When you're a gardener on your own....

schoolhouse_gwJuly 25, 2011

Some jobs are a little tougher than others. Last week, my Lawnboy mower, the self propelled one, died. I knew the carburetor needed attention because it would idle rough and die. Anyway, no pickup truck anymore so I had to load it into the back of my 2004 Chevy Cavalier.

Well, there was no way I was going to be able to lift that into my trunk. I fussed and fussed, finally went into the house and got a $5 bill and said the next guy I see come up the road I'm stopping and asking him to help me load this mower. I waited and waited, cars and pickups passed but drivers inside didn't look like good prospects; finally an old pickup truck turned up the road and I could recognize a farmer if I ever saw one. Waved him down. He looked puzzled but when he understood my predicament he happily volunteered. When he got out, here he was an older farmer and disabled with a crippled leg. I felt bad, but he came right over and he took one side of the mower and I the other and we got it right in slick as can be. He even tied it down for me with the tie-down I had - refused the $5. Thanks to whoever you were!

Now this morning, I have to go pick up the mower at the shop. They load it for me, and I decided to ask if they had a boy they could send home with me to help lift it out. They are an Amish establishment, so I wasn't too surprised when he came back out and said "All the boys are still at home". Well, I understand, sending a kid home with a strange English lady? ha. Altho I've done business there for years. I got mad (more at myself), so when I got home I said to myself "Just do it!". Well, I only had to lift for about three seconds and let it drop about six inches from the ground. Saved me $5.

Maybe it's time to invest in a small utility trailer to pull behind my car? I've never pulled a trailer of any kind, not sure I know how.

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sweetannie4u(midOK_z6b/7a)

schoolhouse,
those little utility trailers are easy to hook up if you have a trailer hitch on your bumper. Just click the lever, set on and let it go or click and release. Some have a coddle pin, but not hard to use.
They pull easily like they aren't even there. In the past, I've taken trips pulling one so I could bring home "goodies" from my trip, like dandy rocks and unusual things I find. They haul a lot of junk. Great for so many uses.
Low to the ground, so much easier to load tings and unload things - very helpful for women like us who have to do things on their own.
Sorry to hear about your latest problem. Darn! One thing and then the next, ain't it?
~Annie

A good investment.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 11:40AM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Wonder if one of those ramps they sell to help old dogs climb in the back of a car would work?

It is so frustrating not to be able to do the heavy stuff! Half the time,I jump up and down on the shovel when I want to plant something and don't even make a dent in the soil! I can only do it when it has rained or I have watered well before I start. I am not alone, but it is like pulling teeth to get DH to do anything in the garden. He has so much trouble with his hands and joints these days (I think he is feeling it so much more now that he has quit drinking), that he just avoids it.

I am impressed with your ingenuity and I bet you made that farmer's day, too!

Cynthia

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 12:22PM
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schoolhouse_gw

I have a pair of good metal ramps that I use to load my riding mower into the back of my brother's pickup, and I almost used those but decided that once I got the mower up to the top of the ramps, I wouldn't be able to get the mower off the ramps and into the trunk. Know what I mean? Not enough head room so to speak because the trunk is small and the mower has to be wedged only half way in. Of course I didn't try, so that's my fault.The utility trailer is the best idea, but I'd have to get a hitch put on the car. Then there's the electrical hook-up, have to have lights and all. Maybe next year.

I just talked to the guy who does my house repairs about the cost of central air for my old place, to give me an estimate only. There are other things I need, like my roof painted, besides central air; but it would be SO nice. I had to put ice packs on my 17yr.old senior pup last Thursday night, I thought we both would have heat stroke. The next day I loaded her and I up and we headed to Mom's. She and my stepdad have central air. We stayed all day Friday and overnight too. It took me a long time to cool off and feel right again.

Well, I can still do alot of heavy work but not lifting. Unless I get stubborn, then I pay for it later; but I just want the job done instead of waiting for someone else to "I'll be up one of these days". ugh. Most of the neighbor men are at work during the day, others have very jealous wives! :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 1:22PM
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lorna-organic

I would think repair shops could pick up and deliver the item needing repair. You can blow out your back, your knees, or tear your shoulder, trying to manhandle something which is too heavy for you.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 12:37PM
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lavender_lass(4b)

Schoolhouse- I love your description of the helpful farmer...he sounds like many of the retired farmers, who live around here :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 1:14PM
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schoolhouse_gw

The repair shop is Amish, actually a big dealer in Toro and Stihl machines and tools and do a huge amount of business with the surrounding community; but they don't drive thus have no delivery/pickup vehicles. If I choose to have that done, they hire a hauler at so much a mile, and it's way expensive.

Yeah, there are still good people out there willing to help if you just ask. It's family that usually are "too busy". :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 2:52PM
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frogview00

Maybe it is time to put on some makeup and go out dancing! Meet some single men! (half joke)

I've just stopped spraying my roses as I fell twice doing so last year. I will cull many this Fall. My friend/gardener/lawn person has leukemia, and I don't know if he will be able to help any more. Geez.....it's like a country song!

Feel better now?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 7:22PM
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schoolhouse_gw

Yeah, I hear that all the time frogview. No thanks, too set in my ways now. The ideal situation would be to find a man, put him in a little shed in the orchard and bring him out when needed. ;) And if he could cook and clean, that'd be alright too.

Sorry about your roses. My Mom is always worried I'm going to fall and not be found for a couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 10:03PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

LOL! about a year after my DH died, his sister-in-law asked if I was dating. I said, are you crazy? Any men my age are old too.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 6:03PM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

Schoolhouse - lol. Yes, it is a challenge on one's own, and Kathy, I love that remark - I agree!!! And of course the cute younger men are scared of cougars!!

Seriously, though - I understand about not wanting to wait for someone to come, take the mower, fix it on their schedule, and then return it on that same schedule. I tried repairing my own gas mower, but wasn't that good at it. ;-)) You could put an old blanket over the access to the trunk, then use the ramps to get it up there and in. That way you don't have to be too careful wedging it in....

With this recession, and people not having jobs, I am waiting for the return of the door-to-door repair guys. Remember the ones who came around ringing a bell, and would sharpen all of your knives and scissors?? In my Aunt and Uncle's snowbird park in Florida, a Cuban man came around in an old pickup with vegetables that he had grown, selling them. It's hard to even get kids today to cut grass or shovel snow for $20!!! That's just crazy. I talk to people every day, and many are unemployed. Some have just been laid off as I call!! I had one woman rip me a new one cause her hubby had been unemployed for 5 years!! I'm sorry, that's just lazy, not unemployed. People need to realize they're not in line for the corner office anymore - time to get out there and make some money. Sorry, what was the topic again??

Nancy.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 10:41AM
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schoolhouse_gw

The neighbor gives me $5 whenever they leave for a half day and they need someone to take their little dog out to pee. $5!
I drive there, but I could walk if I wanted to. I understand that if you had to drive to the homes, you wouldn't make much money; but gosh, people will pay money for chores like that. If you did just five a month - there's half of an electric bill (well, for a single person like me).

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 3:06PM
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lavender_lass(4b)

Door to door repair people...that sounds like a good idea. My nephew is thinking about trying to run his own lawn service, but he's only 11. I helped him with his 'business plan' and we found out at $20 a yard (big yards, mowing and trimming and a little weeding) he could mow five yards a week and make about $100. Even with his gasoline costs and buying his new weed whacker, he'd make a good profit.

Then, we talked about if he could mow three lawns a day, five days a week...and he'd gross $300 a week. Even with his costs, he figures that would be a lot of money a month. You should have seen how big his eyes got, with that number :)

To give him credit...he still says he would mow some people's lawns for free. He has two ladies that are on their own and retired, so he doesn't charge them anything and takes great pride in doing a good job, with their lawns. He's a great kid!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 5:12PM
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frogview00

Schoolhouse, think with a twist! Doggy Daycare! They bring them to you. And put the playground where the neighbors cut down the trees. ha!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 10:31PM
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schoolhouse_gw

LMAO, frog! Brilliant.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 10:23AM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

When I was calling for estimates for a tree to be removed, I had two men came together and they drove an old cadillac. One was wearing black patent loafers. I don't remember what else was off about them. Something about them scared me a bit.
When I described them to a friend that had once had a store in a flea market, she said they were definitely gypsies. When some would go to the flea market word would spread like wild fire, as they would steal things.

Since them my son and DIL bought and installed a glass storm door. A policeman friend said you are much safer with a glass door. Home burglars would and could kick in a wooden door. But they don't kick in a glass doors. It could get a tad bloody and storm doors open out.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 11:42AM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Yeah, the black patent shoes when you are pretending to be a tree guy is a dead give-away, LOL.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 6:31PM
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schoolhouse_gw

Since you brought it up, I'll have to share my own story. Once I decided to hire help to trim the tall privet hedge so put out a few calls. One guy shows up in this huge, decked out brand new pickup truck, towing a snappy speed boat. He obviously "worked out" and wore a tight sleeveless t-shirt and tan as can be. (No, sadly not good looking).

He gave me an estimate of $600. I said "I'll let you know". Yeah, right, no way for an hour's work - I'd probably would have made the payment on his speed boat!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 8:45AM
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