Thursday, September 03, 2009

New Job

Now that I am staying at home full time, I am trying to take over some of the chores around the house that have been traditionally been Scott's responsibility. That way when he's home he can spend time with the babies instead of doing chores.

The latest task has been tackling the lawn. When I first tried to mow the lawn I thought, how hard can it be? Its just like vacuuming the carpet, right? Um.... no! Not so much.

The weather has only been in the seventies, so this morning I put the babies down for their morning nap and set out to mow the back yard. I put the baby monitor on the patio table and pushed the mower out back.

My biggest concern was that I would never get the mower started. So, I nervously pulled on the cord over and over again. Nothing happened. Darn, I just knew this would be the demise of my big plan! But no! I had the thought that maybe the little bar thingy that you have to hold up needs to be pulled WHILE I yank the cord. YES!

So off I go on my lawn-mowing adventure. At first I was pushing up the little hill in our back yard and going along the perimeter. All things were going great, until I got closer to the front fence. This is the area that receives the most water when it rains, and so the grass was much longer and thicker than the rest of the yard.

My mower coughed, sputtered, spit, and then stopped. Darn. I pulled the mower over to its side and saw that the wet grass clippings had accumulated between the mower and the blade. I pulled the clippings out, and tried starting it again. SUCCESS!

Well, then I got another ten feet, and started the entire process again. And again. And again.

Finally I figured out that if I pushed the top of the lawn mower so that the front end popped up, the blade wouldn't go so deep into the grass, and it wouldn't stop itself. So I mowed this portion of the lawn with the end popped up, which mowed the tallest, thickest parts. Then I went back over it with the mower down. Probably not what the Craftsman Owner's Manuel suggests, but meh. I've never been one much for owner's manuals.

I went back and forth, around and around until it looked like the entire lawn had been successfully mowed. Then I went around the yard looking for the places that I'd missed. I'm sure that my way of looking for "tall spots" was similar to the way a hair stylest looks for stray long hairs that escaped the scissors. Let's just say that Wriggly Field won't be calling any time soon in need of my services.

Finally, while I was going through the last patch in the middle of the lawn, something awful happened. I was pulling up on the lever to keep the mower running (I was afraid I wouldn't get it started again if I turned it off!) I was checking the monitor to see if the babies were awake. But while I was stopped, I was standing in a fire ant hill. Yep. Bites all over my ankles. I'd never heard of fire ants until I moved here. But they are awful. And the reason why they are called fire ants has nothing to do with their color, and everything to do with the way they hurt. I now have seventeen little bites all over my right ankle. These bites will end up with a little puss thing on it (like a zit!) and will hurt for a day or so. Ugh!

But hey! I finished! And all before the babies woke up. Thank goodness I inherited my dad's stubborness!


Sam said...

I think I've attempted mowing the lawn once in my entire life, and it didn't go too well! One of the lovely things about having older children now is that they are both old enough to help Tom significantly with the yard work =)

And you are completely correct - fire ants are the worst! We used to have a huge hill of them right by our mailbox. The sting was even worse than a mailbox full of bills!

Colette said...

I think women should share their "first time to mow the lawn" stories when they get together instead of their labor stories -- much funnier! Been there, done that -- without the ants!

Grandma Mary said...

Used to have a gardener for this type of work..since Paul was working on the coast and not able to mow every week. Finally, economics being what they are now, I gave up Felipe and Paul introduced me to Mr. Lawnmower. ML and I get along pretty well unless the grass is too thick..I too discovered that lifting the front end thru the thick grass does work! I'm not allowed to edge though. Can't edge a straight line. I have been quite creative in the past though. Nope, edging is off limits! Filled the mower with gas yet? That's fun...Just remember to hold the bar, and pull the cord..mine has to also adjust the throttle and the other throttle looking thing so the mower stays going. Then I have to pull up on the bottom handle to make ML go..and it can get pretty hot here in Fresno..
Soon you'll be making checkerboard patterns on the lawn just like Wrigley Field!!
You go girl!!