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Sunday, April 6, 2008

My Neighbor Is A Tattletale

me: "Hi Mr. Public Works Director, you left a note on my door saying you won't dispose of the shrubs that we removed from the front yard?"

mister: "Yes - your landscaper needs to dispose of them"

me: "I don't understand - you pick up stuff like this every week"

mister: "If we are informed that a landscaper is there working, we won't dispose of the stuff - the landscaper has to do it. And we got a report that a landscaper was working at your house this week.

me: "So somebody called you to tell you a landscaper was working at my house?"

mister: "We got a report that a landscaper was at your house"

me: "But I told him he didn't need to get rid of the stuff otherwise he never would have done this for me."

mister: "No, you need to call him back to dispose of it."

me: "But don't you dispose of huge Christmas trees? And you picked up the big giant ugly Juniper that I removed last year"

mister: "Yes - if you had removed these shrubs yourself we would be glad to pick them up but as I said we received a report that you had a landscaper working at your house"


I'm really kind of amazed that people have enough time to be calling the public works department to report stuff like this. Hell, I am amazed they even know all the "rules" - is there a rule book or something? In the end Mr PBW Director took pity on me and said "let me talk to my boss and see what I can do." I apologized for being a bad homeowner and said I'd never do this again and when I got home all the shrubs were gone. Take that - nosey neighbors!

In other neighbor news, my other neighbor (not the nice morning glory ladies but the one on the other side) came out while I was hauling dirt from the back to the front. She's excited that I had the nerve to remove all the shrubs. "I've been telling my kids that I want to get rid of these for years." I don't know her well at all but she's got grown kids and I'm assuming they make all the landscaping decisions. Maybe once they see how beautiful my front garden turns out, they'll let her remove her poodles too. While I had her attention I tried to explain my idea of planting ornamental grasses along the walkway between our houses. "I'm going to remove the grass on my side and plant ornamental grasses here. I won't bother the grass on your side but the grasses me spill onto your side a little when they mature." She actually gasped and looked at me like I had 3 heads. So much for that idea.


  1. Girlfriend, it marinates my mind that some people have nothing better to do than snoop on and report other people, or complain about every little thing. And don't even get me started on self-righteous bureaucrats and their 'rules'....Makes me wonder about the human race...and be very glad (yet again) that I live in a rural location. You handled this well, and it'll be fun to see what your other neighbour does with her ugly shrubs.

  2. Your patio looks wonderful! I am jealous, we have the bricks for ours but no energy or initiative to start it!

    The jam I made took about 2 hours from start to finish and I did not grow the berries myself. I usually buy them from a local farm. I tried growing berries myself but they died. Oh yeah and the recipe is the one off the sure-Jell box

    SURE.JELL® Strawberry Jam

    Prep Time:
    45 minTotal Time:
    45 minMakes:
    About 8 (1-cup) jars or 128 servings, 1 Tbsp. each
    5 cups prepared fruit (about 2 quarts fully ripe strawberries)
    1 box SURE.JELL Fruit Pectin
    1/2 tsp. butter or margarine (optional)
    7 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
    BRING boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.

    STEM and crush strawberries thoroughly, one layer at a time. Measure exactly 5 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-quart saucepot.

    STIR pectin into prepared fruit in saucepot. Add butter to reduce foaming, if desired. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

    LADLE immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

  3. Jane in EdmontonApril 7, 2008 at 8:32 AM

    The whole "reporting neighbours" thing bugs me. Someone once reported my compost heap as a smelly nuisance to Bylaw Enforcement. The inspector who came out to look at it said it was fine (he'd rarely seen such a non-smelly one), and there hasn't been a complaint since, but it sure left a bad feeling. Who reported it? Why didn't they feel able to come and talk to me first? Have I offended someone? Grr.

  4. What country do we live in? Sometimes it is hard to remember that we are 'living free' with so many tattletalers out there. Not to mention such a stupid law. My advice? Rent a chipper and start it up next Saturday morning about six a.m. That should teach them a lesson! Check the noise ordinance first though! The ticket cost might be worth it.

  5. My "neighbor" cost us $1200.00 to prove where the property line was so that we could add on to our garage!
    My take on the city hauling away your stuff is that you pay your taxes the same as the neighbor. It shouldn't matter he tore the shrubs out!

  6. We had a similar situation when we put up a fence. Someone complained and we had to remove two less than 4 foot sections going down a drainage ditch (an easement) on OUR property. Now how would they know that was not allowed? It turned out ok because I talked to the head of the inspection unit when I saw him looking at the fence and he agreed that the small sections were not impeding the miniscule flow of water. So now we have two neighbors who don't seem to have enough to do but complain about the stuff we do. :(

  7. dude, they probably have ppl who the city pays to go around and look for ppl who are doing work

  8. Wow, this is one of the reasons it's easier to garden in the country: fewers nosy neighbors.

  9. Someone called and told on you?? Someone has way too much time on their hands. I would see who's watching out their front window...