We hired a neighbor kid to mow the lawn while I was laid up in the hospital, and apparently he did a decent job the first time. Jen had him use our mower, which is brand new and (thank god) starts on the first pull. He came back two weeks ago to do it again and left us underwhelmed with his attention to detail. After I’d gone over the whole yard with him, explained what I wanted him to do, and showed him all of the places to watch out for (imagining him chewing up my shiny new mower blade on rocks and roots and other obstacles) he sort of mowed the front lawn, most of the side lawn and about 2/3 of the back lawn. Left untouched were whole sections behind the greenhouse, under the living room window, and along the driveway.
Hesitantly, I texted him to come back and do the yard again. He dropped by on Friday, was able to get the mower out of the garage and do about eight lanes of the backyard before he jammed the pull-start mechanism and couldn’t get the mower running again. I told him to leave it and I’d fix it over the weekend.
I pulled the cover off this morning, freed up the mechanism, and mowed the whole fucking lawn myself. It’s not edged, because I’m tired out from the exertion, but it looks a hell of a lot better than it did after two weeks of rain. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be up to edging it for the first time since the beginning of July. I don’t think I’ll be requiring his services again. It’s too bad, because he’s a nice kid–worlds better than the Bro–but many cans short of a six-pack.
Meanwhile, the cucumbers have an infestation. The box fan I’d set up out there died about three weeks ago (it was an old, old fan) so there’s no real movement through the plants. There are now clouds of whiteflies who have taken up residence among the big leaves and are busily sucking the sap out of them. The cukes have grown up and into the tomato plants, seeking sunlight and space, so I cut a few of the most tangled up shoots out of the tomatoes and cleaned things up. Then I ordered an insecticidal soap from Amazon to battle them but it’s not going to be here until Wednesday. So I’m considering dragging the cucumber bins out of the greenhouse completely to save the tomato plants in the meantime. If it’s not critters, it’s bugs.