Lawn mowers are not friendly machines. For one thing, they're smelly. Also, they are noisy. And they don't turn on with a gentle turn of a key. No, you have to yank on a cord. And you can't use both hands to yank on it because you have to hold some bar down while you yank the cord so that the lawn mower will know you are not dead or something like that. Supposedly if you let go of this bar the lawn mower will assume you have died and it will stop. I don't know who dreamed up this "dead man" switch but I don't like it. Anyway, so here I am yanking on the cord and holding down this bar. I get "putt putt putt." I am yanking with all my might and I get "putt putt putt." I open up the gas hole and it is not only empty it is DRY. I get the gas can and pour some inside. I yank the cord again and I get "putt putt putt." I try yanking it with my other hand (my first hand is getting tired) and since my non-tired hand is my LEFT hand, this time I get only "putt putt." So now I rope an innocent observer (my home teacher Colin) into holding down the bar so I can yank with both hands and I am rewarded with "putt putt putt putt." Oh goody.
Now I rope my innocent observer into trying to yank the cord. He gives a half-hearted yank and what does HE get? "ROAR!!!!" I am only a little annoyed that my lawnmower obviously knew a MALE had touched the cord and therefore decided to roar into life. I move the switch from the "N" (which I assume is neutral) into the "1" position (which I assume is the slowest) and the lawnmower takes off at what feels like 10 miles per hour. I am leaning backwards with all my strength as the lawnmower pulls me all over the lawn and I trot along after it, trying to guide it to the hairiest parts of the lawn. I am finally able to steer it around the outside of the lawn twice before my other home teacher shows up, Colin's father. Colin's father decides that Colin can read a short story to the Wizard and me from the porch (no one wanted to go into the house because no one wanted to catch the Wizard's flu bug) and then Colin could help me learn the other intricacies of the lawn mower (like, what's the difference between throttle and choke? Does the little picture of the turtle and the rabbit give me a clue?) while he finishes mowing the middle part of the lawn. Why is it that Colin is able to mow without throwing his entire weight backwards against the pull of that lawnmower? I mean, yes I think Colin out-weighs me a little bit, but as near as I can tell we were in the same gear...
Anyway, after a few moments he was done. I am claiming credit for mowing, however, because I mowed around the outside of the lawn and that was the hardest part. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Afterwards, it was getting dark and I had Dad show me how to work the weed whacker. I used it to edge as well as I could, but I wasn't very pleased with the result around the sidewalk. The weed whacker did okay around the rose bed, but it looks like part of our lawn has slid over the sidewalk and I think tomorrow I might get a steak knife or something and edge the sidewalk edge of the lawn. (The wizard says we have a special shovel for this, and I will try that first, but I think a steak knife will work better.)
Once this is done I have a flat of snap dragons to plant and a flat of something else too. I don't remember what they are called but they have pretty little blue flowers on them. Plus I have some flower seeds to scatter. I just want our front yard to have some pretty flowers. Oh, and I ordered a tool to help dig out some dandelions.
Dad's happy that I am getting excited about the yard's appearance. But like I said, I draw the line at doing the back yard. That's for someone else.