I have spent the past week preparing for my third child’s graduation party. We had a few bumps in the road getting ready for it. I ordered the invitations waaaaay late. We had to change the date because I didn’t remember we had homeschool tumbling recital on the orignal date and the yard needed to be perfect. Having the yard perfect is a problem when you break the mower. Not once but twice.

It started last weekend when I came home from the last performance of my youngest child’s recital. I had spent the previous week running her to practice and dress rehearsal and yada yada yada. That part of our lives is over for the year and I headed home to hop on my mower and relax. I pulled in the drive and noticed the mower was outside. I went over to it, pulled it to the garage and saw I had a completely flat tire.

I called the only child I knew that could have driven the mower with a flat tire and asked what had happened. She told me she used it to move something. I was not happy. This mower is what I use to first make the place look presentable and second or maybe actually first, relax. I mow several acres for several hours a week that take me away from it all. Kinda like the old calgon commercials. Mower take me away….That’s what mowing does for me. So when I pulled the mower over and noticed the flat tire I was furious.I couldn’t find the stem so I couldn’t air it up. For the night I gave up.

The next day the naughty daughter and I went shopping for her graduation party. I let her know that when we returned home she would die if I didn’t get my mower going. Somehow when we got home I was able to see the tire stem I couldn’t see the night before. I tried airing it up. It wouldn’t do anything. I decided to remove the tire. The first tire I have ever done anything to. With a little leg power I finally got the tire off and sent naughty daughter to town to get it fixed. She returned home with it and I tried putting it back on. This is the small swivel tire on the back of the zero degree mowers.

When I tried putting it back on it kept spinning, it wouldn’t hold still and it was an inch to short of getting the bolt back on. While I was so proud I got it off I couldn’t get it on for anything. I called my handy dandy neighbor who came over and quickly realized I was putting the square part in the round part of the bolt. Who Knew? I mean why can’t it just go in either way? That would make it so much easier. While he was over I asked if he would help me check the oil? The oil was low so we put in quite a bit. My handy dandy neighbor went home and I hopped on the mower and started getting the yard in shape for the upcoming party.

I have to say after the past month of twice a week practices and the added stress of tumbling recital and all that entialed I was happy. I put my headphones on and started in. After half an hour of mowing I thought I heard something and looked behind me. The mower was smoking really bad. I shut it off immediately, but it was sizzling. A thought came to me at that moment and that was that we had put oil in when the mower when it wasn’t completely level. We had it jacked up working on the tire. I remembered to much oil was as bad as not enough oil. I left the mower in the field for the night and called my mower guy the next day. He said bring it in and we will drain some oil and check it out.

The only way I could get the mower to the shop was to borrow my neighbors trailer as ours was stolen a few years back. I text the neighbor and he had the key at work so I waited until that evening to pick it up. When I went over to get it he was gone again, but it was unlocked. His wife and I attempted to hook the trailer up to no avail. I asked her if it was okay if I just left the truck there and he could hook it up when he got home, then I would pick it up in the morning. She said that was fine. Of course my awesome handy dandy neighbor delivered truck and trailer home late that night after getting off his second job.

The following morning my youngest child and I went out to load the mower. I tried driving it straight on. Nope that wasn’t going to work. I attempted to back it on. It should work, but wasn’t. I tried for several times. I gave up and told Chloe your brother is just going to have to come help me. She said mom I think we can do it. I was hitting on one side while the other had several inches of space, I should be able to get it. After a couple attempts I shimmied it on and we quickly closed the gate. Two days later my reliable mower guys called and said I could pick the mower up. They loaded it for me this time.And they made it look so easy? How come they can just pull this mower on a trailer that is the same width as the stupid mower and have no problems.Is it because I’m left handed, blonde, a woman… I don’t get it.

On my mower again, headphones on and happy as a lark. I was mowing the last part of the yard that had to be done before the party the next day. It was early evening and the weather was perfect. I was thinking I should probably mow this last part twice because it had reallly gotten tall since all the rain and mower being broken down. I saw a pile of “stuff” where the garden had been the year before.I was stearing clear of it when I got to close. I ran it over. I was so irritated as I always run “stuff” over. Usually its not my fault and of course it wasn’t my fault this time either. But, I was pretty much the only one that was here to fix it. It was that roll stuff that you put down under mulch or rock to keep weeds from coming up. I had left a roll of it near the garden. It got wrapped around the blade and wedged between the blade and the deck. Maddie’s boyfriend attemted to help me for quite some time. I may have scarred him when I told him how Kent nearly chopped one of his finger off working on one of our mowers years ago. He asked if it was spring loaded and I said I don’t know just beware when you work on mower blades fingers can come off. He gave up. So I took over. I laid in the gravel driveway for a couple hours using a razor blade to remove the material from around the blade. Then we ended up using a torch to get it from the blade and the deck. Finally, I got the hill mowed. Not twice, but at least once. Yard mowed I was ready for party day.

Party was going great until,the dogs started fighting. Maddie’s boyfriend often brings his dog over.Our dog and his started in when boyfriend attempted to stop it and got bit. No stiches but some pain I think. This particular friend brings his dog over often. His dog does not like “Mark,”the cat. Despite the efforts of many people trying to keep Mark in, Mark insisted on coming outside. I’m not sure if our dog was protecting his friend, the cat, or wanted to join in the tearing in two of the cat. Either way I have told this friend I don’t think its a good idea to have two unfixed male dogs together. They are friends one minute and advisaries the next.

After the party came to a conclusion, Noah and I packed the car and the cooler as quickly as possible and headed down the road. We took his little Honda Civic no air condition or cruise control, but great gas mileage and headed to the camper. Noah would have prefered leaving in the morning, visiting Kent and returning that evening. That would have been around five hundred miles of driving in a twelve hour period rather than a twenty-four hour period. I won that round and we arrived at the camper around midnight. We set up the beds in which I quickly feel asleep. I have to wonder how I can go five or six hours without needing a restroom and within two hours of falling asleep need to use it.

Noah had decided to sleep in the bed beneath mine so he wouldn’t have to climb over me when he came to bed.He wanted to stay up for a bit and enjoy the river in front of the camper. I thought that was a good idea until two hours later I was climbing over him trying to get out and to the kybo. From now on I insist on the lower bed. I don’t care who has to climb as long as I don’t have to.

After a long night of the dog deciding he wanted to sleep with me instead of Noah and the dog waking up very early to check out the fishermen outside our camper we got ready as quickly as possible and headed to the prison to see Kent.
We arrived around 9:15. We were some of the first visitors to arrive and were able to get a table outside. We checked in, they brought Kent out and we sat out on a picnic table for three hours. There are five tables outside I believe. Two are metal picnic tables the other three are round with round metal seats. The picnic tables are quite a bit more comfortable. Although hours of sitting on metal is never comfortable.

After about three hours it was getting warm out so we all three headed inside. The guards came into the room and let the next group waiting there know there was a table outside available. In this room there are two restrooms. One for inmates the other for guests. They are locked unless you ask a guard to open them for you. There are also several vending machines and a microwave. When you visit your loved one you are allowed I think twenty-five dollars cash and you can bring your debit card in also as one machine is supposed to accept cards. The past few weeks the card part of the machine has not worked. The last time I visited I bought Kent and I each a tea. Kent said his didn’t smell or taste right. I smelled it and he was right. Then I checked the expiration date, it was twelve days over due. What was really bad about that is, the weekend before I had purchased the last tea in the machine, which meant it was stocked with expired tea.

After about an hour more of visiting inside, Noah and I said our goodbyes and left. We went to the camper, cleaned and closed it up then sat at the picnic table by the river for a little picnic. We did a short Bible reading together, which means so much to me to be able to do with my fifteen year old son. The girls had decided not to join us on the trip as they had a long day at adventureland the day before and were not ready to drive the dreaded four hours it takes to get to the campsite.

While having the camper near the prison is convienet. It is the only way I am be able to visit him, as I can’t drive five hundred miles in one day,I just don’t have the energy.

It does still come with problems. The camper is over two hundred miles away and I left home in a hurry. When I plugged the camper in at home everything seemed to work fine. We have 220 amp so that could be the issue, maybe not. When I plug in the camper at the site I blow the gci breaker at the box. The box ampage is 20 and the camper is 35, I have to wonder if that is the problem.I don’t know when the owner of the camp ground knows what he’s talking about or when he doesn’t because when my cord was to short to reach the box he told me to use any drop cord. I told him you can’t use a smaller cord with a fatter cord he said you can. My dad was an electrician and you don’t have to be an electrician to know that will cause a fire.

I went ahead and paid for the camper to stay at the site for the summer which is fifty a month. Pretty good rate as it would cost a lot more to pull it back and forth that many miles. But, this girl can’t camp without air condition so I have to figure it out. You tube better help me out!!

All in all this was a nice weekend with perfect weather. Although I drove/rode five hundred miles in twenty-four hours I got to spend it with people I love. I am grateful.