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Volume 3 Number 5

Harry & Rosemary Wong urge, "If you are a teacher applying for a job, it is essential that you ask the question at the interview: Does this district have a new teacher induction program? "...
Apple Seeds by Barb Erickson
Special Days This Month by Ron Victoria
Poem - Lines Written for a School Declamation
The Lighter Side of Teaching
  • YENDOR'S Top Ten
  • Alternative Landscaping by Goose
  • Schoolies
  • Woodhead
  • Handy Teacher Recipes
    Classroom Crafts
    Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
    "Mother's Day Butterfly and Poem" from the Lesson Bank by Elaine Magud
    Upcoming Ed Conferences
    Letters to the Editor
    Teachers.Net Survey Teachers Remember "Their" Favorite Teachers
    The Lesson of Susan by key
    Sometimes we don't know what touches, and teaches, a student. by Juvie
    When Students ask, "Why Do We Need to Know This? When Will I Ever Use This?"
    What Is Most difficult About Teaching Today?
    Index of Columns
    Index of Articles
    Index of Informational Items
    Gazette Home Delivery:

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    © John P. Wood for
    Learning Laffs  

    Alternative Landscaping
    by Goose/TX (

    With the arrival of warmer weather, a lot of folks have begun the annual chore of cleaning up their yards in preparation for summer. Old grass must be mowed, flower beds cleaned, and debris produced from howling winds snapping branches must be gathered and disposed of. After completing this arduous task, a person can look forward to a summer of fertilizing, mowing, and watering the lawn. For most, the fulfilling appearance of a well-manicured lawn amply justifies the time and effort required.

    I have always assumed that most folks prefer a traditionally landscaped yard which is composed of grass, bushes, trees, and flowers. Apparently in our locality, there is an acceptable alternative method of landscaping. This method requires no fertilizing, mowing, or watering and is extremely low maintenance, if not totally maintenance free. However, the initial labor is rather intensive.

    This alternative method involves artistically placing various broken down appliances, vehicles, or other dilapidated mechanical devices throughout ones yard. I've yet to attempt this method, but from the numerous houses I've curiously observed that use this method, I think that I have acquired a tolerable understanding of the strategy behind this fashion of landscaping.

    First, a person appropriately places a centerpiece composed of optional landscaping articles on the lawn. This centerpiece may be in the form of either a decrepit car or truck. The next step requires considerable labor and mechanical skill. The parts of the centerpiece must be dismantled and strategically placed around it as a person would place flowers or bushes around a tree. This is not a simple task. Determining how to best align the drive shaft to most effectively compliment the engine without clashing with the appearance of the rear axle can be a tedious task. Perhaps the most critical step is the proper placement of the chrome bumpers so that they will discretely enhance the centerpiece without drawing too much attention. For this reason, rusty bumpers are preferred.

    Also, a person must determine whether or not he wants to remove the wheels and doors so that they will be viewed as independent parts of the centerpiece.

    I've seen men standing around in their yards for hours studying an old car and apparently discussing whether or not to remove the wheels or doors from the centerpiece. It's a major landscaping decision which should not be taken lightly.

    While a person is in the process of dismantling the centerpiece, he may decide that a few additional articles are necessary to properly embellish the centerpiece. These articles may be in the form of a broken-down washing machine, dishwasher, water heater, or other discarded appliances. Old bicycles, motorcycles, four-wheelers, and lawnmowers also seem to be popular landscaping items for adorning the centerpiece.

    Sometimes, folks are overwhelmed by the alternative landscaping bug and totally cover their yards with centerpieces. Instead of removing the parts from the centerpieces and placing them around the centerpieces, they remove the parts and place them inside of the centerpieces or on top of other centerpieces. I suppose that this is a more advanced style that a person only indulges in after several years of practice.

    Probably one of the most effective and lowest maintenance alternative styles is strategically placing a couple of old travel trailers on a yard.

    The trailers completely cover the yard and their appearance is gradually enhanced over the years as the weather causes colorful rust streaks to appear and paint to peal in intriguing designs. A person may even add old weathered tires to the roof for additional decoration.

    Alternative landscaping is not appreciated by many folks and is actually illegal in various towns.

    I don't really understand its appeal since I've never had the urge to attempt it, but obviously some people enjoy it. When my brother, who lives in San Antonio was visiting, I took him by Rufus's house. His neighbor, much to his chagrin, has utilized the broken down travel trailer landscaping method for decades.

    When my brother saw the trailers, he asked, "What's Ralph have for a neighbor--a trailer park?" City folks-- they just don't have an appreciation for alternative landscaping.

    by YENDOR (


    10. Honey, I'm gonna bounce down to the store for a minute.

    (Looking in the mirror) OH MY!! Another dent!!!!!


    Listen Billy............NEVER refer to us as ping ball balls! We are table tennis balls!


    Hey, I may be round, but it's ALL muscle!


    Well, roll me over and slap my trademark!


    You know son....I've been paddled many times. Didn't hurt me!


    Those Spauldings are the nicest folks!


    Yes son, I hear tell a lot of our people migrated from some place called Walmart.


    Listen, I look like I just fell off the table?




    Did you hear about RandyAK and Bill T? Rumor has it they got smashed at the bar last night!

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    © John P. Wood for
    Learning Laffs