I love spring except for when it arrives in February just before winter arrives in March just before spring comes back again only to welcome winter again. I am blaming all this on Al Gore. Our weather is more schizophrenic than the Republican Congress.
Looking around the landscape, I have a flowering cherry tree that started then froze, several rose bushes the same. The forsythia, always first to bloom opened up one day and was frozen the next. The persimmon has little protuberances poking out from the branches that would have become fruit, but now they are little brown twigs with a little round brown ball at the end. And so it goes around the yard. The dogwood might be ok, since the buds have not yet popped. The azaleas look fair, except the antlered rodents ate every early leaf and bud from the side facing the yard. Does anyone know a good deer repellant that does not include buckshot? They frown on gunfire inside town limits. If we manage a few flowers, they’ll all be up against the house. Buds on the lilac were partly opened for the freeze too. The lilies were up about an inch and they didn’t make it either. But don’t get me wrong, I still love spring.
This week, I spent several days doing all of the spring things around the house. Thankfully, Household 6 volunteered to sweep from the garage the remnants of winter. “Because it’ll be winter again before you ever get to it.” I love it when a plan comes together.
Either the mulch bags are getting smaller or I am using too much. If you are wondering, they are definitely getting heavier. After buying the same amount as always, I came up a few bags short. But, after pushing the wheel barrel around the yard and up and down the hill – up when full down when empty – I think I can get those last few bags spread some other time.
I had to haul out the lawn mower a week or two earlier than usual. The grass has been growing in spurts during the warm spots along with the early weeds. There was a problem though. I have a new fangled all wheel drive lawn mowing machine. It works just great for my hillside, except if I give it too much juice I have to start jogging. I find it is also a good idea to let up when going downhill. As I was pushing her outside, well I ain’t sure it’s a female but since it’s mine and has no brain of her own I get to pick the gender. Anyway, her front wheels were locked which is not good thing. Since she refused to roll, I drug her back into the garage by her limbs and threatened her with a hammer. Being female, that had no effect. I think she stuck her tongue out at me.
So, I rummaged around the work bench until I found the right sized nut driver. Straightening out the work bench and putting the pile of tools where they belong is another task awaiting. Reckon I can con HH6 into doing that too? “If you had put them away when you used them blah, blah, blah.” I know, I know but I can usually find what I need in a reasonable amount of time. Usually.
Anyway, to figure out why the wheels locked, I had to remove the front drive cover, but to do that you must first remove the front baffle beneath and bolted to the drive cover. All was well, until I couldn’t remove the last bolt as my nut driver jammed against the wheel. I hear you, go get a little wrench. Nope, channel locks and if that doesn’t work it’s back to the hammer. With everything disconnected, I was looking for the best way to pop the drive cover, when I recalled Murphy’s rule. If it doesn’t work force it and if it breaks you needed a new one anyway. Instead I decided to first pull the front baffle open. I found it full of petrified grass clippings and what may have once been a squirrel. Or at least it was his nuts. You know how squirrels are they’ll put those things anywhere. I spent some time trying to figure out how this baffle supposedly closed, manage to get filled with yard debris and squirrel parts. Ivy League trained engineer? I cleaned all of that out. Yes I did, right in the middle of the garage floor that HH6 worked so hard to clean. Don’t tell her please. I reassembled and rolled her outside. Then I swept the floor. I’m not suicidal.
I did everything one is supposed to do before putting a lawn mower up for the winter. So she should have started right up after a couple of tugs on the starter handle. Well, my right shoulder feels partially dislocated today. I threatened her. “How would like me to take you to that strange looking lawn mower mechanic down the hill by the pawn shop. The one with three teeth and an ear ring in his nose. Or would that be a nose ring. And, the full length replica of Ms. July tattooed on his forearm? It’s none of your business how I knew it was Ms. July.” She started right up and purred like a kitty never missing a beat while I mowed my piece of almost heaven. In honor of Chuck Berry, we were motivating over the hill. I think I’ll name her Maybelline.
The heaving lifting for the spring yard work is over, now it will be a long slog of chemical warfare with weeds and moles and being outsmarted by deer.
It was warm and sunny this morning, nice enough to have coffee on the patio. It’s peaceful on the patio with steaming coffee and the morning songbird symphony. But. That pleasant thought was ruined about the time I opened the patio door. We have planters out by the door. Apparently, the squirrel that left his nuts in my lawn mower went searching for them in the planters – all the way to the bottom of each as far as I could tell. By the time that was cleaned up, my coffee was cold. Did I ever tell you how much I love squirrels? And spring?
© 2017 J. D. Pendry