Welcome to the Jungle

As I drove down to 12th Street today, I passed a familiar face, the codes inspection guy for our area. He was busy photographing a vacant house that keeps getting broken into. And I was both happy to see him and dreading where he would end up next.

After all, I had seen this on Parcel Viewer…

Summary: Property Violations
Description: Citizen is calling to report high grass and weeds at this location. It’s getting a little out of control and would like someone out to cut it.

Parcel Viewer allows you to look up any address in Kansas City, find out the owner, find tax information (how much an owner pays and when they paid it last) and more. It’s also where you can find a list of any codes violations – high grass, issues with property/building maintenance, etc.

And that property violation had shown up on 7/25.

In a few days I will receive that in writing from the city. And I plan to do the only logical thing – IGNORE IT.

Because here’s the deal. My husband works full time, Monday through Friday. I work two part-time jobs – cleaning houses, and caretaking for my dad. I also homeschool my kiddo (the new school year starts tomorrow!) and try to handle most of the interior runnings of the house (financials, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping).

My husband is exhausted after a long day of work and I’m pretty done in too. So that leaves the weekend for us to get a buttload of work done AND the mowing as well.

I looked at the finances and, right now, there is no way we can afford to hire it out. Next spring, though? After we have paid off several repairs on Cottage West we are nearly done paying for? I’ve already got it set in the budget. Until then, rain or shine, tall grass and weeds, holiday weekends or not – our priorities have to be project based, NOT the lawn.

We will probably tackle mowing this next weekend…maybe. But that will be AFTER we move the Airstream and AFTER we get a plan in motion for:

  • Installing two sliding gates on the privacy fence
  • Figuring out when we will be demo’ing the sides of the Cottage East in order for the roof, side windows and siding to be installed

When it comes down to it, I’m NOT trading or delaying my financial future and retirement plans in order to soothe some neighbor’s irritable bowels over how our grass looks. And I could give a good goddamn whether or not they think our yard looks like a jungle.

We don’t live in Overland Park, Kansas. We don’t belong to an HOA. And our neighborhood and community have far bigger problems to deal with than a yard that goes unmowed for a week or two.

I’m going to focus on the pressing projects, because frankly, whatever neighbor is complaining, they are not the one who is going to be worried about my retirement, I am. And while I’m going to do my best to keep up on the yard work, I know my priorities are where they should be.

So, neighbor, the dear sweet neighbor who has nothing better to do than call codes about our grass?

Welcome to the jungle. Don’t let that cheetah bite you on the ass.

8/1/2017 Update. I heard back from codes. I had sent an email asking what in the world he was talking about when he listed on the codes violations OBJECT OBSTRUCTING THE SIDEWALK”

He wrote back, and sent pictures. Here is what he said:

“Thanks for your response and inquiry.

Can you please trim (photos attached) away from the sidewalk and the street in front of your home?

I realize most of your vegetation is allowable plant life. However, there still needs to be a clear path.

Also, my research after inspection shows you are the new owner of 3231?

Thanks for keeping the lot mowed. But we both know you have some serious brick work on the west side, window repairs, etc…

Warning Letters are on the way. Keep me informed of your plans so I can help you along the way.”

This is where we both park and I can guarantee you, the mint that is growing over the edge of the curb is not obstructing our comings and goings.

Damn you, mojito mint, you have escaped the confines of your planter!


Folks, I can only do so much. We both work full-time, I’ve just started homeschooling the kiddo for 5th grade, and the weekend’s work is already lined up. It includes spreading gravel, moving and situating the Airstream, finishing the privacy fence in back of our property, and making a plan for demo’ing the crumbling brick walls on Cottage East.

I sent him back an email letting him know that I’d get around to mowing the lawn in a week or two.


There is only so much time, energy and money in my little world. And I’m allocating it the best that I can.

This means that my yard is not going to look perfect. Not this fall. In the spring, after the last of the payments are made on the new roof, windows, and front porch of Cottage West, there will be enough in the budget for a lawn mowing service. But right now? Nope.

I feel like a dog chasing my tail. What needs to happen now? Who do we try to keep happy? The neighbors? The city? Ourselves?

Timing is everything, I guess. Opportunities rolled in, and I’m not sorry I took advantage of them. But that also means that at this moment, conflicting priorities are on the rise. In the end, I’ll make the best decision I can for ME and MINE. I will make a decision that means that someone is going to be unhappy.

You can’t please everyone. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to kill myself trying.

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