O Lawnmower How I Hate Thee…

O lawnmower, how I hate thee. Let me count the ways…

  1. You are noisy, so noisy hearing protection is required. Sometimes the earmuffs that I leave over the steering wheel attract earwigs. I have so far always found them before putting them on my head. So far…
  2. You bounce and you vibrate the whole time I drive you. This makes me jiggle in unpleasant ways and reminds me that I have more jiggly parts than I’d like. Ride you long enough and even my non-jiggly bits start turning to jello and I slide off feeling like I’ve been living on a couch, eating potato chips my entire life.
  3. You cut crooked. I’ve tried to correct it, but you insist on cutting one side higher than the other. As a result even a freshly mowed area looks like a bad haircut.
  4. You run out of gas at the worst times. Is it because I run you at highest possible speeds at all times? Or because I never check before we set out? Whatever it is you’ve never run out of gas near the garage or a gas tank, nooooo always at the far end of the orchard. Always with the job almost done. You have terrible timing lawnmower. Terrible timing.
  5. You break. Your belts break and your doo-hickys fall off and the thing-gummy gets clogged and even when I fix them for you, a job I detest, they just go ahead and break again. Are you trying to tell me that zipties are not the fix for everything? How rude lawnmower, how rude.
  6. The important parts of you never break. You are the lawnmower that will not die. Do you even know how old you are? I have run you over sticks and stumps and small brush piles. Got you stuck on rocks and ditches but will you quit on a hot day and give me a break. Oh no, you will not!
  7. Your tire leaks. Slooowwwllly. So slowly as to not be worth patching. So quickly that it needs to be aired up almost every time you are used. No one likes a square tire lawnmower. No one.
  8. You don’t cut in reverse. You claim it’s for my safety. I say that’s total BS, you are just lazy. If you cut in reverse we’d be done so much faster.
  9. You don’t corner for beans. You are a lawnmower not a flatbed truck. Why do you have the turning radius of a school bus?
  10. But the thing I will never forgive you for is that because of you, I mow the lawn.

In related news my lawnmower dislikes being left outside in November with no gas and is now waaay out in the orchard with a dead battery and a flat tire. And though I removed the mouse nest and gave it some fuel, it still refuses to run properly. Ungrateful beast, it better shape up before the snow flies! 

 (Yes I know, most of these things are my fault. Yes, I know I shouldn’t have left the lawn mower outside. Yes, I still hate it anyway.)

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Mysterious Noise

There is a noise in my truck.

Sort of a cross between a cheep and and a squeak.

It’s the kind of noise that might be made by a small animal or bird.

It’s also the kind of noise that could be made by some sort of springs or belts doing whatever mysterious things they do.

Unfortunately, I have the kind of truck where neither source of squeaking would surprise me.

Lessons From The Civil War

Attending a civil war reenactment has taught me many things over the years.

-Deserters will be shot – and then their boots will be stolen.

-General Grant never wanted to be a solider.

I don’t know what this man does when he isn’t General Grant but he does an amazing job. A natural story teller with an encyclopedia of knowledge!

-Some doctors are better at cleaning their instruments than others but all of them will cut your leg off if they need to.

Notice Ivy on the fanning assist in the background?
Patient was a young girl that was hit by a stray bullet. No bones broken, she kept her leg and she had one of the best doctors, I think she’ll be fine.

-The horses are amazing.

For real. The training they do with these guys is impressive!

-And never say the last bend has been taken out of these instruments so that the “noise” carries back to the marching soldiers. That’s music that comes out of those horns.

Or so I have been told…

Anniversary Storm

Sometimes wedding anniversaries are fun, magical days where you can bask in the knowledge that you ended up with just the right person to spend your life with.

Sometimes wedding anniversaries are a perfect storm of events that mess with even a modestly planned date night and you go to bed slightly aggravated at the world but still certain you ended up with just the right person to spend your life with.

Before the Storm

Yesterday was our 14th anniversary, it didn’t go as planned. But that’s okay because the ribs John grilled were delicious, the lightening storm was impressive and he’s still my favorite man.

Happy Anniversary Honey!

(That’s a ten minute time lapse of the lightening over the neighbors corn field- it was awesome!)

Puppy Names

The new puppy has arrived!

And his name is Goose.

Despite many people’s dubious reaction to his name, I’m keeping it.

Partly because within the first two hours the kids had already called him Goose 7 gazillion times (revisit the saga of Sarah Cat and wonder why I didn’t learn my lesson) and partly because I like it (and Mom still gets ultimate naming power because I did learn something from the Sarah Cat saga).

Besides, his dad’s name is Turkey so it makes perfect sense.

But now what I need is an official registered name for Goose. On paper he’s the offspring of Mr. Impressive and Fearless (none of this Turkey and Trixie business on the official documents) but so far my inspiration has only taken me as far as Super Goose.

And so, brilliant people of the internet, give me your best idea for a registered name for Goose!

Total Eclipse

We drove into the path of totality to watch the eclipse on Monday and, yes, it was worth it.

Worth the drive, worth the crazy last minute plans, worth the insane heat, worth the traffic on the way home and the fact that it came at the end of a marathon week of capoeira and most of us hadn’t slept a real night of sleep in days.

The adults bounced around in excitement, the kids (if not quite as enthusiastic as the adults) were still excited. And it was truly awesome to watch. Full totality was just what they said it would be, an indescribable corona, sunsets all around, bats, a major  temperature drop… it was a thing that gives me goosebumps to remember.

But… as with most things in life, it’s not always about what you do, but who you do it with. Eight people who can happily jump in cars at the last moment and drive off into the sunset with barely a plan are hard to find. But there we were. Four adults who could be happily, geeky together as they reuse the same adjectives over and over in their excitement……and four kids who can play together in a truck for hours… and hours… and hours.

Two car loads of people swapping seats and stories across Illinois.

The total eclipse was an indescribable hiccup in the Earth’s journey.

But friends……friends make the world go round.

 

I Hate It When They Are Right…

You were right.

All you boys in my life, you were right.

My husband who wanted the sod cutter roller thing-a-ma-bob. (Bah, said I, it’s not THAT much sod, we don’t want to spend the time and money renting that.)

My brother who offered to use a skid steer to help us out. (What are you nuts, I said, I’ll have nothing but mud in my yard for a month.)

I should have gone for the rental, I should have gone for the mud. But no, not me, instead I channeled Clara at two and said “No, I do it meself.” Well, I used more adult words than that but the sentiment was exactly the same.

And I did.

We now have a 16 ft diameter mostly/fairly/dear-God-I-hope-its-close-enough-to-level circle cut into the lawn. I had a bit of help, but mostly I did it meself.

Now, hopefully very soon, an above ground swimming pool will jump from it’s box by the garage and take up residence on the nice landing pad I made for it. Today while I was dreaming of the cool refreshing water that would someday be in the very location I was chopping roots out of with a dull axe, during my final multi-hour push to just get the *#! thing done, right about when the sweat was dripping in my eyes but after Ivy came out with sunscreen because she noticed my shoulders were burning, and just as I was wondering if maybe a friendly alien might drop in to make a nice crop circle in my yard, because probably they wouldn’t abduct me because I was way too dirty to be interesting, Clara showed up and asked how many blisters I had. I wouldn’t tell her, because I wouldn’t look, I was afraid if I inspected my hands too closely I might not pick the shovel back up.

But now that it’s done I’ll tell you- there are eight, and those boys were right- they were totally right.