Monday, September 24, 2012

Why Goats are Mowing my Front Lawn

You know how people sometimes exaggerate about how tall their grass is? Stuff like, “You could lose a small child in our lawn!” or “We could make hay!” Well, that crap is  for real, here, people!  I could blame it on my hubby being too busy, which is true. I could blame it on the weather, which would also be sorta true. But the real truth is we are straight up ghetto here at Layton Farms. If you have four lawn mowers and none of them work…you might be a redneck. If one of your lawnmowers is up on blocks in the yard… you might be a redneck. If you put temporary fence around your front yard and move the sheep and goat flocks in the paddock for the weekend so they can eat it down to a level that won’t choke out the one lawn mower that works when you air up the tire every thirty minutes or so…I’m not sure what you are, but I’m right there with you.

I’m writing this post partly to vent, partly to apologize to my neighbors, and partly to explain that we’re not total lazy trashy bums.

It started months ago. Our lawn was freshly mowed and beautiful for the Raney/Smith wedding extravaganza in May. We beamed with pride. Then it didn’t rain all the rest of May and June, so Ryan only had to do a little trimming to make our dead grass look tidy for our 4th of July party. July and August brought more drought – level 4 “exceptional,” record-breaking drought. So, we went into the school year having only mowed 1 ½ times all summer and yet not looking trashy. Win, right? Wrong. Because a few rains in August brought on some late-season growth. When Ryan went out to mow, he discovered his stand-by mower was broken. So, he went to use his back-up. Flat tire. Mowers 3 and 4 had been out of commission for over a year. I won’t go off on a tangent about why we find it necessary to keep worthless, yet large, pieces of equipment around. I won’t. (But I will think it in my mind every time I spy one of said worthless, bulky items taking up space in our shed – or yard) No biggie, he decided. Just let the lawn go a little until he could get some help from his dad fixing one of the two mowers.

Now I realize that normal people would probably pay to have their mower fixed, buy a new mower, or break down and hire a lawn service to do the job until they could get their own machinery up and running. If you haven’t met us, you should know that we’re not normal. In fact, maybe I should back up and explain a few things about us: 1) We’re incredibly cheap, 2) We’re incredibly busy this time of year, and 3) We’re not incredibly handy. So, this is a break down of the last month and a half
-          Visit to Dr. Dad. Mower fixed for about 1/3 of one section of the lawn. Conks out again.
-          Aired up flat tire. Mower makes it through ½ of a section. Weekend over.
-          Dr. Dad house call. Services include mini-lecture on upkeep and maintenance, section of lawn test mowed, and mower with clean bill of health.
-          Mower gets new injury. Won’t self propel. Ryan tries to force an extra-large deck (it’s one of those walk-behind jumbo mowers – not made to actually push!) through our extra-tall grass. Makes it a couple of laps around.
-          Air up flat tire. Twice. One section mowed! Weekend over.
-          Five Cross Country meets in four weeks.  Visits to family. Three failed trips to stores to find parts. Three family members, including Mower Man, sick. Grass keeps growing. Mowers keep being broken.
-          Attempt to hire high school students to  mow grass for a less-than-pro fee. One taker has to back out because their parents are worried our tall grass will ruin their mower’s blades. (That’s not embarrassing at all.)
-          “Green Slime” to fix flat tire. Fail.
-          Brilliant temporary fence with self-fertilizing mowers plan. Fail. Our regular fence won’t hold our livestock. Why did we think three strands of temporary wire would?

So, the hay (it’s not even grass any more) is still growing and there’s no real plan in sight. My folks are coming to visit next weekend and I’ve been assured the lawn would not be bowing in the breeze by then. But Mom and Dad, if you have to drag your suitcases through the amber waves of grain, please don’t judge. It’s not from lack of trying. And be careful - there might be a lamb or a small child hiding down in there.

1 comment:

Deborah Raney said...

We would travel through the thickest forest to see you all! No worries there. You should have seen our yard when you were a kid. And we had a riding mower that was ALWAYS in the shop! AND you come by your cheapness honestly. And probably your redneckness. ; )