Adventures in Lawn Care

I want to set the record straight: I hate (yes, hate!) doing yard work. Always have. My earliest memories of  yard work go back to my childhood home. We lived in the kind of neighborhood where people would be awarded Yard Of The Month and given huge sign to display in front of their house. We never won it, but I think my parents’ goal was to just keep our nice house looking nice in our nice neighborhood. Every so often, my dad would draft my brothers and I into mandatory lawn care service. It was usually easy stuff, like putting leaves in bags, but I remember it as being torturous. I’m not sure if it was just because I was angsty and everything at that time in my life felt like torture or if there was something particularly repellent about the yard work. I just know I didn’t like it, and that feeling has never left me.

As an adult, I’ve mostly lived in apartments. That’s a plus because apartment = no yard to do any work in! When Stephen and I lived in Germany, we had the yard to end all yards. It was huge, and grassy, and hilly, and I loved it. (See Exhibit A below.)


Fortunately, Stephen volunteered (!!!) to be in charge of all things yard-related. I got to enjoy the benefits of having a backyard while wiping my hands of any responsibility. Pretty much the perfect scenario. My only yard involvement was picking up dog poo and being in charge of the cord on the occasion that Stephen mowed the lawn with a rented electric mower. (And because I’m me, I totally complained about having to be the cord girl.)

El Paso yards aren’t really what one would call a yard. They are usually either dirt or rocks.  We rock our rocks in the front and love our dirt in the back. Only our backyard isn’t exactly dirt. It’s more like a half dirt/half grass combo. It’s essentially the centaur of yards. With my yard expert gone, it’s up to me to maintain it.

Oy vey.

Don’t get me wrong, we are working with the lowest of low maintenance yards here. That’s still more work than I’d prefer to put in. Every three weeks, I have to do some weed pulling out front. As for the back, well, I’ve gone the entire 200+ days that Stephen’s been gone without doing a single thing back there. It seemed like the backyard was taking care of itself (that’s what I told myself anyway), until I realized it’s on its way to becoming a mini-jungle.

Welcome to my jungle.

Welcome to my jungle.

I honestly would have put off doing any work back there if it hadn’t been for the appearance of a few too many black widow spiders. One is really too many, but I’ve spotted (and annihilated) four in the backyard. I’m not sure if they live in tall grasses, but I don’t like the idea of Geronimo walking around where things might be lurking.

All this to say: I had to mow the lawn.

I’ve never mowed a lawn before in my life. I’ve never anything-ed a lawn before. I don’t even have mowing capabilities! After consulting my yard aficionado (Stephen) and visiting Home Depot, I’m now the proud owner (and assembler!) of a weed whacker. We decided that for our grassy patches, though they be long, a full on mower wasn’t really necessary. I really had to buck up to make all this happen. Not only am I inexperienced and inept in this arena, I was also about as unexcited as one can be for this sort of thing. It had to be done, though, so I did it!

I bought the weed whacker. I assembled the weed whacker. I whacked weeds.

Ta da!

Ta da!

It was messy and tiring but also strangely satisfying. And I have no plans to ever repeat the experience.

The yard now looks akin to when I attempt to cut Stephen’s hair on R&R back in 2011: not very good but better than it looked before. I’m pretty sure this means that Stephen now has to buy me jewelry.

16 thoughts on “Adventures in Lawn Care

  1. I happened to mention to Chris that you had encountered a couple of black widow spiders, and to say he was upset was an understatement! He had a bunch of questions – are you spraying? what can you do to prevent them? will you have to move? (my fav). This web site: has some additional preventive suggestions. I’m impressed that you bought a weed-whacker & put it together & I’m also impressed that you did the yard. Hopefully that will reduce the number of spiders out there.

    • Thanks for the link – it has some really good info. Thankfully, the black widows seem to be keeping to themselves and staying outside. Still, they give me quite a fright on the occasion that they appear as I’m letting Geronimo outside in the morning. That will wake a girl up fast!

  2. hahahaha


    I am shocked that there wasn’t a single person who could help you out with this. And the spiders! EW EW EWWWW! Did you wear a hazmat suit to do the weed whacking?

    When I mow, I time myself. It’s a game to see how quickly I can do it! Of course, I don’t mind doing it… it makes me feel strong and it’s satisfying to see the grass cut shorter.

    • A Wear Blue friend and neighbor very generously offered to send her husband over with his lawn mower. At that point, I had already decided to get the weed whacker. I don’t even know if my yard is lawn mower worth since it’s 75% grass. It was a really kind gesture, though!

      I have an old friend who loves to mow the lawn. She says it’s her zen and she mows for all her neighbors, too. I envy y’all. I’m an indoor girl through and through!

  3. I do not envy you in this position. We have a teeny tiny yard bc we live in a townhome and some times when Eric works a 72-hour shift, I even forget to water the plants. It’s bad. He is in charge of everything outdoor related.

  4. I don’t mind mowing the lawn but we opted for artificial grass lol. I am sure there will be lots of lawn mowing when we move to Louisiana.

    • I imagine Lousiniana as being way greener than EP! For sure! I’m not sure how Geronimo would feel about turf. Although, I’ll admit I’ve been surprised how comfy he seems to be taking care of business on the rocks, so what do I know.

  5. Omg…I wrote a Facebook status about this last week. I can’t start my mower or weed wacker for the life of me!i used to mow our lawn back at home, but El Paso is a whole different story. The thorns are flipping nuts!!!! Come help me? Haha

  6. You’re hilarious!!!!

  7. I really like doing yard work so I guess that makes me really strange. I like when im done I have a sense of accomplishment. Only part I dont like is doing it in August and September, due to temperature. Mowing at 7:30 in the morning to try to beat the heat does suck.

  8. Haha I love this. I am also an avid hater of all things lawn. Tom and I have consented that we are not going to have gardens when we have a house and will only have low maintenance bushes and trees.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s