Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Talk of the Neighborhood

With the beginning of Spring comes the beginning of the yardwork season as well. It's time to get dirty and get those flower beds and grass back in shape. While many think this is man's work, I pride myself on being the First Class lawn mower in the Balla household. I can just hear the neighbors now, "why is she cutting the lawn?...shouldn't he be doing it?" They used to call me "crazy" when they would see me mowing with Baby Z on my back in his Snugli! So why do I do it? To be honest, there are three reasons I cut the lawn:

#1 Division of Labor - In our house, Steve and I have long left behind the idea of "man's work" and "woman's work." Steve does the laundry and I plunge the toilet. We have discovered that the teamwork approach leaves neither of us feeling resentful of taking care of the house. We are both working for a common cause. That makes us stronger. This translates to the yard as well. I cut and Steve edges. Steve tidies up the flower beds, I plant the flowers. We're both "Type A" so working together is easy. It's all in the details!

#2 Biology Teacher at Work - I love being outside and working in nature. In terms of Multiple Intelligences, I score highest in the "Naturalist" category. To watch things change and grow is uplifting to me. The lawn grows so fast, I can fulfill this need to observe and shape nature often.

#3 Warm Fuzzies - The smells related to cutting the lawn bring me back to my Grandparent's house. They say that olfactory senses (sense of smell) are the strongest in memory formation. In this way, the smell of gasoline and fresh cut grass create an immediate link to very happy past experiences for me.

So don't just watch me relax to the buzz of the mower mowing... try it. A little exercise, a little nature, and an immediate, visible reward await you. (And you get to make all kinds of patterns in your lawn if you want to...just like the mowers at the baseball fields. That's art in my book, right, Steve??!!)


Sunday, March 18, 2007


Father Greg and I had a bet. He is a Maryland fan and I am a Duke fan. If Duke beat Maryland, Father Greg would have to wear a Duke shirt, but if Maryland won, I had to wear a Maryland shirt. Maryland beat Duke so I had to wear a Maryland shirt. It said "M, Maryland, Terps Football." I had to wear it on St. Patrick's Day. I didn't like it but a bet is a bet!