Monday, June 13, 2011

Homeownership: Day 13

The first weekend of yard work is in the book

(Editor's note: I meant to take pictures of this momentous occasion but I did not. I'd like to think that I was just too into the task that was at hand. While that may be somewhat true, I was also lazy and didn't want carry a camera or my phone in my pocket while I was pushing a lawnmower around, or climbing through hedges in order to trim them an appropriate distance back from our house all while dripping - and I do mean DRIPPING - with sweat. Sorry. Sue me.)

Here's the lowlights highlights of the weekend.

Mowing and edging
When the reality set in that I was going to spend my time mowing our front and back lawn using a push mower and not a self-propelling one, like the ones I had used as a kid and for pretty much my entire life, I got a little defeated because I knew that when the chore of mowing the lawn was concluded I would likely be extra-extra tired instead of just regular tired.

Wasn't too bad, as it turns out, as evident by my still being alive to talk about it. For a push mower, and a Craigslist purchase, the thing worked like a dream and made the sometimes arduous process of lawn mowing a fairly easy - and might I say, somewhat enjoyable - task. Thank you Briggs & Stratton for constructing such a fine piece of machinery. High-five.

Edging proved to be a little more difficult because of some nasty angles near the street. That's gonna take some practice so that I don't carve up the lawn. But for now, it'll do.


Trimming the grapevine
When we last left our backyard, it was a little overgrown. One of the two apple trees we have was being attacked and overtaken by a nearby grapevine, creating some kind of apple/grape plant hybrid. A trip to the local hardware store (not Home Depot) produced a rather sharp pair of shears, and a little while later, a ladder, and then I was off to work.

The job of getting all this mess cut down and untangled at first appeared to be a daunting one, but once things got rolling, with a few snips here and there and then a couple of yanks I was pulling down sections of grapevine out of our poor old apple tree like nobody's business.

Granted, I'm not sure if that was the appropriate method for getting that stuff out of there, but it damn sure was effective. Most annoying part of it all was having to bag it up and throw the shrapnel away.

ANNOYANCE LEVEL: 1 (Annoyance? What annoyance?)

I know what you're thinking, and stop it. There's children reading this. 

This should have been a relatively simple thing to do. There wasn't even a lot to necessarily weedwack, but I wanted to get the initial wacking (I said, stop it) out of the way. 

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it was. Except for the fact that turned one trip to the hardware store to purchase the appropriate spool into two because I had no idea what kind to purchase. Struggling.

ANNOYANCE LEVEL: 4 (For unnecessary trips to the hardware store)

Trimming the bushes
I mean it now, stop with the giggling.

Here's where things became the diciest for me in this whole process. We had acquired an electric hedge trimmer from Craigslist at the same time we purchased the weedwacker, lawnmower, et al. All that remained needing to be purchased was an extension cord of the outdoor variety, which was picked up (this time, from Walmart, on a Friday night no less.....what possessed me to do that I have no idea). A nice long 100 foot long one (hey, I wanted to to err on the side of caution).

So as I climbed through the bushes to trim them back from the kitchen windows, getting poked at and pricked (.......) through my shorts (!!!!!!!!) and sweat-soaked t-shirt, I managed to somehow get the cord caught into the blades of my electric hedge trimmer and cut clear through the dang thing.

Kaput. Dead.


Welp, that $18 went far.

On the other side of the house, lay the treacherous blackberry bush, complete with some of the thorniest thorns in the history of thorny plants. Let's just say I'm lucky there was minimal blood loss.

ANNOYANCE LEVEL: 8 (For obscenely high levels of plant hating)

Painting wraps up this week. Moving day is scheduled day for Saturday. 

Almost home. 

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