Sunday, May 25, 2008

in which I wonder just how long it will be before gardening will get me in shape

Yesterday, I spent another two hours dealing with the lawn. (Yes, more audio lectures to accurately track time). Now, the only reason I can even stomach the thought of doing all this work is that I actually want the workout. Remember, in Weight Watchers world, it's not back-breaking's accumulating activity points! It turns out to be a zero sum game because after all that labor, all I want to do is consume a large quantity of scotch to offset the muscle pain that will inevitably develop.

Actually, there are a few reasons why I insist on using old-skool style tools. One, I'm rather cheap. A push mower doesn't cost anything to use it, and it requires less maintenance than a power mower. Ditto with the weed whacker. Although Oscar found the weed whacker at a thrift store, he still has to buy the cutting thread. Each of the spools costs 10 dollars. I bought some sheep shearer clippers at the hardware store yesterday, and they are just great for edging the lawn. I have more control than with the weed whacker (there are some things that I don't want to get whacked) and they are very comfortable to use (can be used with either hand); and in all honesty, doesn't take that much longer than using the weed whacker. And I won't accidentally cut any of the plants that I've planted near the fence (although I did nearly snip my headphone cord neatly in two while I was leaning over. I tucked it into my shirt after that.)

Another reason, and this is becoming more and more important to me as the weather warms up...old skool tools don't make any fracking noise. All weekend, at all hours of daylight, the neighborhood is filled with the sounds of godd*mn power gardening tools. Power mowers, lawn edgers, leaf blowers, air compressors, power washers. Dear god, it's enough to drive someone insane. The height of insanity was the sight of watching one of the local residents try to mow a 100 sq foot (10 sq meter) patch of lawn using a riding mower. I'm not against riding mowers, per se, and there are definitely some lawns in the area where this would be a useful tool, but on that tiny lawn? She could barely maneuver the thing. And diesel is almost $5 a gallon right now!

(Last week, one of my neighbors saw me mowing my front yard with the push mower, and asked me in a really concerned voice if I wanted to borrow his "real lawn mower". I thanked him and said no and that I wanted the work out. [The lawn wasn't very tall, so it wasn't much work.] He said that it still seemed like a lot of work, and then I said that I didn't need any gas. "Ah yes," he said, and the look on his face made it obvious that I really wasn't a weirdo, but that the current price of gasoline made a push mower not such a bad idea. One tiny victory for me!)

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