A weekend of honey dos…

I mentioned in my main blog that we didn’t really do much this weekend in terms of “travel.” Bill and I have a big, expensive, Nordic trip scheduled for next month that has eaten up a lot of our disposable income. We also have a U.S. holiday coming up this weekend during which we’re hoping to do a few day trips from the Wiesbaden area. Plus, we had some chores that needed to be done in the backyard.

I had been contemplating planning a dog friendly trip for the holiday weekend, but then I realized how much we’re spending to visit Norway, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, and Denmark next month. Then I remembered that we were denied the opportunity to see a lot of our local environs due to the COVID pandemic.

There are quite a few somewhat local places I’d like to visit, and Bill has some leave time he needs to take, anyway. So he’s going to take a few days off this week and next and we’re going to try to explore. He also needs to go see Dr. Blair again for a tooth repair, so that might get done this week or next. It sucks getting old! ETA: as I’m writing this, Bill says he has an appointment for tomorrow at 2:15PM. Guess he’ll take the ICE train. I think it takes about an hour to go from Frankfurt to Stuttgart on the train.

As for what we did this weekend… well, we tried Galliano liqueur for the first time and Bill made us a round of Harvey Wallbangers. It’s not a bad cocktail, but I probably wouldn’t order it at a bar. Maybe I’ll try one on Regent Splendor next month. 😉 Ours were missing cocktail cherries, because we didn’t have any on hand. Bill also shaved his beard and left tiny hairs all over the bathroom. I cleaned that up.

Bill went to the local “bee bomb” vending machine and bought six more capsules of seeds. We planted them in some empty planters we had. With luck, they’ll sprout and bloom, and we’ll have pretty wildflowers that will also feed the bees. I’ve never particularly been a big fan of bees, but I know they are essential to life. I read some sad stories in summers passing about bees not having enough to eat. So I’m hoping we can do our part in helping them out. I already started some bee bombs a couple of weeks ago, and we have some pretty good sprouts already going now. If you look at the featured photo, you can see the capsules of seeds in the background.

I pulled some ivy vines down off our garage and gave the patio furniture another layer of teak oil. Bill charged up my car’s battery, which I’m sure will be dead in a month. I really need to drive my car more.

Bill gathered more old clothes for the bins by the grocery store. I need to do another round of that myself. I have tons of clothes that won’t fit in my dresser, and some others that won’t fit me. 🙂

I did more yardwork, though I can hardly call it work, since we have a robot to mow our tiny backyard. I do have to use the weed whacker, though. I didn’t do much yard work yesterday because it was Sunday. We aren’t supposed to make a lot of noise on Sundays. It probably would have been okay, though. Our neighborhood is pretty chill about that kind of stuff. I wouldn’t dare use power tools on Sunday in Baden-Württemberg. That would be sure to earn me a good tongue lashing from a neighbor or the Polizei. In Hessen, it’s probably cool.

I spent some time moving more of my massive music collection from my old computer to the new one. It’s a very tedious and annoying undertaking reminiscent of when I moved this blog from Blogspot to WordPress and had to reformat a bunch of old posts… some of which are still not properly formatted.

And we also enjoyed some barbecue… spareribs last night and chicken on Saturday. It was quite yummy!

I did think wistfully about going out somewhere fun, but I really have fun with Bill wherever we are. It’s so nice to have him home again. This will be a short work week for him, so I’m hoping to have some good content later this week. We won’t be doing the “honey do” stuff this weekend… although we might do the “honey do me” stuff. 😉

I’m kidding about that… sorta. 😀

I would like to do a dog friendly trip soon. Maybe we’ll do one to pick up a new friend for Noyzi… We’ll see what the future holds.


There’s a lot of work that goes into being lazy…

Thanks to our former landlady’s policy of doing the yard work at her property, I have missed out on the chore of lawn mowing since we moved back to Germany in 2014.  Our current landlord doesn’t do lawns for his tenants, so we had to invest in some garden tools.  Although I didn’t know robotic lawnmowers existed until a couple of weeks ago, I was intrigued by the novelty of them.

We currently have a small yard.  In fact, it’s probably smaller than the yard we had in Jettingen.  It would be nothing for me to mow it with a regular mower.  Even as I was shopping for a lawnmower, I told myself this was a rather extravagant purchase I’d be making.  Still, the idea of having a robot cut the grass was too exciting for me to resist.  I don’t enjoy mowing, although I do like having a neat lawn.

I used to have a robotic vacuum cleaner.  I bought a Roomba when it was still a somewhat new concept.  I used it fairly often, but it wasn’t practical in the house we were living in when I bought it.  It would get caught on the fringe of my area rugs.  I also have a Scooba that I used in North Carolina and Texas.  That is a robot that mops.  I left it in storage because American and European electronics don’t always translate well with different voltages.

The robotic mower, though… that was something different.  I settled on the mid range McCulloch R600, a British machine that curiously came with no instructions in English.  I ordered it on Thursday.  It cost 599 euros and arrived yesterday.  It’s now waiting for its maiden voyage.  I also bought us a Bosch battery powered weedwhacker.  Truth be told, we could probably just weedwhack the whole yard in about ten minutes and call it done.

Before we can use the mower, it has to charge.  We also had to lay down boundary wire.  Here are some photos of Bill hard at work, installing the wire for our new toy.

First, he needed to weedwack a path to lay down the wire.  

Arran has really missed Bill.  He was gone for most of March and had to work this morning.

I got a charming video of him looking for attention, but I haven’t turned it into something I can post in the blog…

He finally laid the wire down around the perimeter of the yard, then set up a guide wire.

This new mower is pretty snazzy.  You can set it to mow while you sleep if you want to.  We can’t use it tomorrow, because tomorrow is Sunday and Germans get really pissy if you do yard work on Sunday.  Maybe it will be charged enough in a couple of hours to try it out.

This machine is very lightweight.  It even has anti-theft features and uses a PIN.


This 24 minute video was a Godsend.  We were able to find the owner’s manual in English online, but Bill couldn’t get it to print.  Watching the video was helpful anyway, since it showed exactly what Bill needed to do.


Yeah, I know I probably should have just bought a push mower.  At our first German house, we even had a mechanical mower that didn’t use any power that didn’t come from my muscles.  It seems silly to get a robot mower for such a small yard.  I don’t know what got into me.

By the way, our new next door neighbors have a pool in their much bigger backyard.  I think they’re setting it up now.  I feel their pain.  We had a pool in Texas.  It was great to have in Texas because it gets so hot there.  In Germany, it seems a little like a lot of work for not so much pleasure.

I was hoping we’d go out today, but Bill’s had a lot to do and needs to relax.  Tomorrow, we’ll find somewhere to have a beautiful lunch, like we did last week.

Edited to add:  It took about 100 minutes to fully charge the mower.  In the course of about two hours, it finished a large part of the lawn.  Bill used the weedwhacker to cut the places that were missed because it was getting dark.  From now on, the mower can operate several times a week so the grass doesn’t get so high.

Here’s a quick video.  The dogs were bewildered by the robot, while I was impressed by how quiet it is!

Another edit:  The end result after I let the robot run again Monday.

I think this is going to work out just fine!