I fought the stumps...

... and the stumps I won. That's right folks. The saga of the old, half dead vine stumps that wouldn't let go has come to an end.

I had been working at it for days, each day digging a little more around it, cutting through a few more of the roots. Finally, one day last week I couldn't take it anymore, just sitting out there as a sign of my failure. I told myself that I was getting one of the stumps out TODAY no matter what... then I saw this. Oh, for the love of Pete.
After cutting through nearly all the roots this stupid stump had the audacity to start showing some green.
I mean, the nerve of it.
But, after a little ground soaking I was actually able to yank that one out with no further problems. So I decided to go for the second one, which proved to be a problem. The sun was hot and harsh as it was beating down, so very strongly. Man, it wasn't even wiggling at tiny bit. Finally, some more ground soaking, some more digging, some more taking vicious swings at it with a hatchet, and stump numero dos was out. And I was so glad that I hadn't given up because I was grinning like an idiot for like 5 minutes afterwards. Honestly, I felt like I had just been asked to Prom or something.
And now I've got this that I made with some more of my recycled retaining blocks.
And I planted some sunflower seeds there.
And I really need to repaint our decking. Yeesh.
And I'm pretty flippin' excited that all the yard work in my front yard is paying off, and no longer looks like it did in {this} post. See, that random planter obstacle #1 is all gone! Although, it does still look like we've got crop circles in our yard...
So you might be wondering why I was so angry with these plants in the first place, and why they had to be destroyed. I'm glad you asked, the answer is two-fold: (1) I really felt like I was putting them out of their misery, they were not healthy plants. I mean, our house was a foreclosure and sat empty for over a year so I don't blame them for being mostly dead.
(2) They were planted WAY too close to the deck. Plants should never be planted near wood decks like that because it leads to dry rot. Our decks are going to have to be replaced in a year or two so they would have had to come out then anyway, so I just took them out now because, well, see reason #1.

And just in case you're wondering, no, there was no way to try and save them by planting them somewhere else. One of the reasons why they were such pains to get out was because their roots ran right under the cement foundations for the deck posts. I really had to hack at it to get it out of there. Even if I had been able to remove it carefully, and it was healthy enough to save, there wasn't really another good spot in the yard to plant a vine, and we're redoing the yard over the next couple years so we probably would have just had to move it again.

Have any of you guys been working outside lately? Seen any good movie memes? :)