Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Have My Car Back!

After my accident with the deer last week my car has been at the body shop, and I have been driving a rental. The shop finally called on Monday and I was able to pick up my car. Oh, how I have missed my car! Normally I like rentals just because it is fun to drive different vehicles, but this time I got the worst econo-box I have ever driven. (I won't name names because there is sure to be someone out there who loves them.) Fortunately my insurance company covered the rental so other than buying gas I wasn't paying for the privilege of driving that piece of junk. One note on the rental - the car company asked if I wanted to "go through the hassle" of filling up the tank myself or if I wanted to drop the rental off with whatever was in the tank and they would "conveniently" take care of it for me... for $3.70 a gallon which she said was "slightly less than the average price." The customer service person at least had the grace to look slightly embarrassed as she repeated what was obviously a canned speech - especially since I had just bought gas that morning at $3.65 for my car. By the time I dropped the rental off, gas was down to $3.45! I'm glad I didn't take them up on their offer!

The only good thing about the rotten rental was that it had a HUGE trunk and this weekend I made a purchase that needed a lot of trunk space to get home. I'm not quite ready to unveil it yet, but I'll be writing about it this week. Hopefully what I bought will be a big part of one of my continuing income streams!

In other "wrapping up past blog entries" news, remember when I bought a lawnmower online? The basic scoop is that I purchased an open box display unit reel lawnmower. The price was right and I really wanted to buy something that was environmentally friendly if I could. At the time I debated all kinds of different lawnmowers, but I finally narrowed it down to a reel push-style lawnmower from Scots. When I found a discounted one online I was ecstatic... that was until I opened the box and found it was missing all the screws. Several emails and phone calls to the website operators later, they finally sent the parts - which was great because I was just about ready to ship the whole thing back.

Well, this weekend I put it to the test. My yard had gotten a bit long, and thanks to a huge walnut tree in the front, it was full of leaves and deadly walnuts. I say deadly because they are about the size of a silver dollar and come hurtling down with serious force. One smacked me in the foot and I felt like a horse stepped on me! If they aren't falling on you they are laying in wait underfoot, ready to twist and turn an ankle. Anyway, Saturday I spent the day raking and mowing and generally cleaning up. I have a borrowed weed whacker (which I need to return this week) that I used to trim the edges and take down the long weeds. A reel mower will not cut long wispy weeds - it will just gently roll over them. After all that was done I went over it with the mower. Here's what I think:

Overall, the mower worked great. This is not your grandfather's push mower. It moves easily and takes very little effort to push. You don't have to (and shouldn't) run with it and there is no need to force it. The downside is that you can't do edges or long weeds, and you have to make sure all yard debris is cleaned up first. Hitting sticks (or walnuts) is really bad for the blade. It is probably best if you have a push mower to do it weekly, because once the lawn gets too long you run into the wispy weed problem. The good news is that it is so quiet, I wouldn't have any problem doing it before work in the morning.

Of course, now that it is October I won't have to be doing it much more often... now I just have to learn how to run the snow blower!*



*Yes, I realize there is also an environmentally friendly version of the snow blower... a.k.a. The Shovel. This is fairly decent sized driveway though, and my back isn't all that strong.

Photo credit: TopSpeed

6 comments:

Sean said...

Very cool on the push mower. I've thought about getting one to save fuel... and noise! A quiet mower would reclaim some quality time for podcasts and audiobooks. Is there much of a difference in quality, price, etc?

Dawn said...

My reel lawn mower cost me $133. It wasn't the top of the line, but up from the low end ones which ran about $89. And I will tell you - I was listing to podcasts of "The Story" while I was mowing and could hear them without any problem at all!! It is far quieter than the weed wacker. It is a little hard for me to say about the quality of the lawn - my lawn is so bad - typical "mostly weeds" city lot, but I felt it did a nice job keeping things even and looking nice. The one downside, as I mentioned, is you can't let your yard get too long. I am ashamed to admit my backyard had areas 6" or longer - the mower just ran over grass like that, without cutting it. It needs resistance to work.

Catie said...

I just want to back you up on one point: I have seen your driveway. Shoveling it yourself with an already troublesome back would be a VERY bad idea.

Dawn said...

You said it Catie!! If only snow just didn't fall on asphalt...

Frugalchick said...

I'm glad you like the reel mower!

Dawn said...

Frugalchick - I really do. The other thing is that fewer parts mean fewer things can go wrong. Pretty much if something breaks on this, I will know instantly what it is.