Thursday, February 28, 2013

You Get What You Pay For

I am reminded frequently that I am falling behind in my blog postings.  We have been quite busy at the LUCKY DECK...  I am not really sure where to begin. 

Since our last post in May of last year...we have been spending our time enjoying the unique little city by frequenting the beaches and restaurants; getting to know our little cottage and our amazing, interesting and helpful neighbors; and of course, shopping!  Time passes so quickly there...

Our first order of "summer business" was to clean up the landscaping a bit.  It had been neglected over the years and was overgrown and smothering. 

I was eager to get started, wanting the outside of this old cottage to look as charming as possible for all of our scheduled summer guests.  Frank was, as usual, supportive of my efforts, and dragging a reluctant Gracie in tow, we suited up and headed outside with the blue waves just a few doors down.
Frank grabbed our newly purchased shovel, all shiny and clean. He started to dig.
Soon came a few choice words...
So off we went to Menard's (...again) to get a second shovel  (in as many days) after the cheap one that we purchased (the previous day) broke in a record 43 seconds.  I can't remember if the head of the shovel came right off or the long part of the shovel, whatever that part is called, (and I'm sure it has a name) broke in two.
 This provided me the opportunity to use one of my favorites: 
You get what you pay for.
But really?  ...43 seconds?
So with a new shovel and gloves we began...
This shovel, although stronger and durable, proved inefficient for the overgrown shrubs.
The old chain saw came out...and within 43 seconds it just stopped. 
( At this point a fleeting thought occurred to me that Satan lives in lawn equipment!)
Frank was not happy.
Very soon, the chain saw was in 17 pieces spread all over the driveway.  No...Frank did not throw it against the side of the house, although I'm sure that is what he wanted to do.  He is a fixer and motor man.  He took it apart, of course.  It was at this stage when I approached, offering well-meaning, unsolicited advice..."Why don't you just go buy a new one?" I asked in the most pleasant, reassuring, upbeat voice I could muster.  I don't think there was actually an audible answer to my question.  But there was certainly the dreaded "look".  So I quietly snorted and smartly sauntered to the other side of the house to pull a few weeds on my own.
Well...we all know...a disassembled power tool in a man's front yard is like the glowing bug light to every man within walking distance to the disassembled power tool. 
So now we have the 17 pieces of the chain saw, various tools needed to fix the chain saw, oil, gas, greasy rags, beer and several (male) neighbors standing around looking at and talking about ... power tools.  Tools they once had, currently have, or longing for. I think one of them even brought their own lawn chair.  I thought it best to go inside at this point.
Zeke and Lola wanted in on the action though...Zeke feeling left out of the boy toy convention...and Lola, with a total disregard for the gender exclusion, just eager for the occasional spilled beer.
These are the ugly shrubs responsible for the chain saw's massacre. And the location of the disassembled chain saw. And where the Local Convention of Tool Talking Men discuss and drink to all things tool.
It was eventually put all back together in working order. 
And finally, a few days and 56 lawn waste bags later our Lucky Deck looked a tad more charming :)
Pay no attention to the silver duct tape holding the front porch together. Just look at the renewed landscaping!
On the left side of this photo...NO MORE HUGE UGLY SCRATCHY SCARY YEWS!
The dirt is mostly sand.  No clay soil there!  Amazing to work with, but the hydrangea require multiple watering throughout the day. 
A well deserved break before guests arrive.