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Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Refreshing

My little man’s new favourite play place is the little pond in the garden below our deck. He spends a lot of time there & the pond is slowly getting shallower as more & more rocks & mud & toys are dropped into it.

My view of allthe action.

This afternoon as I sat on the deck writing I heard the velcro on his shoes & looked down in time to see the running shoes going into the pond. His only shoes that currently fit I will add.

Oh well, wet is wet so I did not immediately rescue the shoes.

Next time I looked down he was drinking water from the pond out of his shoe.

YUCK!

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This is what my laneway looks like tonight.

It took me a little over two weeks but I met my goal of getting the entire yard raked & bagged before yard waste pick up day (tomorrow!). I have never before been done (or started!) before the one & only pick up day (ok – there is one other one in November).

I guessed it would be 20 bags but ended up only needing 17. And I even managed to do the first mow of the entire yard as well. Sounds silly but we tend to mow in chunks & there have been years when some chunks rarely get touched (like the backyard no one can see in!).

Bonus: my Mom came over this morning with her truck on her way to do a dump run for herself & took our pile of dump bound junk, including the old bbq that tackled Diaperbutt on the weekend!

Slowly but surely our yard is becoming rather hospitable.

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Spring Is Coming

Every year at this time of year when the forced bulbs (tulips, hyacinths, paper whites, etc.) are out in the stores I promise myself I will set some up myself – next year. Yet again I failed to do it this year so I spent the money & got a hyacinth for our bathroom – the whole upstairs was scented by it & it was such a nice reminder that spring is coming.

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While visiting my Grandma in Alberta we went for a few nice walks around their little town. As is natural we pointed out things we saw in yards that we liked & pretty flowers in the park. But then the conversation turned sour. Grandma started complaining about “those” neighbours. You know the evil ones who don’t bother with keeping up their yard to the same standard as (the mostly retired) others in the neighbourhood. I could feel the uneasiness of my dirty little secret bouncing around inside of me. She kept on awhile on the subject & her words built up my guilt.

We are “those” neighbours.

The fact is that although I can look at a nice, lush, trimmed lawn & appreciate the amount of time, effort & money that went into making it that way, it just doesn’t matter to me.

With all the things I need to do & like to do the lawn is on the bottom of the list.

We do “try” to keep up appearances for the neighbours’ sake but I’m sure, judging by some of the perfect lawns around here, we are a disappointment. I really am well intentioned but between our yard being rather inhospitable (due to things other than grass length) & all the rain we’ve had this year & other priorities & my lack of enthusiasm for the task – it just doesn’t get done.

One more reason I suppose it would be better if we lived in the country. Then our long lawn would be considered meadow & no one would care.

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DSC_5146

This is a picture of our lawnmower partly apart. Grumpybear took it (along with many others) to send to an acquaintance who was helping him troubleshoot why the thing wouldn’t start.

After several attempts at fixing it on his own Grumpybear admitted defeat & made arrangements to bring it to a local guy who does small engine repair. After a week there he also was unable to find the problem.

So, we brought it to the Honda dealership (they made the thing so surely they could figure it out), something we were avoiding because of the higher per hour rate.

They found the problem. The repair, they say, will cost only $50 less than a brand new machine (which sounds significant until you know the machines start at $350).

This makes me very angry. This mower is 5 years old. We’ve always done the maintenance on it. It’s always been stored indoors. We purposely spent more on what was supposed to be a better machine.

But it’s really not about this mower. It’s the fact this is how it is with so many things. I recently replaced our toaster (6 years worth of intermittent use – we are not toast every morning people). When the battery for the portable phones died it was not possible to replace them – we needed to buy all new phones. I can think of dozens of examples from the past few years.

When & why did it become that repairing so many things was more expensive (or not possible) than buying a brand new item? How do we avoid this cycle?

We try to be conscious consumers. We often research our purchases & we try to avoid buying the cheapest, but instead buy what is the best quality or most meets our needs. But it keeps backfiring ’cause we keep having to replace the items anyway. We’ve even started becoming better at repairing things ourselves & purchasing items that are more basic so we can repair them ourselves, hopefully this tact will work for us.

So we will be replacing that fancy Honda gas mower with a reel mower . Not only is the repair very simple but now I can mow with Diaperbutt on my back, or on a blanket nearby. Grumpybear is excited he could actually listen to music while he mows very early in the morning. In fact, I could see myself mowing late in the evening. Come to think of it I have always found the constant drone of the lawnmower during the summer months rather annoying.

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