18 March 2013

Cutting my grass

I don't want to big myself up too much but on the weekend I did something extraordinary.  Something out of character, something that pushed me beyond my safety zone and out into a world as alien as any you can imagine.

I "did stuff in the garden".

I'd like to say this was inspired by a desire to commune with nature, get my hands dirty and find the joy in creating order from chaos, but it wasn't.

We're hosting a first birthday party next weekend and our yard was more 'Where the Wild Things Grow' than urban backyard.  Our almost one year old trekked through the overgrown grass at one stage and then had to cry for help when she got lost as the grass was taller than her.  Quite frankly, I was a little annoyed she hadn't taken a safety flare like all good bushwalkers should.  I was tempted to leave her there to learn her lesson.  But then I remembered I quite like her and so executed a successful search and rescue.

It's okay - I found her! 
On the flip side, the 2.5 year old was loving it.  She'd jump off a milk crate arms outstretched as if she was crowd surfing and ride the wave of shifting grass blades until she reached the path.  Unlike crowd surfing, she was guaranteed a soft landing and nobody picked her pockets or had a cheeky grope.  It was also probably the last time she'll be able to say 'Me more grass Mama' without me recommending an intervention.

So having broken our own mower recently, we borrowed one.  And promptly broke it.  So we called 'The Engineer' and he came and did something with a piece of string and a muttered curse and fixed it for us. I love clever people.  So then battle commenced.

Clad in 'work gear' to get me in the gardening vibe (think Jamie Durie but not anything like him at all and dressed in female attire) - big boots, shorts, vest, hat and sunglasses - music playlist chosen "Exercise", I strode into the grass.  And the mower stopped.  I checked - piece of string intact.  I muttered a curse.  Nothing happened.  I did what all good gardeners do and I yelled for my husband.  He came.  Discovered that a mere half metre of lawn mowing resulted in the catcher filling up and cutting out the engine in a rather nifty safety manoeuvre. He emptied the catcher, restart the engine.  I admired his creative thought and went inside for a drink.

And so it progressed. He manfully handled the mower through over half the lawn (including about 600 catcher emptying side trips) and then I resumed my new role as 'she who will not be conquered by the bloody lawn'. I decided to take it out the front and do the front lawn and managed to cut up a rock which slammed into my finger so hard I thought I'd cut my finger off.  Turned out it was fine, didn't even break the skin. I may have profaned profusely though while the pain roared through my receptors to my brain screaming 'MAY DAY MAY DAY MAN DOWN'.  Brain replied 'Harden up girlfriend'.

With no valid excuse (ie: limb removal) to stop, I mowed the verge.  Then the neighbour's verge and then the other neighbours verge.  And then acknowledged I had to return to the back yard and actually do the hard yards. (Ha - great unintentional pun by me just then!).  By then I was on fire and it had nothing to do with spilling petrol all over the mower.  I was incorporating unnecessary walking into my push forward, pull back lawn mowing action and making a dance out of the emptying of the catcher.  I assume no neighbours were watching or I would have been signed up for a reality tv show entitled 'strictly dancing with the mower' by now.

Then there was hedge trimming. This is where you lop off anything you can reach and then drag it to the pile of grass clippings in the back corner so that quite literally it reaches the top of the fence.  I think this is called composting.  Whatever - it's totally nailed!  Then a crawl around the perimeter of the yard yanking out the weeds that you can't reach with the whipper snipper and Voila!  I might be permanently crippled but the yard is now 'good enough' to host a one year old party in. I'm not saying its perfect.  I am just saying small people can enter the yard without the safety beacons.  Surely that makes us responsible parents??

Bets are on that it'll rain now and we wont be able to use the backyard anyway and all the small people will end up running riot in the house oblivious to to the herculean efforts that took place.  But in the mean time, I'm going to be sniffing out those sponsorship opportunities with Bunnings and the like.  I'm definitely the new poster girl for 'doing stuff in the garden'.  Don't you agree?