Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ok, I Owe Mike an Apology

On our recent visit to Charlotte, we got to see our friends Mike & Lesley's new house, which they just bought!! They've got a great place with a big yard, and while Mike was showing me around outside, we talked about raking leaves, and Mike said he was buying a leaf blower, for which I chastised him.

Sorry, Mike!

Sunday, I gave in and bought a leaf blower that, with a few clicks, converts to a leaf vac-mulcher.

It was probably the best 45 dollars I've ever spent in my life.

It has a 10-1 bag ratio, meaning that every bag of mulch is roughly equivalent to 10 bags of leaves.

In just under 4 hours, I managed to bag up 6 bags of mulch.

I don't even want to think about how long that might have taken me without this little gem.

I finally gave up after that time just because my arms felt like they were going to completely vibrate off my body and my muscles were getting sore. So, of course, it rained on the pile I have left, and now I am kicking myself for not having finished.

Fortunately, the weather here is in the 60's, so everything should dry out and I should be able to make the final push this week and get everything cleaned up.

And the real beauty of it is, my mom told me I would hate having a magnolia tree because when the leaves fall off, they are super hard. No match for my mulcher! I did have to rake up the pods that fell off it, but other than that, those leaves were shredded.

I have such a feeling of utter satisfaction when I look at the yard, knowing I made it go from leaf covered lawn (all you could see was leaves, no grass), to green beauty.

I might just be getting the hang of this homeownership thing.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Home Ownership

Before Michael and I bought this house, I had such nice notions about having my own home... No one to share walls with, no one above or below or next to us, no shared walls... I can vacuum at 3am, I can blast the stereo, I can do whatever I want to do...

I didn't count on yard work.

Granted, we hired a kid to cut the grass all summer because it was so darned hot. But now I look at my window and all I see are leaves. And they have to be raked. And I have to rake them.

And I really, really don't want to.

I went out this morning, thinking ok, I'll rake some before I go out.

It's FREEZING outside and there's a frost!!!

I'm going to Home Depot and buying a leaf blower. I understand there's a certain model where it'll suck the leaves in and shoot them out as mulch. That'll save me bagging and all. I'm totally up for that.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Well, ever since I quit blogging on the Feckless Thug domain and then switched hosting providers, which caused my last blog to die a painful, horrible death, a few folks have been asking if I'd ever plan to return to blogging...

So, here I am...

Which leads me to wonder what the point is of me being here.

I'm probably not that interesting a person to be blogging on a regular basis...

And as my father would probably say if he knew anything about it, I did crap out on that National Novel Writing Month thing. So we'll see if I have the sticktoitiveness to actually follow through on this thing for more than a few months.

So... Kate...

Kate, Kate, Kate.


Well, as most anyone who's going to read this thing knows, I grew up being called Kate, not Susan. When I went off to college and had to fill out all those fun applications, they ask for your first name, which is, in fact, Susan. And in one stroke of the pen, I became Susan.

I suppose I could have changed the sign on my door the first day I moved in and gone back to Kate, but I did feel like I was getting a whole new identity, something I hoped to find in college away from my small town and my family, so the name stuck.

Of course, off and on during the years, it has caused a few moments of hilarity... Most famously perhaps is the first time my husband called me at home when we first met, and spent a few minutes talking to my mom (also named Susan), before they both figured out they had the wrong people!

And of course, there's nothing like hearing either my dad or my sister stammer, "Kaaasusan, kate, susan, whatever your name is, get over here!"

I've never had a problem answering to either name, when I hear either one, I look to see who's asking for me.

But my mom was here recently, and she calls me Kate unapologetically, without hesitation, and as soon as she left, my sister started calling me that (in public no less! THE HORROR!), and it felt right, warm, familiar.

So I think I'll find small ways to ease back into it, but of course, only with the expectation that the people who call me Sue or Susan can continue to do so, and the people who call me Kate or Katie (but NEVER Kathy!) can do so too!