Friday, July 16, 2010

Got the Back Yard All Tilled ...Now What?

Yesterday was my day off so like the idiot I am waited until 2:00 when the heat was ALMOST unbearable and set out on my trusty boyfriend "Johnny Dear.'

He's the silent type (my favorite quality in a work horse) and didn't even hesitate before turning over his "High Torque 9HP electric start...balanced... overhead valve, cast iron cylinder engine." He sounds 'BUFF' doesn't he?

I started at the front entrance of the subdivision and planned on finishing up in my own yard after cutting my neighbor Mr. "Slow"Lee's yard.

The front was a rough cut. I tend to get braver and braver every time I cut up there. One side is a steep grade and I have figured out that if I start out going straight up the hill I can swing back down and get almost to the top of the hill. This saves me a LOT of weed eating so I tend to try and cut as much as I can on the mower.

Problem is, I am a risk taker.

A couple of times the mower got stuck and almost felt like it was flipping. I would recover and say to myself "Don't try THAT again."

Ten minutes later I would work up the courage to try "One more swath around the hill" and would get that panicky feeling again. I finally decided I would just throw a few bucks Zach's way and let him do the weed eating for me.

I putted back down the street to my house and filled the weed eater with gas and filled the spool. Zach came dragging out of the house like he was headed for the electric chair, picked up the weed eater without saying a word and started walking (as slow as I have ever seen someone walk) to the front of the subdivision . I said to myself "Look at my boy walking the Green Mile."

I decided to cut my own front yard first and had made maybe 3 laps around the yard before Zach made it past my next door husband's house. I thought "At least he's going"...but he better be glad Johnny doesn't have a horn on him or I would have honked it and made the "Hurry up!" sign to Zach.

I figured it would take Zach about thirty minutes to finish weed eating since I had been such a thrill seeker on my mower and had most of the hill cut.

Ten minutes later I see Zach dragging back down the street at the flying speed of 1/16 MPH.

I thought maybe the weed eater had flooded out or maybe he just decided he didn't really need the money.

I cut my engine off and asked him what was wrong? In his usual monotone, totally bored voice he said "Nothing needed cutting."

I told him both gulley's on either side needed trimming and around the sign posts, not to mention where my dare devil hill swathing had missed.

He said "It all looks fine to're just a freak about cutting grass."

That was the end of my partner helping me. I guess he just wanted to be paid for the mileage he walked up and back from the front of the subdivision...figuring in the added stress of having to carry a weed eater both ways.

Teen agers...Not a lot of help but sometimes brutally honest (and I am NOT a freak ...maybe just a little OCD about yard work.)

I just let it go and continued on my merry "Freakish" way. I finished my front yard and moved over to Mr. "Slow"Lee's.

" WOO HOO" for me! The ole fart had gotten up at the crack of dawn and hacked down all the brush in the back of his house and cut down the weeds by his creek...creating a LOT more yard for me to cut for him for free. He'd better be glad I really like him because there were so many newly exposed rocks and holes I had never seen before that I felt like I was on a Baja adventure on a 9HP vehicle. I hit an unexpected rock and Johnny protested loudly with a "Twap twap twap twap" that didn't sound good. I cut the blade off and pulled back into my garage. The blade was bent and hitting the guard.

Mr. "Slow""Lee came waltzing over with a cigarette to see what was keeping me from finishing to cut his yard for free. I told him the blade was hitting the guard and he said (all manly) "Let me pick it up so you can see underneath." With his cig in his mouth and every vein in his neck sticking out, he lifted the 400 pound mower.

I saw where it was hitting, because my guard had been bent from HIS newly exposed rocks and tried banging it out with a hammer. After he looked like he was going into "Stroke" mode, I called Zach out into the garage to help. Mr. "Slow"Lee said we should prop the mower up on the cooler he saw sitting in the garage so we did just that. I heard something pop when they sat the mower on the small cooler but kept banging away with my hammer.

I finally got it where the blade didn't hit and jumped back on my baby to finish his yard and start on my back yard.

Once again I got that "Rebel" sense and when in my own stinking yard got too close to a stepping stone and clipped it. The "Twap" was replaced with a "Blam Blam Blam" and I looked beside me to see dirt being thrown up like I was tilling to plant corn.

I raised the blade and it didn't get any better. I stopped and got off to see a blade curled up into a smiley face and that didn't make ME very happy.

Zach came out back and said calmly as always "Why'd you keep've dug up half the back yard?"

So I am persistent too.

Now half my back yard is tilled up for no apparent reason. I finished EVERY ONE ELSE'S YARD but now half of my yard sits uncut and the other half sits PLOWED UP.

I'm going to buy a new blade tomorrow and beg my brother in law (who I KNOW reads my blog) to put it on for me.

If "Johnny" could he would break up with me. If he could he would start his own engine and run away. But lucky for me he needs ME to turn the key. He sits out back waiting for me to fix him and believe me you I will!

When he gets his new blade I will whisper into his ear (That's what I call his spark plug) and promise to be more careful. I won't try anymore steep hill climbs and will put him in low gear when cutting in new places.

"I love you, Johnny...just give me ONE more chance."

Check this video to see the destructive path I cut half way around my back yard. My friend said to plant flowers in it. That would only give my three dogs more things to eat, pee on and destroy.

I think I'll just go with a new blade and a new sense of respect for my baby..."Johnny."

Til next time...COTTON (It looks like I'm trying to plant some cotton)

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