“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 May 17, 2014
DEAR AMY: What do I do about a neighbor who complains about my having my lawn mowed because she is allergic to the lawn clippings?

My lawn mower is not working right now, so I am having a professional landscaping company mow my lawn twice monthly.

My mower had a bag on it, and the person mowing my lawn does not. My neighbor is complaining that, because of her allergies, she can no longer go outside and garden when I get the lawn done. She insists that I fire the gentleman who does my lawn because he can only do it on the weekends when she is home and I should get someone else to do it during the week while she works.

She even indicated that her husband could do my lawn.(Of course, I do not want her or her husband on my property.)

The neighbor on the other side of my house has had her lawn mowed by the same gentlemen for years. The allergic neighbor has not complained until he started to do mine. She complained about it last year, and now that the mowing season is here, she is starting again. I don't want to go through it again this year and am at my wits' end! Please advise.-- Mowed Over

DEAR MOWED: First, thank your lucky stars that you don't have bad allergies and an unhelpful neighbor.

Have you asked the professional landscaper if he could possibly use a bag on his mower when he mows your lawn? Have you asked if he could do the mowing when it wouldn't cause your neighbor's allergies to flare so badly? Have you looked into repairing your mower?

These are simple questions that would involve a minimum of effort. What you would gain by asking these questions is the knowledge that you are being a decent person and a good neighbor.

If you ask these questions and make the tiniest bit of effort but still cannot accommodate your neighbor, you should at least be kind to (and about) her when you decline.

DEAR AMY: I believe my brother suffers from depression but refuses to acknowledge it. His small business went into a tailspin a few years ago and hasn't recovered. He subsequently lost a part-time coaching job that was his passion and has not been able to find another.

The reason given for his firing was that some of the kids were scared of his temper. Having seen him totally lose his cool over trivial things with his own kids more than once, I believe it. He refuses to let things go emotionally and dwells bitterly on setbacks.

He's got "too much on his mind" to act on anything. He refuses to talk to family or friends, see a counselor, or consider antidepressants.

He is alienating his very patient wife and scaring his wonderful kids. His wife is at her wits' end, and so am I. Do you see any way out?-- Concerned Sibling

DEAR CONCERNED: I agree that this is alarming. Your brother would benefit from a thorough physical. His issues might be triggered by a treatable medical problem. Expressing your concern and offering to go with him to the doctor might influence him.

Failing that, concentrate on his wife and kids. They need your kindness, friendship and family support. Life with your brother sounds very challenging; his wife and kids would all benefit from attending sessions with a compassionate family therapist.

I cannot stress how helpful this could be. For the kids, acknowledging their anxieties, giving voice to their fears, and expressing their anger and confusion will be helpful. They need to learn strategies for how to ride the roller coaster at home.

DEAR AMY: "Bewildered" objected to the fact that his middle-aged girlfriend had "meltdowns" about possessions of his from previous marriages. You advised him not to get rid of these things but to get rid of the woman!

You should have told him to explore this issue thoughtfully to find out what the real issue is.-- Unhappy

DEAR UNHAPPY: When the choice is between a demanding relationship and a vintage pickup truck, I'll choose the truck every time.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#2 May 17, 2014
1- oh for f#@% sake, tell her to suck it. Or garden before the grass is cut or do it the next day. My mower doesn't have a bag. And the clippings are good for fertilization. It's actually recommended that you DON'T use a bag

2- It's on him, there's nothing you can do

3- Amy actually stood up for the man and his pickup truck

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#3 May 17, 2014
Lw: Amy can shove her condescension up her ass. It sucks to be her, but she can't expect her neighbors to inconvenience themselves so she can garden on the weekend. Wear a mask.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#4 May 17, 2014
1. "I'd suggest a trip to your allergist."

2. Your bro is a grown-ass man. You've done what you can.

Plant City, FL

#5 May 17, 2014
1: Amy must be allergic to grass.
I feel her pain, and I do think the question to use a bag to the gardner is reasonable, but at the end of the day, he's in the right if he chooses not to and allergy lady must change behavior.
My mom is allergic to everything and stays in when they spray.


“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#6 May 17, 2014
L1. Yeah, big deal.
Listen to this one,....We got a beehive, OK, apis millifera, and one of the neighbors is not too happy about it
Unfortunately for them, it is a threatened species and the state is on my side.
It's at my mom's house, and her property backs up to a meadow and a forest preserve and a creek. It's a spectacular view, because it is a floodplain back there too.
But the houses along the street are rather close together.
The honey bee is actually rather docile and misunderstood.
We are doing everthing we can to make our bees happy, but I am not getting rid of my bees.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#7 May 17, 2014
L1 I am of two minds on this. I don't think it is unreasonable to ask to have clippings bagged although the stuff that is airborne happens when the grass cut not just from clippings laying around.

On the other hand, the neighbor has chosen to live someplace next to grass and the world does not revolve around her. Move to an highrise if it is that much of an issue. It is not as if she is locked in a metal tube with peanuts all around.

L2 People who do not take responsibility for their medical or mental conditions or their behaviors really irk me. Brother won't do anything to change until the consequences of his actions really hit home. So far it sounds as if his wife and family may be enabling or coddling him.

L3 Middle aged people have baggage, literal and metaphorical. The only persons who "need" to explore that issue thoughtfully are the baggage holder herself, her shrink or a spouse. Original LW was none of those.

I agree with Amy. the pick up wins.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 May 17, 2014
PEllen wrote:
L1 I am of two minds on this. I don't think it is unreasonable to ask to have clippings bagged
I don't know where this letter is from, but in my area, that would be completely unreasonable. Bagging is not common and way more work. I have a pretty big yard. As it is, to do the whole job sand do it right, it takes 4 hours when you add in edging, weed wacking. No way in hell I would even entertain the idea of bagging If I was running a business, I would charge extra for that. I damn sure would not pay extra because of a neighbor.

Hancock, NY

#9 May 17, 2014
My son-in-law has allergies to mowing grass. I assume it's either the clippings like the lw's neighbor or it's other stuff that gets chewed up and spit out by the mower. In any case, he wears a face mask when he mows his lawn which is quite large. I understand about the clippings being good for the lawn; so I don't see why the lw's lawn should suffer. Perhaps the guy who mows can do it during the week but I wouldn't be surprised if this is just a weekend thing for him and he has a "real job" during the week. I agree with those who say that this lw shouldn't have to go out of his way to accommodate his neighbor. Her allergies are her problem, not his. She should see an allergist about medications she might take or wear a mask. I bet if she wanted to take a walk in her neighborhood on a weekend, she'd have this problem anyway. She needs to take care of her own health issues.

2: The brother has some kind of mental illness. He needs to see a medical doctor to rule out a physical cause and then a therapist of some kind. I'd suggest a psychiatrist first because they are medical doctors and are more likely aware of physical problems that can cause the behavior problems than a regular general practitioner. The psychiatrist can prescribe medications while other non-medical professional therapists cannot. Once the brother's condition is stabilized and the right medication (if necessary) is found, he could switch to another kind of therapist/counselor who can help him learn how to cope/deal with situations that set off his anger or anxiety or whatever it is that has his family and other associates shaking in their boots around him. The lw cannot do this for him but he can talk to his sister-in-law and together they might succeed in getting the man to seek the help he needs. He (and his s-i-l?) might be able to talk to the man's doctor about the problem so the doctor knows what to look for.

Bothell, WA

#10 May 18, 2014
loose cannon wrote:
The honey bee is actually rather docile and misunderstood.
We are doing everthing we can to make our bees happy, but I am not getting rid of my bees.
Yeah, honey bees don't sting unless you basically abuse the heck out of them. I've never been stung by a honey bee. Yellow jacket, yes. Hornet, yes.

Honey bee? Please come hang out in my yard and pollinate my garden ... bumble bees welcome too.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#11 May 19, 2014
LW1: I don't understand why anyone would WANT their lawn mowed on a weekend (if they are paying someone to do it). I tell my lawn guy NOT to come on the weekend and he's pretty good about it. I want to sit outside in my yard on the weekend without some guy barrelling through with a mower. A couple weeks ago he came on a Sunday. I guess he knocked and I didn't hear it (I was wondering why the dogs were barking) then 5 minutes later he was in my yard. I had a throw rug drying in the sun and it was COVERED in pieces of grass. I wasn't happy, but I didn't say anything. Usually he's pretty good about it.

And it still beats having to mow my lawn in Florida summers - which will NOT happen... EVER!

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