Category Archives: Yard Care

May 17th Lesson: Pulling My Thought Weeds and Proud Me

I did yard work from 10 am to 5 pm today. I took a break for lunch and put my son down for a nap, but I was on a mission. I wanted to fully weed the flower beds so I can put flowers in and mulch down tomorrow. Then I mowed the entire yard.

All I could think as I was weeding is that it was like navigating thoughts. If you don’t consistently get rid of the bad weeds, they will take over the flower bed and everything will be a mess. If you consistently pull out the bad weeds, it may be constant work, but its manageable and the flower bed stays maintained.

Okay, I’m over analyzing weeds. I need to get a life.

I’ve been trying to not be negative lately. Sometimes its hard to stay positive, and I don’t think I really have to be all “I’m great!” and be all overly positive. I sort of just want to punch overly positive people in the face. How negative is that? Anyway, I’ve been trying to just not let negativity overtake my mind. Yesterday was rough because I was feeling nothing but rejection from every direction. Today I was overthinking and making weed analogies, but at least I don’t feel like an emotional pile of dog poop.

By the time I was done weeding, it was 4 pm and I was beat. My back was aching from being bent over all day. My quads were on fire since I literally did squats all day. And my hands felt like they were in a permanent state of carpel tunnel. So what did I do next?

I mowed the lawn.

I’ve already mentioned that I’m a lawn mowing newbie. This is only like the fourth time I’ve mowed the lawn on my own. Yes, ever. I was 21 years old when I met my husband. I lived in some sort of apartment and rented throughout most of my 20s. I was 27 years old when we bought the house I live in now. And 11 years later, this is the only house that I’ve ever personally owned, and I just never had to mow the lawn. I have always been the housekeeper and the gardener, but not usually the lawn maintenance person.

I may talk about lawn mowing like 50 more times on my blog, so let’s just prep you for that right now.

I feel like I’m finally starting to get the hang of it. My not-yet-but-soon-to-be-ex-husband took the kids to the park so it was just me and lawn mower. Mr. Lawn Mower started up on the first attempt and I happily trotted around the yard like I finally knew what I was doing. I even knew when the bag was full of grass and emptied it before blasting grass clumps all over my lawn.

As I moved to the backyard, I just couldn’t help but be glad that I’m in decent physical shape. This day kicked my ass, but I could handle it. I was counting my blessings that I have a healthy fit body,. This crap is hard work. I will say that I have a newfound respect for all the work my husband has been doing on the yard all these years, but he’s double my weight and has quite a bit more muscle mass, so whatever.

It makes me happy when I’m able to get something done that I don’t usually do. It makes me even happier when my not-yet-but-soon-to-be-ex-husband brought the kids home and told me the yard looked nice (with a look on his face like damn, she’s actually is doing it). I really don’t care if he gives me compliments anymore. I don’t trust anything he says. But I still know what he’s thinking. I know what the look on his face was when he gazed out the back door at the nicely mowed lawn.

So, after six long hard hours of yard work, I learned that today I’m proud of myself with my new lawn mowing capability. I know I’m not the first woman on the face of the earth to mow a lawn because her shitty almost ex-husband no longer lives there, but it’s my own little proud moment, so I’ll let that little light shine.

Stifle Me Not

May 11th Lesson: I’ve Got This

Today I mowed the yard again. It was easier this time. The mower started right away and never stalled once. That was nice. It’s been a week since the last time I mowed, which was frustrating as all hell.

Are you all sick of me talking about yard work yet? It’s damn metaphor for my life right now. I can’t help it.

I was never one of those women that was all “I don’t mow the lawn” just because I couldn’t mow the lawn. It was because my husband always just did it. There was no big discussion where I announced that I wouldn’t or couldn’t do it, and he never said that I couldn’t or shouldn’t do it. He never cleaned the bathroom, and I never mowed the lawn. There were just some tasks that we each owned and didn’t share. I certainly wouldn’t have been sad if he cleaned a toilet as I’m sure he’d be quite happy if I mowed the lawn (correctly, his way).

So here I was today, confidently strolling through the yard with my non-stalling lawnmower. I didn’t even mow over anything dumb, like a bunch of rocks. Before I knew it, I was done. I gave myself some positive self-talk before I started and that may have helped.

I know that the next time I mow, it may not go as smoothly. There may be some challenge. But for now, I’ve got this. I can do this. Today I learned that I’ve got this.

Stifle Me Not

May 7th Lesson: Cleaning Up the Pebbles of Abandoned Hope

For the last year (maybe more, seems like forever) there have been several bags of pea pebbles in the driveway next to the garage. Some of the bags were split open and the pebbles oozed onto part of the driveway. Dead leaves were collected on top of the bags. It was an ugly mixed up mound of pebbles and dirty leaves sitting there like an ugly eye sore.

My husband originally bought the pebbles to create a bed of gravel under rocks around a fire pit that he built in the backyard. The fire pit was built and has been used, but the layer of pebbles that were supposed to go under the paving stones never made it there. He just gave up. I would nag for him to clean it up, he would respond with some good-at-the-minute response, and then he would ignore it.

I wasn’t the one that wanted the fire pit that bad, so why should I finish it? And I didn’t leave the pebbles out in the driveway, so why should I clean it up?

Weeds were starting to grow out of the pile of pebbles and leaves. The hope was gone that anyone else was going to do it. Clearly I am the only one.

Tonight I cleaned up the pebbles. It took me all of 10 minutes to do it. I was taking the trash out, looked at those pebbles and just thought “My driveway looks terrible, that needs to go.”

Today I learned that I’m not waiting around anymore. I’m taking responsibility for what needs to be taken care of, mine or not. I’m letting go of hope that someone else will take care of it for me.

Stifle Me Not

 

May 5th Lesson: Choosing the Positive Path

I woke up with a chip on my shoulder. I do this sometimes. I wake up with one idea in my head and I ruin the rest of my day. I’ve heard before that you need to just choose your attitude, not let it choose you. Easier said than done, right? I went to bed mad about a conversation with my husband, and I woke up still mad the next day. This is why I don’t ever stand my ground with him – because he has a perspective from the inside of an armpit and I’m left blinking furiously every time, seriously wondering if I’m crazy. I am not. I’m actually very reasonable and mild mannered. I cannot allow his words continue to make a negative impact on me.

And so I consciously chose not to not let that happen.

Yesterday I had two main goals: Mow the lawn and spend time with some friends.

The bigger goal: Don’t let him ruin my day.

Let’s start with the damn lawn. I’ve lived here for over 11 years. When my husband was here, he always mowed and weed whacked. I maintained the flower beds. I’ve mowed the yard twice in the whole 11 years, and according to my husband, I messed up something  both times. The first time I didn’t have the lawn bag on the mower correctly so there were grass clippings all of the yard. The second time, I mowed over an outdoor outlet in the  middle of backyard (what, it was covered by long grass so I didn’t see it). I never mowed the lawn because I didn’t have to and he already set the tone that I didn’t know how to properly do it, so that was that.

One of the biggest attractions about this house when we bought it is that it is in the middle of the city with a BIGGER yard. Now this wonderful big yard is long and full of dandelions. The lawn care episode of the day started like this: I got the lawn mower own, got it started (proud moment – this is a feat for my skinny arms), mowed one strip of grass, and it stopped working.

I took the mower in the backyard so that my neighbors couldn’t see me losing my shit. And yes, there was gas in it. It took numerous times to get it restarted and a few tears. Eventually I learned that this cranky old mower has some quirks of its own. You have to pay attention to its sounds and adjust to it. Eventually, I had the entire lawn mowed. I was tired, my arm hurt from pulling the start string, and I was dirty. I don’t like being dirty. Most importantly though – I was proud. I did it. My kids got to see me not give up and get it done.

Later on my husband came over to get the kids. I pre-scolded him about how he wasn’t going to sabotage my night out with my friends. He didn’t fight back much. He must’ve known I meant it because I didn’t get one sabotage text or call like I normally do. I went to my friend’s house where a few of us laughed loudly, drank margaritas, and ate entirely too many chips and dips. It was much-needed friend time.

I mowed the entire yard for the first time and I spent quality fun time with my friends. And I didn’t let him ruin it for me. I had a positive and fun day. I did it. I learned to choose what I want to happen.

Stifle Me Not