Monthly Archives: May 2011

That one time I dug up a body in my backyard

We live in a house that was built in 1904 and I believe the fig tree in the back yard was planted around the same time. It is huge and out of control and grows like a weed.

I decided to tackle it a few years ago (at the time I didn’t know I would have to tackle it every year) by cutting back all the under growth and the thousands of volunteers to make a nice little shaded area to sit. It sounded nice at the time but I was quickly distracted with some other “issues” in that area.

I had gotten all the brush and debris out from underneath and was going to put a border around it using one of those black plastic edging things. So I started digging a little trench to place the edging.

During the few days I was back there Grizwald had found a few bones that I didn’t think anything of. I thought they were maybe old dog bones or something. They looked old but were on the surface which seemed odd.

As I started digging my trench I found a few more little bones. And then a few more, and a few more. I was also finding a lot of shredded plastic and little rocks in the same area.

Naturally I decided to stop what I was doing and focus on the bones. It was much more exciting anyway. I moved away from the trench area slightly and starting digging again. The bones were everywhere and were also in a familiar pattern. A pattern of a body. I had just uncovered the femur when I thought maybe this wasn’t someone’s dead dog they buried here. I have seen human bones and many other bones of different animals and I knew it was human. Or I guess it could have been Bigfoot but either way, a homo sapien.

The other weird thing was that the bones weren’t even that far down in the ground. Almost at the surface. My theory is that the roots of the fig tree slowly moved the body upwards to the surface and whoever murdered this person stuck them in a bag, buried them and poured rocks over them and didn’t, at the time, realize the tiny fig tree would get so big. Of course the story I made up in my head was most likely not even close to being true but it made it a little more exciting.

I continued to dig up almost every bone except for the skull (I am convinced it’s there but under the shed). I laid all the bones out on the deck to get a good look at it before I called the police. I didn’t want to just throw somebody(hehe)  in the garbage and thought there was probably someone who dealt with these things.

Nick was not thrilled about the body on the deck. I had forgotten we were having some people over for a BBQ that night. He said it would be nice if our backyard didn’t look like a crime scene. I told him I was doing a historical survey of the area.

So I called the non emergency line and a very funny cop came to check out the “crime scene”. He asked where the skull was and I told him I hadn’t found it yet. He said “you know people used to cut the heads off victims and bury them away from the body so you couldn’t ID them”. Perfect. My theory was starting to sound like reality.

He told me he needed to call the medical examiner and have her come out to take pictures. This was turning into the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.

When she got there she asked me some questions and got her camera out. It was just like the creepy one from Silence of the Lambs with the high-pitched humming sound. I wish I still had the picture I took of the medical examiner taking pictures of the body. She probably thought it was really creepy having some person standing behind her taking pictures. The only non blurry shot I got is pretty much her butt. You would never even know what was going on. Of course I can’t find the picture.

When she was done she said she couldn’t do anything until I found the skull but she would take the rest of the body for now.

The cop told me I should get to work finding the skull and I told him where I thought it was and he said “you better move that shed or you’re never gonna know what happened back here”.

I was reminded of this story last week when a house on the corner of our street had a pile of bones sitting next to the fence. They had also been doing some landscaping it looked like.

I think I stopped looking because I really did need to move the shed if I wanted to continue with my new job as a CSI agent. I still find bones occasionally when I’m weeding in various areas of the back yard. I don’t really think there was a murder since there are lots of bones all around our block. The medical examiner said she thought the bones were more than 50 years old. I’m not sure why there are so many around but I do know that I want to find the skull.  That would be cool.  I gotta move that shed!

Peace

Our neighbors across the street put their house up for sale a few months ago. The main reason they said was because the train had gotten so loud they just couldn’t handle it anymore (it is really bad). They were really good neighbors. Nice people. The condo sold and my other neighbors and I were very interested to see who was moving in. We are all pretty friendly and all around the same age so I was hoping it would at least be someone who would “fit” the neighborhood profile.

The first week of move in I saw who our new potential friend would be. A twenty something “trustafarian” dude looking very hippy-ish yet had a nice Audi with an even nicer sound system (I’ll get to the later).

I commented to my neighbor that this guy “wasn’t going to go over well”.  She agreed.  I was polite when I saw him, waved and smiled all the while secretly judging him and waiting for him to do something to piss me off. I am not neighborhood watch by any means (I retired from that job after the crack heads with Kujo moved out next door), but there always seems to be weird stuff going on.  Or maybe it’s just me that weird stuff happens to. 

New neighbor guy (I’ll refer to him as Peace because I never bothered to get his name) was setting up some sort of operation in the garage that looked a little suspicious but I wasn’t sure what it was. I had an idea but was waiting to see if my assumptions were correct.  And while he was unpacking he was blaring music from his car. And by blaring I don’t mean it was kinda loud. I mean I heard it in my car, a block away, with the windows rolled up. Not just an underlying beat but clear rapping. I parked the car, got Owen out and look over and he sees me and gives me the peace sign. What? Really? By doing that does he mean “hey my music is awesome and you have to listen to it too” or “this is cool that I do this right?” Strike one for Peace.

We have a pretty steep and generally difficult driveway and it takes some good maneuvering to get both cars in and out of it. We literally have to use every inch of concrete that was given to us.  We also have a problem of people blocking the driveway on a fairly regular basis. So much so that I have the phone number for the parking police in my contacts. They are really good at their job. I love them. I love them especially because when some dickhead blocks my driveway, gets out of his car and looks, then walks across the street obviously making the decision to not care, and goes in to Peace’s house, I can be sure they will be there promptly.  I didn’t call right away. I took the animals for a walk first and told myself I would give him 20 minutes since people are always “stopping in quickly” over there. I know exactly what he is doing and it annoys the hell out of me that he is so obvious about it.  Strike two. 

So I get home from my walk and the car is still there. I call my pals at the parking bureau and wait. The meter maid shows up about 10 minutes later and starts writing a ticket and the guy comes running out to see what’s going on. So I open the window of course. I have to put Grizwald outside because I am in stealth mode now and that means no distractions. 

The guy is actually arguing with the meter maid about his parking job. Like real arguing. What could he possibly be saying to defend himself you ask? Well, he says, “Yada yada yada…If I would have known these guys were such sticklers I would have never parked there”!  That earned him a visit from me,  but not before he gets into his car, moves it into Peace’s driveway, blocks the sidewalk, and gets another ticket. I decided that would be a good time to go over talk to him about the stickler comment.  Before I even open my mouth Meter Maid looks at me and says “you know you should have just backed your car up to the end of the driveway and you could have blocked him completely in. Then I could have had his car towed”. I told him I would do that next time. I asked the guy if he really thought I was a stickler and he said “yeah man, I’m, like, barely in your driveway, but we’re cool right?”  I had Owen with me so I made the motherly decision not to beat the shit out of the guy for being such an idiot.  It’s probably best not let your child see you do something like that. 

Anyway, I can’t say Peace is necessarily a bad neighbor (but he does leave his garbage cans out all week and I know it’s because he doesn’t know what day it comes. Strike 3-refer to feelings about garbage in Garbage Day post) but he just rubs me the wrong  way. I can’t stand the peace sign crap.  Why can’t he just wave or say hi?  I feel like he is doing it to make me less of a “stickler”.  My new favorite word. 

Garbage Day

I blame my friend Sarah for Owens obsession with garbage. About 4 months ago she was babysitting and taught Owen how to put his diaper in the garbage. At first I thought it was awesome because it meant I could have one less thing to do. But I soon realized this new “trick” (I say trick because everyone says he’s a trick pony) was actually adding more to my list of things to do. He brings the diaper to the garbage, but insists I come with him. And also insists I open it with the foot pedal thing. Every. Single. Time. And it’s not just diapers. It’s all garbage.

I thought he was becoming less interested last month and then of course, Nana and Poppy bought him a mini garbage truck. That really added a new level to Garbage. This truck meant that not only does garbage go into a garbage can, but it then gets picked up by trucks outside our house every week. And don’t even get me started on what goes on when the garbage truck comes down the street.

His garbage obsession has also expanded to outside the house. You can bet he finds a garbage cans everywhere we go (why wouldn’t it, he picked the one thing that happens everywhere, everyday, all year round). Now how he figured out that dumpsters were giant garbage cans I don’t know but those are quite exciting for him. And he doesn’t just say “Garbage”, he yells “Gaaarrrbbbaaaaage”. He is good at what he does, don’t get me wrong but this world is full of garbage so he needs to pick his garbage battles carefully. I wish he would have been able to meet my Grandma on my dad’s side. She spent a lot of time picking up tiny pieces of lint and dirt off carpets making you feel like you were the dirtiest person alive even if you had vacuumed and cleaned right before she got there. Maybe this is some genetic trait that hasn’t been discovered yet. He has also been known to spot tiny pieces of garbage in giant fields of grass, run to it, pick it up, and spend the next 20 minutes looking for the appropriate receptacle.

I often think about my life pre-trash and it’s interesting because I, too, enjoy the process of garbaging. I can’t really blame Sarah but I like to make my friends think they have ruined my life by teaching my son something that they don’t have to deal with every day. In all honestly it may have actually started when he was a lot younger. There was a specific day (garbage day) that I recall having forgotten to take the garbage out and was hanging out in the living room with Owen (he was maybe 9 months old) and I heard the garbage truck coming down the street and panicked. I grabbed Owen and Sweeney and ran out the door in my pajamas with no shoes on, grabbed the garbage can, and ran after the guy yelling GARBAGE! WAIT! GARBAGE! The sad part is he didn’t see me. I had to call and have them come back. That could have been the turning point.

I have other friends to blame for this too. My friend Melissa sent me a you tube video called Garbage Day (Garbage Day). This is a special little treat Owen gets to watch on rainy days. I suggest you all watch it as well. She also sent me a link to some really nice garbage truck birthday invitations on ETSY (ETSY Garbage Invite) that made me feel better about his love of garbage knowing that there are others like him out there.

Naaam

Owen received a lot of stuffed animals and toys even before he was born. I had them all set up in his crib for months (his crib never actually got used until he was 5 months old). In the crowd of animals was a bear that was given to him by his Nana and Poppy. The bear had a tag that said Sweeney. At first I was not that excited about the name but honestly… am I really going to take the time to think of a name for a stuffed animal? Come on. I should be happy he came with a name right?

Owen was about 6 months old when he first seemed interested in him. I thought it was so cute that he had a favorite already at such a young age. What I didn’t know was that a favorite turns into a best friend. I think Grizwald (our dog, who I’m sure you will hear about often) is by far number one on Owens list of friends but Sweeney is a very close second.

I have read many children’s books about blankies and stuffed animals etc…that kids become so attached to that they have to eventually be cut up into small pieces and placed in various pockets, bags, and beds (the blankies not the kids). I secretly always wanted my child to have that “security blanket” to help him through tough times but I never imagined it would be a bear that is as big as a one year old.

My brother and I both had blankets we liked when we were young. I vaguely remember mine but I distinctly remember my brothers. He had 2 pastel green and yellow blankets that I believe were the ones he was sent home from the hospital with. We both remember them smelling like maple syrup. I actually remember my brother himself smelling like maple syrup and therefore, everything he owned smelling  like it (and no, he didn’t have that infant disease where you DO actually smell like maple syrup). The funny part is my mom really did the “cut up the blanket into pieces” thing for my brother which I just found out recently. I was laughing so hard at the thought of my brother secretly having a piece of his blanket hidden somewhere in his condo currently. All ratted up and syrupy.

Sweeney has held up pretty well considering what he goes through on a daily basis. He is currently being forced to eat all meals at the table; in Owens lap. I can usually distract Owen and get the bear out of sight but if I don’t Sweeney gets many mouthfuls of whatever is on the menu for the day. Just a few days ago I gave Owen a real cup to drink out of (we made the mistake of letting him do it once so of course this has been a big hit in toddler land)  and so today I was giving Owen his daily demanding cup of water and I went into the other room for some reason and came back into the kitchen and he was pouring the water onto Sweeney’s mouth and making a little drinking noise (num num num). It was incredibly cute and endearing yet not that awesome to clean up. I can’t even take myself seriously most of the time so how am I supposed to have this conversation with Owen about how “Sweeney doesn’t need water because all Sweeneys are thoroughly watered before they go to their new homes”.  I often wonder about where I get this shit from. 

Anyway, what I am trying to say is that I am happy that Owen has Sweeney (he calls him Naaam, I have no idea why) to comfort him during his moments of shyness and uncertainty.  He sleeps with him, cuddles and wrestles with him, and does the classic dragging him behind him when he walks and overall seems to be a pretty solid friend.  

And this is why I am Sweeney’s Keeper.  Because deep down that damn bear knows he’s gonna get sliced up into little pieces and stuffed into pockets and pillowcases.

Squirrel

I was just painfully reminded that I forgot to “dispose” of the very dead squirrel in the back yard. For those of you that already know the story I’m sure you all remembered it was still there. For those of you that don’t know let me enlighten you:

My darling cat, dainty little sweet thing that he is, has a dark side. Since he was very little he always had a knack for hunting. It was never the song bird, baby rabbit kind of hunting. It was more like survival hunting. And he didn’t leave the gutted animal on the doorstep for me like other cats I’ve had. Instead, he dragged these poor animals in through the dog door in one piece and dropped them in front of me and proceeded to clean all the blood off of him. I think he single-handedly destroyed the crow and squirrel population in my neighborhood.

Anyway, since I moved here he hasn’t done much hunting but about a month ago I knew he had done something. He is pretty much an outdoor cat but comes into the basement to eat and sleep and every once in a while he comes upstairs to harass Grizwald and shred various paper products. But it is ONLY when he has killed something.

I made a comment to one of my friends about how he was upstairs acting weird and lounging around and I told her that he must have killed something.

About a week later in was in the basement and smelled that smell; you know the smell, the “something died down here smell”. So naturally I told my husband about it and asked if he could take care of it. And knowing my husband I knew it was not gonna be a “I found it and threw it in the trash” kind of situation.

So, he comes upstairs and says “it was a  squirrel!!!!”. I knew it. It was under the cabinets which means it was only slightly dead when the cat dragged it inside and it must have crawled under the cabinet to die, and rot, and ruin my life.

Naturally I asked Nick where he put the squirrel and naturally, he said “I threw it in the yard”. Naturally.

Ok so now I have a dead, mostly rotted large animal in my back yard. Do I 1. Go out and get it now and put it in the garbage? 2. Wait til garbage day and put it in then? or 3. forget it’s out there for 2 weeks and let it be covered by weeds and rain where it is in a situation that 100% prevents any chance of decomposing?

I found it yesterday.

Ok here we go

I have been thinking about doing a blog for some time now and finally decided to try it out.   I always just assumed no one would want to read anything about my life but then I realized that I read blogs about other people’s lives so why not.  The main reason I want to do this is because everyone in my family is a writer and I wanted to be just like them but less professional?  Not really.  But they do all write.  Actually I have a lot of things running around in my mind all the time about life and the people and things in my life and I thought this would be a good outlet for that.  I also read somewhere that you can make money somehow with your blog so that would be cool too.  My ultimate dream of doing nothing and making money for it may be coming true right before my very eyes. 

I am hoping that I have something to write about most days and if not then I suppose it’s not the end of the world.  I also hope that you all get a little entertainment out of it if not more.  I apologize for my sarcasm in advance because I know I can lay it on pretty thick but hey, that’s me. I also apologize to my brother who is probably cringing at my poor use of tense and prehistoric vocabulary.   Oh, and if anyone has anything they would like me to share I can do that too.  I’ve never been the type to “hold back” on anything. 

So here we go!