Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 865

Getting the rototiller going this afternoon wore me out. For starters, gas engines that haven't been used in four years don't like to start. I must have pulled the starter cord a hundred times before I got any type of combustion. Once I got the tiller to start, it refused to stay running. Finally, after the engine had warmed up and the lines had been cleared, I got the raucous two-cycle noise I was looking for. Once I actually started tilling the soil, I wondered why I even bothered. It was like tilling an asphalt parking lot. The ground was so hard that the tiller would bounce a foot in the air when it hit a particularly hard spot. The machine was vibrating so badly that my right hand kept bumping into the kill switch and stopping the engine. I thought about duct taping the kill switch open, but I was getting tired and I knew that if the tiller got away from me, there could be some serious damage.

Somehow, I remember that tilling the soil used to seem a lot easier. Today I had trouble even getting gas into the tiller. It used to be that filling your gas powered yard tools was as simple as putting a spout on your gas can and pouring until the tank was full.  Now, with all the child proof safety features on modern gas containers, you practically have to read an instruction manual to figure out how to get the gas to flow. I sprained my thumb trying to get one of the child proof latches to open and I don't even have children. After all my efforts, I will admit that the back yard no longer looks like an asphalt parking lot. It looks like a field of boulders instead. Dash certainly likes the new look. As soon as I let the dogs out to inspect things, Dash immediately started digging holes in the newly loosened earth.

The only easy thing I did today was finish writing my April writer's group assignment. I wish that real life was as easy as doing things on the computer. Sure computers crash from time to time, but they seldom make you sweat or cause you to sprain an ankle. I wish that cleaning the house was as easy as defragmenting my hard drive. Just hit the start button and wait till it's finished. That would be nice.

The worst thing about getting ready to plant grass is that I've still got to go buy the grass and actually plant it. St. Augustine sod is heavy, because each square consists of a tiny surface of light grass attached to a base of heavy clay. The grass people say that this clay will dissolve and disappear as soon as the roots get established. The clay actually never disappears. It turns into a rock hard layer that practically has to be dynamited if you ever want to plant grass again.

We'll try to go to the dog park early tomorrow. If we waited until we finished planting the grass, I'd be too tired to go to the dog park. I'm sure Dot and Dash will enjoy having a green yard again. For a while they'll be able to sun themselves without turning into little dust balls. Then, the inevitable will happen. They'll race around and tear the grass up again and we'll be right back where we started.

Lucky is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day


  1. I can't stand yard work. Cleaning isn't as bad, but it isn't my favorite either. I am impressed that you were able to till your yard. That is a lot of hard work.

  2. Lucky reminds me of Wishbone (a Jack Russell, but anyway)