I got up this morning intending to spend the day down at the kennel, but I hadn't firmed up plans with Sue, and though I left 2 messages, she didn't call me back. I had hoped to use Sue's professional gear to groom Angel. Instead, when it became clear that our plans weren't firm enough to happen today, I decided at around 10 this morning that I couldn't let the day get away without grooming her (Angel, not Sue.) She was a mess, and I really shouldn't let her get this bad. So, I propped the utility room door open to the back yard so the big dogs could come and go without bothering me, and I set to it. Angel is now clipped, bathed, comfy, and has been fed - you'll note the need for a quick wash up is immediate following her meal.
The other thing around here that was in desperate need of grooming was the front yard. Back in May, when my tractor broke, I borrowed a nice little push power mower. My tractor was in the shop for over a month. When I got it back in late June, I had to return the push mower. That was the last time the front yard looked properly tended. The little manual reel mower I bought in the spring is fine for detailing in the back yard, but it just doesn't handle the tough grass in the front yard, the leaves of which simply "sproing" up after it goes over them. And it's long since been time to replace my old Poulan power mower, which really was too heavy for me, and needed a lot of work. So, this afternoon, I went to Home Depot and bought a small, self-propelled mulching mower. I got a "yard boy" to help me put it in the car. That was the last part of the day that was easy. I had to assemble the thing ... wheels, handle, mulching bag, spark plugs - I got to know my socket wrench set fairly intimately before I was done. But I got it together, and the yard is done.
I would have done a better job, but the edge along the flower bed was an area I had to avoid, for the same reason it needs to be weeded so badly. See that hole in the stone wall?
That's home to a nest of yellow jackets. I've quite nicely asked them to leave a number of times, but they're still there. Since I had a rather disasterous day of yard work not long ago, during which I lost my glasses (but somehow managed to NOT run over them with the tractor,)and cut my arm fairly badly on a nasty, grabby cane from a rose bush (which insinuated its thorns deeply into my flesh and then TORE it open before I could stop the tractor,) as well as having had a rather spectacular run-in with another nest of yellow jackets, I decided that cowardice could be the better part of valor. I'll see to the yellow jackets the first really cool night - until then, they may retain their veil of weeds.
Tomorrow evening, I'll drag the old mower, which still sort of works but is way too heavy for me and needs a new blade, out to the edge of the road. Around these parts, a sign that says FREE - STILL WORKS is a cheaper alternative than the dump.
RIP old Poulan. You've been replaced by a Briggs and Stratton Weed Eater Self-Propelled Mulching Mower. You were a reliable old work horse in your day. Your day is done. And thankfully, this day is over for me, too. Everything is stiff, bruised, or otherwise sore ... even my toes. I feel a pedicure coming on ...