Saturday, March 27, 2010

ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

You can tell spring has sprung, that's for sure. Up and down the block for the past couple of weeks, lawns have been mowed, and weeds whacked. Each weekend finds more of the yards nice and neat and trim. Well...this week I decided I better get something done before I get kicked out of here.

Truthfully I've about decided that this year I'd like to just have someone do it every couple of weeks, and I can putz around with some planting areas. But it needed mowing now.
Yesterday I pulled the trusty Toro out to crank it up and give it a go, but it's get-up-and-go had got up and went. Probably didn't help that I added last season's gas to it, and didn't check the oil (in the "add" range) till after the first cranking effort . I headed down to Home Depot, and after wandering around trying to figure out what I needed, pushed the help button. This nice lady in the orange vest came to my assistance...maybe not quite my age, but I'd say on this side of 50. That made me feel better. I told her I was trying to find the right oil for my poor old mower. Knowledgeable as she is, she asked how long it had been since I'd put oil in or changed it. At my sheepish look, she led me to the right area, and suggested a maintenance kit. "You probably need this," as she pulled off the package with the motor oil, spark plug, and filter.

"You think this is something I can do," I asked. She reassured me that it should be in my range of capability. "Spark plug too?" She asked if I had the socket or whatever it is to remove the spark plug, and when I asked what it looked like, pulled down the right package.

I got home, emptied out the old gas, took care of the oil (notice I didn't say "change" the oil) by adding enough to get to the okay line, and changed out the filter. I'm really proud of that part. Yes, if I'd have known how simple it was to do, the poor mower wouldn't have gone 5 years with the same one. I pulled it off, and cleaned up the little housing really well before I put the new one back on. Looks pretty pathetic, I know.

Then I got to the spark plug. After I looked in the manual and on the instruction sheet for about 5 minutes, I figured out where it was. Got the little rubber thing pulled to the side, put on the spark plug remover socket thing, and gave it the old "uumph". Nothing. As I recited the mantra of "righty tighty, lefty loosy" to make sure I was heading in the right direction, I tried again. Still nothing. I tried standing on it. Other than bending the allen wrench that is used for leverage, still nothing.

"Hmph!" At that point, I put the rubber thing back on the spark plug, primed the gas, and cranked 'er up. And she started! That spark plug is going to wait till one of the boys is around and they can change it out.

I didn't get any edging done, that will wait till another day, but at least the season's first mowing is over with. And I don't have to duck my head in shame every time I pull in the driveway, hoping no one sees me.

I know, I know, you're saying "let's see the mowed lawn". With the edges still shaggy, don't know that you can tell a difference, but I can. And I've got some weed killer, thanks to my knowledgeable HD associate, that I can put out whenever this wind quits blowing.
I'd say it's about nap-thirty time. Catch you later.


Shogun said...

I had to check what state you are in - too early here to think about mowing! We're getting rain, rain, rain and maybe the grass will start to turn green. My bulbs are coming up. I am terrible with machines like lawn mowers.

suz said...

Hey, at least you "got 'er done." Larry the cable guy would be proud.
- Sue

David said... you just added more oil to the oil thats probably original to mower? And you just bought a spark plug without knowing which one you were taking off?

I'll come over this weekend.