Neighbors to the rescue

Hurray, I take a day off work Sunday and Monday is a holiday so I’m up here an extra couple of days.  I have a friend coming Sunday to spend the night and we’ll play or hit some nurseries.  This will be a nice, calm, fun weekend.  I won’t paint.  I’ll putz around and plant a couple of things, clean the kitchen and the dining room floor and it will all be fun.  I’ll see if I can make friends with the cats and get them used to me and see if I can catch any of them

In preparation for her coming I need to do some cleaning.  I’ve been ignoring some of the dust and dirty floors because if I stop to clean this filthy house I’d never get started painting.  Friday I get up and am ready to dig into the kitchen and the dining room floor and I go outside to see how the kittens are and I look at the yard and say “holy crap”.  Over one week the grass and weeds in the empty area. outside the fences and in the alley are past my knees.  Oh dear, I need to do something and fast.  I have talked to a friend about finding a used riding mower but nothing has turned up yet and I know a new one is around at least $1,500.  There are still some old tumbleweeds stuck in the corner so I decide I will get rid of those by burning them.  It’s a nice calm day.  I can’t get a fire started and use all my matches so I decide to walk down to the store, get some matches and ask if there is a kid in town who would like to earn some money.  I ask if there is anyone who will mow and I am told they don’t know of anyone who would.  I get some matches and when I get back I notice the pilot light is out on the heater from the window being open perhaps so glad I relight the pilot.  It’s getting cloudy and windy so I decide to put the tumbleweeds out in the street so they’ll blow into the field.  Of course, today they don’t, and sit in the street.  Yeah, that makes things look better.

Saturday, I decide that worrying about the tall grass and weeds won’t get anything else done so I get in the car and run to the hardware store (30 minutes from anywhere) and buy some shelf paper.  On the way out of town I see a guy riding a lawn mower headed towards my end of the street.  There’s no one down there but me and another person so I wonder if someone is sending him to mow my yard.  I quickly go around the block to see if I can talk to him and he’s gone.  Where in the heck in a town of four streets can you disappear so quickly?  I ride around the block a couple more times and I think he went to the very corner house (where I thought no one lived).  No one is around so I head off to the hardware store.  I check out mowers while I am there but they don’t have anything heavy enough for what I need.   I check out weed whackers but I’m not sure that is up to the job either because it’s a pretty big area.  Hey, they have 4 packs of plants buy two get one free.  They have the exact violas I want to I grab 3 packs of flowers.  I check out Treagor smokers.  I have done some research for a few weeks and I think the junior elite is the one I want.  It’s not the big one, it’s the next size down.  I think it’s around $600.  When I start checking them out again now they have moved them around and they have 3 sizes.  The one I thought I wanted is $799 and the one that is the name of the one I thought I wanted is $449 but it is so small I don’t know.  Oh crap, now I have to do more thinking about it.  The lady says it won’t fit a turkey so maybe I need to get the middle size.  With the angst of needing a riding mower and everything else I can’t make a decision.  On the way back into town the first house I see on the corner has two ladies using a riding mower to mow down their tall weeds.  Ok, now all I see is riding mowers around town.  I will gladly pay anyone to help.  I watch the kittens play and decide that they are here to stay.  I don’t have time to make friends and catch them and adopt them out.  This week if they want to live here I don’t have time to deal with them so I will feed them and they can all stay if they want to.

Now, it’s late in the afternoon because going anywhere takes forever.  I plant the violas, and some other plants that I’ve been given.  Datura, and sunflower seeds.  I’ve also been given some mint that I want to start putting in the alley.  I figure if I pull some of the grass and weeds and start replacing it with mint that will be better than all the tall weeds back there that I’ll have to keep mown.  I go pull enough grass and weeds near the corner to plant the mint that I have.  It’s getting a little late to start cleaning so I fix dinner.  That night there is supposed to be the new meteor showers but about 9:00 the sky clouds up.  Bummer.  Then at 10:30 the sky clears up and I do see a meteor and take some pictures of the stars.  At midnight when the meteor shower should just get going it clouds up too much and I just can’t see enough so I call it a night.

Ooops – forgot to load the metor pics – insert your own vision here

The next morning I’m still worried about the grass and weeds so I jump in the car and go look at riding mowers.  I go to a couple of dealers (30 minutes from anywhere) and they are just too expensive.  I’m going to have to find a used one.  Does anyone know where I can pick up a used one for around $400 – $600?

I go home and clean the kitchen.  If I can’t get the lawn mowed at least everyone in town will know I’m worried about it and trying.  I scrub down the cabinets and drawers and put in shelf paper and take everything off the counters and decide which drawer it should be in.  I’m sweeping the floor and step outside and I hear a voice talking to me.  Someone is shorter than the fence and I can’t see them.  I open the gate and it’s the “cat lady”.  She takes care of the feral cats in town.  This is great.  I’ve been wanting to talk to her about the kittens.  I talk to her about the cats, the kittens, the tall grass and weeds.  We yak about everything and then I continue my cleaning pursuit.  Their is a feral cat rescue that will come and catch them and fix them and bring them back so at last resort I will do that.  I kind of like them around because I haven’t seen a mouse since they started living in the back yard.

The kitchen looks good and then I dig into the hardware floor in the dining room.  It has a lot of grunge on it.  I steam clean it and it doesn’t look too good.  I make some vinegar water and mop it and then steam clean it again and it all looks good.  Now, the day is over and I at least got the cleaning finished but I’m really worried about the grass/weed situation.

Sunday is a beautiful day.  I get up and make breakfast.  I make sure everything is ready for my weekend guest and then go down in the cellar and make sure there is still some cat food down there.  Ok, I hear someone mowing the neighbors yard so now I probably will be the last in town to mow.  All of a sudden I think I hear someone mowing behind my fence in the alley.  It’s the cat lady.  She’s mowing the neighbors yard and has decided to mow along the alley fence.  What a nice lady.  Now, my stress level is higher because someone is mowing and I should be doing it.  I go back in and hide in the house and act like I don’t know someone is mowing back there.  My doorbell rings and my friend Denise and her husband stop by from going to Sunday School and tell me they have found someone to mow for me.  There’s a kid across the street and his father said he would come mow and they know I will pay him.  YAY.  Sandy (the cat lady) comes around the corner and we start yakking and she says she’ll mow the front for me outside the fence.  At this point I’m excited and tell her first come first serve and I’ll be glad to pay her.  She says no, no, no and she says they’ll mow outside the fence and I tell her I’m not too worried about the yards because it’s not so bad inside the fence (it is, but I can handle it).

While we are yakking, a guy runs over and says his brother is a new teacher in town and he’s helping him move and his brother has just left town but he can’t leave because they locked his wallet and cell phone in a box in the a room in the old school.  He wants to know if anyone has a key to the school and to the room the stuff is locked in.  He can’t call his brother to tell him to turn around because he doesn’t have a phone.  We all know that time is of the essence since we’re already 30 minutes from anywhere and the longer it takes him to call the longer it will take for him to come back.  He uses Sandy’s phone to call his brother.  His brother must not have cell service at this point so he calls his brother’s wife to keep calling him so she can tell him to turn around.  Sandy calls all over town to see who has a key and everyone is gone for the holiday.  Sandy walks off with the guy to see if they can find someone to open the school.

My friend arrives and while we’re unloading her stuff a truck pulls up with a trailer and the guy who needed in the school jumps out.  He asks if Sandy has arrived back at my house yet and I say no and he ask if he can use my phone.  Even though he has his phone now he doesn’t have a signal so I run in to grab mine and Sandy shows back up and he’s already using her phone.  I help Susan get her stuff into the house and I’m giving her a tour and we’re checking out things and we decide we’ll go check out some of the Pawnee National Grasslands.

As we’re getting ready to leave I hear a lawn mower start up again.  The kid from across the way hasn’t come over to talk to me and I know Sandy plan on mowing the front and then I see her husband Jerry arriving on a riding mower.  This is so nice of them.  The stress is lifting because I know at least outside of the fence will look good and I won’t be the only one in town to have a bad looking house.  We’re getting ready to leave and all of a sudden I realize that Sandy is inside the fence mowing my whole front yard.  Oh dear, that is way beyond what I thought they were doing.  She says she doesn’t want me to pay her and this I way too much.  Susan has the leash on the dog and we’re ready to go but I’m like “ok, we have to wait until they’re done because I can’t go have fun while they are out there working.”  She’s using a push mower and I just can’t get in the car and wave while I drive away.  They finish in about 10 minutes and then it’s safe to leave.  WOW, the lawn looks so nice.  I didn’t think mown weeds would look so good but it is so much better than what it was looking like.

I know there are geocaches near the grasslands so I pull up the closest one on my GPS and Susan and I head off to find it.  As we’re going down the hiway we see the local cemetery.  I know it’s crazy but I really like cemeteries.  You can learn a lot of history by walking through a cemetery.  We walk around (ever watchful for rattlesnakes) and then we jump in the car and go up to a road that goes through the grasslands.  The Pawnee National Grasslands are 193,000 acres that are east of Ft Collins and go all the way west.  They are known for the birds and have lots of bird watching trails.  We drove up for a few miles and then the thunder heads started to form and you don’t want to be on those dirt roads when it’s raining so we turned around and came back out.  We grabbed three caches and saw some wild flowers and birds.  There was another geocache right outside of town so we grabbed that one and disturbed the cows.  There’s a windmill down there and the cows all started gathering up at the fence watching us.  We had Coffee the dog with us so I guess they were curious about the dog.

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Monday we get up and have a nice breakfast and decide instead of searching out nurseries we’ll go see the buttes on the Pawnee National Grasslands.  Beautiful view except for the wind farm right behind them.

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All in all a great weekend.  Thanks to Jerry and Sandy for rescuing me.  I twist her arm and she finally takes some money for gas.  It’s supposed to rain and the creek is rising so I decide to head south on Monday instead of Tuesday morning.







Friend coming

clesnning kitchen poulsen’s shelf paper, violas,  – I finally couldn’t stand it and company coming

weeds – every one is on a riding mower – neighbors to the rescue

planting mint, thyme, tomato, datura sunflower seeds


making salad – use steak knife to clean sink

vineagar water, steam clean floors

nice to not have tv – radio rockies – get back in touch with music







About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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2 Responses to Neighbors to the rescue

  1. Larry Ehemann says:

    Enjoyed your adventures and getting to know your geat neighbors. Small towns are a real joy. Looking forward to your next posting. Larry Ehemann

  2. Susan says:

    I had such a good time with you, and roaming around. The grasslands are amazing.

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