First Cutting

First Cutting

The first cutting of the year is always a trim.  Parts of the lawn are high enough to be cut, others haven’t began their spring growth spurt.  Either way, out came the lawn tractor today.

The tractor had a flat tire.  No big deal, or so I thought.  When I tried to put air in the tire, it would not inflate.  Looking at the inside of the tire I discovered the bead came unseated.

Try as I may, I could not get the bead to seat.  After a prayer I recalled seeing a video where a man took a belt, wrapped it around the circumference of the tire, and that forced the bead towards the rim.

I grabbed the scissor jack to learn it doesn’t work.   Seeing a bottle jack, I grabbed it, and it got the offending wheel off the ground.  Attempting to push the tire towards the rim wasn’t working, and because of that, I went searching for a tie-down strap to use as a belt.

Cinching the belt tight I could see how it was moving the bead closer to the rim.  I attempted to add air, but it still wasn’t working, consequently, I had to tighten the belt.  It was getting so difficult to tighten the belt I began to wonder if it would work.

Finally, the bead slid in to the rim and it held air.  I added air to the other three tires, and I was ready to mow.  (It only took about 3 hours to fix the stupid tire.)

Adding Insult

Adding insult to injury, I cut a slot in the milk door.  I measured, but somehow I was off.  The slot is slightly tipped to one side.

Further insult to injury came when I could not find the leftover deviled eggs.  Elizabethe and I looked everywhere.  I found this disconcerting because either 1) I put them somewhere and can’t remember where I put them, 2) Elizabethe put them somewhere and she can’t remember where she put them, or 3) someone took them without asking.  Regardless of which one of the three it is, it is disconcerting.

Wardrobe

Elizabethe modified some of the doll wardrobe to fit the not-so-slender dolls.  Tomorrow I’ll have to see how the modifications worked.

 

First Cutting

First Cutting

It’s the first cutting of the year, and that’s always a challenge.  Will the lawn mower start?  Do I have gasoline?  What’s laying on the lawn that I should pick up first?  These are all valid questions.

Pulling the wagon behind me I walked the yard looking for things that could damage the mower.  I founds some large pieces of trash (yeah, living on Main Street people think they can throw trash in your front yard… including other people’s yard clippings.)  Most of what I found were downed branches.

While driving the mower around I realized we didn’t get all the leaves picked up last fall.  This resulted in a lot of dust from the dried leaves.  Nasty, nose clogging, dust.

Some parts of the lawn were overgrown with grass while other parts were dry and the grass looked dormant.  I’m thinking it is time to invest in an aeroratoer for the tractor.  And, since I used the grass catcher we had a lot of dried leaves and a few bags of green clippings.  That’s how the first cutting this year went.

After mowing the lawn I heard the news that Prince (a popular rock star in the 1980s) died.  I’m not sure what possess people to elevate drug addicted celebrities to the status of hero when they die.  While I was never a fan of his music, and I feel bad for his family and friends, they guy was pretty low on the moral scale.  And, his girlfriend, Vanity, who passed away a couple of months ago as a big drug-addict too.  Nah, I’m not one to jump on the bandwagon and say how great the guy was.  He was a drug-addicted shock-artist sadly to say.

Mowing the Lawn and Rocks

The last time I mowed the lawn I hit a rock and it ended up costing me several hours and $70. This time, I was more cautious about the rocks and Elizabethe helped by going out scouting for rocks before I got there with the tractor.

The grass was so thick I was emptying the catcher bins quite often. It took me about 5 hours to get through the project. The mountains of grass clippings will be used to mulch the garden and areas where we don’t want weeds.

Our weekend guests left today. It was fun seeing the children of this family enjoy our yard. Right before they left, the Porters from Jamestown stopped by to say their goodbyes before they move to Indiana. Their kids too enjoy our yard and it was fun watching them play hide-n-seek in the secret garden area.

After I got cleaned up from mowing, Elizabethe and I did a little trip to Newark for my Route 31 book. We stopped at one place, but the smell was so bad we didn’t even enter the restaurant. (I wonder how food establishments put up with bad smells coming from their restaurant.) So, we stopped at Bee Tee’s. It was great, and they will be reviewed in my Get It Done On 31 ™ book.

I’m feeling overwhelmed again. I realize I have too many open projects right now. But, I’m learning how to manage a full-time business. It isn’t easy, and I keep reminding myself it will be worth it.

A Tiny Rock and $65

Today was another very full day.  Tri County Networkers, and then a head shot, filled the morning.  After the head shot, I started mowing the lawn.  I was about 1/4 of the way through when the blade hit something in the grass.  It wasn’t a loud noise, and it sounded more like I hit a clump of dirt.

Then, while rounding a corner, the engine stopped.  I knew something had obstructed the blade.   So, I got off and looked under the mowing deck, and the blade was bent down at a 90-degree angle in to the dirt.

Tracing back to where I first heard the blade hit something, I found a rock about the size of a potato.  The dirt hitting noise must have been after it hit the rock and bent slightly and tore in to the ground.  (I think the rock went up and between the deck and blade, bending the blade downward.)  Then, when I turned the corner, it was enough for that blade to dive in to the dirt and bend more.

I was a little upset.  I had just had both blades replaced at the end of the summer last year.

I went to my doctor’s appointment, then to Lowe’s to get a blade.  They don’t stock them.  It is a special order item.

Uhg.

I went to Walmart to do some grocery shopping and I thought I’d check the garden department.  They do don’t carry blades for the Cub Cadet.  (I did a lot of research before buying this tractor.  You’d think they would carry blades for one of the higher rated tractors?)

Next stop was where I bought the tractor.  $65 for the pair.  Ouch.

I came home and attempted to remove the blades.  No such luck.  Those things were on solid.

With Elizabethe’s help, we put the deck in her trunk and she went with the blades back to the tractor store.  She was back in no time and said, “It only cost $5 for them to install the blades.  Promise me you won’t attempt to do it and you’ll take it to them next time.”

Yes, dear.

I mean, for $5 they can replace them every time.

I’ve entertained the thought of buying a second deck.  That way, if I damage a blade, I can swap decks, and keep mowing and replace the blade when I’m not stressed about mowing the lawn.

They must have some special tool.

I Didn’t See It Coming

While mowing the lawn today, the mower suddenly stopped.  I mean, it just came to a dead stop.

It turns out the ground must have settled around the water meter and the blade hit it.  It bent the blade in a an S-shape; one end bent up, and the other end bent down.  We’re talking major damage.

Fortunately, our tenant was heading out on his bicycle and asked if I needed help.  We dislodged the mowing deck and carried it to the garage.  The tractor was still drivable.

What a way to ruin the day.

Fall Colors
Fall Colors

Add to that, someone keeps vandalizing a campaign sign in our yard, and some of our firewood is missing.  Okay… It’s time to call it quits for the day.  Tomorrow will be a new day.