Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the tag “John Wayne party”


Beau’s trip to E.R., described in my prior post, reminded me of another Yellow Lab’s experience at a summer party.

Shootin' the Breeze

              It was high noon.  Miss Sugar, my trophy wife, was fussing in the kitchen when she hollered, “Big Bronc, they’re coming!  Lots of ‘em.  You better be ready.  I’m gittin plumb nervous.”

           Soon they commenced to coming up our lane to the ranch house.  Dozens of folks arrived in waves.  We was surrounded.  

            Me and Texas Bob took our stations, him by the cantina, me peeking out from inside the house.  We was ready, providin’ there warn’t too many of ‘em.  I lost count at 65.  That seemed about right for me and the little woman and Texas Bob.

            Also, Texas Bob had brung a woman with him, as was his way.  She was a spunky redhead, a fancy dresser, name of Ginger.  I’d seen her before.  Once down in Fort Worth Stockyards, at the Cattlemen’s Club, Bob and Ginger was there with me and Sugar and…

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The Mower

We have two lawnmowers.  One is me, the person who mows the grass (and weeds).  The other mower is a machine, gas-powered and, well, somewhat unreliable. We have on the ranch one small engine mechanic and it is not I.

Since our annual John Wayne Barbeque is planned for May 31, Miss Sugar sweetly suggested that it would be a good idea to have the grass (and weeds) cut for the convenience of our guests and to improve the ambiance of an outdoor party.  Since she is making pies and several side dishes, I agree that it is reasonable for me to help with the preparations in this manner.  After all, she is just a girl and cutting grass (and weeds) is a manly task.  Some wimps use riding mowers, or even self-propelled mowers.  Not me.  I like to push my mowers.  The party is in honor of John Wayne, not Pee Wee Herman. 

The lawnmowing machine has been stored in the barn during the winter.  It has been stored in the barn during the spring.  It is now nearly summer.  The rains have made the lawn lush and, to my dismay, tall.  That is my own fault.

I checked the oil, added gas from an old gas container that has been stored for several months, pushed rubber bulb thing that squirts gas into the thing-a-ma-gig, pulled the cord, and it started right up.  For ten seconds.

I kept trying with the same results time after time, meeting the definition of insanity about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  So I tried something different.  I tried to adjust the throttle.  Same result.  I dumped out the old gas and got some new gas from the pumps at The Forks, our nearest convenience store.  Same result.

I confessed to Miss Sugar that I had failed and offered to take the lawnmowing machine to the lawnmower repair guy in town, a mere 25 miles away.  I would do it on the condition that I could get the pickup truck started.  Those diesel engines can be difficult to start when the glow plugs need to be replaced, as they do in our truck. I will get Sugar right on it.

As when the pull cord to the mower needed to be replaced last year, Sugar took matters into her own hands, literally, concerning this latest mechanical problem.  She worked on the lawnmower with my able assistance.  (He also serves who only stands and waits.) She told me to get a narrow paintbrush from her art supplies and stuck its wooden handle into the secret compartment that houses the secret part that controls the speed of the engine.  It kept running.  I did not need to go to the repair guy.  I had visions of buying a new lawnmower.  Sugar just saved us hundreds of dollars.

So, I mowed for a few hours.  It was slow going in the tall grass (and weeds).  I only have about three-fourths of the “yard” left to do.  I mow a couple acres around the house and leave the rest for livestock to graze. I would let them graze around the house too, but Sugar does not like horses or cows knocking over the birdbath, stepping in the fountain, and stuff like that, which has happened in the past when they have gotten in the “yard” accidentally. I think I can get the mowing done by Saturday so Sugar will be free to cook.  I will try to light the smoker for the barbequing of the pork if Sugar will take a break from baking pies and show me how. 

It’s complicated.

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