Posted by: David | September 14, 2008

Kismet, or Serendipity, or Synchronicity, or Happy Birthday

It’s so weird how stuff happens sometimes. There’s no time like the present, and the future ain’t what it used to be (thanks Arthur C. Clarke).

The garbage was smelly and would need to be taken to the dump on Saturday instead of the customary Sunday. I had made chicken broth from the bones of a roasted chicken we’d had Tuesday evening and dumped the bones in the trashcan. The smell of “decomp” (thanks CSI) wafted from the pantry where our garbage can lives.  Chicken decomp. Eeeewwww.

My wife’s 50th birthday was last Wednesday and we went out to dinner. My son-in-law picked up the tab. That was darn nice of him! Come Friday I realized that I’d better come up with some kind of birthday present. Something meaningful. We let most birthdays come and go, my wife and I, having spend the last 30+ years together.  But the decade birthdays have more gravitas. Don’t they? Especially when they start up giant particle accelerators on the same day.

Well I suck at gift buying. Apparently lots of men do (or so I’m told by many of my female friends), but I went to the local Artisan’s store, looking for the object(s) that I knew would be there. Here. Another Lame Gift From Dave. A cobalt blue glass with dragonflies painted on it and a sphere of lovely basil-smelling soap which fit nicely into aforementioned glass. The gift wrapping lady tied a lovely bow on the box. It was given and received with all appropriate good will on the part of both parties. Happy 50th darling! My wife loves cobalt blue stuff.

We have blue objects all over the place. One of the very best gifts I ever gave to my bride was a blue Kitchen Aid mixer that I drove many miles to pick up at an early morning-after-Thanksgiving sale, some time in the 80s, for the bargain-basement price of $179.95. Lechmere’s. It was the only time ever that I’ve gone out to purchase an xmas gift in the traditional way. My wife totally loved that gift and it established a gift benchmark which I’ve never been able to surpass in succeeding years. I’d given up trying, and had been told, in so many words, don’t even bother. Don’t want another string of tumbled semi-precious stone beads. Got enough garnets thank you very much … I’ll get my own gifts for myself.

Come this lovely Saturday morning, our daughter arrived and I made the customary bacon, eggs, and toast breakfast for the 3 of us. She’d come over to drive to Concord with her mom to pick up the Special Self 50th Birthday Gift for which my wife had been campaigning, against my sometimes strenuous objections, for many months now. She wanted a fancy enameled wood stove for our living room. Essentially, it would be a $700 plant stand. But pretty, and able to hold a fire if the plants were to be removed. And the specially marked down unit, which was like half price, discontinued, etcetera was white enamel and not the blue that she really wanted.

It would replace a unit which I’d acquired, at another dump, some 20 years ago. A modest looking wreck, covered in rust at a local junkyard. It was a Lange cast iron stove, made in Denmark. It had a hairline fracture on the bottom panel of the firebox, but I offered $50 to the junkyard guys. I knew it was a good quality stove and would work nicely, even if it had a crack, because of its rugged Danish quality. They must’ve thought I was an idiot for wanting to buy that hunk of  rust. They said how about $40? Sold. It’s nice when junk yard guys feel bad for you. It cleaned up nicely and heated our home(s) for many years.

Our main woodstove is in the basement connected to a large double-flued chimney. The basement is the best place for a woodstove, as it keeps the mess downstairs, where it belongs, and the heat makes its way from bottom to top of the house in its normal rising tendency. When we had used the upstairs stove as well, it got to 90°F plus in the house. Winters have been fairly mild of late and we added insulation to our house back in 1998, so the propane FHW boiler and the basement wood stove kept our heating bill under control and kept us comfortable. The upstairs Lange got covered and surrounded with houseplants and hasn’t been fired up for at least 5 years. But my wife let her mind’s eye rove upon various fancy enameled wood stoves that would look nice and show the flames through glass door(s). This object would be purchased with monies that we would not have for at least 2 or 3 years.

The girls left for Concord, and Oliver and I loaded the smelly dump and headed downtown. He stayed in the car while I put all the trash in the right places. There was some metal in the form of hopelessly knotted and twisted dog run cables which needed to go into the metal recycle bin. As I’m going back to my car a guy and a kid drive up in a pickup with a large blue object in the back and damned if it doesn’t look like an enameled wood stove. I walk up to their truck as they’re jumping out to unload this heavy object and I examine it. It’s a blue enameled Vermont Castings Defiant Encore 2140, manufactured between 1990 and 1991 and it looks to be in pretty good shape. I ask the dumpers why they’re dumping it. They said they’d gotten a new one and the damper mechanism is broken. Wow, it looks pretty nice I say, and didn’t they know people would pay good money for such a thing? These things can be repaired! They had already committed to dumping it, having been instructed by the transfer station attendant to leave it on the ground by the metal recycling container in case someone wanted to grab it. Well that someone was me, and I let the dumpers go by saying “OK, well, happy dumping!” and let them go on about their business of unloading this 400 pound object from their pickup truck.

Meantime, I ran home to call my wife and daughter en route to tell them about this incredible turn of events. They had gotten to Henniker, and agreed to turn back and take a look. Oliver and I zoomed back to the transfer station to sit on the treasure. I was fairly sure that someone else would have seen and grabbed the stove by the time I got back. But a 400 pound cast iron wood stove has its own inertia. It was still there and I told the attendants that I thought I would be taking it. They said fine. The girls arrived some minutes later and we were all in some shock about how something like this could happen. The guy who runs the transfer station came over to talk to us about how we could get this thing home, which is only a mile and a half away, and talked me out of trying to put it into the trunk of my car. It’s good that he did because it would have caused some damage most likely. He brought over the front-end loader and we loaded it into the bucket, then drove it over to his pickup truck, where I slid it into the bed. It was sitting before our front porch only minutes later. He would not take a cent for this. But he accepted a jar of blackberry jam when I returned to the transfer station on Sunday to drop off more trash.


This object in front of our house on this day was a gazillion to one proposition.

This morning it got rained on, but some friends came over and we wrestled the monster into the house using a hand truck and some oak planks. It’s now sitting in its place on the hearth, while we determine to what extent we’ll be able to repair some of the burnt out internal parts. We’re looking over the product manual from the Vermont Castings website.

I bought a bunch of lottery tickets yesterday too, stopping at various places while on a bike ride. No winners there, but hey, scoring this woodstove is still a little hard to believe. It was like magic.

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Responses

  1. wow… that is absolutely beautiful, t0d…

    Isn’t it though? Thanks vermonter! 😀

  2. And you thought you were rich in the last post!!! Hahah. No wonder I can’t get a call back! You guys are too busy dancing for joy! Now I am convinced you will not be sucked into a black hole but rather once that collider really gets going you will be sucked up the chimney through a beautiful blue stove. And, by the way, that is the exact stove we bought (in modest black) when we remodeled and we have never used it! Word is we will be heating with wood this winter!! Best to all.

    Hi Carol, thanks for your comment. How did you know? After the Dance of Joy, we do the Hokey Pokey. That’s what it’s all about. You know.

    I didn’t mention that in the afternoon of the Day Of The Blue Enameled Wood Stove I went for a bike ride and stopped 3 times to buy Powerball tickets at 3 different stores. Not so good on the luck there. I guess the odds of the wood stove materializing were better.

    The 2-3 cords of wood we burn helps keep the propane consumption down to less than 1000 gallons per year.

  3. I didn’t pay much attention to your post title (haha, sorry it’s Monday 😉 ), but I’m glad I didn’t, ’cause once you mentioned that the girls were off to pick up the “dream” wood stove, I just assumed the post was going elsewhere into other dump-related issues, never thinking that this incredible serendipitous event was just around the corner in your post…wow, a cobalt blue enamel wood stove falls into your lap…who wouldathunkit? Sometimes real life is cool 😉

    Oh I know!! And this gives me an idea. Romi. Do they have trash transfer stations in your city? Maybe you could go look there for The Man. Smelling all vanilla like and leaving some trash. 😀

    Eh?

  4. hahaha….no, we don’t have trash-transfer stations…it’s too suburbanized where I live…but maybe I could wait for the garbage men to come each Monday morning, with me all drenched in my vanilla essence…I heard they make good coin, and usually they seem pretty young and fit 🙂

    Yeah, there’s money in trash all right. You just never know where you might find your life partner do ya?

  5. SCORE! that blue woodstove is gorgeous. Happy BDay to the wife.

    Thanks again C. We still can’t quite believe this turn of luck. I’d love to tell her that you wish her a happy birthday, but then she’d say “Who the hell is Curious C? Why did you tell her it was my birthday? When are you going to stop with this ridiculous blogging crap?” I wonder if she reads my blog secretly. 🙂

  6. I suck at gift giving also. So I just hand them cash. Sure, it lacks romance (why bother with something else I’m told I suck at?) and seems effortless (they tend to forget what I had to do and how much time was involved in getting that money) but I’ve never received that, ‘What the hell were you thinking?’ expression when handing it over.

    I’ve even stopped putting it in cards (I’ve received the ‘You could have written something better.’ if it’s sappy and ‘Did you write this?’ if they don’t find it funny). So now I reach into my pocket, toss over the goods, and, if I’m lucky, get to go back to sleep.

    Having said that, if I’m told of something they want, I will get it. Of course, the ‘no surprise’ comes into play so I explain myself thusly,

    “I get enough derision from you through my constant breathing. I will not voluntarily subject myself to such a reaction.”

    We also made a lengthy trip to gather a Kitchen Aid in the proper color so I know what that’s like. I also understand the benchmarks that get set. Although, for the first few years I tried, I quickly wore that one out. A computer, huge ass entertainment center, guitar, Cuisenart, but I knew I had to stop the besting when I told her she could use the money I got from a project to do anything she wanted and she bought a diamond bracelet when we were in St. Martin.

    Hello Money Gifts!

    All that said, I truly think you bested yourself here, David. That’s a great find and one my girlfriend would be jealous of for years. If I had the balls to tell her about it! She loves found things MORE than anything that could be purchased. I wish you many years of planter fun with it!

    I like to tell people that I give cash gifts to that it’s the most popular thoughtless gift there is. The problem with it is that you can’t peel the price tag off of it.

    That’s a great explanation as to why such reactions are unacceptable. The constant breathing is almost as much of an annoyance as the persistent existence (that being the crux of the problem).

    Diamonds. Mmm. Yeah. Heavily crushed old charcoal. How they glitter though. Damn them and their ridiculous expensiveness.

    Thanks for your amusing comments, as always.

  7. I dunno…diamonds can’t be THAT expensive

    Thanks for linking back to that post vermonter, I’d forgotten how fun it was. I never read back into my blog except when I’m trying to figure out how the most hit upon post got that way.

    Please wait here while I go get my ten foot pole … 🙂

  8. NEWS FLASH! The collider broke! You are incredibly lucky this month David. What you wished for has come true. http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/18/hadron.collider.transformer.breaks.ap/index.html

    Well the cosmos has dodged another bullet. HOORAY for us ALL! Now if only I could hit that Powerball! 🙂

  9. Here is a Dylan update for you. It is from an IHT blog.

    Come gather round, bankers,
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    You’ll be told to go home;
    If your job to you
    Is worth savin’
    Then you better start swimmin’
    Or you’ll sink like the DOW
    For the markets they are a-changin’.

    Hello vermonter?! Are ya hearin’ this from our blogfreunde cantueso? IMHO the original lyric doesn’t really need any changin’ to be applied to the mess du jour. What say ye?

  10. Vermonter, David:

    But there is a really beautiful story about diamonds on this blog, about a little kid selling them at the local “convenience” store. And they were about US$ 1,- a handful. Where was that?

    However, that was before last week’s meltdown.

    I liked that diamond post too cantueso, thank you! That kid was a hoot that Sunday morning.

  11. https://davidlevine.wordpress.com/2008/02/24/the-big-deal-of-the-day/

    Actually, couldn’t you give me permission to put this story on my blog ? And at the same time see how many hits it gets if it is properly tagged.

    Right now, if you had a load of money, what would you do? I think that gold is dangerous because at any time governments can and might prohibit hoarding it. Diamonds are a lot more difficult to buy and sell. Yet I think people might go into diamonds.

    You have my permission, cantueso, to quote, link, or use in whatever way seems appropriate to you, anything from my blog. 😀

    If I Had A Load Of Money What Would I Do?

    That question just makes me madder and madder as I check my lottery tickets week after week after week … I am more likely to be struck by lightning people tell me.

    Gold or diamonds? Neither! Pay off all our debts and then give the rest away! 😀 What would YOU do?

  12. I don’t know what I would do. But did you see? The money went into oil. It is fairly obvious that those at the top don’t know either. I saw two big attacks on Paulson, one today, but none on Bernanke.

    I’m speechless. My retirement fund is a quivering mass of agonized nausea, to quote a good friend.

  13. You are right that Dylan’s original version does not need any updating, but I did not know it. I can’t understand even 1 word when he sings, and so I downloaded some of his lyrics to read them on my computer, but I had never read this song.

    HA! That’s kinda funny cantueso. Vermonter is a HUGE Dylan fan. I imagine that she is simultaneously relieved and disturbed at your comment. But not surprised. Blessed Bobby is excused for his rough and rugged singing voice, for he is our truest troubadour. 🙂

  14. That’s amazing. Kudos to you for being in the right place at the right time to spot that blue beauty.

    Regarding the gifts, I’m a big proponent of picking out what I want and offering major guidance. This followed the year I got an unwanted and unreturnable desk name plate for my birthday. I win, he wins, we’re all happy.

    Thank you Allison, but to accept your kudos would be vanity. Smelly trash got me to the right place at the right time. Sela!

    Major Guidance is good. May each spouse have ears attuned for these signals. 🙂

  15. Congratulations on your stove acquisition. We have heated our home with one just like it (blue also) for the past 17 years. Wouldn’t do it any other way!

    Thanks Richard! The guy who left this one at the dump said that they had used theirs for about that long too. They took pretty nice care of it. It has the single-pane glass in the doors. There are a couple of interior cast iron parts that are burnt out, but it should be fine for the use we intend- small decorative fires. Our main woodstove is in the basement. Thank you for your comment.

  16. I have no idea why everyone is just like, “Cool, Dave, hope you like your stove” or whatever because this story is astounding to me. ASTOUNDING. Words aren’t big enough to explain how amazing this was, a demonstration of something by the universe. What, I don’t know, but something went on in the stars over New Hampshire.

    And your Kitchenaide mixer story is so funny, because I found mine under the Christmas tree during a particularly year in the late 80s and to me it’s still Buck’s most amazing gift. I have no idea how he pulled that one off, but I still treasure that mixer and use it all the time.

    THANK YOU Wendy!! We were in awe over this event for a good few days. It was just too improbable. Which is one of the reasons why everyone is just like, oh cool dave and stuff. We are numb to the incredible these days.

    The Kitchenaide mixer (what color is yours?) synchronicity is maybe the same type of thing? If Buck bought yours at Lechmere’s for $179.95 then the Universe is shrinking.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here though, and guess that Buck probably got you the professional model with the lever-operated arms and heavy duty bowl. I would have liked to have bought that one, but it was not the one on sale …

  17. I checked and 90 Fahrenheit is more than 30 Celsius, and that is much too hot. Do the plants like that kind of temperatures?

    Um. Yes? I mean, no? I’m not sure to what this comment pertains …

  18. HI, You don’t have a search nor a calendar on your blog! (I spoze you KNOW this…) and I had this thought that it was your birthday but can’t confirm with any posts of yours. so OH WELL. (and the only way I remember is cuz Joan’s is tomorrow and so is mine.) Have a happy day no matter if it’s a Monday or a National Garlic Day or whatever!

    Yeah, I ditched the calendar a while ago. Sorry. I don’t wear a watch either and haven’t since the early 80s. Happy Birthday to you too fellow twin. Are you left handed too? And is there a National Garlic Day? There should be.

    • Although we don’t share the same birthday, David, we are both left-handed and now we both know about this but, DAMN! We just missed it.

      National Garlic Day: April 19th

      National Garlic Day promotes the many uses of Garlic. And, there certainly are many uses. It’s a vegetable. Its’ a herb. It is used in recipes around the world. Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years. And, Garlic is believed to ward off evil spirits. About the only negative thing you can say about it, is that it can negatively affect an otherwise romantic evening.

      As a medicinal herb:

      Phytochemicals in garlic are believed to provide protection against heart disease and cancer. Specifically, stomach and colorectal cancers.
      Helps to fight off colds and flu.
      Lowers blood cholesterol levels.
      Reduces the buildup of plaque in arteries.
      Used as a treatment for acne and warts.
      Used for toothaches

      Celebrate National Garlic Day by using it heavily in your meals and snacks today. Spend some time researching its medical benefits. You might find you are adding more garlic to your menu everyday.

      Did you know? We all have fears. As a matter of fact, there are so many phobias, that psychologists can hardly keep track of them all. Just so you are well informed, Alliumphobia is the fear of garlic.

      What’s funny is why I know there’s a national day for everything (August 13th: Left Handers Day). 8-9 years ago, when the internet wasn’t as easy to misuse, my girlfriends daughter had to come up with a something unique for school. Just another in a long line of truly insipid things her third grade teacher made them do.

      We came up with odd national days. But it was a bitch. Nothing really came up unknown so I took over. With the social engineering skills used when I need research but am too lazy to find it myself, I hit the phone and, that still took awhile. People were helpful (I made sure to do the ‘wicked teacher’ ‘frantic child’ angle. Oh yeah, I’m devious) but not coming up with anything.

      Until I hit the mother load. Someone at a college took this ‘frazzled parent’ and, yep, did the work for me. She sent me reams of data and the project was a success. Now I know January 27th is National Toilet Day and March 5 is National Cheese Doodle Day.

      Yes, I have useless information and I’m willing to share!

      Wow B&G this was a tremendous comment. It will take me a couple of days to digest it all. And then I’ll have garlic breath. But that’s just fine-diddley-ine isn’t it though?

      Now I have a whole bunch of new holidays to take off from work. First I’ll have to form a union, elect officers, collect dues, then get middle management on my side and rally for all the insipid holidays. They all LOVE Cheese Doodles! And who DOESN’T love toilets? I wonder if there’s a National Insipidity Day? National Thumb Tack Day? National Unmatched Sock Day? I think I’m doing that thing right now that you posted about a couple weeks ago where people feel compelled to try to outjoke you. Shit, glad I caught myself. 🙂

      On the garlic I cannot say enough good stuff about it, though you almost did. Next time why not copy and paste the ENTIRE INTERNET into your comment!? Dammit, I’m doing it again. Sorry! Back to garlic. I’m not surprised there’s a holiday for it. It is surprising that it took me so many years of gardening to finally successfully grow it. We’ve always grown onions, but not garlic until the past few years. Weird huh? Perhaps that is why I was never a gentleman farmer, until NOW.

      Anyway thanks again for sharing all that useless information. I fear that maybe no information is truly useless. Trivial minutiae are still HOT!

  19. Oo! Oo! Can I be the guy who collects the dues? I’d like that!

    > They all LOVE Cheese Doodles!
    > And who DOESN’T love toilets?
    Better yet, who doesn’t love ’em at the same time? Come on! You know you do!

    > I wonder if there’s a National Insipidity Day?
    > National Thumb Tack Day?
    > National Unmatched Sock Day?
    MAN! I may be collecting dues but you’re the guy doing all the heavy lifting. With you as our leader is National Belly Lint Day far behind?

    > I think I’m doing that thing right now
    > that you posted about a couple weeks
    > ago where people feel compelled to
    > try to outjoke you. Shit, glad I caught
    > myself.
    Hahahahahahaha. Perish the thought President of Odd National Holidays! This was badinage of which I will always partake.

    > On the garlic I cannot say enough good
    > stuff about it, though you almost did.
    > Next time why not copy and paste the
    > ENTIRE INTERNET into your comment!?
    Hahahahahahahahaha. Even the naughty bits????

    > Perhaps that is why I was never
    > a gentleman farmer, until NOW.
    YOU SAID IT!!! You went all GF up in that *i*c*! I knew you’d come around.

    My girlfriends gardens are coming along. Or so I’m told. There are flowers everywhere (and we seem to always be getting more) and the veggies are doing what they do. Which is grow or so I’m told.

    Even the neighbor with the OCD wife (contact me via email if you want stories on that! Suffice it to say, she called my girlfriend last night at 11:30 because she’d heard her truck beep and wanted to ask a question. As nice as my girlfriend CAN be, when she just gets home from work AND finds out we have to go out to get milk before the store closes, well, that may not be the absolute best time to call her asking if a restaurant we just went to serves pinot grigio. But, that’s what she did. And, trust me, that’s not even a ‘real’ story) has two buckets of tomatoes along with his flower beds.

    Don’t even get me started on her mother’s house. We’re trying to ‘improve’ (read: not have to mow) this section so she’s going hosta crazy. It looks nice and will look better when we’ve finished but, man, what a load of work.

    You planted a seed and the whole worlds growing, GF!

    Badinage! Oo! OOO! That was fun. Clearly there is no shortage of minutiae to magnify. Guess Jerry Seinfeld already proved that amply.

    I’ve never eaten that many Cheese Doodles, sir.

    11:30 AT NIGHT?!?! Let’s get HER to collect the dues. We’ll name National Pinot Grigio Day in her honor. She’ll be the Prima Wino in the Grape Parade on the National Lawn.

    BTW, is ‘going out to get milk’ a euphemism for something I don’t know about, being a gentleman and all? If not, then why are you city people always running out to get milk? Is it for your Cocoa Puffs or something? Oh, and I don’t get “up in that *i*c*”. Please splain.

    Hostas, like many flora, my wife points out, are often mowed. By assholes like me. I say it’s an accident or some shit. Apparently there are no accidents, are there? And why do I have to do all the frackin’ mowing anyway?

    Sincerely though, gardening work gives, as do many other humble and earthy tasks, a satisfied fatigue soon after, and a rewarding view for a somewhat longer period. I think digging somehow grounds out our hyperactive minds. Dig it bro! 😀

    • > I’ve never eaten that many Cheese Doodles, sir.
      You, sir, do not know what you’re missing. Until you’ve eaten the weight of a small child then patted a friend on the back, well, you don’t know what fun is. Or you do. It really is a pretty simple word to know the definition of.

      > 11:30 AT NIGHT?!?!
      I was amazed. She only looked at the phone because she thought it was work. She kept repeating the woman’s name saying things like, “What the #$%#? Why the *^#@? Who the #%#^%?” Then she returned her call while I was in the store and she’s all, “What the #$%#? Why the *^#@? Who the #%#^%?”

      The woman talks all the time. I’ve been working in the yard for a couple of hours and can hear her the entire time on the phone. We live on a quiet cul-de-sac and she’s the loudest thing on it.

      She had the dog officer up three (3) (yes, three) times this week because a dog, way down the hill no where near connected to our street, barks ‘all the time’ and it makes her crazy (the fact everything makes her crazy didn’t seem to be broached by anyone). Needless to say it wasn’t barking when he was there (yes, it does bark. Yes, it is a dog. So, ah, dah!) but that didn’t stop her from trying to make a huge issue of it. She truly is amazing. You may remember the baby raccoon story from last year. She’s the reason it happened. The baby was in her yard and she was freaking out. When my girlfriend got back from some errands she didn’t even get out of the truck before she was descended upon. By the way, the place she dropped the baby off sent a postcard. It’s doing just fine.

      > BTW, is ‘going out to get milk’ a euphemism for something
      > I don’t know about, being a gentleman and all?
      Hahahahahahahahaa. Okay, I’m sure that’s going to end up as my favorite question of the week.

      A question which, via a simple question on my part, I’m sure you can answer.

      We’ve been together ten years, what do you think?

      Hahahahahaha. Love it! That was so great.

      > If not, then why are you city people
      > always running out to get milk?
      Oh my gawd, David, you have no idea. I wish it was for Cocoa Puffs because at least there would be that rich, chocolate goodness waiting at the bottom. My girlfriend and her daughter go through a cowload of milk a day. I’m surprised she’s never torn off the cap and started downing it on the way home.

      To her, one of the greatest things I’ve ever done was have a friend who gets farm fresh milk get some for her. She saw me carrying in the basket and was on me like a vampire at a hemophiliac convention. It was probably the most passionate greeting I ever received.

      Have I mentioned we’ve been together for a long time?

      > Oh, and I don’t get “up in that *i*c*”. Please splain.
      Yo! Yea! I’ll school ya on the finer points, GF.

      You were quite elated to embrace the Gentleman Farmer moniker for your very own.

      For an explanation as to what I was saying with *i*c*, well, that was a little playing on my part. To decipher that code, place the letters t, h, and b in their proper location for the word I was messin’ with.

      > Hostas, like many flora, my wife points out,
      > are often mowed. By assholes like me.
      And you’re still alive? Holy crap! I’d be a dead man. The garden would be set up hosta, flower, hosta, flower, Zell, hosta, hosta, hosta. I get told every time I go out there where the stuff is. The facts that 1) I mow the area every week and 2) I probably dug the hole where the stuff in question was placed never seems to come into the equation. And, even if she was remiss one week, these are some big ass hostas we’re talking about. Even I don’t think I’m dumb enough to run over one.

      > And why do I have to do all the frackin’ mowing anyway?
      Oh my gawd! Tell me about it. Between our yard and her mother’s Cape house it’s surprising I can ever get a hangover. I probably spend three hours a week mowing above all the other stuff. She does the planting (unless there are bugs, bees, or any unknown – potentially invisible – impedance) and weed whacking but that mowing, damn! I looked at the lawn before I left for work and it’s amazing what three days of rain will do to a lawn. I swear I saw something evil crouching in that veldt.

      It’s funny because when people who’ve known me for a long time but don’t really know me find out all the yard work I do they’re shocked. It’s as if they think I’d go running in fear if I ever came in contact with the giant wooden creature with the many arms and woodland beasts on it. But I don’t mind it. You’re right, it is rather soothing and it is a nice accomplishment.

      I just wish there wasn’t so much of it. Or it didn’t grow so fast. Or we had a grounds crew.

      I’d sure like the family crest (a tube of tooth paste) mowed into the middle of the lawn.

      Well in the day or two it took me to respond to this immense and amusing comment (thanks for taking the time dude!), I’ve mowed the frackin lawn again. Yesterday, before it downpoured for another 3/4 of a day, I spent the 2 hours of pushmowing around obstacles and 2.5 more hours of riding mowing to give the lawn its presummer crew cut. But only after the final few hours of digging the dirt behind the barn. Dirt doesn’t photograph very well, but I’ll try to post these photos to back up all this braggadocio. I’m tired. It took me 2 hours to ride 16 miles today. Pathetic.

      And sir, I DO know what I’m missing by NOT eating 30 pounds of Cheese Doodles: emergency electrolysis. Don’t ask!

      To clarify, I haven’t actually mowed a hosta this year. Lucky for me the deer ate the hosta in front of the house. So I escaped prosecution for that. But I mowed a trillium or some other shit. Whatever. My mind wanders … maybe it’s the exhaust fumes from the mower.

      Weed whacking! There it is! What is it with women and weed whackers? She won’t touch a mower, but will whack weeds for 2 solid hours with the goggles, earplugs, and long sleeves. Weird huh?

      So it really is just milk? What a disappointment.

      Oh and that neighbor lady? Better watch out for her. Borderline personality disorder.

      I’m sorry I lacked the internet tact to accept the gentleman farmer appellation when you first applied it. It’s just the megalomaniacal humility acting up again. They told me about that in AA, but I didn’t believe them. Thanks for not getting all up in the bitch about it with your crazy asterisks. You bloggers!!


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