Monthly Archives: June, 2007

Blasted Lawn Mowing

Though not many, there are times when I miss living in an apartment. These times usually coincide with my having to mow the lawn after letting it nearly go to seed. When we bought this house with a tiny yard, <strike>we</strike> I decided it would be best to get a Reel Mower. That way we wouldn’t have to spend money on gas or oil, plus the maintenance costs would be lower and as a last added bonus we’d get more exercise pushing it around the yard.

Yes, yes, you can stop laughing now.

No really, stop laughing at me.


Anyway, we got one and before winter hit we used it maybe twice and it still seemed like an excellent idea. Now that summer is here I’m really beginning to feel that added bonus. Especially when I’ve had a cold for a week. A cold that had me coughing up huge chunks of flem, keeping me from going out and mowing the lawn in bits & pieces as I meant to do this week.

Instead, I just spent several hours fighting my lawn which had patches a foot or 2 high. Those of you with powered mowers are probably thinking “so what?”. Those of you with reel mowers are (hopefully) thinking “you poor bastard.”

You see, oh users of powered mowers, when you run across patches this tall a reel mower tends to bend the grass stalks down into the rest of the grass so they pop back up after you pass by the taller bits. To mow patches like this with a reel mower, you either:

  • run at the patch, lift one side above the height of the tallest piece of grass at the last moment, and drop the spinning blade on top.
  • or you use hand shears and chop it even more manually than with the reel mower (or you cheat and just pull the tall bit out).

With only one or 2 spots like this, it is not much of a problem but when you get to half the lawn it becomes a much bigger issue. Add in upper 80°, 50-60% humidity and you’ve got yourself a long, painful evening a head of you. Or at least I did when I started around 6:30 this evening1.

Still for all my complaining, once I finally finish with the lawn I do get a real sense of accomplishment out of doing all the work. And I’m meeting more of our neighbors than Ariesna because I’m out working on the lawn every week2. So when we attend neighborhood functions, more people tend to recognize me as that idiot nice fellow who was out working on the lawn. This seems to irk her a bit, but I don’t mind. 😀

1 I finally gave up the fight around 9:30 with only 1 long patch of grass left to mow.
2 When I’m not sick. Usually. Ok, I’m out there at least every other week. Or so. *grin*

Money sent!

A while ago I finally broke down and started trying to recoup some of the costs from my online addictions. Which is to say, I started accepting ads on my blog. This is only relevant because this month is the first month I got paid for those ads. I’ve been wondering what to spend this vast fortune of $3.06 on when I read this post. Money sent! 😀

In response…

A friend emailed Ariesna asking if she had told me Indian-spiced Braised Chicken was a healthy recipe before making it. To which I feel the need to say PHHHHHHHBBBBBBBBBBBBBBTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!

I’m not so out of touch with reality that I insist on having soda with every meal of steak and potatoes! I quite enjoy a wide range of healthy foods. :p

Indian-Spiced Braised Chicken

This recipe is a favorite of Mark’s and mine that I got from the Everyday Foods magazine.

Indian-spiced Braised Chicken


  • 1 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I use white meat)
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes drained
  • 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • course salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (8 oz)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • cooked white rice for serving


  1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together chicken, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, coriander and cayenne; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook on high 4 hours (or on low 8 hours) until fork-tender.
  3. Stir in yogurt, cilantro, and if using, garam masala.
  4. Serve with rice.

Alternative Oven Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Follow step 1, using a 5-quart lidded heavy pot.
  3. Stir in 2 cups of water.
  4. Cover; bake until tender, about 2 hours.
  5. Stir in yogurt, cilantro, and if using garam masala.


  • Serves 4
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Total time is 4 hours and 15 minutes

This rated a 10 out of 10 with Mark. If you can’t take spiciness then lessen the cayene pepper. I will have more recipes appear at Ariesna at live journal. Since I plan on more experimenting with new recipes. 🙂

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