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When mowing a lawn becomes like the Bataan Death March..
Old 05-05-2019, 03:53 PM   #1
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When mowing a lawn becomes like the Bataan Death March..

DD took possession of her home two weeks ago. I thought, perhaps selfishly, “Oh great now she can take her stuff the someting out of here.” As I feared It seems I may have been a bit premature in that assessment.

The Mrs and SIL are gifted painters so they volunteered to help out. The home it perhaps 70 years old. The second floor needs a good deal of patching, sanding and painting. Thankfully I am not allowed to paint as I lack the patience for it. It’s 29 miles to her house and about 40 minute drive. My SIL said we are retired and are happy to help.

Day 1
The ladies attack the master bedroom with spackle and sand paper. I am busy with yard work at home and choose to come over later. 12:30 I get a call come and bring gasoline (never a good sign). I arrive and learned that the former owner took the tractor but left a mower complete with bag. DD’s future FIL gas’s it up and i mow the from lawn which has quite the hill. I wanted the exercise but with the heat and humidity It doesn’t take long and i look like a guy from the bataan death march. I finish the front and side and FIL mows the back. Every few swipes the bag needs to be emptied into the wheel barrow and dumped way in the back. IMHO this property is tractor country- long live John Deere

Day 2 (the next week/end)
I teach future SIL to replace a shower mixing valve cartridge and
tighten up 2 black pipe couplings. We do the soapy water method and no gas leak was detected. I then mow the front lawn, side and part of the back, the Mrs, future SIL, Mrs Sister spell me. A tank and a half of gas later and I am at the death march state. We skip Costco on the way home because i am not presentable..

Future SIL has a line on a self propelled mower. I am wondering if he really means me? He and the daughter are moving slowly i think its my wife’s fault.. dinner, clothes washed, brown bag for lunch..

Would changing the locks at my house be too bold a statement?
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Old 05-05-2019, 04:02 PM   #2
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Everytime you go over there take stuff with you.
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Old 05-05-2019, 04:09 PM   #3
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I trust you'll serialize this story, as it looks to be a winner...

Awaiting day three...
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Old 05-05-2019, 04:22 PM   #4
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John Deere tractors run forever and you can always find a used one for sale.
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Old 05-05-2019, 04:32 PM   #5
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Everytime you go over there take stuff with you.
And all of your tools. Chances are that you'll have to fix something while you're there.
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:22 PM   #6
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I would nicely tell them to get their stuff. I would have never expected my parents at this age to be painting or mowing the grass. I could see helping them pack or unpack. I definitely would not be repeating the lawn experience.
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:01 PM   #7
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Yep, it’s fine to help out, but pick the jobs that interest you. For sure on the riding mower. I’ve been trying to get my dad to get one for years. He has about 1/2 acre, maybe 1/3. Mowed it one time with a non-self propelled no less. I give him credit, but I’ll never do it again. He’s finally moved up to a self propelled, but still won’t spring for a small riding mower.

I have an acre and a mid-size lawn tractor (Deere 300 series). I should have gone with the 500 series, but that would have been a bit of over kill. My fil was more my style. He had a small cub cadet for a suburban yard. No shame in his game.
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:10 PM   #8
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For the lawn , you could probably hit a local sale barn . Goats are pretty cheap , and they eat everything in sight.
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:14 PM   #9
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Cutting grass walking is great exercise & lends itself to mind clearing thought. Can't say I look forward to doing it but never dread it.
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
... and i mow the from lawn which has quite the hill. I wanted the exercise but with the heat and humidity It doesn’t take long and i look like a guy from the bataan death march. I finish the front and side and FIL mows the back. Every few swipes the bag needs to be emptied into the wheel barrow and dumped way in the back. IMHO this property is tractor country ...
My 90 year old neighbor offered to sell me his riding mower a couple of years ago. I declined - I prefer the exercise of a self-propelled push mower. However, considering the heat, humidity, and bugs (including hornets and fire ants ), mowing your own lawn in south FL in the summer is definitely an acquired taste. The cold shower afterwards feels great!

BTW: this webpage from Scotts suggests that bagging lawn clippings is a waste of time. I agree - I've never bothered to do it.
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:32 PM   #11
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My future SIL put gasoline in my diesel JD 855 after he ran it completely out of diesel several times (needs fuel system bled). The injection pump puked out after having fuel with no lubrication (gasoline), and cost us $1600 for the fix.

I was so irritated I bought them a Cub Cadet 129 (old cast iron bulletproof tractor), and said stay off of the John Deere from now on.
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:40 PM   #12
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Ray, I have to admit your post made me laugh.
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:48 PM   #13
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I’ve learned the cost of a tractor mower can buy a lot of mowings from a landscape maintenance service.
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:51 PM   #14
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When DD got her house, the first thing I did was buy her a lawn mower. She has been cutting the lawn and now that she is married, her hubby cuts the grass.

I have my own grass to deal with.

DD painted the whole inside of her house herself....after work over a period of weeks.

(I just paid for the wedding last year)
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:21 PM   #15
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I love you "big lawn" guys. I was chatting with a co-worker that lived in Arkansas over cocktails and he mentioned that he "mowed his lawn" over the weekend. He added that he liked to mow the lawn as it gave him a real feeling of accomplishment.

I'm like "how much lawn do you have" and he's telling me 3 acres.

Crap. You're not supposed to mow 3 acres, you are supposed to farm 3 acres!

We don't have to worry about that stuff here in CA where dirt is really expensive -
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:40 PM   #16
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Robbie, being in a drought we have Astro-turf. I hate xeriscape and being a Wisconsin girl the dogs and I need grass. Our yards aren’t huge either right in town.
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:47 PM   #17
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I love you "big lawn" guys. I was chatting with a co-worker that lived in Arkansas over cocktails and he mentioned that he "mowed his lawn" over the weekend. He added that he liked to mow the lawn as it gave him a real feeling of accomplishment.

I'm like "how much lawn do you have" and he's telling me 3 acres.

Crap. You're not supposed to mow 3 acres, you are supposed to farm 3 acres!

We don't have to worry about that stuff here in CA where dirt is really expensive -
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:43 PM   #18
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My 90 year old neighbor offered to sell me his riding mower a couple of years ago. I declined - I prefer the exercise of a self-propelled push mower
Self-propelled? What's that
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Old 05-06-2019, 04:39 AM   #19
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I love you "big lawn" guys. I was chatting with a co-worker that lived in Arkansas over cocktails and he mentioned that he "mowed his lawn" over the weekend. He added that he liked to mow the lawn as it gave him a real feeling of accomplishment.

I'm like "how much lawn do you have" and he's telling me 3 acres.

Crap. You're not supposed to mow 3 acres, you are supposed to farm 3 acres!

We don't have to worry about that stuff here in CA where dirt is really expensive -
IN NW Ohio, I have 10 acres, and I mow about 2-3 all around buildings, and tree lines (1000' of road frontage, and nearly 1000' deep). My daughter lives 1/4 mile down the road, and she has a full acre. My 72" deck on my diesel JD makes fairly quick work out of it.

Mowing services would cost me an arm, and a leg, and not give me the tractor with a FEL that I need so much on my farm.
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Old 05-06-2019, 05:27 AM   #20
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And all of your tools. Chances are that you'll have to fix something while you're there.

For Christmas we gave future son-in-law a toolbox with an extensive collection of all manner of tools.
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