Sunday Lowdown #166


Last Sunday we met up with our neighbor, who is now 88, and her “kids” to discuss lawn stuff. Turns out, the old lady has a zero-turn mower, leaf-picker-upper doodad, wheelbarrow, wagon, snow plow, roller, hedge trimmer, and various and sundry lawn gear. She pays some 21-year-old bank teller $100 per week to do her lawn. Long gone are the days of the neighbor kid doing your whole yard for a $20 and a glass of lemonade, I suppose??

The thing is, the lovely old lady neighbor has no place to store all this stuff; it had been in a shed we now own (remember, this was one big plot of land with two houses, and we bought all the land and one house). So, we worked out a deal that she just gives us this stuff, we keep it at our place, and in exchange we care for her lawn until…well, it was implied until she dies. And then she said, “I can’t mow in heaven,” so I was glad we were all on the same page and had a good laugh.

Tuesday, Nick and I went to wander around outside the house. We bought it in the winter, meaning everything had snow on it, so we walked the entire field and followed the surveyor’s property markers. Oddly, our other neighbor has both a satellite dish and fence on our side of things, but we were also informed this is neighbor is a new owner after a foreclosure, meaning for them the house came with that stuff in the wrong place.

We’re standing at the back of the field looking at our house (on the left). The 88-year-old neighbor is next to us on the right, and then the next house has the horses, which are right next to our property line.

As we walked back toward the house, we were approached by some curious neighbors.

I think there are four horses, but these are the ones that followed us. We learned they are rescue horses and that their owner is “different.” Uhhhh, wut? We learned what that means yesterday (Saturday) when he ran over to our house to say hello and ask if he could farm our field. We said we already talked with the handsome farmer, and the horse owner was bummed. He said that the 88-year-old former owner would not “work with him” because he wants to put hay in the field and not pay rent because he doesn’t make money on it. To which I say “LOL.” We’ve even heard stories of the handsome farmer trying to help him save his hay crop the one year he was allowed to do it, and it only needed saving because he didn’t do soil samples or follow what could be planted that year.

Throughout the week the interior of the house was being painted the Dorian Gray (Grey?) I mentioned last week. Just as the wall guy finished, he called me in a mild tizzy. I suppose as an artist it just bothered him that we didn’t pay to have the wood trim and doors painted, too. It just doesn’t bring the house together, dang it! And it looks bad! Well, okiedokie, wall guy. And so we paid more money to make his decorator’s heart happy and though I kid, we are happy with the more modern look. Hey, he’s passionate and does wall stuff for a living, so he can give me all sorts of advice.

Yesterday (Saturday) we started taking some things to the house. We can do it bit by bit because A) our apartment is just under 3 miles away and B) our apartment lease runs out June 30th, although I’d rather it ended sooner because there is a friggen determined woodpecker in the heating duct, and did you know that a bird hammering his dumb head on metal is really loud???

Somewhere in this week I went to a dermatologist and got poked a lot. Aging, am I right?


I am so thankful for all the conversation around the book Demystifying Disability by Emily Ladau. While I appreciate the work the disability activists do to make space for people with physical and mental disabilities, I was curious about who is both included and highlighted. Some of my more recent posts in which I’m “thinking out loud” about the book do sound more like reviews, but my post about Ladau’s book brought back in my experiences, this time with the disabled community. Thank you for your involvement with my post!

I will say I wonder if more chatter from you is a result of how I write the post or because I’m now writing one book post per week. Bill @ The Australian Legend mentioned that he prefers two posts (total, I believe) per week, and I realized that when I’m looking at your blogs, I also agree that two posts per week is about what I can keep up on. What are your thoughts on this topic?


Today (Sunday) I’m going to meet up with Biscuit and Lou @ Lou Lou Reads via Zoom to discuss Little Women and Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott. I chose this novel because it was in my TBR box (a literal plastic tub in my closet), and I probably bought it second-hand because it’s a classic. I have fairly strong feelings about these books, and I can’t wait to see what my fellow readers think. Review Wednesday.


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 202
Owned Books on TBR Last Week: 186
Owned Books on TBR Today: 182 (I think a couple of these were just books I got rid of, but I finished two!)

Thanks to Cupcakes & Machetes for bringing the Fell novel to my attention! I am so grateful when you guys see books and think of me. I shouldn’t be surprised that this happens a lot.


  1. You don’t have time for more than one review plus the roundup at the moment, so the point is moot, but I can handle two (reviews). Some bloggers think they are a daily newspaper and that annoys me. (You wrote somewhere that I wrote a whole heap at once, but that’s only once a year when I repost contributors to my Week.)

    I read Little Women for the first time only a couple of years ago. I’ll have to re-read my review so I can comment on yours.


    • It’s true, there are some bloggers (I don’t follow any, but when I search for new folks I see them) who post daily, and I can’t imagine why they think that kind of production is necessary. No wonder lots of people burn out on blogging in 1-3 years. But I will say the point is not moot because I want to post what my readers are comfortable with. I know I have readers who don’t comment but still follow along, and I appreciate that, but for the people who do comment and develop a relationship with me, I don’t want to overwhelm them.


  2. Oh I just saw a review of The Sign For Home, I’m hoping it comes out in pb here and cheaper so I can read it as it looks so very interesting. I know I post a bit too much but I don’t think people like it when I post two reviews in one post, either, so the amount I’m reading (inversely proportional to the amount going on in my life / how much work I have in) means it’s one every other day for a bit. But then I read so much different stuff that I don’t expect anyone to read all the reviews or be interested in them!


      • Agreed – I like to keep at least a few reviews ahead of myself (I’ve got one for Wednesday scheduled and one to write for Friday I’ll have scheduled by bedtime) so move between one every other day and one every three days. So at least it’s not too varied and confusing, I suppose!


  3. How thoughtful to help your older neighbor. Being kind and considerate goes a long way and doesn’t cost us anything, maybe some time and effort. But it feels good to help others!


  4. Two posts a week is great, three is doable for me to keep up with. Any more than that is overkill IMO. (Says a once per week poster, ha ha!) I love hearing about your new house and neighbors! I think you’ll be glad you decided to paint the trim also? Good luck with everything!


    • The house does look very pulled together with everything painted. Truth be told, I did not hate the wood trim, but I’ve never owned a house, so I was pretty much like, “A HOUSE!” and then didn’t worry too much about the other parts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I made a joke about you getting a horse having no knowledge that you already had horses next door. Lol. Sometimes it’s like I’m psychic. Rob is going to be so jealous about the zero-turn mower. (Not that our yard is big enough to require one. He just wants one.) Soon Rob and Nick can commiserate about lawn maintenance and keeping those damn kids off of it! 😛
    I can’t wait to see what the inside looks like when it’s redone. 🙂
    I think about you all the time lady! But when I see deaf-related stuff, I am like, “Must send right away!”


    • I kinda assumed you think about me a lot given we text daily. It makes me so happy. I always love, “I’m drinking coffee and watching [insert horror movie].” You’re the only breakfast horror person I know, lol. Then again, I assume it’s because you’re mega tired on Friday night after a long-ass work week. I would say “I understand,” but my current schedule permits me a Friday afternoon nap, so no.

      If Rob wants to feel the breeze in his mane, he can come ride the mower. It’s a big enough yard to be sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I usually do two to three posts a week. I can’t keep up with everyone anyhow, so I say just go with what you feel happy doing. If you’re monetising it’s a different thing but otherwise, people will catch up with what they can.

    I love all the politics in your new abode! Sounds like a decent deal with the 88-year-old as long as the care of her yard isn’t onerous, given you are both a working/studying couple.

    Tell Nick he has the perfect shed-owning smile. Shed suppliers might pay good money for him to be a shed-owner smile-model!

    Today I saw my son and partner’s new house. While I was there — just for an hour as it was late and I just wanted to see it and them the day we arrived — their neighbour popped in. She was wanting some of their herbs — must have been something she did with the previous owners — and she reminded my son and partner and they had a “share mower”. It’s new, and they are doing major works in their place which has reduced their lawn to a very small plot. I loved seeing them engaging with neighbours so quickly. Sounds like Geraldine, the neighbour, introduced herself early. She probably has a couple of decades on them — ie mid 50s — but mixed neighbourhoods are great.


    • I do think the neighbor we met just recently is entitled, but not in an aggressive way. It’s more like, “Well, you’re not doing anything with those acres, and I’ve got these horses I rescued, and they are expensive, so of course you’ll let me do hay.” What he doesn’t acknowledge is that the going rate now is $100 per acre to farm. Which is not an insubstantial amount of money. Plus, you want someone who knows what they’re doing so they don’t ruin the soil by planting what they want and not what they should.

      It sounds like your family is getting on in their new place so far. I can’t believe everyone is moving now: me, your son, Bill’s Milly.


  7. I like hearing about your new neighbours – sounds like you have a somewhat eccentric bunch around you!

    I just finished reading Little Women and Good Wives with my girls and actually have a post about it scheduled for later this week! I’m really curious to hear your opinions!


  8. So nice of you to make the painter guy so happy! And it sounds like his recommendation was a good one too. Sounds like you have an interesting horse neighbor. Super nice you can take your time moving in to the house. Maybe the woodpecker at your apartment is helping you get moved faster? 🙂


  9. Ok firstly, I love your house and that is so cool about your new shed with a bunch of lawn stuff. I’ve been a homeowner for 12 years now, and I can tell you that lawn stuff is GOLD BABY! You worked out an awesome deal with your neighbor-win win for sure.

    I grew up in a rural area, and my Dad has a longstanding deal with the farmer around him that plants either soy or hay in our fields, and he basically grows his crops on that land for a bottle of whiskey and a promise that he will bring his tractor out to shovel us out when the snow gets too high on our long driveway. So, all in all a good deal 🙂


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