I am entirely mundane! Behold!

One of the great things about being a pseudohomeowner (aka…house renter) is that you get the joys of yardwork in addition to paying for someone else’s equity. Win, win, surely!

So, today when I came home from work I looked at the overgrown lawn and realized that once again it was time for me to whip out the ol’ lawnmower. The yard at our house has been a constant struggle. As you can see from our house picture below, the grass that borders the street is dead and you can also see in the same picture our piteous attempt to revive it with our hose and a little sprinkler. I know it is entirely irrational to have a lawn in the arid Southwestern clime, but again, did I mention that it is not my house. Nightly, I awake, frightened and I remember, somewhere back in my wee brain signing a paper saying I would take care of the lawn. A. feels that that means it’s entirely up to us how we “take care” of the lawn (his version involves a magical xeriscaping fantasy complete with us spending lots of money). Being the destroyer of dreams that I am, I take the water the hell out of stuff approach and see what happens. Well, it has happened.

Our “hell strips” are covered with green. Green purslane, which is edible. I’m an urban farmer! Well, not really a farmer, I would consider myself more of an urban rancher.

When I first moved in two things bewildered me about my situation: First off, how the hell do you work a box filled with automatic sprinkler settings? Yeah, I still don’t know and thankfully A. showed up. Impending crisis averted. Secondly, the bewilderment of the lawnmower. It seemed simple enough and I could understand the symbols enough to see that it did indeed have gasoline. Good, good. But it sat intimidatingly on our porch mocking me and my inability to pull its string (which had previously broke and been knotted back together). One day I became fully aware that it would only be a matter of time before the property management company told me that my lawn was a fire hazard. It was time to conquer the lawnmower.
Look!  There is lawnmower poop!  It is alive!

That was several weeks ago and once I realized that my lawnmower is, in fact, a sentient horselike creature things have been alright. Instead of suckling at stock tanks, he gulps on gas. He’s like an old camp horse, surly and ready to go home, not out on the trail, or lawn as the case may be. At first I used to jump at the various coughing sounds made on thick patches of purslane, but not anymore. Just like riders get used to the coughs of horses and their stumbles and pops, me and the lawnmower are working out our relationship. I get fewer blisters each time I mow and we’ve sort of gotten a rhythm going. So, imagine me, in a tank top, freckled shoulders glowing, mowing in the fashionable short shorts of today showing off my less than fashionable vampiric white legs…complete with cowboy hat. Truly an urban lawnmowing cowgirl with an edible lawn..that looks just enough like grass (when it is mowed) to fool the property management companies. Win!
Yee haw!

Random thing I’m obsessed with right now: Hair pins!


  1. CityRat said,

    July 7, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Just how dry vs. humid is it there?

  2. admin said,

    July 8, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    It’s very dry. Currently 17% humidity. Why?

  3. Dynette said,

    June 20, 2009 at 11:35 am

    This is some fine writing, Alissa. I’ll have you know that I forced my men to buy a lawnmower that starts with the turn of a knob. I have not EVER been able to start a mower with a string. On a different note, have you ever made salad with your purslane?

  4. Graham said,

    June 4, 2010 at 1:32 am

    Good blog. I enjoy it.

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