The project is nearly complete. I've had to purchase wrist supports, knee pads and a back brace, but by golly, I'm still standing.

The overgrown bank next to the road, with saplings, bushes and trees, needed to be cleared once and for all. Making it my project, before mowing season started, I was determined to get it cleared and planted with an aggressive, yet pretty ground covering by the first of April. I missed the mark, by several weeks, but have successfully cleared three fourths of the growth and we've planted our plant of choice.

Having said initially it couldn't be done, he was impressed at what I'd accomplished. He did look a bit scared when I walked in with dirt from head to toe and multiple body support wraps from the neck down. My body decided to quit cooperating after the third day so I did like anyone else over the hill would do and strapped everything down so movement would be at a minimum. I may have looked like a mummy, but I got the job done.

It was up to him to figure out what we were going to plant. It had to be something that would grow without needing to be watered, native to our area, and wild. After much research and consultation with the folks at the Missouri Conservation Department we chose what some folks consider to be the most obnoxious plant on earth as it will take over and consume in a short amount of time. I said perfect, let's get it in the ground. I don't ever plan on doing this project again so if it will cover everything in its path, I don't care it will take over the bank.

While clearing the yard debris, it was really sad to see how much littering is done by people passing by in their cars. I haven't paid a lot of attention to this "ditch" in front of the property, probably because it was overgrown, so I ignored it.

We live on a bend so apparently it's a natural reflex for their arms to flop out the window and dispose of trash that should never have left the car. It's not that hard to keep trash where it belongs when there are trash cans in front of every retail store as well as in everyone's homes. From beer bottles to diapers, it's a constant battle. The weekends are especially trashy, as the country back roads must be the place of choice to throw a party, literally, from the confines of a vehicle.

Now that I've discovered so much trash in the ditch, I've become obsessed with not only our bend in the road, but the entire path to the main highway. It's like spring cleaning the house only to notice how much more needs to be cleaned.

These litterbugs better hope I never find anything with their name on it as I might momentarily become just as trashy as they are.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at