potholes in my lawn

We are on the porch, working, enjoying both the view and a very rare quiet moment.

I’m taking a break to update you on Skunk Watch 2004. We have motion-sensor lights in front, so we left those on last night. I also sprinkled enough cayenne pepper on my front lawn to turn those grubs into crawfish. This morning there were only two small skunk holes. Now, did we scare them with the lights, or did they get a snout of hot pepper?

This morning we also woke to ants. One of the cats threw up (because it’s one of the three things cats do) in the office. Ants appeared from somewhere deep in the office closet and took over the area. Cal and Olive moved to higher ground and watched the ant army digest their digestive juices. It appears there’s an ant colony living somewhere under the house, near the back closet. They don’t care for food, and they don’t go near the kitchen. They swarm dead bugs and cat puke.

“Can you imagine that queen ant?” stee asked this morning. “She’s got to be pissed at what they’re bringing her. ‘What is this, cat puke? Someone bring me a grasshopper!’”

Yesterday morning I mowed the lawn.

I will say that one more time, because it really awes people when they realize that we have a lawn, and that they make lawns in Los Angeles, and then that I mowed the lawn.

Yesterday morning I mowed the lawn.

It was not easy, as we are hilly and I am not much taller than the mower. But I did it, and it’s uneven because we don’t have a weedwacker yet, and the rake the owners left us is pretty weak, but I’m very happy they left us their mower.

“Be careful not to run over the sprinkler heads,” stee warned me as I rolled the mower onto the grass.

“Are you sure you can’t just run over them?” I asked. “They’re pretty close to the ground.”

“I don’t think you should run over them.”

It was early, and we were tired, and the chores were adding up, and I got testy.

“I think I’m mowing the lawn,” I said.

I started the mower, and gingerly mowed over one sprinkler head. Everything was fine. Smooth sailing. I looked up to give a cocky smirk to stee, and SPRONGK!

I stopped the mower. Plastic pieces were scattered across the lawn. One long spring had unspooled along the grass.

“Uh, don’t run over the sprinkler heads,” I said.

Stee exclaimed, “Now you broke the mower!”

And that’s when I realized stee had never mowed a lawn before. “A mower is a blade. Nothing else.” I turned the mower over to show him. “I broke the shit out of that sprinkler head, though.”

“Do you know how to replace one?” stee asked.

“Well, I’m about to find out!” I said, stomping off to the shed. Stee went to feed the chickens, clean out the pen and find out what’s been ruttin’ up th’ yard sumpin’ fierce.

Through it all, the quiet Couch Baron watched from the side, drinking his coffee, and I wonder what he thought during our sprinkler debate.

I replaced the sprinkler head, even figuring out how to position it so it’s only spraying the part of the lawn that needs to be sprayed, and how to adjust it so it doesn’t spray the house. I mean: I’m awesome.

Then I finished the lawn, and watered the plants and trees and had a well-deserved cup of coffee.

Then Couch Baron and I figured out how to fix the screen door that was sliding from its hinge.

When you fix something that you figured was just broke and can’t be fixed, you really do feel like a rockstar. Granted, the door is sliding again because it appears the wood is stripped and the screws aren’t sticking in it, and now I really don’t know how to fix it because my brain thinks, “Well, I’d better replace the door frame, then, or replace the wood of the house.”

Then I fixed all the squeaky hinges around the house with some WD-40, another tool I think stee hadn’t seen before, due to the look of wonder on his face when the back door stopped squeaking.

And stee built us desks. Big, long desks that hold all of our things. And he’s nursing our plants back to health, when some of them just don’t know how to grow in the new house.

Our bed is here. The couch isn’t, and the furniture store told us that now they can’t deliver the couch until Halloween. We are looking for a new couch this weekend.

So after a day of skunks, grass, sprinklers, hinges and shopping, it was a wonderful change to cook and drink wine and open the door for friends. We christened the newly-trimmed back lawn with a rousing game of bocce (a housewarming gift). We ate outside and then walked to the karaoke bar down the street. Dan and I finally got to sing “Time After Time” together, a moment three years in the making, and I think it almost caused a constitutional amendment banning Karaoke. Then we danced, which I really needed. Just stupid dancing for a long time to songs that were all a bit outdated, like “Hot In Herre.” Sara M’s milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, by the way.

The rest of my time has been spent recapping the VMA’s for TWoP, which will be posted soon.

Hunh. That all sounded much more interesting when it was happening in real time.

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