Monday, June 29, 2009

The Grass Is Always Greener...

On Sunday the girls, Tim and I went down to Liberty, Kentucky for church. Liberty is a small town 50 miles south of us. It is a relaxed drive down and the people are always so pleasant to see.

Within a few miles of our destination Tim spotted a yard sign that he really wanted that said, "Yard of the Month". We commented on how cool that would be to have our yard be "yard of the month". Abigail piped in with, "We should just jack that sign!" That made us laugh and wonder just WHAT she had learned at 4-H camp and Girl's Camp! :)

It's no secret that the Valenta's are what we call "grass challenged". Well, we used to be up until last summer. For some reason, we have been unable to grow a good crop of grass. We'd like to claim it to be just the Kentucky climate, poor soil conditions, or a batch of old grass seed that was too tired to spout but even in Missouri we were waving the "grass in distress" flag for the whole neighborhood to see. It was humiliating. It was embarrassing. And expensive. At one point we called in the "experts" and paid them more than we care to admit in hopes of having something that would be bring something more than neighbors shaking their heads in pity for our failed attempts. I distinctly remember one day when the "experts" came and I went out to have a talk with them. I politely explained that we had been paying them money for a long time and with a wave of my hand, I gestured to the neighbors on our left. Then I gestured to the neighbor on our right. I pointed out to the "expert" that neither the neighbor on our left or our right did anything to their grass -- nothing, zero, nought, zippo! And yet, their grass looked better than ours when we were paying them! Mr. Expert had no explanation other than to have more of their "experts" to come out to decipher what the problem might be. Why did I think there would be even more money involved? Hummm.....

So Mr. Expert brought more experts to visit us. I am sure we could have done a commercial for the company of before and after....assuming of course we ever got to the "after"! I wasn't feeling hopeful. After their analysis of what our pitiful lawn needed, those experts told us that the only recommendation they had for us was to dig up the whole yard and start over. Are you getting a feel for how bad the grass looked? The "experts" had nothing more than that to offer? I ventured to ask, as I nearly swallowed my tongue, how much this starting over would cost. I had to stifle my BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA laugh when they announced a few thousand dollars was the price tag! Hadn't we already paid them that much for nothing already????

Well, you can guess that we didn't follow the "experts" or we would wind up in bankruptcy court with them as an unpaid creditor. I felt some sort of honor in protecting them from that so I kindly said thanks, but no thanks and the "experts" parted ways with the Valenta's.

I wish I could say that this was the part where the magic wand comes in and all our grass troubles vanished with a wave, much like the wave of my hand pointing out the green, lush grass of our neighbors to our left and to our right who did nothing more than to mow their turf.

It was the following spring that we decided that perhaps the experts were right. Perhaps their was no hope for our scraggly, spindly, threadbare lawn. But surely it could be done more cheaply than what the experts wanted to charge. Desiring to stay solvent and keep us out of bankruptcy, we decided it was time for a do-it-yourself project. And that is what we did, and so it began. We tilled up the yard (only the front so we didn't bite off more than we could chew), and we raked and raked and raked up some more, then spread the grass seed, laid down straw and began to water our latest investment. It was confirmed that the neighbors were watching when a lady, who I've never met before, knew who I was by our front yard. They were watching and the pressure was on! We truly hoped to not fail the neighborhood!

Our grass began to grow and it was a rush! The Valenta's could actually grow grass! Now, would it last? Well, no. The summer heat did bad things to our tender new grass even with lots of watering but even with said bad things, it still was better than it had been. Score one!

The next summer (last summer), on the advice of a friend (thanks Sam!), we spread a little magic on the grass in early spring and it truly did wonders! It was like waving the wand that we often wished we had. The grass was greener than it ever had been and we felt our confidence boosted. The summer heat once again took its toll but it actually looked better longer than the summer before! Yeah!

This spring we once again added the magic mixture to the grass at the magic time in early (Thanks again Sam!) and again the grass greened up beautifully and our weeds disappeared. For the first time WE, the Valenta's, have a great looking turf! In fact, our grass is so green that there is a definite line between where our grass ends and the neighbor's starts! Tim on occasion will remind me how much he loves that line between the yards! He's not really being boastful, he's just proud to finally have arrived in the neighborhood's green grass club! YAY for us! :)

So I am thinking that Abigail might have had a good idea after all.... Maybe we should just jack that lawn of the month sign! :) The hottest part of summer is not far off so we can't guarantee how good the grass will look NEXT month.


Patty said...

Put the creative juices of Jacob to the task of making your own lawn sign! Sigh, I wish for a beautiful lawn, and yes they do exist here in AZ, but it mainly depends on what side of the street your house it built!

Coopers said...

How funny! We've had similar experiences but it seemed ours did just fine when we went to KMart and put our magic out on the grass on our own. These days, Don pays the "experts" and I see no difference between ours and our neighbors...wasted money I say! Enjoy your green grass!