My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Monday, April 29, 2013

A weekend of Mountains, Moonsets, Mowers, & Miracles

Wow, Monday again already? Is it just me or did that feel like a weekend on performance enhancing drugs? Well, even though it flew by, we enjoyed a nice one and hope you did too! Here are a few highlights from ours, starting with Friday (yes, despite including Friday in the weekend it still went by too fast!)

The forecast for Friday was so nice (sunny and about 70ºF) that my friend Robyn and I decided to meet up for a picnic lunch. We grabbed some vegan grub from The Health Nut (a tempeh salad multigrain wrap for Robyn, their yummy "I Am Immune" açai and blueberry coconut water-based smoothie for me), and drove the short distance to the Sheridan Visitor's Center, which has the best view of the Big Horns in town. Which is why I brought my camera along. :-)

Here's the view as we saw it from our picnic spot, shunning their shaded picnic tables to bask on the grass in the warm sunshine....

And here are a couple of zoom photos taken with my telephoto lens...

There's snow in them thar hills! (Good thing, since it's the source of our water!)

That's 13,005' Black Tooth Mountain in the photo's center

Our lovely Friday bade us farewell with a final beautiful view, this time of the full moon setting over the mountains...

Saturday was even more beautiful than Friday, with lots of sunshine and a high of 76º (25º warmer than average and missing the record high for that date by just 5º). BW and I took advantage of it with several outdoor activities, beginning with the assembly and maiden voyage of our new reel mower!

As a kid I loved using my grandparents' heavy vintage reel mower - already old in the 1970's when I'd use it to mow the grass at their rural Maine farmhouse, once even mowing a patch in the overgrown field behind the house so my cousin and I could play badminton there! I've wanted one of my own ever since, but had to wait for the demise of the old gasoline push mower BW and I bought as newlyweds for $35 at a Texas pawn shop (and moved with us five times) before it finally exhaled its last noxious breath late last August! But by the time we got our sod in at our newly-built house it was autumn, so I had to wait till winter ended. Which, of course, winter didn't do - the mower arrived the day before Zeus hit, and we were needing a snow thrower more than a lawn mower!

But by Saturday the snow had all melted and the front yard needed a haircut, so out came our shiny new mower ~~

After reading several reel mower guides and reviews, we ordered this Fisker's 17" Staysharp model from for $160 (now the price is $20 higher, so I guess it pays to order your mower while there's still snow on the ground!)

So why my longing for a reel mower? You can read about their advantages (and disadvantages) on this Reel Mower Guide, but my main reasons for wanting one was because they're quiet (I hate noise), non-polluting, cheaper and easier to maintain (no spark plugs, air filter or oil to change, no gas to buy and haul home, no carburetor to adjust), and it provides good exercise (and fresh air and Vitamin D exposure!) :-) 

They're also much better for your grass (reel mowers snip the grass like scissors rather than tear it as rotary motors do), they're much safer, and since they're so quiet, you can mow at any time of day - including the cool of the early morning or late evening, without disturbing the peace.

We found this mower light and maneuverable, and it cut the Kentucky bluegrass on our front yard easily and fairly quickly. The back yard's fescue isn't quite ready to be mowed yet, and it will be a bit more challenging since it's a bigger area and it slopes. But it's just going to be a better workout! 

Of course if it proves too tough or takes too long, we can always modify it...

(Speaking of performance enhancing drugs...)

And then we could even compete in the U.S. Lawn Mower Races (yes, there really is such a ghastly thing), especially since UPS already has a lawn mower racing team, apparently...

But enough about mowing stuff, let's talk about growing stuff! 

Miraculously, our neighbor's daffodils that looked for all the world like they were done for after Winter Storm Zeus hurled -2ºF temps and 8" of heavy snow at them last weekend, were revived by the sunshine and warm temps and most of them look as good as new! Here are a couple of photos I took early Sunday morning so you could see the tough little buggers' lovely rejuvenation for yourselves...

You can almost hear them greet the warm sunshine with a relieved and contented "aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh." Just like us. :-)


  1. We had a push mower when we were first married..a hand me down from my parents. Neighbours scoffed and sneered but I loved that mower!
    Jane x

    1. Aren't they great? Ours got a lot of attention Saturday, even before we used it. BW was raking sticks from the yard and I was trying to get these photos of it when an acquaintance walking by with her dog noticed it, came over and asked lots of questions about it and insisted on trying it! (Hey, if I play my cards right, maybe I can lure passersby into mowing the entire lawn for me this way! LOL) And we - or rather the mower - got a lot of stares while we were mowing. A friend of ours who also uses a reel mower suggested we use it by the light of this weekend's full moon, but I told him it would be harder to set a good example for everyone driving and walking by if I mowed in the dark! :-)

  2. I like your new reel mower. Several people I know swear by them. Here in the country they love riding lawn mowers of which I am not a fan. Enjoyed your superlative mountain photos. I imagine you get really cold, clean water to drink from those mountains. Especially liked your food choices for your picnic. What a wonderful weekend you had -- barbara

    1. I'm not a fan of riding mowers either (I call them Laz-Y-Boy Mowers), though if I had a vast lawn I'd probably have one. (Wait, no I wouldn't - I'd plant a lawn of ground cover and wildflowers that didn't need mowing!) :-)

      Our drinking water comes from a reservoir in the high country, and while it is indeed very cold, it's also chlorinated (ack), so we run it through a filter under our kitchen sink that removes all the chlorine. I do miss our sweet-tasting well water!

      We enjoyed our food choices too! I love the Health Nut's tempeh salad sandwiches, but had eaten a hearty brunchy sort of meal at home earlier, and wasn't hungry enough for lunch when noon rolled around. The smoothie really hit the spot, though! Not too sweet, lots of flavor, and such a pretty color! I'll be getting more of them this summer!

  3. I just knew those daffydils would pull through ;-). And your mountain views are just wonderful, especially the full moon shots. It was lovely here as well, but you win!
    I've considered a good reel mower also, but I don't know if I have the stamina for that anymore. Let me know how easy it pushes when the grass gets a little higher and thicker. Very green of you ;-).

    1. And you were right!! They really are made of tough stuff. Good thing, too, given that they're hosed every spring around here! But honestly, with temps that cold and the way they looked when the snow had started to melt, I didn't see them bouncing back this time! A happy surprise.

      Glad you enjoyed those moon shots! I have more of them from earlier this spring that I'll share on a future SkyWatch post.

      I hope we'll be able to mow once a week, which should keep it from getting too difficult. But this time of year, who knows? Can't mow it when it's wet from rain (or melting snow). I just hope it doesn't get away from us in a stretch of bad weather so that we have to borrow someone's regular mower.

  4. The weekends really do fly by too quickly.

    I love your big moon shot - and the snowy scenery is spectacular! That view makes you glad to be alive.

    1. I guess it's true what they say about time flying when you're having fun! :-)

      A beautiful view is definitely inspiring and does make one feel grateful to be here!!

  5. Your new mower is very beautiful — much snazzier than our older model mower. (The guys at the sharpening shop say ours is the "best" so I'm not complaining.) In addition to all the pluses you mentioned, ours makes the most wonderful purring sound as it moves across the grass. We have a tiny plot to mow — even less now that the backyard has been turned into a "park" — but you guys have your exercise cut out for you! I just read an article about cutting grass that said it should be mowed in a different direction each time, i.e. crosswise week one, lengthwise week two and on the diagonal week three. Repeat. This keeps it growing in a healthy, thick pattern ... or something.

    1. I think it looks pretty snazzy too, but looks aren't everything - if you've got "the best" then who cares what it looks like? :-) What kind is it? We looked hard at the Brill and the Mascot, but didn't feel we could justify the extra $$ for either of them, given we don't anticipate being here more than 3 or 4 mowing seasons. If BW gets his way, we'll likely be going from here to a sailboat, where we won't need a mower much. :-)

      I know what you mean about that wonderful sound! I'll need to pay more attention to the sound ours makes next time. I was hoping for that satisfyingly soft "snick-snick-snick" but it doesn't really sound like that.

      Our lot is a bit big for a reel mower, but for the most part it's level and we have no side yards and we don't have a gym membership, so hey. :-)

      I've heard that before about mowing in a different direction each time (regardless of the type of mower), but the instructions that came with our Fiskars says to make the longest passes your yard allows, which will be north to south here. And that makes sense for the back yard, since it slopes west to east! But I dunno, I may just change it up from time to time, see how it goes!

  6. A weekend on performance enhancing drugs. HA! I love that, and it's so true!

    What a gorgeous view for a picnic. I'm jealous! It reminds me of our picnics in Colorado. That moon is so pretty, too! I'm glad you got some nice weather, even though it sounds like it's going away soon.

    What a great new mower! I has a reel mower when I used to rent (and had a much smaller yard). They do give you such a great workout and I love the eco benefits of them. So many people here have riding lawnmowers, even if they barely have a lawn. Then again, those are the same kind of people who constantly spray their lawn with chemicals. Ugh.

    I'm pretty sure there are lawnmower races around here somewhere, as well as tractor pulls, etc.. Good old, weird Wisconsin! :)

    I'm impressed with the daffodils! Those are some tough little buggers!

    1. And weekdays are on tranquilizers (a double-dose for Mondays!) It just ain't fair, I tell ya! :-)

      It is a great view for a picnic, isn't it? The camera makes the mountains look more distant than they are in that first shot, but it still gives a good idea of what we got to look at while we noshed.

      Our next door neighbor has a small yard, and hires a lawn service to come out and mow it on their riding mower! Takes them all of 4 minutes, and they look absurd doing it. Everyone else on the block uses gas mowers. We'll be trendsetters - or just freakish loners. LOL Robyn's husband has a cordless electric mower, which he really likes - but the reel mower was way cheaper and still is way quieter. Those people you describe with their tiny yards and riding lawn mowers and chemical weapons also make me think of people who live in places that never get snow but who drive giant 4WD SUVs.

      The tractor pulls there don't surprise me, but lawnmower races? Well, that may explain the riding mowers for itty bitty yards! Maybe they're on the Racing Circuit the rest of the week. ;-)

      I agree, those daffs are deserving of our respect! I noticed on a walk today that the first tulips are blooming now!

  7. Excellent photos...except the ones of the reel mower...brought back many hours of toil from childhood. Now I mostly don't mow...period. :-)

    1. Well, given that your days of toiling and sweating behind a reel mower are now over, my mower pictures in particular should delight you and make you feel both smug and grateful! :-)

      If I could have my way, we'd have a totally xeriscape, permaculture yard, with wildflowers and edible landscaping. But our HOA is typical (where "HOA" stands for "Heads Up Asses" with "Up" misspelled.) LOL

  8. What a lovely weekend! I love the beautiful views you had on your picnic, and your new reel mower is the coolest!!!! It brought back memories of watching my older brother push mow the tiny little patch of grass they called 'back yard', when we lived in Tokyo. You're right, it's more quiet and no pollution! And I am so giddy about your upbeat attitude on the extra workout! Go get 'em Mamma! And to see the daffodils at the end...perfect :) They DO look very happy. Thank you, as always, for a lovely post, and for letting me share my comments :)

    1. It seems that we all have some memory of a reel mower! I wonder if your older brother remembers it too! :-) I picture having a yard of any size being pretty rare in Tokyo. Or am I mistaken? I have a feeling that there will be times I'll have a whole different attitude about the extra workout our back yard will provide, and I'll wish you and your enthusiasm were here to be my cheerleader! And bring me cold beer! LOL

      I'm glad you enjoyed this post, Maya - I've missed you lately, and always enjoy your delightful comments! :-)

    2. Woke up this morning and remembered I forgot to say how cool the pics of the Black Tooth Mountain is!! I tend to do that...start talking and get excited and forget the things I really wanted to say... Anyway, what an appropriate name for those dark jagged mountains! I went back up to your first picture, and found it in there too :)

      You are so sweet - thank you for such kind words. I've missed you too. I wish I had more updates on SweetPotatoMayas. I've still got 3 more weeks of this temp job. Which I am loving, and am VERY thankful for!

      Yup, we lived on the first floor of an apartment building, hence the 'patch of grass' we got to have. Perhaps 7X12 or so? I don't know...was big enough for my mom (who grew up in Oregon) to plant and keep a tiny little raspberry bush :)

      I will be your cheerleader for mowing when and if the time comes!! ooooh yes, and the ice cold beer afterward is the best, right?

    3. LOL - I love hearing that I'm not the only one who wakes up and thinks of things like that! :-) I agree, Black Tooth is a perfect name for that mountain, which is a well-known landmark, it's so distinctive. Quite a few businesses are named for it, including the Black Tooth Brewing Company, where we can go enjoy that post-mowing, post-cheerleading cold beer! :-)

      I'm glad you're loving your temp job! Don't worry, your blog and your followers will wait patiently for you. :-) I'm struggling a bit to keep up these days, and will probably have to take a blogging break during part of this summer. I miss it during those times, but usually come back feeling rejuvenated. Like daffodils in the warm sunshine after a snowstorm. :-)

      Having that little patch of grass and your own raspberry bush must have been quite a treat, but what an adjustment for your mom to make, I'll bet, after growing up in Oregon! And an adjustment for you in the opposite direction. I seem to recall that you left Japan at age 12 - did you come to Oregon then? It must have felt so vast!

    4. It was a difficult transition, but adjusting to the sudden change of space of vastness was fairly easy. I guess it's easier to get used to bigger space, than going from lots of space to practically no space at all. My mother has always said she loved living in Tokyo though - she liked the metropolitan life, the type of food and variety and the culture. And we walked and took public transportation everywhere. That's one big difference I still feel being here - everyone in their own separate cars. Little cars, BIG cars...

      Yes, the actual flight from Japan brought us into Oregon. We stayed in Oregon for about a month, with my mother's parents. My mom bought a car, and then we drove down to Northern California to meet up with my dad who had been living and working in the states for a couple of years already (my dad is Japanese, and a classical violist - did I tell you that already?). We spent the next 10 years in one of the suburbs of San Francisco Bay Area. I have to admit, middle school and high school, learning the language...trying to fit was hard! Middle school and high school is hard enough for a typical kid, I think. I was definitely that foreign kid, Fez :) It's been 20 years since those days!

      My parents had a very challenging marriage (surprise), what with the two super different cultures for starters ;-) And after 37 years, they FINALLY divorced. Like 5 years ago. But who's keeping tabs? No, not me. I'm not bitter about being dragged through all their, not at all! hee hee ;-) But I was VERY lucky to find a couple of really amazing, wonderful lifetime friends. That's really all we need, right? A couple of good people around ya!

      And now, somehow, my mom, my brother and I have all ended back in Oregon - all really close to each other, so our lives are together, on a weekly basis :) I've got two kiddos, a husband, and some family pets, and we get to enjoy some of this beautiful nature in Oregon! I really isn't too bad! We are enjoying some blue skies (a rarity in the Portland area) these past couple of weeks, and some amazing flowers, green lush trees!!

      And off I go to work with kinders and 1st graders on math! Gosh...this turned into a life story...I'm sorry. But it was only in response to your question about the move we made when I was 12! Thank you so much for asking by the kind of you :) I'm sorry it was such a long answer!

      Wishing you a happy day!

    5. This was such a treat to read! I love that you shared so much about your life - don't you dare apologize. Especially to me, composer of some of the longest blog comments in blogging history (some of my comments are longer than the posts they're commenting on - just ask my blogging friends! LOL) :-)

      I agree that it would be easier to adjust from little space to lots of space, but several years ago I had a friend in NYC who was NYC born and bred, and just seeing photos of our wide open spaces scared the hell out of her! She felt secure with all those skyscrapers around her, and very vulnerable out in the open, and couldn't bear the idea of the vastness we have our here. I could not get my head around that, as those same skyscrapers that gave her a sense of security made me terribly claustrophobic!

      No, I didn't realize your dad is a classical violinist! That is just so terribly cool I can hardly bear it! :-) The violin is my favorite musical instrument, and I just imagine you growing up in a house filled with beautiful music. Does he still play professionally? It sounds like you were raised speaking only Japanese till you moved to the States. I'm surprised your folks didn't raise you bilingually (assuming they were both bilingual themselves), it would have made your relocation adjustment at least a little easier on you. I picture the Bay Area being so cosmopolitan and filled with a long history of Asian influence and with a large Asian population, that I'm also surprised you faced such challenges as "that foreign kid." Do you still speak fluent Japanese? Do you ever get to go back there to visit?

      Your parents' marriage and divorce sound familiar, though my parents' cultural differences weren't as great (more a Montana vs. New England, Democrat vs. Republican, Italian Catholic vs. WASP, high-strung neurotic vs. stoic and undemonstrative kinda thing - LOL). They should have gotten divorced much sooner than they did, but finally went through an ugly one at about the same time I was getting married (it had been 28 years for them, and they split about 24 years ago). I know what you mean about getting dragged through all their shit, and I'm glad that at least I was out in Texas and they were in Maine during the worst of it, especially since I'm an only child! And yes, having a couple of amazing friends to see you through is very lucky indeed! Have you ever read, "Women Who Run with the Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estés? I think you'd find Chapter 6 ("Finding One's Pack") especially relatable!

      It's nice that you, your mom and your brother all live close to each other. Is your dad still in California? I'm a little jealous that you live in Oregon - BW and I keep wanting to get out there (we'll be nearby this summer, vacationing in the Puget Sound area!) Someday we'll visit Portland - it's the Vegan Mecca, you know! :-) The scenery out there looks in photos just as you describe it - so gorgeous, green and lush with majestic trees and flowers the size of baby heads! :-) We've even talked about living out there when BW retires in a few years. Just not sure a sun worshipper like me could bear all the clouds and mizzle!

      Thank you again for sharing some of your interesting story, Maya! xoxo to you!

    6. You are so right! You ARE the logest replyer!!! I love that about you!! I think that is so wonderful, and it makes you a real person in the internet world :) It's very caring and thoughtful!

      Yeah, we pretty much grew up learning only Japanese. Although, my mom spoke to us in English mostly. We were always the only kids in school with a blonde mom! But I think hearing my mom speak English definitely gave us a little leg up, for when we moved to the States. Reading and writing, and correct grammar had to be learned, but our pronunciation was pretty good. Apparently I don't speak with much of an accent, and people are surprised to hear I only spoke Japanese until I was 12.

      And I did, in college, study more 'adult' Japanese, so I could read and write better - not just like a 12 year-old. I think it helped me a little, although when I go back there people tell me my Japanese is old-fashion, they say it's 'clean'...I guess not much slang and stuff.

      My dad traveled around quite a bit, although now his primary residence is in Osaka, teaching at a conservatory and running his own studio, and he's living with his fater, MY Grandpa, who turned 104 last month. We saw him last May (we've taken the girls a couple of times), and he is amazing. Still walking on his own to the train station and going two stops over for his acupuncture appointments twice a week...reads the newspaper and all of his mail everyday. He's really dear to me.

      WOW sounds like your parents were quite the match, too! You made me laugh :) But I'm so sorry it was ugly in the end...that is so difficult on everyone involved. Especially when you are an only child and you don't have a sibling to share the burden!!! That must have been quite a difficult time. I hope things are a little 'smoother' now. Are your parents free and happier? I sure hope so :) And you are the second person who mentioned this book "Women Who Run with the Wolves"!! I guess this really means I must add it to my list!

      Oh! 'Someday' when you do visit Portland you MUST let me know! It would be so lovely to meet up! Please do come out...and I didn't know it was the Vegan Mecca! Super cool! We just live in the burbs of Portland, so it's nothing special, but we are very close to so many beautiful spots. Tons of wineries... ;-) And Breweries... ;-) And we have a tiny old shack along the coast, that you and BW is more than welcome to use, if you want to go out to the coast! Okay, I'm getting way to ahead of myself here...but yes, please do think of us if you ever come this way!

      And I must say, it looks as though where you live is absolutely gorgeous. Stunning, majestic nature all around you! *sigh* I would love to see it in person one day. I'm sure the nature and land there is nothing like I know. I sure enjoy your pictures!! When I was about 3, we spent one summer in Wyoming, when my father was in some sort of music festival.

      Oh, and knowing your USAF background, I have no doubt you will be a bad-ass pushing that reelmower! I am not versed in the military culture, but I suspect it is no joke. You ARE a tough mama! Wow. We're gonna want an update - first voyage of the reelmower :-)

      Thank YOU for sharing more with me, miss Laloofah! Take care, of yourself, BW, and your darling furry kiddos!

    7. Hey, Maya! I can't wait to reply to this, but life's interfering lately - lots going on and lots to do now that the weather is warm enough, and with a huge yard sale and 2-week road trip in June to get ready for. Anyway, I promise to respond when I can, but am wondering if you'd mind firing off an email to me (you can use the fire-breathing dragon email gadget below my blog awards and above my Traffic Feed gadget at the bottom of the right column), so that I'll have your email address, in case it's easier for us to communicate that way - or just nice to have an additional way to stay in touch! :-)

      More soon, I promise! I loved your latest fun reply!

  9. What a stunning picnic spot! Ooh and aaah. And I love the push mower. I wanted one when our last petrol monstrosity died - but lost. Next time...
    We are planting daffodils (and tulips and crocus and hyacinth and and ...) now so this blaze of sunshine was truly inspirational - thank you.

    1. It is a stunner, isn't it? Funny that it never occurred to us to eat there all last summer, since it's just up the road from The Health Nut! It'll be quite a contrast to picnic there in July and August when it's full of tourists, as opposed to having it all to ourselves in late April!

      Too bad you didn't win the last lawnmower selection battle. Who does the mowing in your household?

      All your flowers are going to be so gorgeous! You'll have a garden to rival Monet's. Or Keukenhof. :-)

  10. Stunning views of the mountains and the setting moon is just wonderful. I'm glad you have green to look out on now rather than white - much more appropriate for the season:-)

    1. Hi, jabblog, it's so nice to see you again! And you're right, though the first snow of the season is always pretty to see blanketing the landscape, by the end of April that look is passé for sure!! It's so nice to see things green and blooming again. I do love the changing seasons.

  11. Yay! You've been telling me you've wanted a reel mower for a long time and I'm so happy you finally got one! I think it's funny that it's from Fiskers - my rotary cutter for quilting is from Fiskears so while your getting vitamin D and exercise with yours, I'll be having fun but staying all pale-faced. I think you've got the healthier Fiskers!

    That is a gorgeous picnic spot so we'll definitely have to use some of my "saved" airline money on a "The Health Nut" take-away picnic lunch. I want to see that view for myself!

    I really liked the second moon shot - I still can't believe how much detail your camera can capture - that's phenomenal!

    BTW, if you were still doing the ABC meme, I'd have to say: "My; Many Ms Made this Marvelous!!" :-)

    1. I know, it felt like it was a long time coming and it's fun that it's finally here! (Remind me in August how much fun I thought it was when it arrived in April. LOL) My Fiskars product is healthier, but yours will create pretty things! I chuckled over your "all pale-faced" description. :-)

      I don't know that we'll have very good picnic weather in mid-October, but we'll definitely grab a Health Nut lunch (they have a delicious vegan soup every day too, which might be what we're hankering for at that time of year!) and I'll definitely take you up there to see the view - and we'll eat in the car if we need to!

      I'm definitely very pleased with the Rebel, and I still have yet to take the time to learn more than a tiny fraction of what it can do!

      You're right, this would have been a great "M" week post for ABC Wednesday, and your comment is Mighty Magnificent! :-)

  12. Wonderful to see life renewed! In Florida I don't get much of a winter's slumber... But a year or so ago I had to cut down a cherished avocado tree. (The neighbors weren't fond of the way it leaned into their yard.) Anyway due to our "endless" summer the tree is nearly as high and twice as full as it was when it was "removed"! I even have hopes of fruit next year --- Life is good! Ummm... minus the mowing! ;)

    1. I loved your story of your avocado tree, rising from the ashes, so to speak! How great that it came back bigger and better than ever. But your neighbors are nuts - do you know what I'd give to have an avocado tree leaning over into my yard??? :-)

    2. My neighbors are elderly and meticulous about their flower garden... Quite literally they spend six to eight hours/day working in it. It's lovely though...

      My yard on the other hand isn't quite so "manicured" - But it is productive food-wise. I'd love to share with you! Consider the limbs bowing towards your space in the virtual world of our yards. :)

    3. Their flower garden must be their therapy - I wouldn't mind living next door to that at all, I can't imagine with all that time, attention and energy they devote to it, it must be gorgeous! (Can ya sneak a photo of it?) :-) I wish our next door neighbor either had a manicured property or a food-producing one. Instead it's just littered with dog poo, litter, weeds and dead spots. >:-( The neighbors on the other side have a lovely yard (except at Christmas when it's wall-to-wall inflatable, musical, animated, flashing Christmas decorations) Can you tell I sometimes miss my 10 acres??? :-)

      I am completely picturing those avocado limbs bowing toward my yard - laden with ripe avocados, no less (which I could have used tonight on my black bean burritos!) - over our shared virtual fence! :-) You can be my virtual CSA. LOL Got any lemons over there??? I need some of those, too! I'll trade some fresh herbs for them, but you'll have to wait till at least the end of July, the way it keeps snowing around here!

  13. Last weekend CLAIMS it wasn't taking any performance-enhancing drugs, but... I just don't believe it. Time will tell, I guess.

    I loved reading about your mower! It hadn't occurred to me that they still even make the old self-powered variety. I can only imagine the looks I'd get from people. "So you make your own peanut butter, soak your own beans, and mow grass with a motorless mower?" Sounds worth it for that alone! ;) Truth be told, I've never actually mowed a lawn. When I was a kid, my dad and brothers always did that; although, I did ride on the riding lawn mower for fun once. Since then, I've always been in rental properties, and the lawn has always been left to the owners. If only they'd take the shoveling too! :)

    1. Indeed. I share your cynicism. There have just been too many record-breakingly fast weekends that leave the weekdays in the dust. It's suspicious. I'm waiting for more doping tests, and I've heard that Monday and Tuesday are going to be testifying before a Congressional panel about it. ;-)

      I know, I'm rather looking forward to those kinds of looks - and wait till they see me hanging our laundry out to dry! Oh, the humanity. LOL

      No fair! We've rented three houses in our married life, and have had to mow the lawns of every one of them! AND shovel (and in one case, plow) our own snow. My dad had me out mowing at a young age, but it's my own fault - I used to have one of those little "popcorn popper" kiddie toy mowers, and insisted on following along behind him with it when he'd mow the grass. Guess he figured he was wasting an exploitable resource not putting me behind the real thing - at least he waited till I could reach the handle! :-)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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