Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: Knitterly on April 11, 2013, 07:58:16 AM

Title: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Knitterly on April 11, 2013, 07:58:16 AM
I sometimes worry about being the "weird neighbour".  After all, I am perfectly aware that I have more than a few oddities about me.  Just last night, I pulled over the car on the side of the road to hop out and grab a twig off the sidewalk (in the pouring rain!!).  I'd spotted it and it was the perfect size and shape for whittling.  (Yet another hobby.)

I want to do something, but worry it may be flat out weird.

I live in a neighbourhood with LOTS of trees.  There are 3 halves of the neighbourhood.  My section is the newest.  Directly next to my section, starting about 10 houses down, is a *very* established section that was built between the 50s and the 70s.  Beside that is a quasi-newish section that was built between the late 80s and early 90s.  As the neighbourhood has been built up, every house was given a tree, starting in the 50s.  They are maples and oaks.  The 50s-70s houses now have these huge and beautiful oaks and maples in the front yards.  So every spring, many houses have bundles of branches for "yard waste pickup".

How weird would it be to collect some of these branches?  I don't want to mess up people's tied up bundles (city won't collect a bundle that isn't properly tied up). 
Would it be very strange to go around on a Saturday afternoon and knock people's doors with very large trees (with obvious falled branches) and ask to collect some from their yard (I'd explain why I'd want the wood).  Or do you think it would be better to find a park with lots of big trees and try stalk the park for fallen branches or keep an eye out for city workers cutting down stray branches.

The thing is, any old twig won't do.  It should be a nice wood that is good for carving and isn't too flexible when dry.  Maple and Oak are ideal for natural wood carving, as they cure easily in a home oven and look so lovely when finished.

I would appreciate thoughts and direction from other ehellions, crafters and non-crafters alike.

edited to let newcomers to the conversation know that I've decided to limit my interactions to those neighbours who are already outside doing yardwork on a sunny day, but would still appreciate input on the overall etiquette of approaching people in your neighbourhood.  :)
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Margo on April 11, 2013, 08:03:49 AM
I don't think knocking and asking would be rude, provided of course that you politely accept whatever the answer is.

In terms of how 'weird' it might be, it wouldn't seem weird to me, but it might seem less odd if rather than knocking on doors, you ask if you happen to see someone working in their garden, as it might come over as less 'pushy' if you are stating a covnersation when someone is actually working on the trees.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Redwing on April 11, 2013, 08:41:01 AM
Too bad you don't live near me, Knitterly.  I have at least four 100 year old maple trees throwing their twigs, branches, etc. into my yard all the time.  My husband would be thrilled if you came and asked for the wood.  In my town, you pay for waste management to pick up your yard waste, except in April and October.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: WillyNilly on April 11, 2013, 08:41:17 AM
If I were your neighbor, yeah Id think you were weird. But not in an objectionable way and I wouldn't mind at all.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 11, 2013, 08:49:22 AM
If I were your neighbor, yeah Id think you were weird. But not in an objectionable way and I wouldn't mind at all.

I agree.  But I'm also the weird neighbour.   ;D  I'm turning my front 'lawn' into all gardens and I have a huge veggie garden in the back yard, with mulch down instead of grass.  My grass was mostly weeds and with the cosmetic use pesticide ban, it was going to take a lot more work to keep a lawn in good shape than it is going to take to maintain the gardens once I have them in.

I have an oak in my back yard.  If you are ever up my way, drop by and see what you can find.  And since the dang thing could always use a trim, I'd even cut a branch off for you.   :)  (I'm an hour north of TO.)
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: sparksals on April 11, 2013, 08:57:28 AM
I would think it strange.  I think it is better to go to  a public park rather than door to door.   If I saw you going door to door I would think you are selling something and not answer.   
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: bloo on April 11, 2013, 09:06:51 AM
If I were your neighbor, yeah Id think you were weird. But not in an objectionable way and I wouldn't mind at all.

Yeah me too! I'd think you were weird in a cute, charming and eccentric way and then offer you some coffee and ask about your whittling! :) But I approach strangers all the time and start conversations when it strikes my fancy - a trait shared by my son and that embarrasses my DH and DD...so I'm one of the weird ones too (strange combination of introverted and extroverted I guess).

Happy whittling!
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: *new*mommyagain36 on April 11, 2013, 09:25:42 AM
Doesn't seem weird to me and I think this is a situation where it can't hurt to ask.

As an aside, my parents neighbor is from Thailand and one day she saw my Dad outside cleaning fish.  She asked him for the heads.  Turns out she fertilizes her (very awesome) garden with them.  Dad said at first he was a little shocked by the request but after a very pleasant conversation he did give her the heads and then started saving all future heads and giving them to her.  I can remember carting fish heads to her in a little plastic bucket as a kid.
In return we got lots of fresh veggies and spring rolls.  Yum!
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Surianne on April 11, 2013, 09:34:01 AM
I don't think knocking and asking would be rude, provided of course that you politely accept whatever the answer is.

In terms of how 'weird' it might be, it wouldn't seem weird to me, but it might seem less odd if rather than knocking on doors, you ask if you happen to see someone working in their garden, as it might come over as less 'pushy' if you are stating a covnersation when someone is actually working on the trees.

I think asking when you come across people outside is a great idea.  It wouldn't bother me if you knocked on my door to ask, but if there are neighbours you don't know well yet, I'd worry about disturbing a baby or meal or someone in the shower or something similar. 

Whittling is very cool, I'd love to see some of your pieces -- do you have any photos up in the crafting section at all?
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Lynnv on April 11, 2013, 09:36:45 AM
If I were your neighbor, yeah Id think you were weird. But not in an objectionable way and I wouldn't mind at all.

I agree.  There isn't anything wrong about being a little weird.  And what you would be asking me isn't annoying, rude or creepy, so I would be fine with it.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Knitterly on April 11, 2013, 09:55:35 AM
I don't think knocking and asking would be rude, provided of course that you politely accept whatever the answer is.

In terms of how 'weird' it might be, it wouldn't seem weird to me, but it might seem less odd if rather than knocking on doors, you ask if you happen to see someone working in their garden, as it might come over as less 'pushy' if you are stating a covnersation when someone is actually working on the trees.

I think asking when you come across people outside is a great idea.  It wouldn't bother me if you knocked on my door to ask, but if there are neighbours you don't know well yet, I'd worry about disturbing a baby or meal or someone in the shower or something similar. 

Whittling is very cool, I'd love to see some of your pieces -- do you have any photos up in the crafting section at all?

Only one so far.  :)

I will try keep it to the weekends and look for people actively working in their gardens to avoid disturbing people who may not want to be disturbed.

Glad to know it's not completely weird to ask neighbours for what is essentially their garbage.  ;D
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Poppea on April 11, 2013, 09:58:20 AM
I wouldn't mind but I would think it was a bit weird
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: magicdomino on April 11, 2013, 10:05:50 AM
If I were your neighbor, yeah Id think you were weird. But not in an objectionable way and I wouldn't mind at all.

Same here.  Shame you aren't in my area, though.  I had a 50 year old plum tree cut down.  The branches ended up in a chipper, but I keep thinking that the wood is too pretty to burn in the fireplace.  The bigger logs and the stump may end up on Craigslist for any wood carvers.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Knitterly on April 11, 2013, 10:14:48 AM
If I were your neighbor, yeah Id think you were weird. But not in an objectionable way and I wouldn't mind at all.

Same here.  Shame you aren't in my area, though.  I had a 50 year old plum tree cut down.  The branches ended up in a chipper, but I keep thinking that the wood is too pretty to burn in the fireplace.  The bigger logs and the stump may end up on Craigslist for any wood carvers.

Oh, yes it is a shame!  Plum wood is stunning!!!
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Barney girl on April 11, 2013, 10:36:46 AM
I sometimes worry about being the "weird neighbour".  After all, I am perfectly aware that I have more than a few oddities about me.  Just last night, I pulled over the car on the side of the road to hop out and grab a twig off the sidewalk (in the pouring rain!!).  I'd spotted it and it was the perfect size and shape for whittling.  (Yet another hobby.)

I want to do something, but worry it may be flat out weird.

I live in a neighbourhood with LOTS of trees.  There are 3 halves of the neighbourhood.  My section is the newest.  Directly next to my section, starting about 10 houses down, is a *very* established section that was built between the 50s and the 70s.  Beside that is a quasi-newish section that was built between the late 80s and early 90s.  As the neighbourhood has been built up, every house was given a tree, starting in the 50s.  They are maples and oaks.  The 50s-70s houses now have these huge and beautiful oaks and maples in the front yards.  So every spring, many houses have bundles of branches for "yard waste pickup".

How weird would it be to collect some of these branches?  I don't want to mess up people's tied up bundles (city won't collect a bundle that isn't properly tied up). 
Would it be very strange to go around on a Saturday afternoon and knock people's doors with very large trees (with obvious falled branches) and ask to collect some from their yard (I'd explain why I'd want the wood).  Or do you think it would be better to find a park with lots of big trees and try stalk the park for fallen branches or keep an eye out for city workers cutting down stray branches.

The thing is, any old twig won't do.  It should be a nice wood that is good for carving and isn't too flexible when dry.  Maple and Oak are ideal for natural wood carving, as they cure easily in a home oven and look so lovely when finished.

I would appreciate thoughts and direction from other ehellions, crafters and non-crafters alike.

No comment on your question, but the bolded reminds me of my aunt who described her parents as living in a three sided square. I know exactly what you mean even if the maths doesn't work.  :)
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: alkira6 on April 11, 2013, 10:40:49 AM
Fellow "weird" neighbor here, so no I wouldn't find this a problem. I would wait until the weekend or when I see someone already in the yard.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Eden on April 11, 2013, 10:45:26 AM
If I'm being honest, I'd find the request weird, but not rude. And I would have no problem with you taking sticks out of my front yard. Not my backyard, though (fenced, dogs, etc).
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Arrynne on April 11, 2013, 10:51:26 AM
You're asking politely and are willing to accept no for an answer.  Not rude or weird.  I personally would think that was pretty nifty and might ask you some questions about your hobby.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: lowspark on April 11, 2013, 10:55:19 AM
I don't think it's all that weird and it wouldn't bother me in the least if you knocked on my door. I'd probably be happy to meet a neighbor and unless I was in the middle of something I'd at least attempt some pleasant "get to know you" conversation. I wish I was on a friendly basis with more of my neighbors but since I'm at work all day and holed up in the house in the evenings decompressing, I only know the people on my immediate short block. I say go for it!
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: SiotehCat on April 11, 2013, 11:03:58 AM
Knitterly, aren't you the poster that has two no soliciting signs on the door?

I just found the thread and it looks like I am correct. The signs are very clear that you do not like being disturbed when you are home. I think you should extend that same courtesy to your neighbors.

I vote for going to a local park. I wouldn't want to be disturbed either.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: EllenS on April 11, 2013, 11:27:58 AM
I concur with those who recommend approaching neighbors who are already out in the yard.  I have this sort of conversation with neighbors all the time - I actually pulled over yesterday and asked my neighbor where he'd gotten his load of compost delivered from.  But I would not have knocked on the door to do it.

I did once knock on a neighbor's door to ask what type of pear tree he had in his yard.  As in, "Hi, I'm your neighbor from around the corner, and I was wondering what variety of pear your beautiful tree is.  Thank you, have a nice day."  But of course, if he had not answered or did not want to talk, I would have left immediately.  However, being a proud gardener he wanted to tell me all about the history of the tree, and we had a lovely talk.   If it had been anything where I was asking him to give me something, or do something for me (like look up a phone number, etc), I probably would not have knocked but just waited till I saw him out.

I don't think knocking is, per se, rude - that's what doors are for. I have cultivated a habit of walking in the neighborhood, so I can combine my exercise with getting to know my neighbors.   I think a lot of this may depend on the personality/culture of your neighborhood.  Ours has a lot of walkers/dog walkers/kids playing in the yard/gardeners/DIY types, so people are always out and about and talking to each other.  I have also lived in neighborhoods where you never see a human resident, only cars, and all the yard work is done by a service.  I would not ask or approach anyone in a neighborhood like that. (That's part of why we moved!)
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: BeagleMommy on April 11, 2013, 11:37:40 AM
I love the weird neighbors!  The man who lives across the street from me makes his own wine and has a pet skunk!  His wine is terrible, but the skunk is precious.

I don't see a problem with knocking on a neighbor's door to ask "May I take some of your wood trimmings for a whittling project?".  If they think you're weird, so be it.  Let your freak flag fly!  ;D
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Knitterly on April 11, 2013, 11:37:57 AM
Knitterly, aren't you the poster that has two no soliciting signs on the door?

I just found the thread and it looks like I am correct. The signs are very clear that you do not like being disturbed when you are home. I think you should extend that same courtesy to your neighbors.

I vote for going to a local park. I wouldn't want to be disturbed either.

Yes.

I'm okay with my neighbours knocking my door.  Not at all cool with salesfolks doing it.
That's why there's the addendum about "girl guide cookies are always welcome".

My neighbour across the road (whom I really don't know that well) popped over with a piece of misdelivered mail and just about wet herself laughing at the sign (seriously, the solicitation in the neighbourhood is off the charts crazy).

I will stick to talking to folks who are already out doing yardwork, though.  You do make a good point about not disturbing folks.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Knitterly on April 11, 2013, 11:43:11 AM
I love the weird neighbors!  The man who lives across the street from me makes his own wine and has a pet skunk!  His wine is terrible, but the skunk is precious.

I don't see a problem with knocking on a neighbor's door to ask "May I take some of your wood trimmings for a whittling project?".  If they think you're weird, so be it.  Let your freak flag fly!  ;D

A few summers ago, two kids down the road were absolutely, positively convinced that I was a genuine, bonafide witch.  I think they took this impression from the long broomstick skirts I wear, the big floppy straw hats that are usually on my head all summer, and the fact that I was sitting on my front porch carding wool (I didn't have a porch or patio in the backyard yet).
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Jobiska on April 11, 2013, 11:45:45 AM
If it's weird, it's in a good way. Now normally I don't approve of people assuming a crafter is willing to give away all their work, or sell it for cheap, but if someone does give you wood and inquires about the results, depending upon the situation (how much they gave you, how long the work took) you might want to consider giving them a little creation.

With regard to parks--that land is "public property" in a way, but that doesn't mean the stuff on it is free for all.  There's a reason many natural sites have signs "take only photographs, leave only footprints."  If you feel you need to ask homeowners for their branches, wouldn't it be right to extend the same courtesy to the park owners, e.g. the municipality?  They might need the chipped wood for mulching or something! 
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: TootsNYC on April 11, 2013, 11:46:58 AM
Knitterly, aren't you the poster that has two no soliciting signs on the door?

I just found the thread and it looks like I am correct. The signs are very clear that you do not like being disturbed when you are home. I think you should extend that same courtesy to your neighbors.

I vote for going to a local park. I wouldn't want to be disturbed either.

Yes.

I'm okay with my neighbours knocking my door.  Not at all cool with salesfolks doing it.
That's why there's the addendum about "girl guide cookies are always welcome".

My neighbour across the road (whom I really don't know that well) popped over with a piece of misdelivered mail and just about wet herself laughing at the sign (seriously, the solicitation in the neighbourhood is off the charts crazy).

I will stick to talking to folks who are already out doing yardwork, though.  You do make a good point about not disturbing folks.

I see a big difference between solicitors and a neighbor asking if they can pick up twigs, branches, or leaves (for science projects) from your door. Or a neighbor asking you to sign a neighborhood petition, even.

It's not about "not being disturbed"; it's about "not being approached by salespeople."

Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: LadyDyani on April 11, 2013, 12:38:20 PM
If it's weird, it's in a good way. Now normally I don't approve of people assuming a crafter is willing to give away all their work, or sell it for cheap, but if someone does give you wood and inquires about the results, depending upon the situation (how much they gave you, how long the work took) you might want to consider giving them a little creation.

With regard to parks--that land is "public property" in a way, but that doesn't mean the stuff on it is free for all.  There's a reason many natural sites have signs "take only photographs, leave only footprints."  If you feel you need to ask homeowners for their branches, wouldn't it be right to extend the same courtesy to the park owners, e.g. the municipality?  They might need the chipped wood for mulching or something!

Own it.  I'm proud to be the weird neighbor.  I used to put the speakers in the window and dance in the yard with DD and DS.  Sadly, they're too big for this to be cool anymore (7th and 9th grade), so I dance with my niece and nephew!
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: SiotehCat on April 11, 2013, 12:45:29 PM
Knitterly, aren't you the poster that has two no soliciting signs on the door?

I just found the thread and it looks like I am correct. The signs are very clear that you do not like being disturbed when you are home. I think you should extend that same courtesy to your neighbors.

I vote for going to a local park. I wouldn't want to be disturbed either.

Yes.

I'm okay with my neighbours knocking my door.  Not at all cool with salesfolks doing it.
That's why there's the addendum about "girl guide cookies are always welcome".

My neighbour across the road (whom I really don't know that well) popped over with a piece of misdelivered mail and just about wet herself laughing at the sign (seriously, the solicitation in the neighbourhood is off the charts crazy).

I will stick to talking to folks who are already out doing yardwork, though.  You do make a good point about not disturbing folks.

I see a big difference between solicitors and a neighbor asking if they can pick up twigs, branches, or leaves (for science projects) from your door. Or a neighbor asking you to sign a neighborhood petition, even.

It's not about "not being disturbed"; it's about "not being approached by salespeople."

One of her two signs absolutely does read as a "do not disturb" sign. I copied it below. I am on my phone, so quoting was difficult.

I think if one does not want to be disturbed, they shouldn't disturb others.

The new one reads: "Baby sleeping!  If you don't have a LEGITIMATE reason to be here, please go away.  Otherwise, please KNOCK!  Don't ring the bell.  Thank you."
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: snowdragon on April 11, 2013, 12:59:11 PM
I would not be pleased to have you pop over and knock on my door and would refuse your "request" ( I have a no trespass sign on the front lawn) .  My next door neighbor however would love to see you and would talk your ear off and a third - well you're a braver soul than I if you brave the geese in his fenced yard.

My point is everyone is going to feel differently, and as long as you take no for an answer, respect no trespassing signs and fences and don't interfere with animals - you should be ok
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: magicdomino on April 11, 2013, 01:47:22 PM

With regard to parks--that land is "public property" in a way, but that doesn't mean the stuff on it is free for all.  There's a reason many natural sites have signs "take only photographs, leave only footprints."  If you feel you need to ask homeowners for their branches, wouldn't it be right to extend the same courtesy to the park owners, e.g. the municipality?  They might need the chipped wood for mulching or something!

Fallen wood in national parks and forests is definitly not free for all.  While they may tolerate campers using fallen wood for firewood (I don't know the details of the rules.), you are not allowed to take so much as a cutting off of a shrub out.  Fallen wood is an important part of the ecosystem; even if Knitterly took only one or two small pieces, the next person may take an armful, and the next load up a pick-up truck.  There is also the risk of invasive pests like the emerald ash borer being transported to new areas to devestate.

I suspect municipal parks are more concerned with liability than ecosystems, but similar rules probably apply.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Eden on April 11, 2013, 02:16:16 PM
I should clarify that I'm all for weird neighbors. Finding something odd or weird isn't necessarily a negative in my book. On the contrary, I would be fascinated about learning someone's unique proclivities.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 11, 2013, 02:18:33 PM
^^ If it is a fallen branch off a tree in your little neighbourhood park, I don't think any one would care if you took that branch home.  But the spread of invasive species is a good point; if you go camping a fair distance from home, you shouldn't bring branches home from there.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: hobish on April 11, 2013, 02:46:51 PM
I live in a small neighborhood of houses on a dead end road. People are especially friendly, without being nosy. In normal circumstances I think most people might think it is a little odd, but would be happy to give you some wood and talk about whittling … unless they knew you were the lady with the sign on her door telling people to go away. That’s a bit much. There’s a lady on the block with one of those “No Dogs” signs on her lawn, which honestly I think is cute; but I’d be a little confused if she came trotting up in my yard with her dog, KWIM? 

Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Knitterly on April 11, 2013, 03:06:21 PM
Knitterly, aren't you the poster that has two no soliciting signs on the door?

I just found the thread and it looks like I am correct. The signs are very clear that you do not like being disturbed when you are home. I think you should extend that same courtesy to your neighbors.

I vote for going to a local park. I wouldn't want to be disturbed either.

Yes.

I'm okay with my neighbours knocking my door.  Not at all cool with salesfolks doing it.
That's why there's the addendum about "girl guide cookies are always welcome".

My neighbour across the road (whom I really don't know that well) popped over with a piece of misdelivered mail and just about wet herself laughing at the sign (seriously, the solicitation in the neighbourhood is off the charts crazy).

I will stick to talking to folks who are already out doing yardwork, though.  You do make a good point about not disturbing folks.

I see a big difference between solicitors and a neighbor asking if they can pick up twigs, branches, or leaves (for science projects) from your door. Or a neighbor asking you to sign a neighborhood petition, even.

It's not about "not being disturbed"; it's about "not being approached by salespeople."

One of her two signs absolutely does read as a "do not disturb" sign. I copied it below. I am on my phone, so quoting was difficult.

I think if one does not want to be disturbed, they shouldn't disturb others.

The new one reads: "Baby sleeping!  If you don't have a LEGITIMATE reason to be here, please go away.  Otherwise, please KNOCK!  Don't ring the bell.  Thank you."

I should note - that sign is only up when LK is sleeping and only because every other "please don't ring the bell" sign failed to deter anyone from ever ringing the bell.
It's been replaced with a "doorbell broken" sign anyway, as the bell has been disconnected.

If someone had a "no trespassing" sign or a "no soliciting" sign, I would actually walk away and not bother them.

In any case, it's been fairly well established that the best course of action would be to just wait and talk to people in their yards.

We live a very family oriented neighbourhood and there are always people out and about.  I think that if I went for a walk on a sunny Saturday morning, odds would be good that I'd find someone outside clearing their yard of twigs and debris.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: that_one_girl on April 11, 2013, 04:06:51 PM
I would love to have a neighbor come over and remove branches from my yard!
Even if I had a 'No Soliciting' sign up, I wouldn't mind you coming over to ask for a mutually beneficial favor.   I think the 'No Soliciting' applies to people asking you to buy something or asking for a monetary donation!
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Lady Godiva on April 11, 2013, 04:21:21 PM
I'd find your request interesting, not weird. Most people that I know (and I) would be glad to let you take their discarded branches for carving, and would be interested to learn about your craft and your creations. I'd take it as a compliment to my trees that you find the discarded wood useful and that it can be made into something beautiful. And if I had to have one of my beloved old maples cut down, I might ask if you'd accept a commission to carve something out of the wood so I could remember it.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 11, 2013, 04:23:42 PM
I actually wouldn't find it odd at all.

We used to have a large pecan tree in our front yard (pah-kahn... none of that pee-can stuff in our yard) and anytime a large limb would fall any neighbor who smoked meat would be asking for it.

My DH used to also do Texas flags out of old fence posts and donate to schools/charities to acution off (they'd  fetch $250 to $600 for something made out of a old boards and a little paint). So anytime he found a person with a fence coming down that had the 5" wide boards he'd stop and ask for some of the boards. No one ever seemed annoyed, but happy that their trash was going for a good cause.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Memphis1986 on April 11, 2013, 04:30:37 PM
You could have as many branches as you want if you'd give whittling lessons! I've been married to a Welshman for 3 years and the closest I've got to a love spoon is a wooden kitchen spoon with marker pen on it!! :P
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Thipu1 on April 11, 2013, 04:37:29 PM
I'd probably love to have a neighbor like you. 

A while ago I considered writing a 'Harry Potter' story about a family that had magical talent but did not attend Hogwarts or any other school of magic.

 One of the children was a boy with a good eye for wood.  He would walk through the forest behind the family farm to gather twigs and small branches that he would then sell to Mr. Olivander when the family made its semi-annual trip to Diagonal Alley.

We have plenty of beautiful trees in the neighborhood.  It's a pity we can't meet you and talk about your hobby. Whittling can produce very beautiful things. 
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Curious Cat on April 11, 2013, 05:16:03 PM
Knitterly, aren't you the poster that has two no soliciting signs on the door?

I just found the thread and it looks like I am correct. The signs are very clear that you do not like being disturbed when you are home. I think you should extend that same courtesy to your neighbors.

I vote for going to a local park. I wouldn't want to be disturbed either.

Yes.

I'm okay with my neighbours knocking my door.  Not at all cool with salesfolks doing it.
That's why there's the addendum about "girl guide cookies are always welcome".

My neighbour across the road (whom I really don't know that well) popped over with a piece of misdelivered mail and just about wet herself laughing at the sign (seriously, the solicitation in the neighbourhood is off the charts crazy).

I will stick to talking to folks who are already out doing yardwork, though.  You do make a good point about not disturbing folks.

I see a big difference between solicitors and a neighbor asking if they can pick up twigs, branches, or leaves (for science projects) from your door. Or a neighbor asking you to sign a neighborhood petition, even.

It's not about "not being disturbed"; it's about "not being approached by salespeople."

One of her two signs absolutely does read as a "do not disturb" sign. I copied it below. I am on my phone, so quoting was difficult.

I think if one does not want to be disturbed, they shouldn't disturb others.

The new one reads: "Baby sleeping!  If you don't have a LEGITIMATE reason to be here, please go away.  Otherwise, please KNOCK!  Don't ring the bell.  Thank you."

I'm not sure what one has to do with the other? I'm sure the OP wouldn't be disregarding any "please don't knock" signs and it seems meanspirited to suggest that she would, or that because she has certain times she needs silence that she isn't allowed to interact with her neighbors. 

OP I think you would be perfectly fine and I can't think of anyone I know who wouldn't prefer to have "something" done with nice wood rather than see it trashed.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: hobish on April 11, 2013, 05:47:16 PM
It is not mean spirited to suggest that if someone has a Don't Do This sign on their property it would be a little odd for them to do it on other people's. I mean, the sign says "If you don't have a LEGITIMATE reason to be here, please go away." Who is to say knocking on doors asking for debris is legitimate business? The homeowner, obviously; but it isn't mean spirited to suggest other home owners may feel the way Knitterly does. She wants people to go away ... maybe they do, too.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: jpcher on April 11, 2013, 06:28:52 PM
However, Knitterly already stated that she would respect any signs on doors and not knock . . . along with saying that she won't knock, sign or not, but will seek out neighbors that are outside.

I think this is a perfect approach.

I don't know that I would find it neither weird nor intrusive if a neighbor knocked on my door with OPs question, but I think the more peaceful solution is to approach the neighbors while they are out in the open.

(or leave an introduction note on their door along with an explanation as to why you want that particularly tasty branch that's laying next to their tree. ;) )
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: cross_patch on April 11, 2013, 06:42:22 PM
I would not be pleased to have you pop over and knock on my door and would refuse your "request" ( I have a no trespass sign on the front lawn) .  My next door neighbor however would love to see you and would talk your ear off and a third - well you're a braver soul than I if you brave the geese in his fenced yard.

My point is everyone is going to feel differently, and as long as you take no for an answer, respect no trespassing signs and fences and don't interfere with animals - you should be ok

Why would this make you not pleased? I don't understand, and I'm just curious. Would it be the principle of asking for the branch, or that you want to keep the branches? I think I'm confused because I understood it to be a genuine request on knitterly's part, but the way you have put request in inverted commas implies that it's not. But you can't read tone over the Internet so I wanted to check!
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Onyx_TKD on April 11, 2013, 07:09:53 PM
I would not be pleased to have you pop over and knock on my door and would refuse your "request" ( I have a no trespass sign on the front lawn) .  My next door neighbor however would love to see you and would talk your ear off and a third - well you're a braver soul than I if you brave the geese in his fenced yard.

My point is everyone is going to feel differently, and as long as you take no for an answer, respect no trespassing signs and fences and don't interfere with animals - you should be ok

Why would this make you not pleased? I don't understand, and I'm just curious. Would it be the principle of asking for the branch, or that you want to keep the branches? I think I'm confused because I understood it to be a genuine request on knitterly's part, but the way you have put request in inverted commas implies that it's not. But you can't read tone over the Internet so I wanted to check!

I got the impression that snowdragon's point about being "not pleased" was related more to the act of knocking on the door at a house with a "No trespassing" sign than to the request itself. She has clearly indicated that she doesn't want people coming on her property by posting a "No trespassing" sign. Therefore, it makes sense that she would be annoyed if someone ignored the sign to knock on her door anyway, especially if their request/reason for knocking was purely for their benefit rather than hers. I.e., there's nothing inherently wrong with making the request, but it's wrong to ignore a home-owner's signals that uninvited door-knockers are not welcome.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Knitterly on April 11, 2013, 07:14:45 PM
It is not mean spirited to suggest that if someone has a Don't Do This sign on their property it would be a little odd for them to do it on other people's. I mean, the sign says "If you don't have a LEGITIMATE reason to be here, please go away." Who is to say knocking on doors asking for debris is legitimate business? The homeowner, obviously; but it isn't mean spirited to suggest other home owners may feel the way Knitterly does. She wants people to go away ... maybe they do, too.

I want sales people to not ring my doorbell when my baby is sleeping because it interrutps her naps and frequently means she won't go back down.

I hope I can make a few things really clear:
1) If I don't have my "don't ring the bell" sign up, the bell is fair game (to all but solicitors - especially that same lawn care company who keeps harassing the entire neighbourhood).
2) You can't read the sign from the door.
3) If someone had a sign on their lawn or door or anything, I would not bother them.  Period.  I would respect their privacy.
4) I am not the neighbourhood grouch.  I am also not the only person in the neighbourhood who is flat out annoyed by the sheer quantity of scammy salespeople we get flocking through here.

I really don't see my request to please not ring my bell because the baby is sleeping as conveying that I never want to meet my neighbours.  It's not a "do not disturb" sign.  It's an "I don't want to buy your junk" and a "please for the love of deity don't wake up my sleeping kid" sign.  I would not find it at all strange if a neighbour with a sign stating that they didn't want to be disturbed because their baby is sleeping came up and knocked on my door during a non-nap hour.  I wouldn't find it strange at all.  But then, I might, myself, be a little strange.  The jury's still out on that.   ;)

(quote tree trim)
I got the impression that snowdragon's point about being "not pleased" was related more to the act of knocking on the door at a house with a "No trespassing" sign than to the request itself. She has clearly indicated that she doesn't want people coming on her property by posting a "No trespassing" sign. Therefore, it makes sense that she would be annoyed if someone ignored the sign to knock on her door anyway, especially if their request/reason for knocking was purely for their benefit rather than hers. I.e., there's nothing inherently wrong with making the request, but it's wrong to ignore a home-owner's signals that uninvited door-knockers are not welcome.
I got the same impression.  And I wholeheartedly agree that one should not knock where one is clearly not welcome.

And if snowdragon lived in my neighbourhood and I saw her no-trespassing sign, I would certainly not trespass, no matter how temptingly the tree branches might lay on her yard.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: snowdragon on April 11, 2013, 07:25:24 PM
I would not be pleased to have you pop over and knock on my door and would refuse your "request" ( I have a no trespass sign on the front lawn) .  My next door neighbor however would love to see you and would talk your ear off and a third - well you're a braver soul than I if you brave the geese in his fenced yard.

My point is everyone is going to feel differently, and as long as you take no for an answer, respect no trespassing signs and fences and don't interfere with animals - you should be ok

Why would this make you not pleased? I don't understand, and I'm just curious. Would it be the principle of asking for the branch, or that you want to keep the branches? I think I'm confused because I understood it to be a genuine request on knitterly's part, but the way you have put request in inverted commas implies that it's not. But you can't read tone over the Internet so I wanted to check!

I got the impression that snowdragon's point about being "not pleased" was related more to the act of knocking on the door at a house with a "No trespassing" sign than to the request itself. She has clearly indicated that she doesn't want people coming on her property by posting a "No trespassing" sign. Therefore, it makes sense that she would be annoyed if someone ignored the sign to knock on her door anyway, especially if their request/reason for knocking was purely for their benefit rather than hers. I.e., there's nothing inherently wrong with making the request, but it's wrong to ignore a home-owner's signals that uninvited door-knockers are not welcome.

   This.  If someone ignores the no trespass sign - anything they ask will get a "No". I do not grant favors for people who have proven by their action ( Ignoring the no trespassing  sign) that they have no regard for anything but what they want. 
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Jaelle on April 11, 2013, 08:18:45 PM
Add me to the list of people who don't think it's weird in the slightest. :) In fact, I think it's really cool.

And I'd love to see some of your work.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Ida on April 11, 2013, 09:57:59 PM
Not even remotely weird, good heavens.

Here, we'd use the neighborhood googlegroup for such a request first. If you anticipate something really yummy in the debris, maybe post a letter to the homeowner/s?

Once word gets out, you might find that people will keep an eye out for what you'd want.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Gyburc on April 12, 2013, 05:21:30 AM
I don't see this as 'weird' - I see it as quirky and interesting.

Then again, we do have an arrangement with one of our neighbours who often buys our duck and goose eggs. He also goes out sea-fishing, and whenever he has a surplus catch he knocks on our door.  And last summer, we had a nice lady come round and ask if she could have some leaves off our raspberry canes to make tea for her pregnant guinea-pig.  ;D
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Thipu1 on April 12, 2013, 09:39:54 AM
Add me to the list of people who don't think it's weird in the slightest. :) In fact, I think it's really cool.

And I'd love to see some of your work.

I'd love to see your work too. Are pictures posted anywhere?

'Weird' neighbors of your sort are the people who make a neighborhood a neighborhood. 
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Knitterly on April 12, 2013, 09:45:56 AM
Add me to the list of people who don't think it's weird in the slightest. :) In fact, I think it's really cool.

And I'd love to see some of your work.

I'd love to see your work too. Are pictures posted anywhere?

'Weird' neighbors of your sort are the people who make a neighborhood a neighborhood.

I posted one in the Craftiness folder.  So far, that's the only one I have.

I'll post more as I do more.  Right now, I'm just working on spinning tools.  But I might try my hand at something more artistic as my skill improves.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: jaxsue on April 12, 2013, 10:09:51 AM
Add me to the list of people who don't think it's weird. I live in a neighborhood like this now, and I am so much happier than when I was living in a huge apt building where the social isolation was horrible (for me, a social person).
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Calistoga on April 12, 2013, 10:44:32 AM
Well. If I had someone come in to my yard...my dog would go nutsy coocoo on them and they'd run away I'm sure. BUT if they made it all the way to the door... I'd be weirded out. I'm rarely home by myself, and because of some bad experiences at a former apartment, having someone come over while I'm alone really bothers me. I wouldn't feel too comfortable giving you run of my yard to get sticks. However, if you saw me outside and asked if you could have my bundled sticks, I'd be more than happy to give them to you and even bring them over if I saw one I thought you'd like. I guess I just don't want anyone in my yard at all...it feels invasive.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: hobish on April 12, 2013, 12:17:18 PM
It is not mean spirited to suggest that if someone has a Don't Do This sign on their property it would be a little odd for them to do it on other people's. I mean, the sign says "If you don't have a LEGITIMATE reason to be here, please go away." Who is to say knocking on doors asking for debris is legitimate business? The homeowner, obviously; but it isn't mean spirited to suggest other home owners may feel the way Knitterly does. She wants people to go away ... maybe they do, too.

I want sales people to not ring my doorbell when my baby is sleeping because it interrutps her naps and frequently means she won't go back down.

I hope I can make a few things really clear:
1) If I don't have my "don't ring the bell" sign up, the bell is fair game (to all but solicitors - especially that same lawn care company who keeps harassing the entire neighbourhood).
2) You can't read the sign from the door.
3) If someone had a sign on their lawn or door or anything, I would not bother them.  Period.  I would respect their privacy.
4) I am not the neighbourhood grouch.  I am also not the only person in the neighbourhood who is flat out annoyed by the sheer quantity of scammy salespeople we get flocking through here.

I really don't see my request to please not ring my bell because the baby is sleeping as conveying that I never want to meet my neighbours.  It's not a "do not disturb" sign.  It's an "I don't want to buy your junk" and a "please for the love of deity don't wake up my sleeping kid" sign.  I would not find it at all strange if a neighbour with a sign stating that they didn't want to be disturbed because their baby is sleeping came up and knocked on my door during a non-nap hour.  I wouldn't find it strange at all.  But then, I might, myself, be a little strange.  The jury's still out on that.   ;)

I think I am being misunderstood here – I really wouldn’t have a problem with it, and I don’t think most of my neighbors would, either. It would just be a head scratcher coming from someone who has a sign on their door that plainly says go away. I wouldn’t expect No Dogs lady to bring her dog wandering into my yard, I wouldn’t expect someone who hung a No Parking sign at their own house to park in front of mine, and I wouldn’t expect the lady with the go away sign to randomly knock on my door looking for neighborliness. None of them would bother me … I’d just be a little “Huh?” about it. There’s nothing mean spirited about it, it just is.
And yes, I understand Your Child Is Sleeping. C’mon now. I also know that "LEGITIMATE" is subjective and "go away" does not convey a whole lot of neighborly love. And that's fine. It's just a little incongruous.

Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Knitterly on April 12, 2013, 02:20:33 PM
It is not mean spirited to suggest that if someone has a Don't Do This sign on their property it would be a little odd for them to do it on other people's. I mean, the sign says "If you don't have a LEGITIMATE reason to be here, please go away." Who is to say knocking on doors asking for debris is legitimate business? The homeowner, obviously; but it isn't mean spirited to suggest other home owners may feel the way Knitterly does. She wants people to go away ... maybe they do, too.

I want sales people to not ring my doorbell when my baby is sleeping because it interrutps her naps and frequently means she won't go back down.

I hope I can make a few things really clear:
1) If I don't have my "don't ring the bell" sign up, the bell is fair game (to all but solicitors - especially that same lawn care company who keeps harassing the entire neighbourhood).
2) You can't read the sign from the door.
3) If someone had a sign on their lawn or door or anything, I would not bother them.  Period.  I would respect their privacy.
4) I am not the neighbourhood grouch.  I am also not the only person in the neighbourhood who is flat out annoyed by the sheer quantity of scammy salespeople we get flocking through here.

I really don't see my request to please not ring my bell because the baby is sleeping as conveying that I never want to meet my neighbours.  It's not a "do not disturb" sign.  It's an "I don't want to buy your junk" and a "please for the love of deity don't wake up my sleeping kid" sign.  I would not find it at all strange if a neighbour with a sign stating that they didn't want to be disturbed because their baby is sleeping came up and knocked on my door during a non-nap hour.  I wouldn't find it strange at all.  But then, I might, myself, be a little strange.  The jury's still out on that.   ;)

I think I am being misunderstood here – I really wouldn’t have a problem with it, and I don’t think most of my neighbors would, either. It would just be a head scratcher coming from someone who has a sign on their door that plainly says go away. I wouldn’t expect No Dogs lady to bring her dog wandering into my yard, I wouldn’t expect someone who hung a No Parking sign at their own house to park in front of mine, and I wouldn’t expect the lady with the go away sign to randomly knock on my door looking for neighborliness. None of them would bother me … I’d just be a little “Huh?” about it. There’s nothing mean spirited about it, it just is.
And yes, I understand Your Child Is Sleeping. C’mon now. I also know that "LEGITIMATE" is subjective and "go away" does not convey a whole lot of neighborly love. And that's fine. It's just a little incongruous.

I think the issue that I (and a few other posters) have with what you're saying is that you seem to be implying that I'm the lady with the "go away" sign, and therefore also have no desire to be neighbourly.  That may not actually be what you are saying, but I have gotten that impression from the way your posts have been phrased.  I just feel like "Baby is sleeping, please go away" isn't the same as "go away".   I'm not sure how I can convey to you that the sign isn't up all the time and that I would also respect any "do not disturb" type signs on anyone else's property.  I just don't think it would be at all out of line for someone with a "baby sleeping" sign to approach neighbours during non-baby-sleeping times. 

I DO agree that it would be awfully hypocritical of someone to have such a sign on their door and then to ignore such signs on other people's doors. 

In any case, LK and I just got home from a nice leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood.  We had a fairly good sized ice storm last night and there were many big downed branches strewn about.  I managed to get a really great bundle of beautiful branches and twigs from the sidewalk and the middle of the road.

A few neighbours were out clearing their driveways.  One lady made a comment about the twigs and I told her what I was doing (collecting twigs for carving).  She told me to help myself to anything I wanted from her driveway and lawn.  She saw it as a service and not an imposition at all.  :)  It was pretty cool.  I was able to get what I wanted without stepping even a toe on anyone's property.  I collected a good bit from the middle of the road, which I personally see as being of benefit to everyone in the neighbourhood.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: hobish on April 12, 2013, 05:00:20 PM
Meh, yeah, i think we're totally miscommunicating; but  :D I am glad you got your stuff. That is really cool. And honestly, i don't think you are wrong or weird or ... ok, maybe weird, but in a "Cool, i wanna be friends with the Go Away Lady"  ;) kind of way.

 :) Now ... we will expect pics.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Bijou on April 13, 2013, 01:32:30 AM
I sometimes worry about being the "weird neighbour".  After all, I am perfectly aware that I have more than a few oddities about me.  Just last night, I pulled over the car on the side of the road to hop out and grab a twig off the sidewalk (in the pouring rain!!).  I'd spotted it and it was the perfect size and shape for whittling.  (Yet another hobby.)

I want to do something, but worry it may be flat out weird.

I live in a neighbourhood with LOTS of trees.  There are 3 halves of the neighbourhood.  My section is the newest.  Directly next to my section, starting about 10 houses down, is a *very* established section that was built between the 50s and the 70s.  Beside that is a quasi-newish section that was built between the late 80s and early 90s.  As the neighbourhood has been built up, every house was given a tree, starting in the 50s.  They are maples and oaks.  The 50s-70s houses now have these huge and beautiful oaks and maples in the front yards.  So every spring, many houses have bundles of branches for "yard waste pickup".

How weird would it be to collect some of these branches?  I don't want to mess up people's tied up bundles (city won't collect a bundle that isn't properly tied up). 
Would it be very strange to go around on a Saturday afternoon and knock people's doors with very large trees (with obvious falled branches) and ask to collect some from their yard (I'd explain why I'd want the wood).  Or do you think it would be better to find a park with lots of big trees and try stalk the park for fallen branches or keep an eye out for city workers cutting down stray branches.

The thing is, any old twig won't do.  It should be a nice wood that is good for carving and isn't too flexible when dry.  Maple and Oak are ideal for natural wood carving, as they cure easily in a home oven and look so lovely when finished.

I would appreciate thoughts and direction from other ehellions, crafters and non-crafters alike.

edited to let newcomers to the conversation know that I've decided to limit my interactions to those neighbours who are already outside doing yardwork on a sunny day, but would still appreciate input on the overall etiquette of approaching people in your neighbourhood.  :)
I would love it if someone asked me if they could have a branch of a tree from my yard!  My sister is a whittler, too.  She says she was born with sap in her veins. 
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: mstigerlily on April 13, 2013, 11:36:00 AM
Please knock on my door- I won't mind. (but will probably ask what you're whittling!). I'd probably tell you to take whatever you want in the future, too. Heck, if you want to chop back the overgrowth on my (tall woody floral bushes) or tree suckers, go for it!

If you dig through my brush pile without asking, even if you don't make a mess, it would probably bug me. This is because we've had people make a problem with collections before. The worst were the people who dug through our dumpster bag, upending everything and forcing us to have to completely repack it before the garbage collectors got there. Believe me, reorganizing garbage in my office clothes and heels really puts me in good mood early in the morning  >:D.
Title: Re: Neighbourly weirdness? (ie, not being the "weird" neighbour)
Post by: Knitterly on April 20, 2013, 11:40:30 PM
Meh, yeah, i think we're totally miscommunicating; but  :D I am glad you got your stuff. That is really cool. And honestly, i don't think you are wrong or weird or ... ok, maybe weird, but in a "Cool, i wanna be friends with the Go Away Lady"  ;) kind of way.

 :) Now ... we will expect pics.

I posted this picture over in the "craftiness" folder (pictures thread), along with a bit more detail on what it is and how I got it to look like this, but here is my most recent finished product, before and after shot: 

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v39/fzmousie/before-after_zps7f33978e.jpg)

This is one of my collected branches, picked up off the sidewalk after the heavy rain from last week.  :)