plant with less work and less spraying…it might be worth a try.
    I’m definitely not in favor of indiscriminate weed spraying, but some things deserve the heavy ammunition. Canada thistle and bind weed are 2 on my list. I’m sure as other vile plants move in, there will be more.

    I’ve wanted to hire someone to do weeding, but no success in finding anyone. I’d be happy to have someone come about 2-3 times a year and do a Good Weeding. As in pull things up by the roots, not using a string trimmer. After spending many hours every week weeding for the 1st 3 years of my retirement, I’m nearly totally ignoring it all this year so far. I’m sure that will come back to haunt me next year.

  29. Judy A

    Boy, speaking of kids who won’t work… we’ve been in a duplex in a nice neat neighborhood for a year – no HOA. Our roofmates are a young couple who work. Then she runs and he bikes. But they’re too busy to mow their tiny lawn or pull a few weeds. Alas.

  30. Holly in Two Harbors

    Oh, but that bittersweet nightshade is evil stuff. Runners underground and it pops up everywhere, then the birds eat the berries (not toxic to them) and plant more seeds when they poop. It came to our acreage by Owatonna and I thought it was shooting star to begin with. When I realized what it was, it had taken hold and I fought it for years until we moved away.

  31. Jane

    Your plant looks like Bittersweet nightshade. It has purple and yellow flowers, then bright red berries (DO NOT EAT) in late summer-early fall. There is a great app you can download called PICTURE THIS. You can get it free for one week and/or purchase the app for about $20/year. I have found this app to be the most reliable, accurate and it gives was to eradicate the plant as well as other useful information.
    We have lots of it growing wild in CT, but not recommended around the yard since the berries are toxic and children are drawn to the bright berries.

    1. Noel Kidd

      I was going to post about this app! You can actually use it for free for as long as you want. 🙂 They just won’t store your searches for longer than a month. When you get to the home page, you can tap on the cancel icon in the top right. It’s hard to see…probably on purpose…and then you can use the app for free. 🙂

  32. Moe in NE Illinois

    Hi Mary, SO TRUE… if someone doesn’t have a job, then they don’t want to work. In NE ILL there are signs everywhere, Help Wanted, too. My hubby has been ill so I needed help to lift a heavy window ac off the floor and into a window, it weighs 60 lbs. A neighbor kid was advertising that he was looking for odd jobs, ok, well, his MOM was advertising his help. Well, when it came down to it, he didn’t have time (or inclination) to lift my a/c. I ended up buying a free standing ac unit, which is way cooler than the window ac anyway. You’re right about, if you want to have what you have, you have to do the work. Even though I’m not on a farm, I do like my gardens so I spend a lot of time tending which can be back breaking. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Moe – yup, it’s my choice. Nobody’s holding a gun to my head. I have a small window unit in a bedroom upstairs and I’m still able to lift it into the window – I’m always afraid I could drop it however –

  33. Sharon G.

    Mary – I hear you. It’s a conundrum why it’s so hard to get anyone to help with yard work! At the beginning of the season I called every place I could think of to hire someone to mow and help me with weeds. No takers! Unbelievable!
    In 2020 my hubby and I offered to pay a guy to weed whack our garden (1,600 Sq. Ft). He told us he “couldn’t do it”. No reason given. He wasn’t doing anything else. I think he was lazy.
    Then out of the clear blue, our neighbor came over and asked if we needed any help (he knew hubby was undergoing cancer treatment). I asked him if he would weed whack the garden area. He did it and I paid him even though he didn’t want any money, or at least that’s what he said.
    Now that I’m a widow, and my first summer going solo with this yard work, it’s overwhelming! I’ve had help mowing my lawn and weed whacking from some friends, but they haven’t been back to help me since June. The weeds (especially the morning glories and blackberries) have taken over the garden area.
    I am able to keep up with mowing and watering, but that is about it. Maybe when it cools off, I can get the morning glories pulled and cut back the blackberries. Much as I love my house and yard/garden, it’s a lot to take care of alone.
    Take care everyone!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sharon – do you need the garden? Can you sow it to grass and mow it? That’s been my theory for years – I can sit on the mower and keep it all tidy but I got rid of all the flower beds and decorative shrubs

  34. San

    Hi Mary,

    I should have mentioned this previously. In order to eliminate some mowing, a few years ago I went to the local furniture store and hauled home a few truck loads of large sheets of cardboard. Placed them along the property line where the fence is and covered as many as I could with free mulch. Of course I overlapped the edges. This is also how I wiped out the blackberry / briar patches in my yard. Deprive them of sunlight and they won’t grow.

    San / Gypsy Quilter / Murphy NC

  35. San

    Hi Mary,

    I should have mentioned this previously. In order to eliminate some mowing, a few years ago I went to the local furniture store and hauled home a few truck loads of large sheets of cardboard. Placed them along the property line where the fence is and covered as many as I could with free mulch. Of course I overlapped the edges of the cardboard. This is also how I wiped out the blackberry / briar patches in my yard. Deprive them of sunlight and they won’t grow.

    San / Gypsy Quilter / Murphy NC

  36. Marian Stever

    Mary, will comment on your weed: my husband was a forester and he would run across it often. He called it deadly nightshade. You will not want to touch it because it burns your skin. I hope this helps in eradicating it. Your Thursday Nights looked so fun!!!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marian – well, tell your husband I’ve been pulling it for days as well as wading into it. Can’t be the same stuff.

  37. Joyce from NY

    I also do my yard work mostly by myself, i do have a young neighbor boy that mows for me sometimes. I try to keep my yard simple & hope I never get that weed that you have Mary, that’s awful!! Also I am very proud to say that 7 of my grandchildren are working & have been working. 4 of the boys have a business mowing & landscaping! The oldest has graduated from college & is working in research! My 16 year granddaughter is working at a local restaurant & has been summers for a couple years! Her 19 year old sister is in Guatemala doing very important work! I’m very lucky they are working ! I see the signs too & very greatful my grandkids are not lazy!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joyce – sounds like those young people have been taught to work and be responsible – well done, Joyce!

  38. Marian Stever

    Another thought, Mary. Just google deadly nightshade and you will find out more than you want to know!!!!
    How about teenagers in your church to help with some of your light work?

  39. Susan K in Texas

    The Thursday’s on Main sound like fun. Some of the communities around here have tried live music outdoors but this summer it’s just too hot to gather. When not too hot it’s pleasant to sit in lawn chairs and listen to music. There are people of all ages gathered. Kids running and playing with friends. Just so much fun.
    My three sons used to help my dad out at the farm. They learned a good work ethic. Now as adults they are surprised at how many people their age (30’s) have no idea how to use tools. My oldest is a priest and is in a small rural community. He has been buying tools to take care of neglected landscaping. He’s been sawing down dead trees and planting new ones. He’s been doing a lot of the maintenance himself as his parishes are too poor to pay for someone to do it. And I’m sure he would have a hard time finding the help

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan – seriously? Couldn’t his own parishioners at least help him?????

      1. Susan K in Texas

        Mary most of his parishioners are elderly. They have helped him as much as they can at one of the two parishes he’s takes care of. They are very small parishes and mostly elderly otherwise they would be helping. He is actually enjoying the manual labor I think.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Susan – oh, my – I think he’s got his hands full but manual labor is good for the soul – smile! I can’t help but think his parishioners are extremely lucky to have him.

  40. Beryl BC

    We call that weed “woody nightshade.” Based on others comments, some sort of nightshade seems likely. We have to fight it, too. Also, morning glories. Since we brought in straw for winter mulch at least 15 years ago, those weeds got started. They are tough to remove. I’m wondering if they have runners besides the root. Pulling them doesn’t seem to be enough. They just come back.

    Some of the best working teens in our neighborhood are two boys that have been home schooled. They are so helpful and willing to do most anything.

  41. Angie from Baltimore

    Are you interested in a mood transfusion? I am A+.. your energy level is amazing. I feel like a slug next to you when I read all you actually in a day. You are an inspiration. I worked with people needing food and financial assistance and I would tell them about jobs around and they would ask”how much are they paying?” My response, “ More than you are making now”. In MD we used to have workers coming from south of the border to work in the crab picking industry and return after the season. Three crab picking companies closed down because the government stopped it and they couldn’t get locals to work it paying 20/hr. They didn’t want to stay they just wanted to work and send money home. Stopping it ha benefited no one. So I know what you mean

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Angie – ugh – you know it all firsthand, don’t you? What makes one person such a hard worker and the next person feel so entitled? What does it pay. Seriously. They had no job so wouldn’t any job be better than none? Unless the government just hands you free money, of course. These are the sort of things I try not to think about. My life is great and I don’t need to be depressed about people who don’t want to work. I want to work – that’s all I care about.

  42. Kathie Pieper

    The vine looks like Evening Nightshade and it is one vicious weed. It’s in our garden and I’m constantly pulling it. Good Luck.

  43. Suzanne

    I was going to suggest some type of nightshade, which I see another reader has already done. My daughter is an encyclopedia when it comes to plants and I have sent her a picture.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Suzanne – could you ask her what type of herbicide I could kill it with?

        1. Suzanne

          Mary, she said she pulls it up by the roots at her house. She works at a botanical garden – I have asked her what they do to there, not heard back yet. I did a bit of Googling, and mostly just came up with glyphosate besides pulling, mowing, etc

Comments are closed.