Sunday, May 22, 2011


Front yard, looking southeast/south.  The city is doing road work and came through and took out my tree stump and
the stump next store, also filled in and seeded-over the areas.  In this photo, you can just barely see where that
happened on my neighbor's lawn.  Hopefully you can also tell that my lawn is "dandelion-free" and my neighbor's
lawn has several, and also needs to be cut.  Good luck with that - severe weather is forecast for later today.
Hola Darlings!  Shhhhh - hopefully no one whom I work with will visit here and see that I took off on Friday to devote one scarce decent-weather day to cleaning up my front yard, which was sorely in need after two weeks of crappy weather.  I couldn't cut the grass, I couldn't rake, I couldn't do anything except apply some old weed and feed and fed, alright, but didn't kill a single fricking weed!

The front yard, in short, was a mess!  It had already undergone one cut - but was in dire need of another.
Front yard, looking northeast/north.  Dandelions "all gone" - you can see some in my neighbor's yard where the cut line stops.   The sky is so pretty this morning - clear robin's egg blue, and not a cloud in sight. The red maples that the city planted are beautiful!  Oops - one of my bare patches is showing - must reseed!
 Ta da!  After probably ten hours of work between Friday and this morning, my lawn is now "dandelion free" (ahem) and you can see that it is putting my immediate neighbors to shame.  Goody! 

Starting early Friday morning, I trimmed all along the driveway, curbside and sidewalk to the back yard, as well as along the house perimeter.  There was a TON of stuff to sweep up.  Then I raked.  And raked. And raked.  One large plastic garbage container filled with yard waste.  Then I mowed the lawn.  Back and forth, back and forth. Although it looks really good in the photographs, most of the lawn has been taken over by a form of wide-blade bent grass that has overrun the well-behaved blue grass, and it's a real SOB to cut!  Thus I have to go over it four-five times from different angles, wasting a lot of gasoline and muscle power in the process, and even then I don't get it all because the blades "lay down" on top of the soil, and only pop up again once all danger of being mowed has passed!  This grass is sentient, I swear.  After 8 p.m. I went back out and swept up the leavings from the lawn mowing that got blown out onto the driveway and into the curbside.
My pretty little house! For the time being, at least, the "lawn" out front is under control.  Pay no attention to the piles of twigs built up in the gutters above the front window.  I must call around tomorrow and find someone to come out and clean the rain gutters out!  More bare patches showing in lawn - wonder how much it would cost to pay someone to come in and reseed and well as core aerate???  Ahhhh, the joys of suburbia...
Saturday dawned warm, muggy and overcast.  It started raining shortly after noon and lasted until around 2 p.m. but by then I'd already made my trek to the grocery store and back and even did some yard work out back, although you won't be able to tell from the photos.  I also put down a new application of weed/feed in the front -- just as the first sprinkles of rain were appearing.  I also picked some dandelions.
Looking toward the back yard - notice the three squirrels' nests in the skinny tree to the right?  The Newport Plum has barely come into bloom, but the last few days things are starting to bust out big time - right now we're about two weeks behind schedule for "spring."  Meanwhile, my allergies are giving me fits.  Waking up with headaches daily.  Sigh. 
In the early evening, the storm system finally blew out of here and the sun sort of came out again, but it was very damp and muggy.  But warm enough to sit outside and enjoy it - bug free (at least, for now).  And so I did!  I occasionally picked up some of the larger branches that have blown down from my trees during the past stormy season - you would never think that I have already done this two times already and it's not even the end of May...  I would work a little and rest some; then work a little more and rest more.  The deck was cleaned off - at least it was yesterday morning; but since when I'm home I can't resist throwing out more and more nuts for the squirrels, the deck is already littered with shells! The elms are also shedding seeds now, and the gutters are overflowing on the house.  I MUST get someone out here to clean them, pronto.  More $$$ starting on Monday with calls to find someone to come out --- and I must get the lawn aerated.  It is terribly compacted and that kills off the grass and the weeds, which can grow out of concrete, move in.  More $$$. 

View of back yard to the south.  Oy - I look and all I can see if all the work I still need to do.  Dandelions everywhere!
I went out front this morning at 8 a.m. to sweep up the deposits of dead grass, leaves and gunk that is always deposited in my curbside gutters after yesterday's rain.  After I finished that, I started picking dandelions.  I thought - this won't be hard, there aren't that many of them.

HA!  You know how those nasty dandelions are.  Whenever you think you've picked the last one, you turn around and see another one way across the yard that you could not have possibly missed and yet, somehow, you did.

Looking toward the west, from the deck.  You can see what sad shape the lawn is in, and twigs and branches all over the place!  Eek.  Not to mention the flower beds need to be edged once again and the bleeding overheart has totally overgrown its space and the daylillies are running wild.  The arbor has blown over twice this season and has had to be restaked.  I'm hoping the forecast severe weather for later today doesn't appear, so I can get some work done out here!
Eventually I finished both of the front lawn, except for two on the north side of the house that I was just too tired to chased down.  I went inside to start the process of scrubbing off my hands (gloveless, of course) and lo and behold - it was 9:30 a.m.  Eek!  Then I got a look at myself in a mirror and freaked out - totally sunburnt face!  How could I get sunburnt this early in the morning?  I keep forgetting that the blood pressure meds I'm on seem to make me more susceptible.  Damn!  It was cool and shady outside when I started!  It was still very pleasant outside when I finished, with a breeze blowing out of the southeast/south, but it was only shady on the north side of the lawn by then.  Oh well.  I need the Vitamin D! 

At least I succeeded in picking off every single dandelion head that I could get my hands on.  My poor fingernails!  My poor hands!  Ground in grime!  I've scrubbed and scrubbed and still can't get rid of it!  Goodbye, gorgeous natural nails that I sported in Las Vegas (not that anyone noticed).  But for now, at least, my lawn is yellow-free!  Within a few days, hopefully, the weed killer will take effect and temporarily wipe out the dandelions and clover and creeping charlie.

In the meantime, my lawn looks okay, if you don't look too closely.  No competition, though, for my neighbors on 81st street (a few blocks to the east).  I don't know what the hell they do, but they have absolutely PERFECT grass.  How is that possible?  Talk about anal obsessive -- I've been going to the front door every 30 minutes or so and looking to see if any new dandelions have dared to open their faces to the sun!  I'm ready to ambush them!

Looking northwest, backyard.  More mess to clean.
Right now, though, I've got lunch heating in the microwave and a chair calling to me from the deck, which is still shaded.  After I eat and have a glass of wine I may feel ready to start more clean-up out back.  And if I'm very lucky, before those severe thunderstorms we're promised for later today blow in, I can get the mower out and at least get a once-over to some of those dandelions growing with wild abandon!

Looking north. Front yard - okay for now.  Back yard - UGH!

I'm going to sit on the deck now, and have a glass of wine.

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