You will not look at leaves the same

With fall here, that means one thing, fallen leaves.   Oh and pumpkin spice lattes of course!

I hope that after reading this you will not look at leaves the same again. I many of us see leaves and just see one thing, an extra chore. You have to rake or blow them, then bag them and set them by the curve. On the other hand, if you are somewhere that allows it, piling them together then burning them. Either way they must be removed from the ground.

Here are a few ideas and ways to utilize those piles of leaves. After this, they will no longer look like piles of burdens.

Turn those Leaves into Mulchth5AEYYLTT

Have you ever consider it? Instead of burning or bagging, those leaves mulch it up. It is not only aseptically pleasing but environmentally friendly as well. Place the mulch around your flowerbed and shrubs as it starts to decompose over time it will serve as a fertilizer as well. The mild is also great for planting new bulbs and plants. For those who have a compost pile or one of those compost drums just add the mulch to it, when spring comes and you are preparing your yard for planting a little bit of the compost around.

Some of the best fertilizer that your money did not have to buy.

Use leaves in your fall décor

Use the leaves you have around your home as decorations. Nothing says fall like brown, gold, orange, and red leaves. First project is to create a wreath from dried leaves. A lovely round leaf wreath will be welcoming and warm to any entryway. Another option is something that can be done with the kids. Gather leaves, some glue, and make fall shadow boxes. This will be a wonderful addition to the leaf wreath. Bring the great fall outdoors indoors. After completely the shadow boxes place them throughout your home, the ambience they will create will make you the envy of the block. If you know what I mean.

Just a little warning before completely these projects or any project where you bring outdoor items indoors make sure you properly clean the items. Before starting the wreath or shadow box, wash the leaves in warm water to remove any dirt or bugs. Then allow them to dry out. I usually place them close to a heat vent, to speed up the drying time.

Another idea for fall fun décor is to create a leaf-filled scarecrow. Most scarecrows are made from straw or hay, but you ever consider using the leaves that have into your yard? Check out the closets in your home or a thrift store for old jeans and flannel shirt. Make sure to knot the end of each pant leg and the shirt’s cuff. Then fill. Place around the yard for a beautiful and creative fall touch.

When those leaves start to fall, do not look at them with dismay. Turn that chore into a project that you will enjoy the entire season.

If these ideas still do not move you then you may want to consider tree removal. Not for all the trees in your yard of course, but remove a few to open up the yard. Then you can add a plays cape for the kids or maybe a built in fire pit with custom seating.


th (10)For several years, I have sat by idling waiting for something amazing to happen. It was as if I was stuck in some type of limbo. Never really going forward or falling behind. Thinking back it was somewhat weird how I just felt like something was about to happen, something big! Without even thinking I had put my entire life on hold for something I did not know what was coming, I just felt it, felt it through my bones.

Around this time last year I was either on my way to work or on my way back home from work, I cannot really remember, but I know I was on a train. It was during the winter months I remember because when I left out in the morning it was dark and when I returned in the evening, I was engulfed in the same darkness. Yes, I remember I was on my home from working in the city.

This day started out like any other day. Nothing out of the ordinary happened I just went through the motions as I do any other day.

Then as I am sitting on the train watching the houses fly by, not really thinking of anything. When I got the phone call. This is the phone call that was the catalyst to my life, it jumpstarted everything and made me into the man that I am today. From hustling & writing blogs, to finding ways to improve my game in writing & public speaking to learning about easier ways to start blogs so more can gain the benefits of building an audience, similar to what Red Hill On Rails have done.

I felt my pocket vibrating; I retrieve my phone from my front pocket. It was a number that I did not recognize so I simply let it go to voicemail. Sometimes I would get phone calls from people looking for some person name Tony Duncan. Whoever that is, so whenever I see a random number I let it go to voicemail.

This call was different it kept calling back, the same number, until the fourth call back I answered. The person on the other end called my complete name, address, and last four digits of my social secruity. This person new I was on the train, even which train I was riding on.

After hearing all of this, I was shocked into silence.

Then the voice on the other of that called told me to meet them at this restaurant in an hour that was about three and a half blocks from my house. I assured that I would be there and that was the end of the phone call. Feeling a bit nervous, I called my long friend, Dale, and told him what had happen, where I was going in case something horrible happens. I really do not think that he believed me, but he agree to call my phone in two hours to check on me.

After I made it home, I changed out from my clothes into something more casual. Locked up and walk the three and a half block to the restaurant.

I ask for a table by the window. As I sat in a daze watching but not really seeing anything, someone sat down in front of me. This person called out my name, extended their hand to me, with a white business card in it.

Then I woke up.

Fast Growers

th5CQGB99RIf you want to realize the greatness and beauty trees and hedges provide to your landscape without having to wait years to see it, you should consider using fast growing trees and hedges. There are a whole list of trees and shrubbery that are beautiful and if planted properly they should grow a many many feet per year. Which is a huge leap from those traditional trees used that can take twenty years to reach a height worth mentioning. In fact, Tyler Tree Service has always have great success and customer satisfaction with the use of fast growing trees. They have used them in both the residential and commercial setting.

Here are a few fast growing trees that you can request be used on your next landscaping project.

Hybrid Poplar

This beautiful shade tree will grow anywhere from five to eight feet per year. It works great as a screen or privacy trees, reducing energy by producing great shade for your home or business. For those people with a fireplace in their home. Try planting this Hybrid Poplar. Because of its quick growth rate, it makes ideal firewood.

Quaking Aspen

The Quaking Aspen and the Hybrid Poplar are of the same family, that means that just as the Hybrid Poplar grows at an speedily rate so will this beautiful Quaking Aspen. On average, it will grow two to three feet each year. IF it is properly, maintain and care for.   For those people in areas of the country where they have the joy of experiencing each season this tree will be wonderful for you. It has a brilliant color pattern for fall that is out of this world. All year round, this tree will bring a little something extra to your landscape.

Weeping Willow

A Weeping Willow will grow three to eight feet every year. However, this is dependent upon how it was cultivated. If you are going to choose this particular tree for your landscape make sure to consult with the nursery about its history.

River Birch

This tree is a bit more fickle than the previous mention trees. In order for it to grow at a quick rate, it needs to be in a particular climate and under perfect conditions. If you are able to provide this, then the River Birch tree will grow at the rate of one and a half to two feet each year for you. However if you can plant this in your yard you can expect beautiful foliage in the fall and an active and unique bird watching.

Pin Oak

Pin oak has been known to reach the massive heights of seventy feet.   Which is not bad if you consider it should make it that height in less than thirty years! That is amazing, growing a whopping two and a half feet each year!

There are many other trees available that grows just as fast as or faster than the ones mention here. Here are just of a few of my favorite ones that I think grows really well and really fast. In addition, is beautiful to look yet all through the four season. Next time you are considering planting to some trees in your yard or business then considering one of these fast growing ones. Why wait to enjoy the greatness of a tree?

My day in court

thM44AJVQ7About a month ago, I was on my way to work, early Sunday morning. It is true I am a workaholic. What can I say I love my job? As I was saying I was on my way into work and driving, singing along to my favorite nineties r&b playlist. When I received a phone call from my mother. She called to see if I would stop by today, her just so happen to be making my favorite dish and dessert. If I can find the free time I should stop by dinner. I love lasagna, especially my mom’s lasagna. It so delicious and she only makes it like once every two years, literally. She very health conscious my mother, normally she eats some super healthy concoction of nuts, fruits, veggies and every occasionally small portion of protein. Of course, I said yes to dinner with my family.

As I hang up with my mother, I noticed swirling lights in the rear view mirror. Being the great motorist I am, I slowly pull over patiently waiting the police officer to pass on by me. To my surprise, he pulls right behind me and proceeds to get out of his car. I do not know what it is about being pulled over by a cop but I immediately start sweating under my arms, shaking my leg, and analyze my every move while driving. It is such a nerve-wrecking ordeal.

The police officer writes me a ticket for distracting driving. My taking that call for my mother cost me a ticket priced at one and seventy dollars! Yes, that is right. I was so irritated and bummed out I decided to divert my path and go straight to my parents’ house. There is nothing like a day full of family fun to improve on a bad a day. What can I say; my mom has the magic touch.

Now fast forward it is a month and a half from that day, my court date. This is what I am trying to get to; this court date was like no other. After I passed through secruity I checked out the bulletin to see which judge I will see, thereafter I make my way to the courtroom. After about an hour of waiting, the judge finally arrives. He calls out a list of names along with their offence and ask each person that he calls to please stand.

After he called my name, I stood anticipating what he is going to say. I have no idea what to expect. The last time I had a ticket I was seventeen years old and I simply sent them a money order. No court, no appearance before a judge. Easy, breezy. I wish I could have done the same thing with this ticket. Unfortunately, it required me making a physical appearance. Maybe I might get lucky and have the whole thing thrown out.

Well, my ticket was dismissed, kind of. After the judge finished calling out his list of names. He continued with all of us were facing traffic and misdemeanor charges, varying in specifics but all pretty petty. He gave us all a choice. Well, three choices really. One each of the defendants in the courtroom can walk outside to the clerk’s office and pay the fine. Two, take a walk outside to the blood drive and donate blood. Upon donating bringing the form back stating that we indeed did donate and our fines and tickets will be thrown out. The last option is to refuse the two and go to jail.

After some consideration, I decided to just pay the ticket. Mostly because I felt that type of ultimatum has no place in a courtroom and court procedures.   Lucky for me I have the money to do so but I am sure many people were relieved to have an option out but it just seem like an overstep by the judge to enforce such a thing upon everyone. If I did not have a business to run, I would have refused both and chosed to go to jail. Just to make a point.

1987 Monte Carlo SS

After Mary-Kate published her personal recollections she has been on me to share mine, sometimes it feels as if we are still kids and she’s forcing me to steal candy from Mr. Sampson’s grocery store. But that’s a story for another time.  I guess somethings never changes.

I was lucky enough to have a pretty great family life.  My parents has always been very financially stable.  Thinking of their lifestyle, I suppose they are considered wealthy. But as their son I never felt like a rich kid.  I knew we weren’t poor, but rich no, never.  My father was very old school.  He never believe in giving out handouts,  not even to his children.Especially the boys.

We were expected to work if only part time.  All of us were responsible for our own gas money and car insurance.  He wasn’t a tyrant or anything.   We all knew without a doubt that our parents loved us.  It just they did not want lazy, spoiled, privelge kids.  And we weren’t.

I tried a lot of different jobs.  At one point I worked at a fast food place but sadly I was fired for eating on the job.  I just can’t say no to cheeseburgers and french fries.  then for awhile I did landcaping.  I love landscaping.  Even now, I have the best looking yard, both front and back, in the whole county.  If you don’t believe me I have the trophies and plaques to prove it!

While landscaping I kind of fell into the tree service business.  I was setting pavers in a flower bed when my boss asked if I wanted to learn how to prune and trim a tree.  Of course I said sure.  The tree service guys made more money.  I always wanted the chance to work for Huntsville Tree Service.  Their work was impeccable then and they have not faltered from their high standards.  In fact I was just on their website checking out their services,  If its even possible I think they maybe even more remarkable then they were when I worked for the tree service.

I was a natural. Before I knew I was felling trees, pruning, installing cabling and bracing systems, any and everything a tree man will do.  It was woking as a tree man that the greatest thing happen to me.  While I was busy on the installation I just so happen to glance across yonder and I spotted the most beautiful creature my eyes had ever gazed upon.  A 1987th5R0960TM Monte Carlo SS.  In a beautiful wine color with the red-orange racing stripes.  No rust in sight.  With a for sale sign to boot! My father had the same car when he was young man and his brother let his best friend drive.  And that friend crashed it, totaling it beyond repair.   My father still talks about that car.  I told myself if I ever find one I have to get it for my dad.

On my lunch break I checked the car out.  It seems to be in great shape.  Newly rebuilt motor, new rear end, fresh tune up, and everything was original.   I made an agreement to buy it on the spot.  I told the owner that I need to go to the bank after work and I can bring him the money for the car.  The rest of the day went buy in a breeze and before I knew I was on my way to the bank.  I ask my buddy to ride with me to pick it up.

I felt great riding home in that car.   After a quick stop to wash her then fill up the tank, I made it home.  When I father came home from work I could see him peering at the car.  He had this look of pure glee.  I met him outside.  After commenting on how pretty that car is he asked who car is it.  I told him its yours.  OF course my father being he who is said in some colorful words for me to stop playing.  After ten minutes I finally convince it was his.  He started silently crying.  He shook my hand and said, “Thank you, son.”


A Girl’s Life

Well, Michael and I have been discussing that we need to share some personal moments on the website.  Since I loss the coin toss here is my first go at it.  Its a vivid memory from my teenage years…


It just so happen I was on winter break from school. My mother and I had a date for the day. Every once in a while we would spend the day together just the two of us. Usually we would go shopping, to the salon and have our hair done, lunch, and just enjoy time together. That day was not too much different. We woke up early that Saturday and set out for the mall. We spent half the day shopping and browsing. Then we went to my mother’s stylist, had our hair blown out, and curled, stop at Clare’s on the Water for lunch, and then we ended up at the library. I am an avid reader and my mom loves reading her magazines in the peace.

I was browsing through the young adult section, I had already selected three books and was debating between two. While deep in thought considering which one those books will go home with me, I overheard whispering. The whispers grew louder along with footsteps. From around a bookshelf three girls appeared. Each look as if they were the same age as I was, around thirteen give or take a year or two. Two of the girls were poking and pulling the other girl’s hair. As they came, closer I could hear what they were saying to the other girl. Those two other girls were using language my mother would wring my neck if she caught me using such words. Cussing and calling the other girl racial slurs.

I could see the tears streaming beyond her glasses down her face. She was flushed, her fist were clenched, her head was down low, and she looked as if she was trapped without any hope of being save. My parents had always preached that I am a leader that I am not to follow behind anyone especially someone that is doing something wrong. If I see a wrong or someone in need of help then I must intervene and at least try. Realizing if, I did nothing who knows how far these two girls will go bullying this other girl.

Quietly at first, I told them to stop. When it seem that they had not heard me, I said it louder. All three girls stopped and looked at me. Then the two bullies started towards me. Remarking how much they were going to hurt me and calling me names. I was not expecting them to respond in such a way to me. I am not really, what I expected but that was not it. One of the girls knocked my books out of my hands, again I told them to stop.

I should mention here that since I was three years old my father has had me enrolled in a self-defense and karate classes. I knew I could handle myself with these two girls; I just do not like to fight. In fact, I hate confrontation.   When the one on the left was, close enough she struck me in the face, as soon as she did that I struck back, in less than ten minutes I had subdued and had both girls pinned to the ground, I told the other girl to get an adult. After everything was explained and we were able to leave with our parents, I realized that immediately I would not sit back idle while others are bullied and harassed. From that moment on, I have been fighting.

In another life…

I’m stuck.  Please calm down and do not call the fire department.  I am not physically stuck but mentally stuck.  I’m sitting here trying to be inspired but all I can think about is sleeping and Slurpees.  Not necessarily in that order. But nevertheless those are my thoughts.  What to do, what to do.  Some people may wonder what does that matter?  Who cares if you are uninspired.  Get yourself a Slurpee and go to bed for crying out loud.

Well, I am a sculpture by trade.  Yes, a real life artist.  A friend of a friend commission a piece from me awhile ago but I could never complete it.  Now my deadline is looming and I have nothing but a huge mound of clay and some dirty hands.  It makes me wonder if I should have followed down the path my parents wanted for me and became an accountant. Although my life would most likely be so much more boring, sorry to all you accountants reading this, I wouldn’t have to deal with these moments of nothingness.  thTY6Y9F0G

Normally I would get in my old Chevy Nova, please don’t mock the Nova, and take a drive.  Just let the stars by my guide.  The yellow dash line on the pavement my path.  Allow my mind to travel far, far away until something amazing sparks my fingers to start to quiver with anticipation of creating something majestic.  Or at least something worth paying the ridiculous amount I charge.  The only problem is my lovely Nova is gone.  As I fight myself from weeping I shall divulge on you, my lucky audience, the tale of the besotted Chevy Nova.  Just kidding.  Someone hit my car in the parking lot of Whole Foods.  Nothing  fabulous or dramatic happen.  Just an everyday fender bender. And now it is in the shop.   I hope to find out tomorrow if my insurance will pay to have it fix or if I should just tell me to get rid of that old heap and get a new car.

Anyway I am stuck.  No car. No muse.  No inspiration.  Here I am typing praying that these words will facilitate and become the catalyst to my masterpiece.  As I am reading this I’m wondering if I am putting too much pressure on myself.  Yes, I think that is it.  Maybe I will try to relax.  Take a nice bubble bath then do at least twenty minutes of yoga.  That is exactly what I’ll do.  If that doesn’t get the juices flowing I have one more trick up my sleeve.   Otherwise I believe I am screwed.

I’m back.  I do feel wonderfully relaxed but albeit uninspired.  Time for the hail Mary.  What always works in this situation.  I realize the anticipation is probably killing you right now and you can hardly stand it.  But this is a little too personal and I don’t believe my mother will approve of me broadcasting it to the entire world.  I think this hail Mary is going to stay my secret.  Don’t fret I will let you know how it all goes.  If I make the deadline and am able to produce a piece for my client or if its a bust and my reputation is on its way down the drain.

Still there?  Well thanks for reading this through.  I must admit something, I am not an artist, I’m a tree climber.  I work for the power company taking care of those neighborhood trees that are too close to the power lines and helping out during storms and natural disasters.   The city is requiring some of its workers to go back to school and get a few certifications related to the job. Here I am in my creative writing elective and our topic is to write in the role of another person or someone we would like to be.  I have always I had a secret wish to have talent like sculpting or something else artistic.  I guess I should just stick to sculpting trees.