Saturday, September 12, 2015

BENIND THE CLOUD OF SMOKE

It can be quite a challenge at times --being single.  Opportunities for growth and living beyond my boundaries come around quite frequently.  Thus today's post was born---while stepping out of my comfort zone.

Most of you have seen the picture of my sweet little bungalow-



And you also know I love to have my fingers in the dirt--and take care of my own yard work.  Beyond the fact that I love to work in the yard is the sure and certain knowledge I refuse to pay someone to mow the little yard you see above.  The back yard is landscaped in native Texas rocks and shrubs with no grass.  Top that off with my preference to push a mower ANYDAY  over pushing a vacuum and you understand how I got into today's dilemma.




Having taken care of the grass mowing for years, I have no problem pushing the mower.  I did have a problem with the weed eating and edging, BUT I am proud to say after a dozen lessons, I am beginning to overcome.  Still do not like weed eaters (pretty sure they are a creation of Satan) --but also see others doing it all the time---so NOT to be defeated--I am learning.  The actual problem is not the weed eating --it's loading that darn thing with string.  SERIOUSLY---there has to be an easier way to get that thing reloaded!  I could make a fortune coming us with a tangle-free--simple loading-string replacement bobbin!  

The current problem began with the light bulb switching on that this motor probably needs more than just gasoline---there is another hole that requires some type of fluid--and I assume that is oil.  When I take the top off that hole--there is a little stick stuck down in there--and it says---ADD OIL, DUMMY!  Do you have ANY idea how many kinds of oil are sold in the auto supply store?  Refusing to be intimidated, I ask the nice 12 year old clerk--for oil for my lawnmower.  This begins his recitation of all 1500 brands and types of oil.  Somehow I walked out of the store with a plastic bottle which holds oil---and hopefully it was the right type of oil.  Here I thought oil was oil!




Then returning home, I give the little red machine who is thirsty a drink of oil.  Now if one handful of Cheetos is good---why not eat the whole bag--RIGHT!  So I am thinking he gave me an entire bottle--so the mower must require it all.  Turns out--the bottle was not empty when the oil spilled out of the top of the hole.  I cleaned up the mess and started the sure fire--easy pull --quick to start mower.  NO PROBLEM!

As the mower revs up to the super sonic decibels, I notice oil pouring out --from lots of places.  OK--perhaps I put a little too much in---not to worry--I turn off the engine and proceed to clean up the oil slick surrounding the motor---reminiscent of the Valdez Oil Spill.  A roll of paper towels later---all is well--and I am back to the mower.




I begin the couple of dozen passes it takes to mow my entire yard and suddenly white smoke begins to pour out of the mower.  Not a thin wispy cloud of smoke---a thick choking cloud--I continue mowing--I need to finish.  When my neighbors begin running out their doors, with mouths agape--I finally slink back to my garage---with my tail between my legs.  When I start to put the mower away, I notice another oil spill---not quite as much as the first time--but another half a roll of paper towels are required to clean this mess up.

WHAT TO DO????  I think I will just buy a new mower--and then  I remember it is the end of the mowing season AND the tight wad side shows up and I decide I will try to determine what I have done and fix it myself.  You do know they have videos on Youtube showing you how to do almost EVERYTHING!  So after browsing the WWW--and watching a video---it seems I have oil in my air filter which is burning off each time I start the mower and it heats us.  The claims are it is not dangerous ---but my neighbors might be doubtful if I continue to mow with the white fog of burning oil pouring out.

So the Youtube, has a video how to remove and clean the air filter.  I CAN DO THIS!  (inner cheerleader encouraging me)  I begin to disassemble the box which I assume holds the air filter---after completely getting it off (NO EASY TASK)--I discover I have removed the muffler. For those of you not familiar with engines--this would be like having a colonoscopy instead of a dental exam.  I then put the muffler back on and locate the easy snap off air filter cover.  The air filter comes out with ease---dripping oil all over the mower--me--and the garage floor as I pull it out.  Perhaps this is the problem???




I take the air filter out and scrub it with dawn detergent to remove all the oil---as instructed on Youtube---OOPS---it is a paper filter!  Then I look up the parts number and surf YET AGAIN on the WWW to discover where I can buy this lovely little part.  And I am off to my favorite local Lowe's in search of the one part between me and a clipped lawn.

Armed with a parts number---I wander the Lowe's aisles--ONLY to find to my dismay---NO SCORE!  I find the Lowe's Lawn Mower Expert at his desk.  My first impression--a nice man---UNTIL I ask him for help with finding my part.  He gives me the condescending "Little Old Lady" look and I am on edge--when he asks, "What kind?" and I STUPIDLY answer red (he was asking about the filter not the color of my mower) and then I get the "Dumb Little Old Lady" look.  I immediately am swept into my line of defense explaining how intelligent I am by these words, "I have prepared financials for corporate conglomerates worth millions."  By this time, I am getting the "What the heck is this dumb old lady talking about" look.

I did leave the store with a filter---a generic brand filter.  Said filter is installed---NO more white smoke---lawn to be mowed---IF IT EVER COOLS OFF TODAY---I am feeling quite smug---perhaps I will tackle changing the spark plug next or cleaning the carburetor---WHERE EVER THE HECK THEY ARE!


He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting
Job 8:21


8 comments:

  1. OK Lulu. You have described the female way of doing things. And eventually, it worked.

    Let me now explain the male way of doing things. Whenever my lawn-mower does not work; and by the way I have one exactly the same as yours in the picture above. Whenever it does not work, as it did a couple of weeks ago, I just kick it hard on the side and swear once or twice. (I can tell you the exact words to say, if you wish). I then leave the mower in the garden and go in for a few minutes to cool off - a beer is usually recommended for this.

    I then go out again and try again. If it still does not work, I tip the machine sideways - like in the recovery position when someone faints. At this point some oil and perhaps petrol pours out of the machine on to the grass. Don't worry about that. Just drag the mower a few feet away and look at the blades underneath. A few minutes should do it.

    Then right the machine up and try starting it again. If it does not start, kick it once more and go in the house. Swearing is optional at this stage.

    I'll admit when you get in to watch the football on TV, or do whatever you wish, at this point there may be a lot of moaning from one's partner that the grass needs cutting, and when will you do it, and how about getting the mower fixed by someone more intelligent than you who knows what he is doing. I usually ignore all this background talking and turn the TV volume on a bit. This works for a while, then, out of kindness and pure love for one's spouse, I go out again and put the mower in the garage.

    Being single, you should not have this last problem of background moaning. So just leave the mower out there on your front lawn and someone may well take it away. Enjoy something fun on TV or read one of my books instead.

    Simple.

    The male way of doing things is better.

    God bless.

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    1. Perhaps your way smacks of avoidance, Victor AND my OCD would go into overdrive! I did see a lady in the hood using one of those old fashioned manual push mowers- now there's an idea for you! Mowing & exercise in one action! As for the background noise- the voices in my head do a great job of providing that!
      Blessings, Friend!

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  2. You are so brave....smiles. We use to have a lawn care company...but never ever did I have to do the upkeep of the machines. Thanks for the smiles, Lulu. Blessings

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    1. Brave - never- stubborn & determined- always ! Always delighted to hear I drew a smile, Friend!
      Blesdings!

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  3. I am impressed!! I probably would have called on SIL or hauled it to a repair place. Thanks for a good laugh today!
    Blessings to you!

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    1. SIL knows less than I do, but don't tell him I said so- he will discontinue showing me how to thread the weed eater-😚

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  4. I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything on this post or, between you and Victor, my keyboard would have been toast. *grin*
    I think weed eaters where created in medieval times as torture devices, weren't they? Honestly, there has to be a better way to build a mousetrap. As for lawnmower maintenance, I grew up working on motors but can totally sympathize at how mystifying (and messy) they can be. I think you handled the puzzle like a champ. Two stroke motors can be a headache.
    Hope your day is blessed. ~:)

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    1. Lord, Sparky, Victor is a hoot! Well wait until you hear the ghost in the garage story!
      Happy Weekend, Friend!

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Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!