The dandelion crop looks good this year

Those of you who have visited my humble abode have probably noticed there’s a certain section that I’m not exactly… er… proud of. Even though we’re excited about the kitchen renovation, there’s still a certain charm to the existing one, so it’s not that. The awkward shape of our “master suite” has served us well no matter how much I’d like to expand it (well, at least raise the roof a couple feet). And despite it’s semi-frequent floods, the basement is still the site of future cool endeavors that I can pseudo-brag about…

No, the overgrown and disheveled mess that is my yard offers the most embarrassment to me. And considering that most of my neighbors spend hours every weekend outside or pay for a service to do it for them the difference is… well… you get the idea. I mean, I use a push reel mower. No, I’m not talking about a push versus riding mower, I’m talking about one of those old-fashioned manual ones with no engine. So you can see just how seriously I take the outside maintenance.

This year was going to be different, though. I think I actually mowed my lawn before anyone else. The next weekend I spent a few hours removing what appeared to be barbed wire that had grown wild in the back. But just in time for me to do more work in the front – BAM! – the water heater went. And we got lots of rain. And suddenly spring kicked into full gear. And suddenly I walk outside to find the grass not only several inches taller, but filled with hundreds of dandelions. Because, you know, I was running out of challenges around here.

Walking by the disaster zone was a tad depressing, but between work and the more pressing needs inside the house there was no time left for cleaning up. And so I can’t say it was exactly a surprise when I cam home Thursday night with enough daylight left that I decided it was time to make things right that I found this in the mail:

Mow your lawn or else!

Awesome! I was honestly threatened to have my lawn ticketed. Is that the lamest way to break the law or what? Could you imagine if they actually dragged me to court because I was working too late and didn’t want to make my pregnant wife take care of the yard? Brilliant! The funniest part is that we always wondered what it would take to get one of these notices, and knowing is half the battle… Personally I think it was the dandelions that did me in. When all was said and done, they pretty much filled a large garbage bag – I almost feel bad not making a case of wine out of them. But after they were removed, the tall field of grass that remained wasn’t that bad. Of course now that’s it’s cut, there’s a little less personality to our property…

Just kidding, the place looks a lot less white trash, and I’m sure my neighbors appreciate that. Still, there’s part of me that wants to call up about the notice and go on some rant about how my taxes pay their salary and with the ridiculous costs of living in West Orange they should be mowing my lawn for me. Where would I be without righteous indignation?

Anyway, now that the front is looking normal, I guess it’s time to toss some gasoline and a match out back to clean up the rest…

10 thoughts on “The dandelion crop looks good this year”

  1. 2 Suggestions

    1) Move to an area similar to Curt and I’s where there is a nearby drug and homeless shelter and those people are always offering to mow your lawn for like one beer. After you get over the depression that the crackheads even think your yard is a mess you realize its a great deal.

    2) Give up on grass. Try to plant flowers or tomatoes. This will actually encourage grass growth in areas of the yard where you never had grass before.

  2. not making dandelion wine… probably the right decision.

    my parents did the dandelion wine thing when they moved in to the house they were in when i was born. they claim that the smell of the fermentation was remarkably similar to used diapers. since i imagine you’ll have enough of that soon, why subject yourself now?!?

  3. What you need is a nice perennial polyculture of native and low-maintanence plants. Lots of fruits, berries, herbs and groundcover. Wonder who you know that could help you out there?

  4. Between parking in front of your house and not mowing your lawn, you may have the lamest almost-rap-sheet of any human being, ever 🙂
    If you really want them to show up with torches and pitchforks, you may get daring and leave your sprinkler on too long. And you’d know they’re angry because, who owns a pitchfork? They’d have to go out and buy one, just for you.

  5. About a month after we moved into the house, we got one of those. I couldn’t believe that we were about to be fined for lack of yard work! We didn’t even own a lawn mower yet. When we finally got Mike’s parents’ old push mower and Mike was out there mowing the lawn, all these neighbors came and talked to us and introduced themselves to us – each making a point to tell us how everybody in the neighborhood keeps a neat lawn. Until then, only one neighbor bothered to talk to us. Jackasses.

    Anyway, we hired a service now. It’s super cheap. They mow the lawn every other week and it saves us a ton of time.

  6. I’m glad to see I have the support of friends and family if I decide to fight the man. Well, except for my Mom who told me not to aggravate them as soon as I even hinted that it was annoying.

    As for my neighbors, they pretty much all rock. I know the guys on either side of me wouldn’t have said anything – unless it was directly to me. Considering we noticed someone else much further down the block rushing to take care of their disheveled lawn the next day leads me to believe that the inspector just drives around looking for slackers…

    That’s my property tax hard at work!

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