Archive for April, 2012

All In A Day’s Work

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Posted by Rebecca, April 3rd, 2012

I mentioned last week that we desperately needed some mulch. Okay, I’ve been mentioning for the past year that we desperately needed some mulch. After all, our front yard was looking like this…

And this…

So last week, Mike drove around looking for mulch places. We actually did this last year, since the first year that we moved in we used bags of mulch in the middle of July and it was aw.ful. It took a lot of bags and many weekends in 90 degree weather, so we wanted to get some yards of mulch delivered. The problem we came across last year was that there was no landscaping supply place close enough to our house to qualify for free delivery. Every single place wanted $50 to deliver, so we finally decided to suck it up. Unless we wanted to pull weeds constantly like we did last year (uhhh no thanks), we didn’t have too much of a choice.

Mike ordered 3 yards of dark brown mulch, which was delivered at 8am this morning.

He worked at putting the mulch down all day and by the time I got home, the pile looked like this.

The 3 yards we ordered was just enough to cover everything out front in a nice, thick layer.

Not only did Mike slave over a hot stove pile of mulch all day, but he told me he planned to surprise me by planting some new flowers. Unfortunately, he ran out of steam, but I am just happy to finally have some mulch!

I would still like to add some things to our landscaping, especially on this side.

We added those tiny little daylilies here last year, but the rest of the bushes are near death. We also need to add some plants to the area in front of the garage where we pulled up those flat fern things that I hated at the end of last season.

Overall though, at least we’re no longer at a messy point. I just wanted to at least be able to maintain what we have after the baby comes. Not having to pull weeds is a major plus!

Keep it coming spring, we need some more blooms like this…

Deere Season

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Posted by Rebecca, April 2nd, 2012

Usually the only deer I post about are those that live in our backyard (who seem to have returned in the past few weeks). Mike and I spent a good 20 minutes yesterday sitting together in front of our sliding glass door watching the deer. We’re like old people… but now we’re old people with a ride on lawn mower 🙂

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how we began our search for a ride on mower. Previously, we had been paying a service $40 per cut to mow our grass. This was supposed to be a temporary solution when we moved in and our grass grew to abandoned house status because we didn’t want to buy a mower. Last year we were so busy that we never cancelled the service and figured we’d just keep it. This year we cancelled it super early, then it got warm and we were like oh crap, we’re going to need to cut this grass soon. Since Mike left his full-time gig at Merrill Lynch to work on his own full-time gig at SongMeanings, we figured he’d have a little more time this year.

We started our search at Lowe’s where some nice young guy (okay, now I really sound like an old person but he looked like a 20 year old) gave us a nice, honest run down of mowers. Our requirements were simple… 1) something suited for a 1/2 acre of land 2) automatic instead of manual 3) cheap as possible. We also wanted something that would last a very long time and that wouldn’t be difficult to maintain. At Lowe’s the mowers started at $1000 for a manual and went up in price all the way to the thousands. The first automatic mowers started at about $1499.

There is a John Deere store very close to our house so we decided to check it out on Saturday. The man there was also very nice and very honest and gave us a run down of all of their mowers. The one we’d been thinking of was the D110, their smallest non-manual mower.

(via John Deere)

The nice sales man answered our questions about maintenance, storage and whether or not this was too much for our property. The good thing about John Deere is that the store is literally down the street from us, so any problems we may have with the mower we can bring it into them. He assured us that any other maintenance was easy enough to do on our own. He then also told us that they couldn’t match the deals they run at Lowe’s or Home Depot (okay we asked him, he didn’t offer this info out of the blue). None the less, we appreciated his honesty.

After some online stalking, I knew that Home Depot was running a deal where you receive a free dump cart with the purchase of a John Deere mower (a $199 value).

 (via Home Depot)

Plus if we opened a credit card we could receive 0% financing for 2 years and the mower would be delivered by a John Deere representative who would show us how to use everything. The price of the D110 was otherwise the same at Lowe’s, Home Depot and the John Deere store. So we headed to Home Depot!

We then looked around at some of their other brands (Cub Cadet and Ariens) and debated whether the free dump cart was worth the extra $200 or so in price. As we stood there debating, one random guy overheard us and told us to go with the John Deere. He said he owned a Cub Cadet before and hated it and that John Deere is, well, John Deere for a reason. We thanked him and went about our discussion. Then 5 minutes later another customer came by to look at a bagger who told us he had a John Deere and loved it. That was two completely random happy customers in a matter of minutes, so we decided to go with the Deere.

At first we were going to go with the 10% off promotion for new Home Depot card holders, but we learned that John Deere products weren’t eligible. Whaaamp whammmp. But that was okay because we were still able to get 24 months of 0% financing, which gives us a chance to pay for this bad boy with less pressure, as we have so many other expenses going on. We figure if we put the money we were using for each cut with the lawn service towards paying off the mower, we should be set.

Our new mower and dump cart will be delivered tomorrow. Once I am no longer pregnant, you bet I’ll be looking like this….

Image not to scale.

(original image from John Deere)

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