Life is Sticky. Life is Sweet.

Life is Sticky. Life is Sweet.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Adventures in Weed Whacking

As some of you may know, after three years of paying someone to mow our lawn, I have been promoted to resident landscaper this summer. Immediately following my initial foray into landscaping, three things became apparent. First, the joy of taking care of your own property is highly overrated. Second, anything requiring a pull-start is bound to be a major pain in the ass. And third, we would need some additional tools.

Although my first attempt at lawn mowing was mostly a success, there were plenty of tall blades of grass remaining. They were along the fence, beside the legs of the swingset, bordering the flower bed, sprouting along our sad retaining wall. They were torturous-- making all my hard work seem shotty and careless.

And then my husband, in his infinite wisdom and generosity, offered to spring for a weed whacker.

So we went to the store, bought a weed whacker and loaded it into the van.

And then a funny thing happened.

It didn't rain. For like three weeks. And the lawn turned brown. And nothing needed cutting... or whacking. And the huz and I congratulated ourselves on the fact that we hadn't signed a contract with a landscaper this summer. A landscaper who would come, mow basically nothing, and send us a bill.

So the weed whacker sat for weeks, untouched, in the back seat of the van. That is, until Will got the brilliant idea to ride it like a horse every time he got into the vehicle. Soon I grew tired of yelling, "Get off the weed whacker!"-- and then explaining and answering weed whacker questions for like fifteen minutes. So it was time to take it out for a spin on my big, beautiful, brown lawn.

So I got up one morning and chased my kids around the house with toothbrushes, sunscreen, sandals and vitamins. I loaded them into their red wagon, pulled them to camp and headed home to whack.

First I would need the appropriate attire... headband, old t-shirt, old sneakers, husband's old shorts from back in his tennis coaching days. In other words, screaming sexy.

Then I grabbed the new gas container that we had purchased for the gasoline-oil mix.

I was ready to get to work.

But not before doing this for way more time than I care to admit.

And then I was ready to get to work.

But I realized-- after searching through seven jackets, two diaper bags, three purses and almost every possible drawer, that there was absolutely no cash in the house. So instead of buying the gas at the local gas station that is walking distance to our house, I jumped in the car and headed to Wawa to get gas for both the lawn mower and weed whacker.

I pretended like I had done this a million times before-- ordering a couple gallons for each container and standing awkwardly beside the pump. At ninish in the morning, I was surrounded by loads of blue collar hotties in their trucks and vans-- regretting my choice of outfit a little. And when the attendant spilled the gasoline and proceeded to wash it away with wiper fluid, I was like, "Seriously?" And then I drove home, with the AC on full blast and the windows down, gagging on the fumes.

Upon arriving home, I set everything up in the driveway.
Then, right on cue, it started raining.
So I moved everything to the porch.

(And then, of course, it stopped raining.)

I read step one. Like ten times. And I stared at the pieces. And again, I was like, "Seriously?"

So I knew that I had to get down to business. I tossed my cell phone aside and dove into the 24-step "Quick Start" instruction sheet. I installed the shield backwards, then reinstalled it correctly. I installed the handle backwards, then reinstalled it correctly. I pretty much installed everything twice. And then, once everything was put together, I was honestly a little afraid to start it up-- terrified that incorrectly assembled pieces were going to fly up and whack me in the face.

See how you're supposed to crouch over it (scary!) and pull the starter rope 5 times (annoying!)?

I pulled that rope at least thirty times (really annoying!). I am not even kidding. Freaking pull-starts.

But it did eventually start. Having never whacked weeds before, I couldn't believe how loud and awkward this thing was. Pulling the grass out by hand was starting to seem like an easier option.

But I walked around the yard and gave it a try. I kind of learned as I went-- discovering that some kind of eye wear might be a good idea and figuring out just how close you can come to the flower bed before actually beheading the flowers. Also learning that weed whacking the wooden deck will send shards of wood splinters flying into the air.

Before I knew it, the string at the bottom of the weed whacker (which actually spins and cuts the weeds), had almost disappeared. I took this as a sign that I should call it a day and maybe read the complete 50-page manual that came in the box.

And that was my kids-are-at-camp-adventure for the week. Exciting, right? Stay tuned for next week, when I pull the weeds from the cracks in my driveway, sweep the front sidewalk and attempt to vacuum our pop-up pool. Seriously.


  1. I lmao the entire time. I love you.

  2. One word- ELECTRIC.

    You can't go wrong with an electric trimmer and a REALLY long extension cord or two. Also, if you have to use a trimmer near anything metal, wear pants. That little string stings like a mofo as it's sent sailing at you ankles at 100 bizzilion miles an hour.

    Can't wait for the next adventure.


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