we have a good sized yard. until this week i would not have called it big. this week i would speak in hyperbole and say it's as big as a damn football field (which it is not).
the front yard is mostly grass with two trees and one corner flower bed. it's challenge is that the whole yard is a big hill.
the back yard has five big, old trees, a dwarf magnolia, elebenty billion other planted things, seating areas, a shed and an above ground pool. while i love our yard for its outdoor living space and entertainment value it sucks monkey balls when it comes to maintenance. the yard is uneven and with the five old trees come lots of tree roots and shed limbs. the dogs dig little holes here and there that are of course only discovered if you're walking around at night and trip over them or are mowing.
w/in the first month of moving into this house (almost 8 years ago) we bought a riding lawn mower (if i could make that noise that time the tool man taylor used to make i would insert it here). i fell in love. it took me awhile to learn how to mow my yard. how high i needed to have the blade so as not to scrape anything. what i could safely mow over and what i couldn't, etc.
we had never had a riding lawn mower growing up, never really needed one. the first time i'd ever used one was at my FIL's and it was awesome. sort of like riding a four-wheeler but one that was productive and mowed the grass. it combined getting something done w/ riding and what could be more perfect than that?
last week i started mowing the back yard. w/ the riding lawn mower i can usually mow the front and back yard in about an hour. w/ all of the obstacles in the yard i cannot be one of those fancy mowers that puts the diagonal patterns in the grass or anything else captivating like that. it's just down and dirty mowing, usually going around and around until you end up w/ a patch of grass the size of picnic basket and you feel like a retard for desperately trying to mow it w/ a big ass riding lawn mower. overkill much?
during the second swipe around the back yard i mowed right over a round paver in the back part of the yard. i've done this a million times before w/out any problem. there are 5-6 pavers set into the grass making a little stepping stone area to a bench. they've been in the ground for years and up until that day i had no problem mowing over them w/ my riding lawn mower. that day the mower revolted. the paver and the blades got into an altercation. fuck me.
i realized i'd have to mow the yard w/ the push mower. ah, it couldn't really be that hard could it? omfg. i think i came close to heat stroke that day, it's still a little fuzzy. it was hot. i was sweating. i've mentioned here before how much i loathe sweating.
over the weekend the hubs mowed the front yard w/ the push mower. he has looked at the riding mower and thinks he might be able to replace the blades. i certainly hope so. he mowed the front yard and he looked like i felt when i mowed the back yard. it is a bitch. mowing the front yard by hand cannot be fun, pushing up and down the hill. even if you go across instead of up and down it would be a bitch.
yesterday i mowed the back yard again. it took me two hours. TWO HOURS. double what it took me to mow both on the riding mower. luckily it was not above 90 degrees and there was a tiny breeze. i still took a lot of breaks. i think i might have drank a gallon of water.
while it may not be my favorite thing to do, i do think the yard looks better mowed w/ a push mower. you can get into more cracks and crevices (places i had to use the weed eater on w/ the riding mower).
however, for convenience you can't be riding.