Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Good Fences, Good Neighbors and Bigger Toys

What a day. What a life. Where oh where to begin.

First off. The Boyo and I went shopping today and bought ourselves a tractor. Not the pull a plow harvest the beans kind, but a riding mower. We've been saving up for one for a time now.

This has been a want I've had for a few years. We've got a little over a half acre to mow. When we first moved in I thought it would be great exercise to use a push mower to trim the greens. After a few seasons of this I have come to realize that while the exercise is indeed great, I really don't enjoy it all that much.

Not because it is exercise, but because I'm cutting grass, which I am allergic to. The grass cutting now ranks right up there with sleeping under a goose down blanket with my head resting on a goose down pillow, after which I will look like a puffy, red marshmallow. Or grabbing the family cat and rubbing my face vigorously in her coat for about ten minutes. this would lead to itchy, puffy lips followed closely by my airway sealing itself off, me turning blue, and 911 being called.

The mowing isn't bad. If I can shower right away I am only left with itchy, blotchy legs... watery, scratchy eyes... a nose that leaks more goo than a dozen babies. But now (sound the heraldic trumpets) we are getting this very riding mower!


This will cut down on the mowing time in two very important ways.

1) The rider will go faster and mow a wider swath than the pusher.

2) The Wife said that if we ever did get a riding mower, she'd be willing to mow on occasion!

Ah, new toys... what could be better!


Time to build a fence...

Our neighbors could have a sitcom of their own. We have three besides us in our little cul du sac area. One is the prior owner of the house we are in, and they are a delightful family.

The other two... well...

They are both retired, and I'm pretty sure they have a bet between them to see who can mow their lawns the most in a single summer. Or perhaps who can put the most miles on their riding mowers. Either way, seldom does a day go by that one or the other or both are out there cutting their grass. One has a bagger on his, which makes me wonder just how many clippings he can gather when he's only taking off the top 2 millimeters of his lawn.


While the Boyo and I were out shopping this morning, The Wife glanced out the window and saw Jurassic Neighbor (the other shall be henceforth known as Triassic Neighbor) out by the mailboxes spraying Roundup on a particularly lovely thistle growing near the culvert. Now this area is technically not our property. Although we mow it and upkeep it. Good Neighbor on the left and I have talked about it, and since that parcel contains a little wetland area, we've kind of agreed to just let it grow over the summer. We have cattails and grasses and wildlife galore.

Either way, he was spraying very close to our yard. The Wife reacted as I would have, by going out and asking him what on earth he was doing. He stated the obvious, that he was spraying Roundup on the thistle. She mentioned that we like the thistle, and that lots of kids play around in the wetlands. Not to mention that putting poison on plants that close to the culvert would not just kill that thistle, but many things downstream as well. He commented that there was a law against letting thistles go to seed.

She told me about the exchange when I got home. I've given serious thought to building a fence along the property line. Especially since this same neighbor chopped out a beautiful row of purple lilacs that were on that line... on our side.

This fence would give me a bitter sense of victory, as many years ago (before we moved in) he widened his driveway and built a big chunk of it four feet onto what is now our property. I told The Wife that if I catch him spraying again, I'm going to head over there and drill through his driveway, on my side of the line of course, and build a fence right along there.

I'm turning into a grumpy old fart. But at least I'll have a riding mower to cruise around on now!
In fact, I think for the rest of the summer anytime they are out mowing, I might just saddle up and drive in circles all over my lawn, whooping it up cowboy style!


More Later

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