“The key to a nice-looking lawn is a good mower. I recommend one who is muscular and shirtless!”


The sun is shining and the day is getting warmer. It was cloudy when I woke up and only 65°. It is supposed to get as high as 75° and be sunny all day, the same with tomorrow.

Well, I spend mega bucks at the garden shop yesterday and wrecked my back pulling the heavy cart. Luckily one of my former students works there and he dragged the cart to my car and filled the trunk and the back seat. For the vegetable garden, I bought cucumbers which should be enough to fill the rest of it. I bought cherry tomato pots for the deck, four or five different herbs, a hanging plant for the deck and four different flowers for the front garden. The only flowers I didn’t buy were the annuals for the clay pots which are all around the deck rail. I’ll get those later today or tomorrow after breakfast. That’ll finish the garden for this season, said she with tongue in cheek.

My neighbors are disappearing. I can no longer see down the row of houses to my friends’ house at the end of the street, and the neighbors on each side of me are almost completely hidden. My deck is again becoming my private refuge.

I finished my book. It was an odd book revolving around two sets of conjoined twins born 80 or so years apart, but I really liked it. Sometimes I don’t enjoy interspersed backward and forward trips in time, but this novelist did it well. As always, I’m sorry I finished the book. The joyful anticipation of sitting and reading it is gone.

This world is such a noisy place. I woke up this morning to the sound of the lawn mower at my neighbor’s house and a leaf blower on the next street. The leaf blowers are the worst. They are the noisiest of all garden machines and the worst spewers of pollution.

I miss the summer Saturday sounds of my childhood: the click clack of hand mowers, the scratching sounds of rakes and the swishing of brooms across sidewalks and driveways. Back then, there was something communal about mowing lawns. I remember my dad stopping to talk with our neighbor who was also mowing his lawn. My dad would lean on the long handle of his mower. They’d talk a while then they’d get back to the task at hand, mowing their lawns. I also remember my dad with his hand trimmer working on the bushes in our front yard. His trimmer looked like giant scissors. My dad always chopped the bushes too short, and my mother always complained.

When I used to mow my own lawn, I had a hand mower because back then my lawn was so small, just the front of the house. I also had hand trimmers. Now, I have a landscaper who has all the tools, the noisy tools. I do have to admit, though, my lawn and my yard have never looked better.


Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

51 Comments on ““The key to a nice-looking lawn is a good mower. I recommend one who is muscular and shirtless!””

  1. Hedley Says:

    Tonight the eyes and ears of Europe turn to the Crystal Hall in Baku, Azerbaijan. The government of Azerbaijjan has responded to the event by spending the week roughing up everyone in range of a club.

    In 68 our Cliff was ripped off by some Spaniard singing “La La La”, and in 69 Lulu took revenge with a four way tie by pounding out “Boom Bang a Bang”. Cliff had one more try but crapped out again.

    Tonight the hopes of an entire country sit with the somewhat elderly Englebert Humperdink. Hello Stockholm your points for the United Kingdom please…null points say the Swedes.

    The tradition is that the winning country hosts the next event which oppressive Slavic countries seem to love. Please give us null points has said Spain, they cannot afford to host it next year and have a rather good (and cute) singer.

    Strange things have happened “Napoleon did surrender” sang the fab four and Abba won it and were thrust upon innocents around the world. Ne partez pas sans moi sang everybody’s favorite Swiss Miss as Celine Dion brought glory to Switzerland.

    Yes, it is,of course, the Eurovision song contest.

    Can Englebert do it ? Will Sweden vote for Spain just to piss them off ? Can I find live coverage or just watch the friendly between Norway and England as we get ready for the other Euro ?

    May all your puppets be on a string

    • Birgit Says:

      Yeah, the annual obligatory european freak show 😉
      It’s somewhere between masochism and fun to listen.
      All kinds of music from russian folklore grannies
      singing about having a party to slowakian heavy metal
      (if they survived the semi-finale). The german contribution
      is boring, but I like the voice of the albanian singer.

      • Hedley Says:

        Angela Merkel hasn’t demanded a better singer ? I think Cameron asked for Englebert to carry the flag.
        Perhaps next year we shall seen Carla Sarkozy is part of the attempt to revive her “singing career”

        probably should have mentioned Brotherhood of Man and their fab winner “Save all your kisses for me” which sold…huge

      • olof1 Says:

        But isn’t the Albanian singer mostly screaming 🙂 🙂 🙂 I’m afraid I got tired hearing her rather quickly. I haven’t heard the German song though.

      • Birgit Says:

        Well, our “Angie” is too busy to fire and hire her ministers 😉
        Better a singing Carla than a singing Angela…
        Christer, sometimes I like screaming 🙂

    • olof1 Says:

      Once again I’m afraid Great Britain will come rather close to the last ones. It is so strange, some of the best musicians live there and still no good songs??! They say our song is the favorite besides the Russian Babushkas 🙂
      Like always we will all vote for our neighbor countries and hope for some votes from Britain and Ireland 🙂 The problem is that we up here have very few neighbors while the Balkans and Russia have sooo many 🙂 🙂 🙂


      • Hedley Says:

        WHAT ???? Sweden votes based on political alliances ? no wonder Cliff got f*****…..how on earth did “Congratulations” not win this
        Christer, I can only find the show on strange premium cable stations so I will have to Waite and see I’d Englebert does the business.

      • Hedley Says:

        did Sweden vote for Russia’s Dancing Grannies ?

      • Hedley Says:

        • Ladbrokes latest betting: Sweden 7/4 Italy 6/1 Russia 7/1 Romania 12/1 Serbia 14/1 United Kingdom 14/1 Iceland 14/1 Ireland 16/1 Spain 20/1 Norway 20/1 Germany 20/1 25/1

        Glory Glory Christer ?

      • Birgit Says:

        Congratulations to Sweden !

      • olof1 Says:

        Hi Hedley!
        Yes we did vote for the Russian babushkas 🙂 But we didn’t give our neighbors that many points to be honest 🙂 By the way, we won 🙂 🙂

      • olof1 Says:

        Thank You Birgit 🙂

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I have a clicky-clack mower. There was a period of time when my upper airways were very sensitive to fine airborne particles like the dirt and grass that the power mower threw up. I had to wear a face mask to mow the lawn, vacuum the rug or brush my horse. I may have to go back to the clicky-clack mower since my lawn service guy decided that it didn’t pay him to come to my house.
    I remember reading somewhere a description of how the lawns were mowed on the big English estates before there were power mowers. A pony was fitted with special padded hoof coverings so that there wouldn’t be hoof marks on the lawn. The pony was then hitched to a wide reel mower and driven around the lawns. The mower went clickity-clack. The pony did not go clip-clop because of the pillows on his feet. I think that is the proper way to mow a lawn.

    It’s 81F and mostly cloudy up here. I’ve already been out to plant some things in the yard and I have put away winter clothes and taken out summer clothes. I feel very accomplished. 🙂
    Enjoy the day!

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      It always seemed an accomplishment when I mowed the lawn with the hand mower. I did it barefoot as I loved the feel of the grass on my feet.

      That is a great story-how the English estates mowed their lawns. People are ingenuous when they need something done.

      We got as high as 75° here, and it was warm. I used the hosed and cleaned the pollen off the deck and furniture. I got soaked!

      Enjoy the evening!

      • Caryn Says:

        Can’t mow the lawn barefoot here. Thistle rosettes, tiny juniper bushes and the remains of lethally sharp black walnut shells inhabit the grassy sward just waiting to impale or slice unwary feet. I think I was 50 years old before I found out that the flat thistle rosettes were not what people meant when they talked about crab grass.

      • Kat Says:

        Lucjily my lawn only had pine cones, and they are pretty obvious so my feet were safe!

  3. Birgit Says:

    But to stay on-topic:
    Last year (mower broken) I used a scythe to mow the lawn,
    but some strawberries didn’t survive that experiment…

    • Kat Says:

      Did you scythe them by mistake?

      I have seen people using scythes, and I think the motions are so rhythmic, almost like a ballet or a dance.

      • Birgit Says:

        Yup, by mistake. Out of practice for about 30 years. It’s quite easy if you have a large lawn, but not in a small city-garden…
        I wanted to learn it again, but now I’ve gotten a used electrical mower for free, so lazyness has won.

      • Kat Says:

        I find laziness wins more and more with me!

  4. olof1 Says:

    Semi sunny here today and even if we actually reached 81 most of the day was much cooler thankfully. I have one of those hand driven mowers but it is a modern kind so it is completely quiet. It works great if the grass is dry and not to long. It is actually easier to mow the lawn with that one than with the engine one when the conditions is right.

    I misread some about the two sets of conjoined twins. I just read conjoined twins born 80 years apart 🙂 🙂 🙂 That would have been an interesting story to read 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Yes tonight is the grand finale of the Eurovison Song Contest and Sweden and Russia seems to be the big favorites, so I guess Serbia will win 🙂 But since I most likely is a quarter Serb I won’t mind 🙂 🙂 🙂 and to be honest, they have as usual a fantastic melody.

    I would have carried both Your flowers and You accompanied by fireworks if You had been a customer of mine back in the days 🙂 I would even have made You some coffee to bring if You had wanted to 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      We never got as warm as you did. The sun was around all afternoon but right now it is cloudy. Gracie found it hot and napped in the shade.

      The story revolves around the two different sets of twins and their families. Violet and Sorrel are the first set and Simone and Sonia are the second and are born 80 years later.

      I would have loved to visit your garden store! I still have to buy my annuals for the deck pots then I’ll be done. So far I have spent almost $400 which is my usual amount. The deck tomatoes were pretty expensive.

      I planted some of your suggestions so I can’t wait until they bloom!

      • olof1 Says:

        Make sure that they don’t clean up or cut down the flowers until they have released all their seeds! If they are allowed to do that You’ll have plenty more the coming years 🙂

      • Kat Says:

        Thanks Christer
        Last year the clean up guy pulled out several of my perrenials. I was livid when I noticed. My landscaper replaced them with different flowers including a grass plant which I really love. I think this year my landscape himself will do the clean-up, and they don’t do it until late in the fall.

  5. Two things … if you like to read your books, and you like to know how they’re rated and generally thought of – check out Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/). I like it for keeping track of whether a book is part of a series, and other books I might want to read by an Author I like.

    And – I just finished “The Time Traveler’s Wife”. A bit too poignant and sentimental, but I’m a sentimental fellow and I greatly enjoyed it.

    Enjoy your long weekend.


    • Kat Says:

      Thanks, Scott
      I set up an account at Goodreads and will explore when i finish here.

      I also really enjoyed “The Time Traveler’s Wife” which surprised me. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did.

      Thanks and you also enjoy yours!

  6. minicapt Says:

    How about the Owner’s Manual for the Concorde Airliner:


    • Kat Says:

      This will soon be a rare book. Perhaps it should be on everyone’s bookshelves!

  7. Zoey & Me Says:

    When my riding mower crapped out we found a reasonable person to do the lawn and landscaping. He hasn’t raised his price in three years so I suspect, like most, he doesn’t want to risk losing business. But for half an acre to mow, roughly, he’s finished in 30 minutes, something that took me 2 hours. So I look on the bright side and enjoy a nice looking yard year ’round. Any plans for Memorial Day?

    • Kat Says:

      My landscaper does everything. He cleans up in the fall and spring, weeds and plants my front garden and takes care of the lawn: fertilizer, weed-killer and seeding. My garden and lawn look wonderful. I used to do all that myself, and it didn’t look near as good.

      He costs about the same every year, a little more when he takes down some trees, but I wouldn’t be without him.

  8. Kat Says:

    My Dear Hedley, Birgit and Christer,
    All your comments have me so wanting to watch this program. Here I am missing the folklore grannies, the screaming Albanians and the horrible English offering.

    You’ll have to tell me the results!

    • olof1 Says:

      Sweden won and then I think Russia came second and Serbia third, but it could be the opposite between Russia and Serbia I sort of stopped looking in the end 🙂 I’ll know better tomorrow and I think I’ll post videos of the three in my blog tomorrow.

  9. Bob Says:

    I assume that Hedley is comparing the European singing contest with the sound of an old fashioned hand lawn mower accompanied by a duet of leaf blowers. No wonder our Founding Fathers were so eager to separate the ties that bind this great nation from all those other weird peoples across the pond. We and the British are two peoples separated by a lot more than just a common language. We developed common sense and they developed uncommon sense. When the last Tiger fan moves out of Detroit, please remember to turn out the lights.

    My maternal grandfather had a true green thumb. His backyard in Brooklyn NY was about twenty five feet wide and maybe sixty feet deep. The yard was shaded by an apartment house on one side and another attached house on the other. He mowed that small yard with a push reel mower every saturday in the summer. He grew huge roses and other flowering plants from cuttings. My mother told me how he fed the family during the great depression by growing vegetables like corn and beans in that small patch of earth. I did not inherit any of his horticultural genes. I hire a lawn service company to mow my yard because when I did the work myself the grass died.

    • Kat Says:

      It seems that this is an all-European contest, not just English. Christer even mentioned countries forming liasons to ensure more votes, and he’s Swedish. Birgit even chimed in!

      Historically, had the tea not been taxed, who knows how long it would have been until independence as that was the issue: taxation. I have a great deal of admiration for the British who held off the Germans pretty much by themselves. It is my favorite country to visit and when I travel to Europe, I usually stop in England on my way home if only for a weekend in London.

      I’m like you- I don’t have a green thumb when it ccomes to the lawn. The irrigation system waters and my landscaper does everything else. I do manage my herb garden, and I love cutting fresh herbs for my meals. This year, for the first time, I am trying vegetables!

      • Bob Says:

        I enjoy visiting London and working with my British colleagues but I find that they are generally pretentious, overly regulated by legions of bureaucrats, act like stuffed shirts and they still think that they have a powerful empire. The English think that they are an important influence on the world stage but they are just a minor player. Many of the world’s problem areas such as the Middle East and Africa were caused by the British not knowing when to leave and not preparing the native people to govern themselves. Look how they still have their first colony Ireland screwed up.

        Otherwise, we should be thankful on this Memorial Day weekend that they did provide us with a base from which to invade Nazi conquered Europe on D-Day. A good example was how Montgomery drove Eisenhower crazy because Montgomery thought that he should have been the Supreme Allied commander. Once, referring to Montgomery, Eisenhower told General Marshal “get Patton over here and have him shoot the son of a bitch”.

  10. Beto Says:

    As a boy, I was the designated landscaper in my family because I worked without complaint and with pride. The reel mower and hand clippers were my tools and clean up was done with a rake and shovel. I trimmed several neighbors yards for pay too. I developed muscular power that still serves me in my aged frame.
    When I worked, there were no complaints about the noise.

    • katry Says:

      The last thing my brother wanted to do was mow the lawn. If he had to, he never did a good job. Too bad he didn’t have a bit of your pride. I think a beautiful lawn enhances the yard. The garden and the lawn are the first things my guests notice.

  11. Kat Says:

    Thanks for the result!

  12. Birgit Says:

    Winner Sweden and others are already on YouTube.
    Search “Eurovision Song Contest” or “Eurovision”

    • Kat Says:

      It’s on at 8:30 0n a foreign language channel and called festival de Eurovision,

  13. Kat Says:

    I lived in Ghana for two years and totally understand the influence the British had on the Ghanaians. The Ghanaian world ran on red tape. It was a giant bureaucracy without any efficiency. The difficult part is they lived on African time which meant whenever, not a holdover from the British: their own contribution.

    Ghana was the first colony to become independent in Africa, and the British left a healthy treasure. The Ghanaians’ first president ran through the money and left his country bankrupt.

    I think Montgomery’s victories in Africa were what propelled him; El Alamein being a perfect example-a turning point, but I understand Eisenhower’s impatience with Monty’s self-aggrandizement and inability to compromise.

  14. im6 Says:

    WoW! I hit the link for Coffee and there are FORTY-TWO comments? Is that a record? And I see Bob and Hedley are at it again. Makes it look like the battle between Hedley & me (it is “me” rather than “I,” isn’t it?) is a lovefest !

    Could someone please explain the whole Eurovision contest to me? I’ve heard about it for years, but it never seems to make any sort of impact here on this side of the Atlantic. I gather it’s a SONG competition? Who gets the reward? The singer or the songwriter (assuming they are different people)? Have any of the songs gone on to become international hits I might be familiar with? I suppose I could look all this up, but I’m sure the Coffee-mates tell a better story.

    Here’s my favorite “grass” song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkuo9kIPqyU

    • Kat Says:

      I love that song. if I had it before, it would have been one of my choices for today.

      Me is correct! I think it more of a Bob battle. Hedley never responds.

      I thought I could watch and see what it was all about, but it is on a subscription channel I don’t have. I think it is a song competition but I’m as confused as you. I’m really sorry I couldn’t have watched it.

      yes, I do think it is a record.

      • Hedley Says:

        The Eurovision song contest is an anomaly that goes back to the 50s and peaked in the 60s and 70s. My post really was based on the humor of the whole event and some of the interesting side stories such as Abba and Celine

        Congrats to Sweden on the win this evening. poor old Englebert finished second to last only beating Norway..so we beat Norway twice today (1-0)

        Strangely this year’s host country, Azebaijan spent a small fortune on the promote and spent the week beating the tar out of everyone in sight.

        As the Telegraph put it, as Englebert didn’t win, it doesn’t matter and it’s political…had he won it…bring on a national holiday.

        Talking of which, get ready for the Flotilla next Sunday, it’s going to be rocking TV.

        Congrats Kat on a new KTCC world record

    • olof1 Says:

      Hi im6!
      You might have heard Waterloo with ABBA. It made it to number seven on the Bilboard list, must have been around -75 I think. ABBA is the only group /artist that actually gained something by competing in the Eurovision to be honest, but lots of starts has participated in the competition. If I remember correct its the writers that wins but who remember them 🙂 🙂 🙂

  15. Kat Says:

    Thank you, My Dear Hedley, as you started the onslaught of comments when you anounced the Eurovision song contest. I was disappointed I couldn’t watch-it was on a subscription only channel.

    I’m not surprised by Englebert’s showing. He has never been a favorite of mine. Poor Norway!

  16. Hedley Says:

    You have got to wander over to Christer’s blog this morning. he has been nice enough to post a couple of videos including the Russian Dancing Grannies and the Big Time Swedish Winner Loreen.

    You and im6 will love Loreen, a severe shortage of material for her blouse, excessive use of the wind machine and Kate Bush style motions converted in to strange sideways stuff. brilliant

    At least next week we all get to see the thousand ships and boats in the Flotilla, no problem with USA wide coverage. got to get ready for Big Rick, catch you later

    • im6 Says:

      Loreen did nothing for me. You describe her perfectly. I’d add: “a less scary Stevie Nicks.” The Grannies? Were they a serious entry for an entire country? At least they’re proof the USA isn’t the only nation that often equates novelty with talent. All in all, from the samples I watched, I think Eurovision is one contest I’m happy to have missed all these years. The entire thing was so slick and mega-produced it made American Idol, et al. seem primitive by comparison.

      • Kat Says:

        The Grannies were fun, but I agree that I’m glad I’ve missed it all these years. I have yet to watch American Idol or any other of the reality shows, except for my Amazing Race. I’ll be happy to keep it that way.

  17. Kat Says:

    My Dear Hedley,
    He said he’d try to upload them-thanks! I am looking forward to the dancing grannies!

    I hope you and Big Rick had a wonderful ride!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: