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May 8, 1999
a year ago

Mowing Madness

Woke up early because of the blasted sunshine.

I really have to do something about that reflex. But it was sunny out and I couldn't help it and I had to get up. I put myself together, made myself a breakfast burrito and one cup of coffee and then John started making getting up noises, so I made him a burrito, too. Then I got busy with my list of things that should be done.

The first thing was mixing all the top soil with composted manure and loam and then putting it in the planter box. I finished all but the top layer and in the top layer I planted all the herb starts that I'd been cultivating. The little squares with the tiny plants and white roots, each were pressed against the soil and then I added more soil to make sure that they were all set into their places. Then I watered the whole thing, repeatedly, through the sunny day, and made sure that water ran out from the bottom and through the cedar slats. I think that the wood will absorb enough of the water, eventually, to close up all the openings again, but it may be a while. It was a somewhat sad confusion of plants by the time I was through. The watering flattened some of it, and it was hard to keep all the plants untangled and set into the medium properly. It took small work through the day to untangle some of it and get most of the roots properly buried.

By the time I was finished, John was out and awake and ready to do something. He called the guy from yesterday a few times, and eventually found out that the guy's credit union wasn't open today, so we just put everything off until Monday. So we were free to do what we liked with the day.

So the first thing we did was get on our bikes and go to the Parklands Flying Day. Seems that each year all the pilots in the development get their planes out and give folks that come to Flying Day free rides around the development. We met quite a few of the local neighborhood, and lots of people introduced themselves to us and we were greeted with, "Oh, so *you* bought the yellow house!" and "Oh! You're the Land Rover folks!" That was very amusing.

The guy that gave us a ride, with a father and daughter as well, did so in a five seater Cessna with twin engines, a rather old plane, as Cessna doesn't make twin engine planes anymore, haven't for a few decades, was very friendly and very informative and very cool. He was quiet spoken and had a fun time telling us about his adventures in the army, about the parachutests that came down during our flight, and he had fun talking through all the surrounding countryside. We got several good views of the neighborhood from above, and I marked water channels around the area. Since we rode our bikes I didn't bring my camera, sadly, but the ride was really fun and pretty smooth. As the land heated up, though, the winds got a bit bumpier, but the visibility was astonishing from up there on the hot, clear day.

I swear we could see into Kansas.

The plane came down as light as a feather, and there was nary a bump on the landing. This in deep contrast to the small plane we saw bounce half a dozen times before it actually landed. I thanked our pilot quite happily and it was really cool to hear more about how the plane had helped them keep in touch with relatives across the country in times of need.

When we got back down, we met a few more neighbors, I took one of the brownies off the baked goodies table and ate it happily. Then we went home and I started up the John Deere and started plowing back through all the grass again. I'd only managed to finish about a fourth of what lawn there was last Thursday, and this time started to just methodically go through the rest of the lawn. The problem was that some portions of it were a good foot and a half thick, and when I used the whole of the blade to cut it all it would clog the pickup badly. Then I had to turn everything off, raise the platform and then get underneath it with my hand and pull the clogging stuff out from the tubes and push the stuff down from the back with a stick to get at all of it. I bruised my arm trying to reach stuff, and my hand really hated it. Eventually John figured out how badly I needed some help with the lawn as thick as it was and he found a car ramp that he usually used to get under cars with, and we put it down on the grass, and I drove up onto it and that made the clearance problem go away. So clearing the tube was easier.

I also worked at it from the other angle, where I tried to cut less at a single pass and more slowly, so that it had the time to chop less stuff up at any single moment. That seemed to work as well. Then I still had to spend the time unloading the back net bags, which took longer than nearly anything else. I quickly filled all the 30 gallon garbage bags we had, so had to call it quits for a bit.

John and I ate hot dogs for lunch, which was easy and quick, and then ran off to Longmont to find the General Store and get a few things if we could find them there. We did find more lawn and garden garbage bags and a few bird seed bells, I wanted one in the backyard, as the birds also eat all the insects, so the more birds in the area the better. I like being mostly insect free.

When we got back, I finished all but the side portion. It was about sixteen bags full of cut grass. Yow. I did a bit of the side stuff, but got really tired, and John said that he was willing to do it, and he finished off the last of it. So we now have an even, mostly flat lawn. Hoorah! The wind picked up in the late afternoon so I was getting lots of dust and grass bits in my eyes. And in both the morning and the beginning of the afternoon session I took allergy pills to be sure that I didn't blow up like I did Thursday night, from all the contact with the grass. That helped a lot, but I was severely dehydrated by the time I was finished, from all the sun, wind, and the medication.

I have to admit that I didn't drink nearly enough plain water all day, and John proposed a movie going session; and, without really thinking it all the way through, I said, sure!

The shower felt like Heaven, and I got all the sticky grit from all my sweat and the blown dust and grass bits off. My elbow and right forearm were scraped, bruised and deep, dark green from all the grass sap, and it was good to see it all wash off. Clean clothes and a cool breeze, and I thought I felt just fine for the longer evening, and waiting a bit for dinner. I am not sure that was all wise, but it felt okay, then.

We wanted to see something, but ended up seeing Entrapment, which I probably wouldn't recommend. The plotters were just two links *too* clever and made a hash out of it making sense. Sean and the lady were very cute together, but that was about all I really liked. Though this was probably heightened by my physical distress. By the time we came out of the theater I was seeing blurs in front of my eyes, as much from my condition as from all the chaff that was floating about over my contacts, and I was a little wobbly. We found a diner on the way home and I swallowed half a chocolate malted along with two glasses of ice water before tackling the chicken fried chicken with a mountain of mashed potatoes, cole slaw, and sourdough roll. The food and liquid helped tremendously, and I was nearly clearheaded by the time we got back home. Clearheaded enough to just go to sleep as soon as I could

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