Friday, June 24, 2016

Mow-Town USA

It’s summer and the living is easy. The sun rises early and fills our bedroom with light. My next door neighbor also rises early and wakes us with the sound of his lawn mower. Apparently there is a lot of grass under our bedroom window that requires some serious mowing action. Ah summer. After all, who doesn’t want to get up at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday after a long week at work?

My neighborhood is firmly divided into two camps: those who mow, and those who hire folks to mow. The Falcone’s, my neighbors on the other side, have a lawn company who arrive with a small army of workers plus two serious looking, professional standing lawn mowers (i.e., the rider stands on it). They mow their lawn as well as complete their yard work in about 25 minutes, like a well-oiled pit crew.

For the past 17 years, I’ve been member of the hire folks to mow club. But quite unexpectedly our lawn mower guy gave his notice. So Mike and I decided it was time to take this chore on ourselves. Off we went to visit the lawn mowers at Sears and Lowes. We fell in love with a vintage style push mower and brought it home. We were so excited. We’ll be green! We’ll get exercise! We won’t have to spend extra money on gas! Our excitement lasted until we ran the mower through the grass. It didn’t cut the grass as much as flatten it, so back to Sears it went.

Mike was still interested in leaving a light carbon footprint so we purchased a cordless mower that runs on rechargeable batteries. So far, we’ve been pleased with it. Our yard isn’t large and Mike did a great job. The lawn mower is light weight, easy to push, and folds for storage. I’ve volunteered to take a turn the next time the lawn needs a trim. I’ve been researching cool lawn mowing patterns and How to Stripe Your Lawn for a Big League Look on the Internet. After all, who says your lawn has to be boring?

How about you? Do you mow or do you hire it out? And if you mow, what time do you start?

Monday, February 1, 2016

January Reads

In 2016 I'm going to try and keep track of all the books I read. Nothing fancy, no detailed book reviews, just a monthly list with some notes. It's more of a record for me, but I hope that you enjoy it, perhaps you'll find something you like.

My friend Sue is one of my regular book suppliers:
  • The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons--I think this was the first book that I read in 2016 and I really enjoyed it. It takes place in England during WW2. I'd recommend it.
  • The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain--I've never read anything by this author before but I will definitely be seeking out more of her books! An intriguing novel of suspense that kept me reading past my bedtime. Another one I'd recommend.
My co-worker Dianne is a regular supplier as well:
  • Accused by Lisa Scottoline--always enjoy her books and this was one that I hadn't read before
  • Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child-- Of course, I'd read this before since I'm a huge Lee Child's fan, but you can never go wrong with a Jack Reacher novel.
Joannie loaned me a big pile of Dan's books before she left for vacation at the end of December:
  • Live Bait by PJ Tracy--I almost didn't read this book because the blurb on the inside cover seemed scary but it was a really good police mystery. I will also seek out some more books from this author (actually a mother/daughter writing team).
  • The King's Deception by Steve Berry--I've read this book before but it is still enjoyable even a second or third time. A spy mystery based on Tudor history.
  • Shall We Tell the President by Jeffrey Archer--This is an oldie by Jeffrey Archer. I found it formulaic and not too interesting.
  • The Atlantis Code by Charles Brokaw-- Note, not THE Charles Brokaw, merely someone with the same name. This novel is definitely modeled after the DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, but the DaVinci Code is much better.
Found these at the Post Office book swap:
  • The Sugar House by Laura Lippman -- I didn't care for this book, I found it fairly unreadable, but skimmed through to read the ending. I passed it to Marion who liked it.
  • The Sins of the Mother by Danielle Steel--Danielle Steel is like a comic book for grown-ups. This one was fairly dreadful, but it was something to read.
Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger--Light reading chick lit from the author of The Devil Wears Prada. Everyone is skinny, has great clothes, and has lots of sex.
  • Laced by Carol Higgins Clark--Carol Higgins Clark is not as a good a writer as her mother, Mary Higgins Clark, but this wasn't bad, especially since it came from the free book swap.
From the book swap at All About Quilts:
  • The Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini--I thought I had read all of Jennifer's quilt novels, but I had never read this one. If you're Jennifer Chiaverini fan, you'll enjoy it.
Must start my list for February. Already read a book today! Thanks Sue!

Thanks for visiting,

Pugs and kisses,