Posted tagged ‘Lawn’

“Spring is a powerful spell. The blue. The clouds high up and puffy. The air warmer than it’s been for weeks.”

June 3, 2017

I have no flowers yet. Yesterday was a bust. I didn’t even leave the house except to walk Gracie to the back gate a few times during the day and into the night. I just had no ambition. Some days I’m like that.

Today is sunny and warm, but there is a possibility of showers. It is in the mid 60’s now and may get as low as 51˚, normal spring time weather for New England. I’m happy with showers. They tend to come quickly and leave as quickly. Rain stays around.

All the rain has made for a lush, green world. My lawn has new grass in spots, Gracie squat spots. The rest of the lawn is filling in nicely, and every day new blooms open in the garden. I noticed some of the flowers have seeded themselves and are blooming in new spots. The irises have buds, large purple buds close to blooming. Every day a different delight in the garden catches my eye.

While I’ve been writing this, the sun has disappeared. Clouds have covered it, and I’m not so sure it will be back. The chance of showers is closer to a certainty.

The longer days confuse me. I’m surprised when I check the clock and find out it is still early afternoon but therein lies a problem. I’m a bit confused as to when early afternoon ends and late afternoon begins. I’m leaning toward 4 o’clock.

I’m having hot dogs for dinner tonight, but I’m skipping the beans and brown bread. I never did eat the beans, and I can’t remember when last I ate brown bread. Regardless, though, I’m still calling tonight’s supper a Saturday tradition.

“Our pets are our family.”

May 11, 2017

Yesterday in the early morning, Gracie and I went to get the papers in the front of the house. I saw a feather on the road and picked it up. It was huge and I knew it belonged to a wild turkey. All of a sudden the gobbling started. The turkeys were on the next street. I could see them from the deck. They were strutting as they walked up the street.

Gracie woke me up at 3. I could hear her panting, a sign she needs to go out. I put on my sweatshirt and my slippers and out we went to the backyard. It was even too early for the birds. Luckily Gracie was quick, and I was back to bed in no time only to awakened again at 6. I put on my sweatshirt and my slippers and out we went to the backyard. This time I could hear the morning songs of the birds. We were back inside quickly, and I surprised myself by falling asleep until 8:30. Gracie slept a bit longer.

During the summer of the Watergate hearings, I stayed glued to the television. I was fascinated. I heard the revelation the president taped everything and the reaction of the committee. I loved Sam Ervin, his sense of humor, his outrage and his dogged hunt for the truth. I remember Howard Baker, a republican, sitting beside Ervin asking, “What did the President know, and when did he know it?” It was a bipartisan committee dedicated to finding the truth. That is no longer possible.

My lawn was mowed for the first time this season yesterday. The air was filled with the sweet aroma of the newly mowed grass. The problem, though, is now you can see the connect the dots game on my lawn. During the early springtime, I took Gracie to the front yard to pee. Now you can see all the dead lawn dots. Sebastian, my neighbor and landscaper, and I spoke this morning. He is going to reseed those spots. He is not happy with my lawn or my front garden. He is going to mulch the garden. The beauty of my grass and yard is a matter of pride for him and me too.


It is still sweatshirt weather during the day and blanket weather at night. My heat goes on for just a bit every morning. The house was cold at 3 when Gracie and I went outside. I was glad to get back under the covers.

We have a couple of errands to do today. Both Gracie and Maddie are out of treats and Maddie keeps making her displeasure known. Gracie, though, is willing to take substitutes. She munched a piece of scali bread with butter and ate a bit of cheese then lowered herself to eat a dog biscuit. Both of them are now sleeping. I am blessed.

“Winter dressing is all about having chic outerwear.”

March 16, 2017

Last night I was freezing though I was only outside for about 5 minutes. It was Gracie’s last trip before bed. She sniffed the air, checked out a couple of sounds and walked around outside the fence. She didn’t seem at all inclined to do her duty. I begged. She ignored me. I begged again. She sniffed the ground, but that was it, no squatting. It was the end for me. I brought her inside. We went to bed. She slept the whole night, but I got up once.

When I was a kid, my room was upstairs on the left. The bathroom was also on the left. The stairs were a quick right turn from my room. In the small hallway outside my door was the dirty clothes hamper and the linen closet recessed in the wall. When I was 10, I walked out of my room and turned right. I fell down the stairs. You’d think the sound of me falling would wake someone up. It didn’t. Either I fell quietly or my family slept like the dead. That is an important memory for me, a milestone of sorts. It was my first fall down stairs, the first of many.

Yesterday we didn’t go to the dump. It was because of the weather. The dump is generally cold, and if it is a windy day, like yesterday, the dump is as cold as Siberian steppes. The wind whips and freezes you to the bone. This morning I brought the trash to the car. I decided to bite the bullet and go despite the cold, 33˚ which will be the high today.

My front yard is still covered in branches from the huge pine tree branch which fell on the lawn. The small stones from my front parking space are on the street and in the garden. They were moved around by the plow. My back yard has several different size branches lying where they fell during this winter. One skinny pine tree breathed its last. Another leans and its future is doubtful. Winter is harsh.

“The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February.”

February 19, 2017

Today is a bit of a gift from Mother Nature, and considering how many times I cursed her this winter, I am surprised by her generosity. It is sunny and warm, even springlike. A few puffy clouds add texture to the blue sky. A breeze ruffles the brown leaves. It is a day to be outside. I’m working on getting there.

My neighbor put my newspaper on the front steps for me this morning. I saw it and one other paper when I opened the door. The other paper is the Cape Times from February 13th. I have no idea where he found it. I didn’t  miss a paper. I figure it must be my neighbor’s, and it got tossed here with the snow when her driveway was shoveled.

Small mounds of snow are still visible but only on the corners of the streets. Between the rain and the above freezing temperatures, the snow had no chance. I’m glad it’s mostly gone.

My front lawn, mostly on one side, is a total mess. It is covered with branches and needles from the tree sized branch which fell. There are long gashes on the grass. I’m thinking that whole side of the lawn may need a reboot.

This is school vacation week. I used to like traveling to one place for the whole week. My mother and I spent this week in Rome on our last vacation together. We saw it all. One of my favorites was the catacombs, a couple of bus rides and a long walk away.

Each night we’d have a drink in the bar before going to our room. My mother had cognac. That was a shock. My mother was a whiskey and coke drinker. When I mentioned my shock, my mother said it was vacation mode when anything goes. I loved that.

My week will be quiet. Actually, the rest of February will be quiet. I have an empty dance card until March.

Gracie needs to be fed, and I need to get dressed in my outside the house clothes. We are going out to enjoy the day.

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

May 26, 2012


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.


“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.”

August 6, 2011

It wasn’t until 10 o’clock that I woke up this morning. Gracie was sleeping beside me with her head on the other pillow and Fern was sleeping against my leg. I have no idea where Maddie was, but she came in the room when she heard us stirring. The morning was perfect for sleeping, cool and cloudy, so we all took advantage. Since then I have been piddling around and all of a sudden I realized how late it had gotten so here I am. The weather for the rest of the week is predicted to be like today: cloudy and maybe rainy. I was going to go to the movies but so will everyone else. The rule of thumb is no movie on a rainy or cloudy day because the tourists are all there.

The birds have been really active today, and for the first time in a long time, a goldfinch is back. They used to be frequent visitors. I saw a male cardinal earlier and a few finches at the small feeder. A spawn of Satan has already emptied one of the feeders. I watched him hanging by his feet from a branch as he ate upside down. The blasted red squirrel is also around. He is most decidedly evil. I have seen him harassing the gray spawns, and he has scolded me on many occasions. He is also small enough to fit inside the squirrel proof bars on the other feeders. If I had a sling shot, that red squirrel would be in my cross hairs (I know slingshots don’t have them. I was being figurative).

I can hear lawns being mowed, kids playing in their front yards and dogs barking. My quiet neighborhood wakes up like this every Saturday morning. It always reminds me of when I was a kid, and Saturday was the nosiest day of the week. Everybody was outside talking to each other as they did the week’s chores. My mother and our neighbor each had their own clothes lines, but they were together in rows. My mother had the first three lines and our neighbor the second three. It was the same in every backyard. The houses were all duplexes in the project where we lived. My street had three duplexes while the whole project had twelve. The rest of the houses were up the hill and   around a small rotary. The last house was beside the parking lot nobody used except us kids.  It was where we went roller skating.

Every lawn got mowed on Saturday. It was a point of pride in my neighborhood to have a healthy green lawn. Neighbors whose lawns were scraggly and had patches of sand were talked about by the fathers who pushed the hand mowers every Saturday. Most early evenings I could hear the sprinklers. The metal ones always made noises when they whirled. My dad used to turn his onbefore coming into the house when he got home from work.

My dad, his whole life, used a blade lawn mower. He swore it cut the grass better than any other other kind. We’d offer to buy a gas mower for Father’s Day, but he always said no. He loved cutting the grass in that back and forth pattern he’d perfected over the years. He would never let us cut the grass. We didn’t do it right. I miss the sound of that mower, and I miss watching my dad cut his lawn.

“A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule.”

May 22, 2011

Most of my flowers and all of my herbs are now planted. Only the deck flowers are still in their pots waiting for a more permanent home. After everything was planted yesterday, I saw I still need more herbs for the garden, some for the window boxes, geraniums for the deck pots and more flowers for the front. After my dump run today, I’ll go shopping.

The weatherman was right: still no sun. The rain came last night which was good for everything I’d planted. The sky is gray and the day is still damp. The leaves on the oak tree are getting bigger and darker. Maybe they sense summer coming better than I can.

When I was little, I often presented my mother with a bouquet of yellow dandelions. She was always thrilled and made a big deal of putting them in a glass of water then on the table or the windowsill. She made me feel as if I had given her the most beautiful flowers anyone had ever seen. I remember buttercups and holding one under my friend’s chin to see if she liked butter. If she did, the yellow was reflected on her. I remember blowing dandelion puffs. The field below my house was filled with them, and we’d run through, grab a few, blow and let the wind take them. They always seemed to waft gently.

I don’t remember lots of flower gardens in my neighborhood. Most people, like my father, planted a few flowers in front and none in the backyards which were filled with clotheslines and a wide hill of grass stretched across the back of where all our houses stood. Lawns were the big thing. There wasn’t an acknowledged competition, but it existed none the less. My father mowed a certain way. Every Saturday you could hear the click clack of his mower as he walked across the lawn in the particular pattern he favored. None of us ever mowed. We didn’t do it right. We’d cut the grass, but the pattern was always wrong. My father had a beautiful lawn, but he was never the winner. Mrs. Burns always was.

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