in between feeling bad about my dad, and about mollie, and about stuff that i feel bad about here in this month of may, i have been creating wide swaths of mayhem and destruction.

not intentionally.

first, the power washer – i was so looking forward to cleaning the deck, because it was incredibly, incredibly filthy.

here’s how filthy.

when i’ve power washed before, i would push and pull and shove the tables all around the deck, power-washing them as i went.  this slowed the process down quite a bit, i think.

this time, god love him, kevin took all the tables plus the other random stuff off the deck.  by the time i started the power washing, last wednesday, kevin had also removed that tall table above, plus i  lugged the hibiscus inside.

i sprayed and sprayed bleach cleaner all over the deck, and tried to start the power washer.  it’s gas-powered, the kind you have to start like a lawn mower.  i might have managed to start it one time, but i knew it would be challenging.  so i tried.  and i tried.  and i tried some more.  and then i got mad, and i kept yelling for kevin, who was very busy in the front of the house, probably working on his sailboat, and he came and started it right up.

ok, things were fine.  it definitely went faster than the other times i’d done it, and i was happy, as usual, about how sprakly and clean and white the deck looked.

never mind that there were OVER TWO BILLION MAPLE SPINNERS in the trees overhanging the deck.  because it has been so chilly, the spinners took a long time in coming, and they were still green, but i knew that pretty soon the deck would be covered with them, which meant i’d have to get out there and sweep every day, probably multiple times a day, in order to keep them from staining the deck.

but for the moment, things were good.

and then, of course, i ran out of gas.  i was exactly halfway through, having finished the half closest to the house.  i filled the tank, took a little break and started it up again…well, i tried it again and got mad and yelled for kevin, who started it for me…and then the strong pressure started to wane a little.  and then a little more, and it seemed that the power washer was making way too much noise, over on the ground next to the deck.  so i let go of the pressure and looked down and the power washer was SMOKING AND OIL STARTED POURING OUT.

i bellowed for kevin again, and he pointed out that the motor had halfway broken loose from the washer.

a mighty dramatic and exciting end to its life.

so, the other half of the deck was covered with bleach cleaner which i couldn’t just leave there for the kitties to walk through, so i finished it off with a mop.  it didn’t look as good as the power-washed side, but at least it was better than before.

i forgot to take any more pictures, because of the whole ordeal.

i still need to clean the white tables for the deck, but today i borrowed randy’s power washer and i’m excited to try it, but not too hopeful.  it’s not gas-powered but electric, which seems fabulous to me, but it’s very compact so i bet it doesn’t have anything near the force of ours.

well, it was dad’s.  i don’t know if he actually ever used it for much.

so that was wednesday.

i didn’t have time for more outdoor activities for the rest of the week, but on saturday after the fat ass 5k, i told kevin that i’d be happy to mow the grass.  we hadn’t mowed it at all this year, and it was about a foo high in some places.  the kitties loved stalking through it like fierce jungle cats, but it was probably going to soon get too tall to mow.

kevin is going to the spring national civil war shooting competion and had many, many things he needed to accomplish, and i figured that mowing with the riding mower wasn’t so bad, it was kind of fun in a scary, i hope i don’t plunge the tractor in the lake kind of way.

so saturday afternoon kevin said i could help him get the mower deck onto the tractor.

it used to be dad’s tractor, and HOW DID HE EVER DO IT BY HIMSELF?  when mom and dad moved away from here, he wasn’t in very good health, and i didn’t think he had that much energy, but clearly, clearly, he was very strong, especially for such a skinny guy with rotten lungs.

because even though i was “helping” kevin, i wasn’t doing that much except trying to lift things and push and pull things and at one point kevin, totally exasperated, said OK STOP GRACE.  he never says “grace” so i knew he was totally vexed with me.

somehow we got the mower deck attached, and he was working on getting the belt attached, and i asked what i could do.

meanwhile, it was getting very warm outside and we were standing around on the black driveway and it was getting SO HOT.

kevin said i could pour the gas into the gas tank.

there wasn’t a lot of gas, but i poured in the little that there was.

kevin finally got the belt attached after a lot of finagling, and then he looked up.  “where did you pour that gas?” he asked me.

“right in there,” said i.

so, i had poured the gas INTO THE OIL COMPARTMENT.

i had seen the gas in the tank in the back of the mower, but somehow i figured that the cap on top of the mower surely must be the gas cap, because what else could it be?

if, of course, i had bothered to read the sign posted under it, i would have read OIL ONLY.

good lord.

kevin said, well, we’ll just change the oil.

i asked him what would happen if we didn’t change the oil, and he said the gas broke down the oil so it wasn’t viscous anymore, so it wouldn’t work, and then the motor would seize up AND IT MIGHT CATCH FIRE.

oh boy.

kevin told me to remove the cover to the oil thing, which i wasn’t able to accomplish, but then he showed me how to do it using some kind of wrench or something to make the screw come out.

but then he tried to find the plug to drain the oil, and he was lying there on the ground for a very long time.

but he couldn’t find it.

this is a guy who has fixed motorcycles and rebuilt cars and fixed bikes and everything and why couldn’t he find this plug?

i finally said i’d look it up online, which i did, but when i read the comments about changing the oil, i didn’t understand anything that anybody was saying.

so kevin sat down and read the stuff, and figured it all out, and drained the oil.

i went to walmart to get more oil, which was supposed to be 20W 40, but of course they didn’t have any 20W 40.

at this point i was exhausted and crazed and disconsolate.  i called kevin, who told me to get the 10W 40.

and then he fixed it, and everything was fine, and we went to the lyle lovett concert, which was wonderful.

and i haven’t broken or destroyed or set fire to anything at all since saturday.

but it’s only monday.

ok then,

mrs. annihilator hughes.