Daily News

July 19, 2012……

What a day!  It is about 100 degrees outside and I had to mow the lawn.  Simple you say?  Ha, not in my world.  So I’m up early this morning so I can get outside and get finished mowing before it gets too hot.  I jump on the riding mower and I am ready to mow.  I put on my headphones and crank up the music.

I had been mowing, oh, maybe two minutes, then I heard a pop.  I look down at the mower deck and notice no grass shooting out.  I check the handle for the blade and it is engaged, but evidently the blade is not working.  I turn the mower off and look up under it and see that a belt had come off. I tried and I tried to get the belt back on, but the space was so small, I couldn’t get a good grip on the belt.  I sat down in the grass and I thought about it for a minute.  I decide to get a screwdriver to help me manovior the belt.  By golly it worked.  Now I am in business.

I get back on the riding mower and while I am mowing  around a tree, I noticed the damn thing being hard to steer.  I am using all my arm strength and I can barely steer the thing.  Thinking that something strange was going on, I finally stopped and look down at the tires and, sure enough,  one of the back tires was flat.

Now how am I going to get the tire off?  Ah…car jack.  I go to my truck and get the manual out because I have no idea where my car jack is located.  Page 231 says the car jack is located behind the rear seat.  I jump into the back seat and I have one problem:  how do I get the rear seat down to get to the car jack.  I get back in the front seat and look it up in the manual.  Guess what.  The manual doesn’t say how to get the freaking seat down.  Okay so I get back in the back seat and look for buttons or a latch or something so I can get the freaking seat down so I can get to the car jack so I can mow.

By this time it is nearly 11 and it is getting hotter than….well…HOT!  I can’t get the seat down to get to my jack and I can’t get this mower tire off because the tire is on the ground.  Lucky for me, my friend pops in.  She helps me lift the rear end of the mower up just enough so I can slide a concrete block under it.  Ah…at last.  Now I can get the tire off.

Now I have to find that “special” tool needed to get the lock washer off the wheel.  And speaking of that, that special tool cost me nearly $16.  And why do they make everything where you have to have a special tool to work on things.  Why can’t you just use a screwdriver and channel locks on everything?  Personally, I think it is a conspiracy or something.  Anyway, the tire is finally off and it’s nearly noon so I have decided to just put the flat tire in my truck and wait until tomorrow.  I have had enough mowing for one day.

July 20, 2010

Okay!!  Just another day.  I am up early, EARLY this morning because I have to go get the mower tire fixed and then come home and mow the lawn.  The garage opens at 7:00 and I want to be the first one there so I get up and throw some clothes on; brush my teeth and my hair and threw a baseball cap on.

When I get to the garage, there is one other customer in front of me, so I had to wait.  Finally it was my turn and they guy asks what I needed and I showed him the tire.  I thought I would only need an inter-tube, but as it turns out, the tire was so old it had split.  He told me I would have to have a new tire, and of course, he did not have any in stock and it would take an entire day to get one.  I guess he saw the despair in my eyes because he said, “If you don’t have anything to do right now, you can run to Walmart or Tractor Supply and get one.  Bring it back and I will change it out for you.”  Knowing that it is getting hotter all the time and wanting to finally finish the yard work, I agreed and told him I would be back in a few minutes.

The nearest Walmart and Tractor Supply is in a nearby city about 20 miles away.  As I drive out-of-town, I notice that my gas hand is on empty so I turned around and went to the local Minit Mart to put gas in my truck.  With a full tank, I head out-of-town once again.  It is about 8:30 now, so I feel confident that I still have plenty of morning left to mow the yard.  I know that if I wait too much longer, the temperature will be in the 100s.   So, yes, I am in a hurry.

I arrive at Tractor Supply and went directly to the cashier and told her I needed a new tire.  I was not about to go look for a tire by myself because I figured I would buy the wrong one and have to come back.  The cashier called for assistance and it was only a few minutes before I had a new tire in my hand.  Once I paid for the tire, I headed back to the garage.

It was almost 9:30 when I got to the garage.  Thank goodness the guy was not busy, so he started removing the old tire from the wheel.  I’ll be frank with you; I think I could have taken that tire off faster than he did.  There he was pounding a crowbar with a hammer trying to get the tire off the rim.  This went on for quite a while and I finally suggested that he just take a knife and cut the tire off.  He looked at me and laughed.  Hell, I thought it was a good idea.  It already had a big slit in the side of it anyway.  Okay, it’s about 10:15 and he gets the old tire off.  Fortunately, it didn’t take him nearly as long to put the new tire on.  He filled it up with air; I paid him five bucks and went home to mow the yard.

It’s about 11:00 now and as soon as I got home, I put the new tire on the riding mower.  Everything was going great and I was humming and smiling and then it dawned on me.  The riding mower is on the concrete block.  Okay, no problem.  I put the mower in neutral and try to pick up the back-end of the mower.  Ha!  I couldn’t budge it.  Think, think, THINK!!!  Ah the manual in my truck; page 231 where to find the car jack.  I ran to the truck and hopped in the back seat and started looking for the button, latch or anything to lower the seat back.  Nothing!  It’s getting hot.  Think, think, THINK!  Ah, my neighbor is home.  Yes, I have a car jack now.  I jack up the mower; remove the concrete block; lower the mower and return the jack to my neighbor.

It’s 11:45 and I am hungry.  I scarfed a sandwich down and grab my headphones; crank up the music and start mowing.  First I push mowed all the trim around the house, trees, and the fence.  Once I finished the trim around the front of the house I went to get the riding mower to finish up.  I jump on the riding mower and it started right up.  I put the mower in third gear and slowly let off the brake.  It didn’t move.  I put it in neutral and then put it back in third.  It did not move.  I put it in reverse.  It did not move.  I put it in first.  It didn’t move.  I put it in neutral and looked up in the sky and just die laughing.   I am laughing and shaking my head thinking, “Only me.”  So, I think that if I let the riding mower sit for a while maybe it will work when I get ready to mow the back yard.  I finish push mowing the front yard and return to the riding mower.  It still would not move in forward nor reverse; however, the blade works now.

It is about 1:30 and it is 100 plus degrees outside.  Hotter than hell.  But, I keep a positive attitude and decide that I will push mow the back yard in sections.  I will take a break every now and then so I wouldn’t get too hot.  I was mowing around the pine trees when I felt the first rain drop.  If you have ever heard of pop-up rain showers, then you will understand what I am saying here.  That one rain drop became 1000 rain drops.  It started pouring down and I was too far from the house so I ran into the tool shed.  It rained and it rained for about 30 minutes and then it was over.

It’s now about 2:45 and I am damned determined to get the damn yard mowed today even if it kills me!  So, when it quit raining, I tried the riding mower again.  No luck.  By this time it was even hotter and more humid than ever, and I was getting tired.  I am PUSH MOWING around the RIDING MOWER and something caught my eye.  That brand new tire I just bought and put on was FLAT!!  I finished push mowing the yard and put the push mower away.  It is almost 5:00 now.  On my way to the house, I turned around and looked at the riding mower and laughed and shook my head.

How was your day?

_______________________

July 24, 2010

Hey!  Today was a really good day.  It is Saturday ya know.  As far as the riding mower goes…I called the guy who works on mowers to come get it.  He just brought it back and it was something pretty simple to fix.  I am not even going to try to explain it because I know I will get it all screwed up.  But, I will say this, some of it was my fault but the flat tire was the garage man’s fault.  Evidently, he didn’t clean the rim of the wheel before putting the new tire on.  Therefore, causing a bad seal.  So there!   It wasn’t all my fault!

I have enjoyed myself today.  I have been on the river kayaking with some friends.  I never thought I would say this, but I love kayaking.  Ha!  I didn’t like it the first time I went.  Me and my friend, LP, went to Red River Gorge and rented kayaks.  This is in the north-eastern part of Kentucky where the Natural Arch is located.  So the guy takes us to the drop off point and we are to kayak down the river until we spot the take out point.  This was about a seven mile run and it should take us about three to four hours.

I must admit, the scenery was beautiful and LP and I were getting use to our boats and enjoying the flow of the river.  That is until we kept having to portage.  If you don’t know what I am talking about then you have not been canoeing nor kayaking.  This “portage” word is not a good word.  This means that the water is too low and you have to either get out of the boat and pull it or carry it to deeper water.  Oh, we did this portage thing about every twenty minutes or so.  And to think, when I first started out, I didn’t want to get my feet wet.

But, we were doing okay for first timers, and we were pretty damn smart to bring food and lots of water.  After about four hours of paddling and portaging, I was getting tired and a bit grouchy.  Yep.  Every time we would get going good, I had to “PORTAGE”!  I even thought about leaving the damn kayak in the river and walking back to the canoe rental place.  I recall saying, “As God as my witness, I will never kayak again.”

So, we are in hour five and still not to the take out point.  Both LP and I were floating down the middle of the river and guess what?  We hit bottom again.  So, too tired to even think about getting out of the boats, we just sat there in the middle of this river and  looked at each other and we were laughed and saying, “We are in the middle of the FREAKING river and we have hit bottom! ” AGAIN!

We sat there in the middle of the river, oh, I would say about twenty minutes before we decided to move on.  I was joking that at least if we fell out of the boat, we wouldn’t drown.   After we got out and “PORTAGED” for the last time, we finally reached our take out point.  Oh!!!  I was so happy to see that!

LP is following me and I am paddling closer to the bank.  As I got closer to the bank, I see something that is light green, about an inch round and about 5 feet long.  Well, automatically I think it’s a snake.  LP says, “We need to get out here.” and I say, “Not with that snake there!”  And LP says, “That’s not a snake.”  Turns out the snake was a water hose…  Now who the hell would have a section of water hose down on that river?  Beats me!

Thankfully, we made it past the so-called snake and to the bank.  I landed first and LP was right behind me.  As I was getting out of the kayak, I lost my footing on a big, mossy rock and fell in.  I heard LP say, “Grab the kayak!” so I did.   I was soaking wet and was pulling my kayak up on the bank, when I heard a big splash.  I turned around and LP was taking an accidental dip too.  We had made it all this way and we both fell in at the take out.  We were laughing so hard that the canoe rental guy must have thought we had spent all day out there drinking or something.  Our three to four-hour trip had turned into a six-hour trip.  He did comment that we looked like we had a lot of fun.  Huh!

Anyway, a week later, LP and I bought kayaks and have been hitting every river we can find.  And, I sincerely hope God was not listening to my that day when I said, “As God as my witness…”  As a matter of fact, we just got off the river.  And no “portaging” today.  Ah….now that makes me happy!!!!

How was your day?

______________________

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