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What did you do to make your neighbors think you are crazy?

 
Posts: 74
Location: Northeastern Kansas
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From about the first of November every year I start driving around my neighborhood picking up the leaf bags that people set out for the city to pick up as yard waste. It's not like the city composts them or anything, they just pile them up and burn them. So I don't feel a bit bad about collecting a valuable resource from my neighbors' curbsides. I don't have a truck, but I plan on getting one ... some day. In the mean time I use what I have, my little red donkey car. I get a lot of funny looks and a few laughs as I drive my little laden carriage through town, which suits me just fine. I smile or laugh right along with them.

 
pollinator
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Right now it's -29C with a windchill of -37C.

I'm out watering my driveway with a garden watering can full of warm water. The reason: to make it less slippery.

Let me explain. We had a ton of freezing rain a month ago, and it left a thick layer of super-slick black ice. Then it got cold and we had many dumps of powdery snow. The two layers never bonded, so it's still deadly slippery in places. Sprinkling warm water on top of the snow melts just enough of it to bond the crystals to the ice below. It works; no salt required. I've been doing it for 20 years.

 
pollinator
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Location: South-central Wisconsin
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:

I'm out watering my driveway with a garden watering can full of warm water. The reason: to make it less slippery.

Let me explain. We had a ton of freezing rain a month ago, and it left a thick layer of super-slick black ice. Then it got cold and we had many dumps of powdery snow. The two layers never bonded, so it's still deadly slippery in places. Sprinkling warm water on top of the snow melts just enough of it to bond the crystals to the ice below. It works; no salt required. I've been doing it for 20 years.



I think if any of my neighbors knew that I do the same thing in the spring to make ice melt faster, they'd think I was crazy too.

The way it works in my case has to do with the fact that any meltwater, in order to drain away, needs to pass through a section of the yard that's heavily shaded. Since the shady part doesn't melt, the result is an ice dam. Ice in the yard melts during the day, but has nowhere to go, so it refreezes and is even slipperier the next day.

This can happen every day for weeks, until the air finally gets warm enough to melt what's in the shade. But, my chicken coop is right in the center of that, so I'd be safer and happier if the water would just drain like it's supposed to!

At some point it occurred to me what was happening, so I started cutting a channel through the ice dam using warm water. It usually takes a dozen or more trips back and forth, but the channel tends to stay open once it's established. With the water draining away, the deeper layers of ice have a chance to melt, so the yard ends up clear of ice a lot sooner than it would otherwise.

So yes, I pour water on an 8-inch thick (on average) slab of ice every year in order to melt it!
 
pollinator
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I water my driveway,..
(the yard in front of the house)
because I don't shovel it.
If I do shovel the snow away it turns into a pond in the spring.
So I just drive on it until it's packed.
But if it's too cold the snow won't pack so I pour water on it and let it freeze so I can drive there without getting stuck.
Then in the spring it's an ice sheet until the ground thaws and lets water drain.

 I could list other things but then you all would know how weird I am.
Neighbor just caught me singing.
"... another baby child was born in the Jeetta,.. (higher) in the Jetta
and his momma cried"
Theme song for my 2000 Jetta TDI.
 
steward
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craig howard wrote:  I could list other things but then you all would know how weird I am.
Neighbor just caught me singing.
"... another baby child was born in the Jeetta,.. (higher) in the Jetta
and his momma cried"
Theme song for my 2000 Jetta TDI.



My husband says your song "Is a keeper." We had a 1998 Jetta TDI, and he loves singing "In the getto." I think your "In the Jetta" will be a common song in our house now!
 
gardener
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In California my neighbors thought I was crazy for going out and pulling unwanted plants by hand and composting them in the back yard, instead of just spraying Roundup or hiring a landscaper to do it for me. When I bought land in eastern Washington, the neighbors thought I was crazy because I lived in California.
 
pollinator
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I thought of another one. Shoveling the street to put the snow on my own property.
 
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Oh man this is going to be a fun read but I had five minutes that I needed connection. Later and which time.
 
master steward
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I may have said this before though I just might say it again.

My neighbors probably think I am crazy for moving to the boondocks.

They all live in cities somewhere and are only here during deer season.

To me, I would think they would like someone here all the time to act as a caretaker instead of getting mad about it.
 
Posts: 41
Location: Mackey, ON
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I didn't have a weedwacker at my old house so I would cut the edges of my front lawn with a pair of scissors... As if that wasn't weird enough Id get my children and their friends to help.
 
Katherine Burelle
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:Right now it's -29C with a windchill of -37C.

I'm out watering my driveway with a garden watering can full of warm water. The reason: to make it less slippery.

Let me explain. We had a ton of freezing rain a month ago, and it left a thick layer of super-slick black ice. Then it got cold and we had many dumps of powdery snow. The two layers never bonded, so it's still deadly slippery in places. Sprinkling warm water on top of the snow melts just enough of it to bond the crystals to the ice below. It works; no salt required. I've been doing it for 20 years.



What a great idea! we use ashes from the fireplace for grit. works super well! and if you aren't concerned about flammable materials below the ice you can thrown how coals too. Not recommended if you plan to walk on it or if you have a dog. those coals stay hot for a surprisingly long amount of time!
 
Katherine Burelle
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Location: Mackey, ON
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Lauren Ritz wrote:I thought of another one. Shoveling the street to put the snow on my own property.



How interesting! Can I be so naive to ask why? is it for extra moisture when the snow thaws?
 
Lauren Ritz
pollinator
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Katherine Burelle wrote:

Lauren Ritz wrote:I thought of another one. Shoveling the street to put the snow on my own property.



How interesting! Can I be so naive to ask why? is it for extra moisture when the snow thaws?

Yep. We have 12-15 inches of rain per year. Every drop counts. I do not water the park strips along the road, so shoveling the street gives them apx double the water during the summer. Enough that I grow watermelons, pumpkins, tomatoes and zucchini in there.
 
Katherine Burelle
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Lauren Ritz wrote:

Katherine Burelle wrote:

Lauren Ritz wrote:I thought of another one. Shoveling the street to put the snow on my own property.



How interesting! Can I be so naive to ask why? is it for extra moisture when the snow thaws?

Yep. We have 12-15 inches of rain per year. Every drop counts. I do not water the park strips along the road, so shoveling the street gives them apx double the water during the summer. Enough that I grow watermelons, pumpkins, tomatoes and zucchini in there.



Genius! well done my friend!
 
Douglas Alpenstock
pollinator
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Katherine Burelle wrote:

Lauren Ritz wrote:

Katherine Burelle wrote:

Lauren Ritz wrote:I thought of another one. Shoveling the street to put the snow on my own property.



How interesting! Can I be so naive to ask why? is it for extra moisture when the snow thaws?

Yep. We have 12-15 inches of rain per year. Every drop counts. I do not water the park strips along the road, so shoveling the street gives them apx double the water during the summer. Enough that I grow watermelons, pumpkins, tomatoes and zucchini in there.



Genius! well done my friend!



Yep. I regularly shovel or snowblow my lawn in winter and pile up the snow on perennials and fruit trees. It provides both insulation to reduce winter kill and a nice slow soaking drink in spring.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
pollinator
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Katherine Burelle wrote: we use ashes from the fireplace for grit. works super well!



Yes it does! I had more ashes when I had a wood stove. They do track into the house if you're not careful.

These days my outdoor burning usually stops at char. I might make a pile of dry ashes just for the ice.
 
gardener
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Mulching. Nobody in my region mulches, and if they've heard of mulch at all it's the govt agriculture dept encouraging black plastic mulching. And organic material is hard to come by here so I go out and cut mulch from the weeds along the stream bed and bring them back to my garden, and clip up all my garden waste too. I'm sure the neighbors think it looks a mess, and in fact it looks so awful to them that they usually don't even ask about it. I mean, like asking about your acquaintance's divorce, it's just something polite people don't comment on, I think.

Also, every farmer neighbor who visits suggests that I need to just till up the whole garden every year. When I say no, I think the mulch will improve the soil and keep it soft, and anyway I've got exotic perennials like asparagus, black currants and daffodils in the garden... well, I don't think even one of them has ever been even slightly convinced.
 
pollinator
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Location: Udon Thani, Thailand
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Living in rural Thailand, I'm not perceived as crazy, more as an alien who abducted one of the village lasses then returned with her and settled. Generally I am thought of as 'geng chang loy' (bloody intelligent), and I like to think they are correct, but when they realise that much of what we are trying to do with the land is what their parents and grandparents did, they begin to doubt the existance of my vast intellect.
 
pollinator
Posts: 150
Location: Suffolk County, Long Island NY
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    In my old house, we had an invisible fence around the property so my dog Daphne could run free and unsupervised; she had a collar that would give her a shock if she tried to cross the property boundary. .  Across the street was her best friend a (a beagle named Rosie), as well as my best friend, a human named Christine.   Chris and I were already considered odd because we gardened and composted enthusiastically in what was considered an upscale neighborhood.  
    The morning ritual in the 'hood was to put the hordes of kids on the bus and then all the neighbors would be out and visiting; some were wonderful, eccentric and cool and some were like saltines without the salt.   I would head over to Chris's in my pajamas with Daphne to let the dogs (and humans) play in the dirt, but first I needed to remove the shock collar.  Daphne would not cross our property line without having her collar removed: one shock from the invisible fence one single time had taught her that.
    I would take off her collar and yell, "lets go play with Rosie!",  and everyone would watch as she bounded joyfully to her friend and kissed her.
    I would always run happily after her.  
    Unfortunately, I didn't learn as quickly as Daphne about the collar, because more than once I would cross my property line while tightly grasping the collar, the metal prongs firmly pressed against my palm.  My scream and the gyration of my body as I was shocked dissolved my neighbors into gut-busting laughter, even the uptight ones.  I laughed 'till I couldn't stand.
   In my enthusiasm to "play", I repeated this mistake several times at extended, irregular intervals through the years. So yes, I looked quite crazy.
 
Susan Mené
pollinator
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16-year-old Daphne, no more invisible fences and more land for her to explore.
20200430_090600.jpg
Smarter than my human!
Smarter than my human!
 
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Location: Oregon, USA
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Simply building with tires.
 
Posts: 294
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I walk around in much boots, shorts and no shirt and its 15F, sunny. Best way to get Vitamin D going! Fresh air and good for the skin. Thye think I am crazy and hustle thier kids from the bus stop. Good, keep the brats on your side of the street please.
 
pollinator
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Location: Pac Northwest, east of the Cascades
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One of my neighbors loves to drive in his ruts, I like to drive outside of the ruts. He thinks I am crazy for not wanting to drive in them.
 
pollinator
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My lawn had a few dandelion flowers that had gone to the blowing stage.
I used and old vacuum cleaner to harvest the seeds. Then, just before the next rain, I sprinkled the seeds all over in an area that didn't have very many to plant more there.
 
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Used that same approach with a rogue supervisor, when I worked for the feds. Yes, it works well.

Tossed in a bit of "they say I'm getting better, but I don't believe them."


John F Dean wrote:This thread dredged up some memories.  Not an instance of a neighbor, but well worth the mention.  I once had a regional company take several hundred dollars of mine, and then failed to deliver the product.  They also refused to return the money .... with the clear attitude of “what are you going to do about it?”  

I have a good background in mental health. As a nurse, counselor, and administrator I have worked with many run of the mill problem solving cases as well as a few that were pretty extreme.  Late one night I called up the owner of the chain and in my best stuttering and sobbing voice begged him not to make me be bad. I had promised my counselor never to be bad again.  And it honestly wasn’t my fault what happened to that family in Texas.  

The next morning I went to milk the goats.  There was an envelope under my trucks windshield wiper. It was all there ... in cash.

 
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Help with starting a company to make plastic shredders, extruders, and 3D printers in order to start a youth projects to recycle plastics and produce an income.
 
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My neighbors though I was crazy when late one October I did the following:

1. leveled the soil in my garden
2. covered the ground with flattened cardboard boxes, staples and clear plastic tape removed
3. hauled 142 or 148, 5-gallon buckets of horse manure from a local stable and dumped it on top of the cardboard (it
   was about 10-12" thick
4. covered the horse manure with about 18-24" of dried leaves that my neighbors donated

When I finished, I thought "what have I done?" Two days later we got 6-8" of snow. The next spring it all settled, the leaves decomposed and I had the best vegetable garden ever. the same neighbors enjoyed the fruit of my crraziness.
 
Kelly Craig
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Vacuumed the pine cones and leaves in the yard using my woodshop dust collector pulling through a Super Dust Deputy cyclone.  Neighbor's even commented, noting it looked crazy, but worked well.
SDC17537.JPG
[Thumbnail for SDC17537.JPG]
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Haha, Kelly, that is a seriously badass setup. I think you made your neighbours envious!
 
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When we moved to our current house a year and a half ago, the first thing I did was find a tree cutting service and ask for a load of wood chips and logs. I built a big hugelkultur right in the front yard along the road and put woodchips down over the rest of the yard, followed by planting wildflowers. I got a load of dirt to cover the logs, and a neighbor with a Bobcat was kind enough to cover the logs after watching us shovel for a couple of days. I was getting busy with work and was worried about not getting the hugel planted, so my son went to the store and bought 2 pounds of chia seeds and covered it--we soon had a giant chia pet that everyone wondered about. It turns out chia gets quite tall--about 4 or 5 ft tall before it froze! For all the neighbors who asked what was going on, I specifically told them it was to make sure they knew we were weird and that our yard was not going to be "normal."
 
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Use leaf blower to blow off snow off a vehicle, stairs, deck etc.  Next winter, neighbors were doing it too. LOL
(It works and it beats having boots full of snow. Just gotta blow with the wind:-))

In my neighborhood, some people rake the snow on their lawns!? And they thought we were nuts!? Ha! LOL
 
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When within 3 weeks of moving in we turned the 600 sq ft back yard into a deep bedding system with a carport tent that fit perfectly between the house and fence to keep the 2 goats, 20 chickens, quail, and mini pig. 3 months later and the pregnant goat gives birth. My wife is standing on a bucket holding up a 5 minute old goat kid for the neighbors to see. A couple of our neighbors love us for the baby goats, others avoid eye contact.
I don’t know what they will think when I pull 600+ cubic feet of poop/straw into a huge compost pile in the front yard in the next few weeks.
 
pollinator
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Brush piles, collecting and dispersing dandelion and clover seed heads; loud arguments because "someone" mowed all my clover and dandelions!
 
pollinator
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The fish and mammal composting experiments have become odiferous at times…
 
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We tilled up our front lawn to plant a garden in a residential neighborhood.
 
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John Weiland wrote:Told them they could get a fresh cup of coffee from "Janice" in the kitchen...... :-)



Hah, this happened to me by accident once. The pasture that I kept the pig in was flooding in a bad rain storm, so I brought her up to the carport while I went to get the horses. Apparently, I didn't close the door to the kitchen properly.
 
Lauren Ritz
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:loud arguments because "someone" mowed all my clover and dandelions!

I had that discussion with my Dad over him pulling up all my "Primary composters." i.e., mushrooms.
 
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