Monday, March 14, 2016

Keeping Secrets

I feel like people have been keeping secrets from me.  No, not those juicy kind of secrets, but rather, secrets about yard equipment.  And how much fun it is to use.  Let me backtrack a bit here...I never had to do yard work as a child (that was my Dad's realm, and when he was old enough, my brother's as well), and then I had a husband and two kids who did all the yard work, so I never had to bother with it.  I guess you could say we went with traditional roles, and I ended up doing the inside chores.  Well, who knew that in reality, they were holding out on me and the fun stuff was outside?

I had my first inkling just after Christmas, when I got my very own leaf blower.  Let me tell you, that thing is FUN!  I love using it, and I'd have all the leaves in the backyard blown into one area, were the extension cord long enough on my blower.  As is, my patio is clean all the time, and my front porch and walkway are clean, too. 
Last day our patio looked like this - thanks to my leaf blower, it's clean all the time!

My latest tool toy is a pressure washer.  We've lived in this house for nearly 16 years, and I've been wanting to get the patio pressure washed for years...but it's not the kind of thing we ever want to spend money on.  But once we bought our spring plants and started getting the yards spruced up again, I wished out loud for a pressure washer - and for a change, we actually did something about it.  One trip to both Lowe's and Home Depot to compare models and prices resulted in this sweet little Ryobi coming home with us; I immediately went to work with it:
Once I was finished, you could see all of the pretty shades of slate on the patio!

The instant gratification from the pressure washer is amazing.  I've spent my life vacuuming carpet, and sure, it looks clean, but with my new toy, the ground is CLEAN!  It was fascinating to see the change happen right before my eyes:
You can see the grout lines again!  This was still early on; I got better as I went along and all of the black is gone from the tiles.

Now, the pressure washer did flake up some of the slate, but then again, so does the leaf blower...it's just a delicate tile.  Still, I'm thrilled.  I got the entire patio cleaned, and then moved on to the walkway leading from the driveway to the front door:
Look at the color difference!  The darker area ISN'T wet - that's just how dirty it was.

I spent a couple of hours in a bit of a meditative trance as I cleaned.  When I was finished, I felt so accomplished!  Also a bit tired and ironically, dehydrated, but it was about 80 degrees when I was working, in the sun - I'm a vampire runner, so to be outside in the middle of the day was unusual for me.  And I will admit, the lifelong Californian in me was a bit bothered by how much water I was wasting, but we aren't in a drought where I live, so I let that go.

Oh, and one thing I discovered is that you should not attempt to "rinse off" your dirty feet with the pressure washer.  Yeah, that hurt - luckily I didn't do any damage, but my big toe was stinging for a while.  I had to laugh at how dirty my legs were when I was finished:
Just call me Mike Rowe...

Next up is the driveway, but that's a huge job for another day (or two).  I can't believe that I've missed out using a pressure washer for so long!  I was seriously thinking that I could hire myself out to my neighbors to clean their driveways, and when I posted a picture of me and my new toy on Facebook, a friend commented that she was thinking the same thing!  Maybe I can earn money for running shoes and race entry fees this way.

And now I have to wonder...what else have I been missing out on?  What is the next tool toy that I need to try?  Spill the beans, people!

23 comments:

  1. Let me tell you - power tools are the best! The sad thing about finding this out, though, is now you spend even longer in the home improvement store looking at every.single.thing.

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  2. Well you couldn't have heard this secret from me LOL. I do the gardening and the cleaning but it's not my hobby. We do have a pressure washer and I used it last year for the first time cleaning the terrace. Usually R. does these kind of chores.

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    1. R is holding out on you...using a pressure washer is way more fun than weeding!

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    2. LOL I don't like either one of them

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  3. OOOH....power tools. OOOH!!!! :)

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    1. PS: This is Roz, but I can't post as myself, so will call myself Dennis....

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    2. I shall call you RoDennis...or Doz?? Yes, Doz! ;)

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  4. Replies
    1. OOH! I haven't tried a weed wacker yet!

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  5. This is funny and exciting, all at the same time :) and true! When husbands are critical of how much their wives spend on quilting stuff, I always say, "yeah, their toys cost WAY more than quilting stuff." But really, I have power washer envy! I want one for cleaning the house. Although now I'm a little afraid I would be washing all the paint off!

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    1. Mine came with a gentler nozzle that you could use on the house...but I'd do a test swipe in an inconspicuous spot first. You would love one!

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  6. You are too funny. Power washing is the only way our patio comes clean because it's textured. Mr. Helen usually does it but he didn't do it last year so it's bad this year. I'm just waiting for a beautiful sunny day and I'm going to do it myself!

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  7. I love my leaf blower too! Woot woot! You go girl - girl power!

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    1. Another lady leaf blower owner - woohoo!!

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  8. This post is so fun! My dad and husband rented a pressure washer to clean the storage room in our basement and it made SUCH a difference. We want to buy one, eventually. We really need to pressure wash the bottom few brick rows of our house. I can't believe the color difference in your sidewalk.

    It's crazy to think about the drought, isn't it? I have friends it seriously affects, and then we have too much water, here. :(

    I don't have any secrets about equipment yet, since we just bought our house, but I really enjoy picking up sticks (I find it meditative, like you) and hope I can get a wheelbarrow or wagon soon, to put them in! :)

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  9. You are certainly getting the fun outdoor toys!!!! Power washing is TONS of fun!!!!

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  10. How did you get out of doing yard work for so long? My husband always makes me help with outside work, plus I still get stuck with all the traditional inside work like dishes and stuff!!!!

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  11. I live to work outdoors! You've been missing years and years of fun! Be careful, though, because eventually, the man in your life might think you've taken over and you'll be expected to keep the indoors and outdoors spic and span - solo!

    I'm just happy Spring is here, finally :)

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  12. Haha! That pressure washer is kind of fun, isn't it?

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  13. Have you tried a drill? VERY fun!!!

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    1. I had a drill for a short time - it WAS fun! I used it to hang up curtain rods in our old house. But somehow, Jeff took it over and it disappeared into the black hole of his tool center.

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