Thursday, October 7, 2010

How to make a lawn look pretty

Walnut grove, where we live, is a charming neighborhood. Many proud homeowners take serious the task of keeping the community nice looking, that can present some pressure.

Since moving to a house in North Augusta I have been conflicted about very few things. Most projects I am ready and willing to do on my own, or at least try. Well, the lawn (isn't that such an awful word) has been a point of contention. Meg and I have the sweetest friends in our neighborhood, really our best friends. Both offered us the use of their lawnmowers and other yard maintenance equipment (whatever that means) to tackle the task- safe to say the yards are big.
I wish I could say I feeling positive, motivated, even excited for a chance to make my back and front yard look good. But I wasn't. Meg was like, oh yea, this is no problem, we can take of the yard, easy. So I put on my big girl pants, referred to my "I can do anything" attitude and tried. Twice. 2 times, I went out into my yard and pushed a lawnmower, used a hedge trimmer (and did not have to go to the ER), weeded, edged and all that jazz. It look good, but it was soooooo hard. Meg "did" the lawn like 3 other times (by herself!) outside of the above mentioned (yea I did not do any of that work alone) and the poor kid was aching for days.

I became more negative each time. There was one time we went to Lowes, looking for mulch...I did not know what that even was until I moved to the south. The lady helping us looked at me like an idiot when I asked which mulch was better....I mean clearly there is a quality difference right? Whatever, I think she was just floored that I was doing any kind of manual labor. That was strike one.
Did I mention every time we would go out to "mow" it would start to rain, like thunderstorm rain...thus leading to rescheduling and more frustration. Strike two.
Then I had a day off of work so I felt the need to be productive. Our lawn was on the verge of being protested by neighbors so I decided to mow. Well half way through the front yard the mower was shutting off (there was gas, I checked). I kept restarting it (which is hard work) and after a few speed bumps and uneven patches, it was "mowed". I finished my work by breaking the weed eater...strike three. I was sweating, I was practically crying, I vowed NEVER to do that again!

Oy vey.....The other day I was crying to my neighbor about how much I hated mowing the lawn and he was like oh, I have this guy I will send him over. I obliged.
I thought he would send him over to talk, nope. Friday I pull into my drive way and almost drive through my garage door. My lawn look like God himself waved a wand and gave me a new lawn. Was I in the right driveway? Turns out neighbor sent lawn guy over to just go ahead and cut it, he would take care of the first bill. I know this might seem offensive to some, like wow, that was presumptuous....not to me, I was oh so grateful.

Yesterday Meg and I met with the lawn god....I mean guy, Oscar. I told him of our plights and constricted budget. He told us all about Bermuda grass and crap grass control (whatever that is....I really don't care). I loved him. He is my new best friend. HE will be in charge of the lawn....I think when a professional is doing it, we call it landscaping. Bottom line, I would rather never have starbucks again and eat ramen noodles 5 days a week and spend the money to hire someone, than ever PUSH a lawnmower myself.

There you have it, I did it myself, and then I realized I suck (and Megan cannot do it alone) I hired someone else. Can't say I didn't try.

Commencement Part One

So I randomly came across a bookclub on a blog! Brilliant, so because I have so much free time I joined. I have always wanted to part of a book club or start one, but to no avail. Anyway, I am excited and the book they are reading is Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan. I even went to the library and checked it out; how frugal of me...
Here are my responses to the first round of questions.

1. Which girl do you identify the most with?

I feel like I can identify with a small part of each of them. April with her extreme thoughts and crazy efforts to make a difference. Celia, because I too was very homesick in college; also very lucky that my parents were still married. Maybe not so much like Sally, but I can identify some of my best friends to be like her. I think mostly Bree is who I can identify with. She came in with a plan, so set with a future based on morals and family values--then BAM she became different than expected. SO different that it may have alienated some people in her life.

2. If you're a college student or graduate, what similarities or differences do you see between this story to your own college experience?
This story is not too far from my own college experience. Although I went to co-ed school, it was small, private, and surrounded by nothing. My best friends, the four of us are still very close....despite our differences. I am reading this feeling nostalgic and missing those days. For every college memory the characters share I am reminded of so many of my own.

3. Which girl do you think has changed the most since her time in college? In what ways has she changed?
I am inclined to answer Bree, there is a lot of change that has happened. Still more to come (I cannot wait for part 2). I also think Sally has come a long way. The death of her mother is still lingering, dealing with that grief in different stages can be associated with how she demonstrates change in her life.

This book has been such an easy read...on the surface like so many plots but with some reflection there is so much more to the characters. The girls are easy to identify and bring up friendships of your own. I can't wait to see what will come of the girls in part 2.
I wonder if anyone else reading can identify so easy? I hypothesize my connection to being the age which the characters are in part one; 4 years post undergrad.