The Joys of Home Ownership

Ah, the joys of home ownership! Ah, the joys of acreage ownership!

Now that spring has sprung here in southern Arizona–more like summer with the temps we’ve been having lately!–I knew I couldn’t delay getting the tall dead grass around the house cut down, at least out to that safe distance insurance companies recommend for fire safety.

But! Not only do I have lots of TALL grass, I also have lots of loose rocks, and the combination of tall, dead, dry grass and rocks ranging from pebbles to head-size (and larger) hiding in said grass is not a good combination, especially mixed with the steel blades of my riding mower. Sparks + dry grass = fire = not a good thing. What to do? What to do?

Tall grass 1

Well, the first thing to do was to go tromping through the grass, looking for as many of those rocks, especially the ones that were just lying on the ground, or could be dug out easily, and get them out of the areas to be mowed. And to scare away any snakes that might be hanging out there. Check! Done.

My across-the-street neighbors have a device that’s a cross between a push-mower and a string trimmer. Ah ha! There’s a solution: it’ll cut the grass (and small bushes and small trees) without making sparks.

Mongo weed-eater

So I got Ari to show me how to add new string when the old string breaks (it’s a manual process), and attacked the yard. The mower is self-propelled (MY self) but even so, the flat parts of the yard, what few there are, aren’t so bad. But the not-flat parts?

Hillside 1

Did I say “the not-flat parts?”

Hillside 2

The parts that are rocky and rough–which is all of them? Let’s just say that I’m getting a workout.

So, OK, I’m making progress. An hour a day is about all the fun I can take but it’s getting done.

Then today, after I finished, I walked–make that staggered–into the master suite to take a shower and I heard this clicking noise, like dripping water, but not. Huh.

Wait. I’ve heard that noise before. But this time it’s coming from the shower.

This is why.

Broken window 1

Yes, folks, that’s a broken window. Just the outer pane, fortunately, but let me show you just where that window is.

Broken window 2

That’s right: the bottom of the window–the BOTTOM–is 9 FEET above the ground (6 feet above the top of that rock wall). And the break is another 3 FEET or more above THAT! That’s how high the mower threw whatever rock it threw! (No, I haven’t found the offending rock. No, I really don’t care if I do.)

Sooo… On Monday I’ll be calling my window installers to order a replacement. Ah, the joys of home ownership.

Mirror, Mirror

All is not bad news, however. A few weeks ago I got the mirror for the powder bath installed.

Powder bath mirror

And I’ve met with the folks who will create the tables for the patio (Patty O’Taybel, as you might recall). They’re due to be delivered in early May. The display cabinet for the Oriental bedroom should be delivered soon, and artwork is going up on the walls. I’ve got a couple of gorgeous stained/painted glass windows to put up in the kitchen. They’ll hang where they get plenty of backlighting but no direct light, which should protect the paint.

Some aspects of home ownership are indeed joyful.









6 comments to The Joys of Home Ownership

  • susantrombleyblog  says:

    From what I can see of the house, it looks great, Ross. Except for that broken window, of course. 😉 That’s a real shame!
    I know how owning acreage is! That’s why I couldn’t wait to move back into town. I spent many, many hours clearing land. You ever try to cut down a mesquite tree with a hand ax? I don’t recommend it. However, it was my dad who had a fire start under his lawnmower, so at least I don’t have that experience under my belt.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Ross Lampert  says:

      Thanks, Susan. I’m getting settled in. Think I’ll probably stay for a while.

  • Jackie Ritacco  says:

    Home owning is so NOT simple. What does one call this piece of yard equipment….strimower? It doubles as a good glass blaster too! I think I would have stopped at the snake clearing part of the job, however!

    • Ross Lampert  says:

      Oh, I’ve had some names for it… even more so after I discovered the window. But scythe or sickle–no thank you! No sign of snakes, either, so I must have made enough noise to scare them off.

  • Luisa Bailey  says:

    No need for a gym membership, Ross. You should be in great shape when all the grounds are done. Inside does look great.

    • Ross Lampert  says:

      Actually I’ve been pretty pleased at how stiff and sore I have NOT been. But yeah, it’s been a workout. The good news is that once this is done and all the loose rocks are cleared, I’ll be able to do the rest with my riding mower.

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