Death of a Shrub

It was nice outside today, so I thought I’d do some light gardening. I had started with the shrubs last weekend – pruning them back and then planning to dig them up. But because no grass grows under my feet and I have to fill every second of every day (words from the Man), I thought today would be a good day to tackle digging up Shrub #1.

So I’m digging along with the garden fork (yeah, I had one of those…) when I struck gold. Well, not exactly. More like the waterline.

I give you Exhibit A.


You’ll notice the bubbling action there just up from the branches. That’s where the water was pouring out. And because I don’t have a shut off IN the house or NEAR the house, I had to make a hasty phone call to the only person I knew who could bail me out. My ex-FIL came to the rescue, tools in hand. He shut off the water. (Thank goodness.) And the bubbling ceased. So then it was time to inspect the damage.

After digging in the mud for, oh, thirty minute or so, we found the pipe.

I give you Exhibit B.


You may be able to see the little blue pipe there in the muddy water if you look real close. Apparently, I punctured a hole in it. Hence the leakage. FIL thought it was, at best, copper. But once we got down to where it was, we thought it was PVC.

So I called the handyman (because Man was off doing fatherly birthday duties and was unavailable and I felt bad for bothering him with my hysteria… anyway… ). He came out and looked at it and handed me the bad news. He can’t fix it. it’s not PVC, it’s Pex. Whatever the hell that is. He has tools for everything BUT that. I’ll need to call a plumber, he says. And it will cost about $300. And more for a Sunday call.

Kill Me.

In shear frustration, I decided to get rid of the offending bush. I started kicking it. Literally. It was loose because the ground was so muddy. (Hey at least I don’t have to water the lawn for awhile AND the tree is super happy.) When I couldn’t cut through the thick roots with the loppers, I got the hand saw out. Yes, I did. I sawed right through them. And kicked. And kicked. And kicked. When it was so loose, I knew it was ready to pop, I grabbed it and twisted with all my strength until the thing came free. HA! Success! I win! I win finally!

So, with shear brute strength, a hand saw and heavy-duty loppers, I removed Shrub #1. Death to the Shrub!

I give you Exhibit C.


I have a hole in the ground now, no water to the house, and a dead shrub in my front yard. I smell and I’m sweat-stained and my clothes and shoes are covered in mud (in the hamper now). I can’t flush any toilets (which is bad with a 7 year old) but thankfully FIL and MIL gave me 5 gallons of water to hold me over.

So after I killed the holly bush, I called Lowe’s and talked to a very nice guy in plumbing. He said I just needed to get some kind of Pex connector thing-a-ma-bob. I got the shoes, the kid, and the purse and went to Lowe’s before they closed. Same guy, Wayne, helped me on aisle 13. I asked loads of questions and he answered them all. Cut it in half, he says. With what? I say. Oh, a hack saw should do it, he says. How about a hand saw? I suggest. He says that’ll work. HA. I have that tool. And then I ask – will it leak? He says it shouldn’t. Cool.

I call Man. I tell him the situation. He says he will come by tomorrow morning and look at it and TRY. Wayne said we may have to dig more of the pipe out for some slack in getting the connector on. When I got home, I checked where I had punctured it (in two places) and did some quick geometry (which I suck at, it’s math after all). I figure if we cut the pipe in half, between the two holes, the connector SHOULD fit just fine because we’ll be shoving the pipe into each end and VOILA. Done.

If I get out of this for only $8, I am so totally going to owe Man for the rest of my life.

And if it doesn’t work, then FEH. I’ll call a plumber and fork over the cash. In the meantime, I’m just crossing my fingers and praying Man and I can pull it off.

Wish us luck.

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.