A Side of Rice

Hopefully Humorous (and sometimes R-rated) Musings About Life


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My Son Just Experimented with Grass…

…mowing. Grass mowing. What the hell were you readers thinking, anyway?

Alex has become aware of the value of our money earning money, and asked for ways he could — in his words — “start makin’ da Benjamin’s, mom.” 

“You can start by makin’ da Washington’s. Or perhaps if you are lucky, da Lincolns, son,” was my reply.

This summer, we employed a neighbor’s daughter to mow our lawn because lacrosse, baseball, and football sucked up all of our time on the weekends. Plus, the required close-toed shoes for lawn mowing do not allow me to show off my pedicure. Pedicures > lawn maintenance. Just sayin’.

With school back in session, our summer lawn gal is now very busy with her rigorous high school classes and volleyball practice/games. Alex, on the other hand, has been very busy playing the replacement xBox we just received. When he’s not doing schoolwork or playing football, of course.

So this weekend, I told him I would pay him $20 to mow the lawn. It’s the first time he’s ever handled the lawn mower, so I stayed outside with him.

He did pretty well until he hit the water access pipe. It was a bit hidden under a pile of leaves, but he managed to damage the lid. He ran over it with the lawn mower, it made a loud metal-against-metal noise as it came off, wedged between the blade and the side of the blade casing, and completely shut down the mower.

My husband came outside and proceeded to bemoan the fact that only with our dumb luck would the top get wedged into the mower so tightly, it would require a hammer and a mallet to remove it. And a few dozen cuss words.

No, Water Authority, I have no idea how the top got all broken like that.

No, Water Authority, I have no idea how the top got all broken like that.

Once my husband de-wedged the top and carefully set it back in place, Alex avoided that area. He moved on to the side of the house, and while working on the area near our air conditioning unit, he promptly frightened the life out of a rabbit who usually lives in our bushes in front of the house. The rabbit popped out from behind the unit and took off running into our backyard. Alex was so startled, he let go of the mower and then had to chase it as it was headed into the side of our house.

He was able to finish up the lawn without further incident. He showed great form getting under trees, cornering, and missing lots of spots.

And in the end, he was one happy camper, having earned $20.

Mow the lawn 5

Hey mom, how ’bout you pay up?

Let’s just hope when it comes to grass in the future, he focuses on mowing it.


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Me vs. the Mower

Today, I decided to tackle our back yard. By tackle, I mean nothing as glamorous or suburban-tastic as meeting with an architect to plan our exciting new outdoor patio/friend entertaining space. Or planting gobs of flowers to embellish our home’s rear view. No, I mean roll out the mower and tackle the hayfield that is our back yard.

Our kids’ weekend baseball games leave us precious little time to maintain our not-much-bigger-than-a-postage-stamp sized yard. But when I saw that our dog – if she was green – would be nearly imperceptible given the current height of the grass, I knew it was time to stop folding laundry/loading the dishwasher/searching for a job and really do some work around the house.

So you know that scene from the movie Mr. Mom where he discovers the vacuum cleaner? That’s what it was like when I opened the garage door to wrestle the lawn mower out and get to the task at hand.

And based on what happened next, here’s some lawn maintenance wisdom I’ll impart upon you:

  • You won’t see the wiffle ball bat in grass (as high as ours was) until it is too late
  • Trees can not move and get out of your way. And evergreens with low hanging branches will scratch the crap out of you, in some sort of “that’s what you get for chopping us down in December to be used as your indoor ugly decoration holders” solidarity action
  • Wet grass is harder to mow than dry grass
  • Wet grass clogs the blades and makes the motor cut out
  • You will have to turn the mower on its side and scoop out the grass clogging the blades
  • Your hand will turn green from the wet grass lumps you are scooping out of the underbelly of the mower
  • No amount of dish soap will get the green stain off your hand; your manicure will be ruined
  • You will burn more calories than an Olympic marathoner in your attempt to restart the mower once the blades are free of grass clogs
  • You will give up trying to restart the mower 15 minutes later and push it into the garage as fast as possible because it has started raining again
  • You will tell the neighbors that you are experimenting with the hottest thing in home ownership – lawn designs by mowing

And finally, you won’t see all the dog poop in the yard to clean up before you start, but you will smell the dog poop you missed, that ended up on your shoes. Later on after you have walked on your carpets.

Mower: 1 Me: 0