Surviving Single Parenthood: or Why The Neighbors Think I’m Nuts | KC, the G-Free Foodie

Shortly after Sam’s dad & I got divorced, I moved into an incredible ranch-style house built in the late 50’s, just a block from my grandparents’ house and 4 minutes from my parents. I have chrome-backed wallpaper & an actual bomb shelter, the kind of stuff you don’t get with a new joint.
I also have a big-ass yard.

The yard is beautiful, and I love it, but the division between how I was living and my actual skill set became clear pretty fast: I spent the first 4 months thinking the pool equipment was trying to kill me. After falling backward into the water with the pool sweep cord wrapped around my ankle while holding the giant scoop-out-the-leaves-and-crap net, I hired Butch the pool guy.

I love Butch so much.

Growing up in a farming family, I have some awesome resources: my dad, Grampa, uncle & cousins have the tools and the skills to fix, change, mend or repair just about anything, and if they can’t do it, we have “a guy for that.” Being the only female-child for a couple of generations, I learned to do a lot of things, but yard maintenance was not one of them. My dad often forgets this, and speaks to me in his “you are one of the most intelligent people I know, why are you asking me this dumb-ass question” tone when I ask a dumb-ass question about the lawn. So when I asked for a little sprinkler guidance, he said I “probably had to dig ’em out.” Does he mean with a shovel? All the pipes & stuff too? Probably not, because it gets really expensive when I try to do projects like that by myself or with Winehead. I’ll just Google it and figure out what he means.

Remind me to tell you about the time Winehead & I tried to address the “Imminent Death Branch Situation” by ourselves. It turns out the most effective way to remove a broken tree limb isn’t by one of you climbing the tree & hanging on to the branch while the other one runs back & forth in the street while holding your feet. At least not in my experience anyway.

The irrigation issue has continued for a few weeks now, since Google was no damn help. I tried to go to my non-farming resources for assistance, as my family is currently in harvest, so there’s no time or energy to deal with KC’s sprinklers. I asked the BF, he looked at everything decided he needed tools & supplies and I should probably just hire someone. I asked the dude who mows my lawn for help too, right after he ran one of the sprinklers over and broke it completely off. The situation actually worsened after his handiwork, but he’s planning to handle the bushes I need cut down sometime in the next two months, so that’s a plus since Winehead & I have decided not to use the chainsaw unsupervised anymore.

This morning I looked at the water spraying all caddywhompus in the front yard and decided I had to take some sort of action. I went outside in my bare feet & the pink polka dot nightgown Sam bought me for Mother’s Day and walked up to the first sprinkler that wasn’t spraying much. I started digging out the grass around it with my non-coffee cup hand, which seemed to help. So I kept digging, and it kept helping. I put my coffee down and marched into lawn, digging two inches around every sprinkler as I went. Just as I got over to the two that spray into the street instead of the yard, the guy who lives across the street yelled out “Good Morning!” on his way to church. I waved at him and his entire family, fully soaked with my hair hanging down & dripping like I was the stunt-double in the 1976 version of Carrie.  I think his kids were scared.  I managed to get one of the sprinklers turned around by hand, and figured out that the little line on top of the sprinkler was for a screwdriver, so I went in and got one of those and torqued on the other one until it moved too.

I’m sure the neighbors will be super-happy that the brown patches in my lawn are gone, almost as much as they were when the pool maintenance screams of terror from my backyard ended.
I’m hoping it makes our newest contribution to the neighborhood a little easier on them: Sam’s decided to practice her new flute on the patio.

Cheers to those of us surviving Single Parenthood –

xo xo xo –