Okay, I admit that I let the backyard grow a little out of control. About a month ago when I was cutting the grass in back, the lawn mower gave out. It refused to run for more than a few seconds before it would stop on its own. I could prime the engine again and it would run for a little longer, but there was no way I was going to mow the lawn like that. I gave up on the lawn mower that day since it was getting dark. I ended up using my Black and Decker "Grass Hog" Trimmer/Edger to chop down the tallest grass and I called it a day.

snapper lawn mowerTwo weeks went by and I decided to try fixing the lawn mower. We've had it for two and a half years, and I have no idea how long Agnes' parents had it before us, but I imagine that no one had really put it through the normal maintenance a lawn mower needs. Snapper lawn mowers use Briggs and Stratton engines, which are supposed to pretty much run forever, so I figured that whatever was wrong with it couldn't be that hard to fix.

My working theory was that gas somehow wasn't getting into the engine. When I pushed the little pump to prime the engine, I could see that it was pumping a little bit of gas. This, combined with the fact that I could keep the engine running by continuing to push that pump, was what formed the basis of my theory. My Dad said it sounded right, and that I should look for a clogged gas line. The Internet told me that the carburetor needed cleaning. I pulled out a screwdriver and started taking things apart. I found a very dirty air filter, which I cleaned. I removed the gas line, which I found to be clear. I tried to continue taking the thing apart, but I wasn't sure of my ability to put it back together. Ultimately, I went back online and found the nearest lawn mower repair shop.

I got the lawn mower back from the shop on the third week of not cutting the grass. By this time, I had stopped looking in the backyard. I knew it was probably growing, and I knew I couldn't really do anything about it without a working lawn mower. The repair shop said that they cleaned out the carburetor (wherever that was) and they sharpened the blades. Considering I know how to do neither of these things, the $40 seemed like a pretty good deal. Albert was in town until Saturday, and then on Sunday I took a five hour nap, so I didn't get a chance to mow the lawn.

Today, I finally couldn't take it any more. I'm sure our neighbors were wondering what was going on with our grass growing out of control. The front yard was in better shape than the back, but it was still very over-grown. I pulled out the lawn mower, filled it with gas and started mowing. I'll tell you, a nicely tuned lawn mower with newly sharpened blades makes all the difference in the world. I emptied the lawn mower bag enough times to fill three large outdoor garbage bags before it started getting dark. Trash day was today, so I'm hesitant to continue mowing and filling our trash. As it is, we probably have room in our trash bin for only one or two kitchen trash bags until next Thursday. I cut and trimmed the front yard. I finished about half of the backyard. The stuff was knee deep in places.

I've included a couple of pictures here to show our half-mowed backyard. Yes, I know. The lawn still looks funny. Maybe I'll finish it this weekend.