Before we bought our new house I mowed one time, but I still really had no clue what I was doing. When we lived in our trailer, we had a strip of land about three mower widths wide. It took maybe ten minutes to mow our “property.” But, we had a super sweet neighbor who loved to mow and usually mowed our grass the same time he mowed his. We’ve been mower-priviledged thus far.
Enter spring 2013 and a new house with a lot (to us) of land. And … mutant grass.
You guys, this grass grows like none other. We have to mow it twice a week. Which is fun. I didn’t even know that could be a thing. The grass is so thick and substantial and feels like carpet. Word on the street is that the previous owner paid a lot of money to get our grass in such good shape. I didn’t even know grass could be in bad shape. And that apparently people pay to get their lawn dandelion free? Weird.
Anyway, for the first month or so we didn’t own a mower. My dad let us borrow his, but sometimes the logistics to get the mower to our house twice a week didn’t really work out. Then a wonderful friend asked if he could store his mower in our garage. Score! But the wheel adjustment thing was broken and apparently our grass has to be cut high? Whatever that means. So that one didn’t really work out for us either.
But in case you’re all, “Oh, Whitney! How did you guys know how to work this out?!” … lemme tell you. We got enough advice to fill up five acres of mutant grass.
When we were having to borrow equipment, it would sometimes get too long between mowing sessions. Well, all that grass that is cut? It turns into hay. Yeah, totally didn’t know hay was dried grass. I thought it was a crop. But moving on. That hay looked ridiculous, so I raked it all up.
Let’s not talk about how ridiculous my shoes were. I looked so bad it needed to be documented.
As I was raking, this sweet person passed our house and let me know that we had let the grass get too high. If we would be better at mowing on time, we wouldn’t need to rake it.
Mmmkay, yeah, thanks.
Then about a week later, we were asked to store the friend’s mower. Up until this point I hadn’t mowed yet, so I decided to see what all the fuss was about.
Our grass was getting mutant long again, and this mower’s lifter things were broken so it cut it super short. It took me nearly two hours just to mow our front and side yards, which aren’t that massive at all. I’m a bit lacking in the muscle department, so I’m sure it was a sight. Actually, I know it was a sight. We live in a small town and *literally* everyone slowed down and did the stare as they were passing our house. I could just hear them laughing.
One helpful person stopped and told me that I was mowing the grass too short. (At least I solved the too high problem!)
I had two people tell me they wished they could get out and help. (Too much wishing and not enough helping is what I always say.)
I was also asked if this was my first time mowing, because I had “missed some spots.” I turned around and took a picture because clearly this is a legit mowing job if I’ve ever seen one. Except not.
Yet my favorite was when one guy stopped and told me that it looked like I was doing some hard work, so I should probably stop.
This lawn-judging and scary mowing sessions went on for a bit until we were able to save up enough money to solve everything. We bought our very first lawn mower. Timothy researched this guy for weeks. It’s a beauty. It’s self propelled to combat the mutancy of the grass. It’s big and giant. It mulches so we will never have hay again. And it’s orange. Score.
The first day we had it, Timothy had to work super long hours so I asked him if I could mow. I couldn’t even wait! My dad came over and helped me get it all set up. It was fantastic.
I proceeded to mow our whole yard – front, sides, and back – in less than half the time it took before. It was actually so much fun! And every car that went by? I stopped mowing to stare and wave at them until they passed. I was tempted to yell out, “this isn’t too high or too low or too hard and I don’t need any help! Get a load of that!” But I’m a lady. So I didn’t.
Although I’m kind of teasing all the helpy helpers who stopped by and gave us advice, I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s just something about a small town where everybody wants to help each other. Maybe the next time I see some poor soul struggling with hay or a broken mower I’ll pull over and tell them how sweaty they are and how much I wish I could help. Then I’ll just stroll back home and mow our own grass with our gigantic transformer mower. It’s the circle of life.
What about you guys? Do any of you have mutant grass? Or do you love mowing? I think it’s my new hobby.
Craigslist, to me, is kind of like chili cheese dogs. At first you’re like, Yeah! Let me dig into that! But then you’re all, Ugh. What did I do?
Craigslist kind of makes me nervy. I guess I have too much of an imagination and I have a knack for getting caught up in shams. I’m leery of the Craigslist killer, or picking up a chair with a rodent inside. I guess it doesn’t help that we had a couple just show up at our house unannounced after we posted a Craigslist ad for our trailer. That was a bad move.
But this is a story of redemption. A story of a Craigslist miracle. No shams, or killers, or rodents here.
Timothy and I had been wanting a piano in our house ever since we moved in. I have a keyboard, but we wanted a perfectly worn in piano with chipped keys and slightly out of tune notes. Well, I don’t know if Timothy wanted the worn and out of tune qualities, but I most certainly did. Timothy is a song writer and spent most of his life writing songs on his grandmother’s piano. (Which was worn, had chipped keys, and was out of tune. It was awesome.)
Timothy spent a few months scouting out Craigslist, because he has faith in the process. But most of the good pianos went within a day or a few hours. Then Christmas came, and armed with some Christmas money, we decided it was time. It just had to happen.
He found an ad for a gorgeous black piano about two hours away for $300. The price was pretty comparable to what other pianos of that quality were going for. It had some scratches and a couple of chipped keys (score!), and a lovely black finish. Timothy called the family immediately and we made a plan to go up and see it.
We don’t have a truck, so Timothy asked the man if it would fit in a church van. The man turned out to be a Christian and talked to Timothy a bit about our church and the fact that Timothy was an Associate Pastor. The man said the piano was pretty heavy, so we bribed my dad with Qdoba to make the two hour trip with us. We needed all the muscles we could get.
The big day comes and we go look at the Craigslist piano. On the way up there, I had a random thought that I should pray about the piano. We recently had a guest minister at the church who spoke on how much God wants to bless His children. That we should pray that God would place His favor on our lives. You know that whole, “you have not because you ask not” thing? So I whispered a quick prayer that God would help us with the piano situation and for some reason prayed, and God, if it’s Your will, can You let them give it to us for free? After I prayed that, I felt a little embarrassed. Where did that come from? Why would God care about something as small as a Craigslist piano?!
Well, we get there, see the piano, and we fall in love. It was perfectly worn. Perfectly lovely. We find out that the family is selling it because they are moving closer to their church. Their sons were becoming teenagers and they wanted to make sure they were able to be involved in every church activity throughout those impressionable years. Yowza.
Timothy shakes the mans hand and says “we love it! If you’re still selling it for $300, we’ll take it!”
The man replied that he would be glad for us to have it, but they couldn’t accept our money. After the phone convo where they learned Timothy was a pastor, they decided that they would give it to us for free if we wanted it.
… ummm …
That, my friends, was a Craigslist miracle. We jumped and shouted all over their garage. I barely asked the man if he minded if I hugged him before I tackled him with a hug. And it wasn’t until we got home that I remembered my rushed, whispered prayer asking for God’s favor. Silly me, God does care about the little things. The big things, the little things, the worn things. He’s in it all.
Every time I walk past our piano, or hear Timothy writing a new song on it, I’m reminded of the goodness of God. (And the fact that I need to get on hanging a gallery wall above it. I’m nervy about that, too.) So many times I equate God’s goodness with my health, my happy marriage, food and shelter – the big major things. But this piano wasn’t a big major thing. We would have been fine without it. It was an extra. It was just a little way that God chose to remind me just how much He loves us.
So one point for Craigslist. (And a billion for God, of course.) What about you guys? Any Craigslist success stories? Horror stories? I’d love to hear.
The birds are tweeting pretty loudly, the air is sort of warming up, my allergies are attacking my face, and we’ve made the pleasant discovery that our yard is made up of mutant grass that has to be mowed twice a week. In other words, spring is here!
I’ve been itching to add some spring to our house, and I considered for 2.8 seconds planting some flowers outside. But I’m about 90% positive that I’ve inherited my mother’s pitch black thumb. (Don’t hate me, Mom. But you know it’s true. Ha!)
So I’ve decided to add spring to our door by switching out our wintery wreath for a bright, floral happy one. I’m pretty much in love with all of these wreaths:
from Bustle & Sew
from Attic 24 (tutorials included!!)
But in case you all didn’t know, I’m married to a manly man. And the boy just doesn’t get florals. I’ve tried. But then I remembered that I like his manly ways. And I would be concerned if he loved my flowers. So the goal is to make a floral wreath that doesn’t necessarily scream FLORAL. Maybe I’ll knit a little Ninja Turtle guy and stick him on there to up the manliness? Ha!
What about you guys? Anyone adding some fresh, bright decorations to their home to celebrate spring? Do you all change your wreaths seasonally? Any suggestions for making a gigantic floral wreath look manly? I’m all ears.
So here I am, sitting in McDonald’s play place trying to pretend that this pack of sliced apples actually taste like apples. So far? I’m not succeeding.
I’m babysitting my two sweet boys for most of the evening, and I had big plans of OUTSIDE. I have been dying to mow our grass. I have a husband who is more than willing to mow it, but I’ve got it in my head that it will be good exercise and I’ll think that it is fun. I’m not sure where that idea came from, but I’m going to see it through. Anyway, I was going to keep the boys outside until dark. The park, swings, playing basketball in our driveway, jumping over our bushes, tag, and maybe even lightning bugs. But then April laughed at me and sent a gigantic rain storm. Boo.
They played inside with legos for 2.6 seconds. Then switched to army men for about half of a second. They threw bouncy balls around my house. They tried to convince me to “referee” their wrestling match. And then they pretended to be Woody on the Wii. When they requested to watch Spongebob, I knew I couldn’t take it any more. That sponge needs to grow up.
So that was the first hour.
Then inspiration hit. I strapped them in the car and drove thirty minutes to the nearest McDonald’s with a play place inside. They scarfed down their kids meals, then dove right into the kid-infested play place.
When I was little, the McDonald’s play place was the thing dreams were made of. And if it had a ball pit? Oh my word. Heaven. But now?
I could barely eat my food because of the smell of moldy socks. And you know the little boy head stink? It’s super prevalent. And those slides are sticky with I don’t want to know what. And I’m having pretty interesting convos with the natives.
little girl: Excuse me, ma’am? Your son just told me to be quiet.
little girl: *pout*
*five minutes later*
little girl: Your son is the one in the striped shirt.
little girl: *pout*
Tattling is the gossip of the five-year-old crowd and I will have none of it.
And may I say, if you are a parent with 23 kids in the play place and LOUDLY proclaim that you’re about to bring them all ice cream cones, please go ahead and buy the two little boys with the lame baby sitter some ice cream. And bring the baby sitter one of those fake frappuccino things. I need some caffeine to get me through this mold headache.
And on that lovely note, I’ve got to go take care of my boys. The older one is showing all the kids with the ice cream cones how he can body slam his younger brother to the ground. Sweet.
The whole buying our house and then moving in process felt like a whirlwind. Well, it felt like riding on the back of the world’s laziest turtle at times, but mostly it just sped by. I didn’t blog a ton about the whole process because I was too busy pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. But we’re still in our house. It’s apparently real. Ha!
The day it became official, we wanted to move in, but we had quite a bit of construction work to do first. So we settled on moving in one item and celebrating with McDonald’s afterwards. We’re pretty hardcore around here.
There was no real thought process. I just quickly glanced around our trailer, it caught my eye, and I grabbed it.
Growing up, I got teased quite a bit for being so dramatic. It actually never stopped. I just married someone equally dramatic. At times it can lead to interesting moments. But then there are times like this. When he doesn’t make fun of me for taking 836.5 pictures of us carrying a globe inside our first new house. Instead, he just smiles right along and embraces it. Firsts are my favorite.
I'm honored that you took time to stop by my blog! My name is Whitney, and I'm a diy loving, piano playing, sewing obsessed, thrifty, non-house cleaning, crafty newlywed. I love God, my husband, and life as a wife. If you'd like to know more, just check out my About Me page. Much love!
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