When I Die…

I’ve spent a good part of my life being terrified of death. And honestly, I think that is a healthy attitude to take. I’m not jumping out of planes, plunging off bridges attached to bungees, and I take conservative risks.

Wow, when I put it that way I sound rather boring.

Back to the subject at hand.

In the last few years, I have lost family members and felt my own body slowing down. Don’t worry, I’m good for decades. If anything it is an annoyance right now when my body won’t perform to factory standards.

I have started to think about death, however. And this has included being a little less afraid of it. More accepting of it as a reality that will confront us all.

As I was cleaning the other day, I turned to my TED app to listen to some interesting TED talks and ran across When I Die, Recompose Me.

I listened to the talk and it changed how I want my body to be handled after I die.

For my entire life, I have found cemeteries fascinating . Not to stay in, mind you, but to visit. I like looking at the gravestones, especially those in older cemeteries, finding connections among family members, imagining what their lives must have been like, and lingering over the smaller graves. What if those little babies had had a chance to grow up?

And while I find them interesting, I have never wanted to be buried in one. “I take up space while I’m alive, why do it when I’m dead?”

So I had resigned myself to being cremated until I listened to this TED talk. And now I’m determined to last long enough for this practice to take hold and become the standard.

You can learn more here.

And if you want to learn about the major life lessons before you die, tune in to Annie Lamott’s funny and profound TED talk.

Posted in Compost, Green Living | Leave a comment

My Next Refrigerator Will Be Dumb and Non-Magical

Less than two years and you are already broken? Magic Fridge, you SUCK.

Around eighteen months ago, the refrigerator that came with the house began to die. In truth, it had been dying for a year or more before that, but it was finally becoming too much.

And as usually happens, the end came suddenly. So suddenly, and of course right after a grocery shopping trip that had it stocked full, we were desperately in need of a new one.

And folks, I got sucked in, like an idiot. “Look Mom, it’s magic, it has this little door that opens so you can just access milk and salad dressing and such. It saves energy.” My eldest had found it, and Em was right on her heels, admiring it.

“Mama, that’s cool!”

It was very cool. It had an ice maker, water dispenser and that magic door. Press a button and voila, you were saving energy by only accessing a small portion of the fridge. What was there not to like?

And all for the lowest price possible at the Sears Outlet in the East Bottoms – $1100.

So here I am, having bought this damn thing in early October 2015. In January it began dinging. This is the sign that there is a door ajar, but the doors were closed and the seals engaged. Then the water dispenser stopped working, then the freezer warmed up and things became slushy.

Somehow we fixed it – neither of us remembers how now, no doubt due to the fact we were both under enormous stress with my dad here and him still incredibly ill.

And now it is doing it again.

A few days ago it began to ding. Then yesterday the freezer stopped cooling so well. We have emptied it entirely into our chest freezer, cleaned it out, and cannot figure out WHAT the problem is.

It is now morning and the freezer is WARM and the fridge is barely cooling at all – not a good situation when it will be in the high 80s today and no central air in our house.

The appliance repair man is coming between 12-2 pm to look at it. I’m hoping that all the food inside the fridge is not already ruined.

My next fridge will be dumb, non-magical, and won’t even make ice. I’m cool with using ice trays, I really, really am.

Sometimes technology rocks. But other times? It’s not cool, not at all.

Posted in Challenges | Leave a comment

Waste Not…

If you are an Amazon junkie like me, then your house is awash with cardboard boxes in a variety of sizes.

I toss most of them into the recycle container, but recently, I have used them for another purpose…

The west wall of our house

Weed control, soil conditioning, and mulch for our currant bushes. A 3-in-1 solution!

This section of our yard is rather difficult to mow and the creeping charlie has invaded everywhere.

And after Dave accidentally mowed one of our gooseberry bushes that had been buried beneath weeds…

Gooseberry bushes – the nearest one is slowly recovering from having been accidentally mowed

I figured it was time to put those cardboard boxes to use.

You don’t need that many bricks holding down the cardboard, by the way, I just happened to also be relocating a brick pathway and decided to make use of them.

Reasons to use cardboard in your yard:

  • Provides a great weed barrier and smothers the weeds at the same time
  • Clearly defines newly planted areas
  • Attracts earthworms who eat the cardboard and condition the soil

This isn’t a permanent fix by any means. But later in the year, as we clear more of the brush and wood from our yard and drop it off at Missouri Organics – we can also pick up mulch for free and pile it on top of the cardboard. Those weeds won’t be able to take back over for at least a year, possibly two!

I can’t wait for my gooseberry bushes to grow big and tall and start producing. Same for the currant bushes!

The rest of the yard is looking pretty good. I can’t wait to start expanding those mulched areas and adding to them with other fruiting bushes, flowering plants and more!

Posted in Garden Planning, Recycle | Leave a comment

Be a Better Person Than This

I rarely get into Facebook fights. I rarely get into fights at all. Partly because I’m a big-hearted overly emotional wimp, but also because it really messes me up for DAYS afterward. I would as soon someone go around and talk crap about me and think what they are going to think then to expend the mental, emotional and even physical energy to try and convince them otherwise.

Think I’m a horrible person? By all means, go right ahead and think that. Feel free.

However, when it comes to someone else being vilified or ostracized in a manner I find unacceptable – well damned if I cannot keep my mouth shut. I just can’t.

So I wake up this morning to see a post in my Facebook feed…

I just disagreed with the way some people in my neighborhood are handling a situation so they said I must not live here and kicked me out of the neighborhood groups.

And this came from a friend who I know is moderate, kind, generous and just about as laid-back as you can get. She had taken issue with some rather aggressive moves by those tired of prostitution on the Avenue. They have been photographing prostitutes, but now were also advocating sending those photos to the landlords of buildings the women resided in. In the middle of this anti-prostitution thread, she was attacked as being pro-crime and questioned as to whether or not she was even a resident of Historic Northeast (a requirement for being part of the Historic Northeast and Crime Watch pages).

And then, just as quickly, she was unceremoniously dumped and BLOCKED from both Facebook pages.

“Who cares? It’s a bunch of people being all snotty, who needs them” you might say.

And here is the problem. Both pages have thousands of members. And together, as a community, for the most part, we are working together to create change and improve the community. So it is a big deal. Events are posted there – neighborhood meetings are announced, crime is reported on the other page, important details such as photos of trucks and illegal dumpers. This helps the other residents keep an eye out, report suspicious behavior, build illegal dumping cases, draw connections between seemingly unrelated or isolated crimes, and more.

Being forbidden from accessing these pages just because someone takes issue with you disagreeing with them is not only rude, it is foolhardy. Stephanie is an asset, not a liability. She has posted about break-ins and suspicious people in the neighborhood, and that help her fellow neighbors and law enforcement to put together timelines, modus operandi and more.

So of course, seeing this, I had to get involved. Surely it was a case of misunderstanding, at worse, a sore ass.

I sent a PM through FB Messenger to the admin who had deleted her. We were connected on FB after I had stood in for him and interviewed with KSHB about saving Rambo’s restaurant (I STILL miss that place it had the BEST burgers and chicken).

I wrote:

If there was any confusion on whether or not Stephanie Adams is a resident here in Northeast, I would like to clear that up for you. Stephanie lives near the museum, on Norledge, and is a cleaning client of mine. I have learned she has been kicked off of Real Northeast and the crimewatch page as well. So, unless those two pages are NOT for Northeast residents, she should be reinstated on both.

His reply was as follows:

Someone sent me a message that they didn’t think she lived in HNE. She was kicked out of the group for being mean and nasty to me. I work too hard on these groups to be treated like that.

He then sent “proof” of her mean and nasty behavior…

And the following conversation between us ensued…

And in the meanwhile, in the couple of hours it had taken before he responded to my initial post, I ambled over to Real Northeast and the Crime page and posted this…

Responses varied, from “It’s my way or the highway?” to Heather Welch’s thoughtful post:

I can appreciate the frustration that disagreements cause in the heat of the moment. I’ve said and done some things I have later come to regret. But I hope hope hope that with time to cool down and sleep on it, a renewed perspective will prevail and admin will reconsider. Let’s just chalk this one up to our passion for bettering our community, shall we?

But seconds after Christian Stalder commented (and I don’t have it word for word) “Par for the course, by tomorrow this post will have been deleted.” – not only had the post been deleted, but I had been tossed off of Real Northeast and the Crime Watch page.

For daring to ask a question. For daring to question the status quo.

I’ve still got access. I just have to walk up to another computer and access it through another family member’s account on Facebook. So this whole thing is petty, stupid, and sad. It is a case of either a sore ass, snobbery/self-entitlement, the mulish refusal to see any other side but his own, or bullying behavior.

Be a better person than this, folks.

People WILL disagree with you. It is a fact of life. But if you close yourself off from anyone and everyone who does not believe as you believe, live as you would live, or support your every decision in a simple manner of a mindless sycophant – then YOU are the lesser for the experience.

Don’t we have enough extremism in our world already? Do we really need any more of it?

Posted in Advocacy, Community | Leave a comment

Spinning Plates and Self-Care

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about choosing direct primary care. I promised you an update and here it is…

Direct Primary Care – I Love It

Having met twice with my new doctor, the owner and operator of KCDPC (Kansas City Direct Primary Care) I have to say what a relief it is to deal with someone who isn’t falling over herself to put me on all kinds of drugs.

Dr. Edwards took a great deal of time with me on our first visit to deal with the paperwork associated with a direct-primary care model, but she also took time to hear of my concerns.

Mainly I’m dealing with enormous levels of pain, stress, and lack of time.

You know, like the rest of the world.

Dr. Edwards suggested meditation and yoga to help combat the stress I’m feeling along with increasing flexibility and reducing pain.

She had run a standard set of labs on me, including the A1C test…

The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past 3 months. The A1C test is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test.

And once again it shows that I am pre-diabetic. That’s good news, it really is. It would be better if it said I wasn’t pre-diabetic at all, but I’ll take what I can get. Other than that, one of my cholesterol readings was fine, the other needs some work.

All in all, I’m healthy.

Spinning Plates and Self Care

Talking to Dr. Edwards did change my focus slightly. Instead of thinking I need to be exercising more, I think I need YOGA more than anything. She pointed out that if I’m cleaning houses four days a week, I AM exercising. Yes, I could use more exercise, but cleaning houses IS exercise. Combine it with a couple of walks per week and I’m good.

I’ve been groupon’ing the crap out of life recently…

  • Pack of three deep-tissue massages for $99
  • Foot reflexology for $60
  • Acupuncture and chiropractic package

And…

  • Yoga Collective all you can eat online classes for $11.99 for one full year (normal price is $130)

This last one was a biggie. I would love to do regular classes where an instructor could interact with me, correct my positioning, et cetera. But that isn’t a reality for me and my weird jam-packed spinning plate schedule. If I’m not cleaning houses, homeschooling, running my dad to appointments, and caretaking – ugh – just listing it all out is exhausting.

I’ve looked at multiple yoga studios and none of them have the right classes at the right times in the right locations for me. So…the Yoga Collective it is.

I don’t like, want or enjoy drugs – legal or illegal – that medicate me or space me out or screw up my liver/kidney/heart. So I’m going back to basics – meditation, yoga, stress reducers.

I continue to work on eating healthier (more veggies! smaller portions!) and avoiding sweets. I hope, really, REALLY hope I can lose some weight. That will do so much towards reducing my pain and flexibility issues. I just know it.

Until then, you may hear less of me. Each change I make in my life/daily schedule has meant an adjustment period. Because, like it or not, I still have to earn a living, teach my kid, take care of that old guy living in my front parlor, and keep this house a’running.

And in the midst of all those spinning plates – the writing of books might still get to happen…eventually.

Posted in Challenges, Goals/Dreams, Health | Leave a comment

Hard Water and Soap Scum on Your Shower Walls?

For those of you who don’t know, I clean houses about four days per week. Just a cleaning a day. It pays the bills, I get some good exercise in, and most of them are just a few minutes away from my house.

I’ve been doing this for nearly twelve years now and even had my eldest daughter doing it until she decided she preferred an office job.

Ugh…office jobs. The only office I like being in is my own, writing books.

But that is a story for another day.

I have a client that I recently took over from the afore-mentioned eldest. I had cleaned their house once and scrubbed and scrubbed at these awful hard water and soap scum stains on their shower doors.

I’ll tell you, if I had any input on building products, I would immediately eradicate glass shower doors. Make those suckers opaque, because glass looks pretty only when a shower is never used. Otherwise, it has water marks, soap drips, the works.

When I cleaned it last, I scrubbed again at the water marks. They were a cloudy white and covering the lower half of the glass door and walls. Ugh!

But today I had an idea that I tried out and was absolutely amazed at how well it worked.

Baking soda and a scrubbie sponge. That’s it.

How I wish I had taken before pictures! But I never dreamed it would work so well. I just sprinkled the baking soda onto the scrubbie side of a sponge and got to work. A quick rinse and then a wipe down with a microfiber and this shower is looking MILES better.

I can’t wait to try it on another client’s house that has hard water stains. I hope it will have as much of an effect.

Meanwhile, I hope my clients from today’s cleaning like their sparkling shower!

Posted in Cleaning Tips, Green Living | Comments Off on Hard Water and Soap Scum on Your Shower Walls?

Financial Tip #2 – Get a Better Interest Rate With This Savings Account

Remember When…

I remember back in the 80s when you could actually MAKE a decent interest rate on your savings account. Not that I had any money I could put into savings then. I was poorer than a church mouse at the time!

That said, it almost makes me miss the good old days.

Now that we are in a position to save some money, I’ve been pegging a savings account at $500 per month. And while I absolutely LOVE Commerce Bank, their interest rates are laughably low.

I figured “at least I’m saving money, even if it isn’t earning me any interest” until I saw THIS tip on Penny Hoarder today.

Try Nearly Quintupling Your Savings

I clicked on the link and read through the details. There are no balance minimums or monthly fees. You are limited to six withdrawals in a month (but if you are saving money, you aren’t withdrawing money, you are depositing it, and there is no limit to that.

An online Goldman Sachs savings account that pays you nearly five times the going rate? Yes, I’ll take it!

I decided I wanted to deposit $500 and then deposit $500 each month thereafter.

Here is what their online interest calculator showed me…

That’s a total “income” of more than a month worth of savings!

The Five-Year Plan

I really should have titled this Financial Tip #2 AND #3. But then again, this is just an idea that I haven’t acted on yet, so here is the second half of my idea.

At the end of five years, I will have nearly $31,000 saved. I’m considering buying one of those tiny houses (check out some of them here) for around $35k, installing it on my property, and then renting it out as an Air B’nB.

I hope that, in five years, I will have made significant progress in:

  • Landscaping my yard into a blooming oasis
  • Finished the renovations on The Cottage and have it available as an Air B’nB
  • Have built my Air B’nB online reputation and ratings to earn a decent income

All of these will combine into a nice little landing pad for Air B’nB Number Two.

Say it takes an extra $5k in prep work, bringing it to a total of $40k. At a rate of $80 per night (and I think I could charge more), I would have my initial investment repaid within 500 nights of rental. Conservatively? Two, maybe 2 1/2 years. And if things rent out at a decent 50% occupancy rate, I would be looking at a monthly income of $1200 (possibly more).

But first, let’s get that $30k saved. Right?!

[Opening account…NOW]

Update on 5/21

I’ve had a little difficulty opening the account. I think it will take a call to their customer service department on Monday BUT I also checked my various savings accounts at Commerce and found out that the savings accounts are only earning .02% interest…compared to 1.05% at Goldman Sachs. Holy cow, that is a HUGE difference!

You know I’ll be calling their customer service line first thing on Monday to get this all worked out and start earning some of that 1.05% interest rate!

Posted in Financial Advice, Frugality | Comments Off on Financial Tip #2 – Get a Better Interest Rate With This Savings Account

Financial Tip #1 – Uninsured? Try These!

I think I will start a series of financial tips. These have worked out well for me and mine, and perhaps they can help you as well.

I’ll post them as I think of them.

Uninsured? You Are Not Alone

Health coverage is EXPENSIVE, folks. And if you are thinking that you are the only one without it, think again.

Right now our little family is without any coverage due to my husband’s change in jobs. I hope that will change in a few months, but I’m not holding my breath. The last job he had, his medical was paid 100%, but if he had added us on? It would have been $1,000-$1,200 per month.

Who can afford to pay 1/3 of their salary for medical coverage?

I mean, seriously, we complain about Europe having higher taxes, call some of their medical plans crap, but WE are the ones paying some of the highest amounts in drug prices, insurance and more.

So I, along with many others here in the U.S., do a little dance with the devil. We assess our health, hope it will continue to be good, and take our chances.

Here are some ways you can mitigate the risk…

Walgreens and Other Doc-in-a-Box Locales

Walgreens and/or CVS often have a registered nurse on staff in their minute clinics. Designed to handle very basic issues, I’ve had rather good luck with them, especially for sinusitis, poison ivy exposure, and ear infections.

They are not as good for internal issues. So keep that in mind.

Groupon for Dental? Who Knew?

As I was checking my email this morning, I ran across a Groupon for dental services. That’s rather brilliant!

Many folks do not know that you can (and should) negotiate dental care. By offering cash, you can often see a discount on services. But seeing this Groupon was a first for me, and rather brilliant, since I have not had a dental exam in over four years!

Dr. Guerschon de Laurent at Kansas City Dental is offering an exam, cleaning and x-rays for just $49 each. I bought two, one for me and one for Dave. The kiddo recently had a cleaning, exam, and even a filling so she is set.

As a bonus, I ran this through my Barclay Card Rewards portal and received 4x the points for every dollar I spent!

For those of you who are open to alternative, Eastern medicine, Groupon often has acupuncture services. You can often find yoga packages for sale as well.

Concierge Medical Care

Concierge medical care has been on the rise as of late. I love the concept and will probably invest in this if my husband’s new medical coverage is too expensive.

If you have never heard of it, KSHB recently ran a piece on it.

Concierge care is NOT considered a substitute for having medical insurance when filing your taxes (no tax break there at all) but is great if you are not as healthy as you would like to be and can’t afford one of the high deductible health care packages available through the Marketplace.

For $50-$125 per month, you get a basic annual health screening and usually unlimited office visits. In addition, you can get drastically reduced prescription medicine prices.

Check out some of these providers websites for more details:

And those are just a few.

One Last Thing

I didn’t mention vision care, did I? Well, that is an issue as well. A lesson I have learned all too well in the past two years as my perfect vision has degraded. I use reading glasses right now, but the time for prescription glasses is quickly approaching.

I will report back after I’ve done some research on it.

Stay tuned!

UPDATE: I decided to take the plunge and signed up for Concierge (also known as Direct Primary Care) Care with Kansas City Direct Primary Care. It will cost me just $65 per month and I added Emily on for another $15.

Let me say that again – for $80 per month, Emily and I have 24/7 access to a primary care doctor as well as unlimited office visits and more. If she or I have anything that requires treatment by a primary doctor, we can email, call or schedule an office visit – at no additional cost.*

*Lab fees and prescriptions cost extra, but they are far less than what you would pay at a pharmacy. More on that later.

I don’t anticipate needing that much health care. In other words, I could probably keep on dancing with the devil and hope for the best. But I’ll take this opportunity and run with it. It will take away the massive levels of stress I have when faced with the incidental illnesses that come with daily living and it also means I can begin to focus on my health more.

My initial appointment is set for later this month. It will be the first doctor I have seen in over four years. Stay tuned for updates!

Posted in Advocacy, Financial Advice, Frugality, Health | Comments Off on Financial Tip #1 – Uninsured? Try These!

I’ve Lost My Lease on My Rented Mule (and other stories)

Iris in bloom

I have mentioned it before, but when my husband was downsized, I gave him “the look” and told him I planned to work him like a rented mule until he had a new job.

True to form, I have done just that, before and after the eight-day vacation he took to San Francisco!

As soon as my dear husband and daughter returned from a glorious week in San Francisco, it was time to knuckle down. Especially since he had several possible employers nibbling at the hook!

While on vacation, sitting on a beach in SF no less, the hubs handled two phone interviews and then scheduled the 3rd interview for the day after he returned.

And, as of Wednesday, May 10th, my rented mule has returned to the IT world.

I came up with a list of “gotta do’s” and we set to work in the few days we had left. We got a lot accomplished. Come take a look!

First you lay down the tarp…

She Dreams of Pond

I have wanted a pond, a nice-sized one, since I began digging to China the first spring we were here. And that has created a small problem…a hole in the ground with a perimeter of broken brick does not easy mowing make.

And hold it in place with rocks…

So I bought some landscape fabric and got to work. By laying down the weed block and then piling on the mulch nice and thick, Dave will be able to mow right up to it easily. This will hold for a couple of seasons at most. Mulch breaks down and weeds eventually move in, but it will give us a break from the high weeds and define the space better.

With the mulch all in place…

If I have time, digging the pond out more (and removing all of the vegetation that has grown inside of it) would really make a difference. It’s hard to visualize from photos, they just don’t properly show the depth of the project!

I hope to have this pond up and running by next year sometime. This year if I’m really, really lucky (which definitely means next year!).

Why look, my $140 order of 100% DEAD plants came in from USA Nursery!

Mulch Boundaries

This free mulch is great for smothering grass and weeds. Especially if you put it on thick enough! This is allowing us to terraform our yard into something we will not only enjoy, but be able to garden in successfully. The creeping charlie plants have basically taken over what little grass there was and I look forward to smothering them under a foot of mulch.

Here in the front, the tight quarters meant for difficult maneuvers around plants, so adding mulch here was a top priority. As were the bases of all of our trees and bushes.

It’s looking better, and I want to do more, but the fence for the back of the property is a screaming priority. So for now, this mulch is all we are going to do. On to fence-building next!

I adore this columbine. It is so dark, almost black. It is GORGEOUS!

I Love Spring

Spring is hands down my favorite time of year. The birds sing happily, and there is a dizzying array of flowers to enjoy. Here is what is blooming in our yard right now…

Poppies getting ready to bloom!

Multiple lamb’s ear plants are thriving

Yellow flag water iris

In the foreground is a free plum tree we got from Anita B Gorman event the first year we were here. It is doing phenomenal! Next to it is a redbud determined to keep up.

Porch cat, a.k.a. Gray, is a kitty who has been coming around for months. He has finally trusted us enough to let us pet him. Strictly one or two short pets, otherwise you get the claws again!

An Art Project

And I’ve begun that art project I was describing a few posts back. The one that will be installed at The Cottage.

I’ve got a bunch of flat glass marbles on order, but if anyone has any to spare, please send them my way. I need all I can get!

For this project, I am painting the windows taken out of The Cottage with the same green as the outside paint.

After I have filled the open glass areas with flat glass marbles and attached them in place with E6000 glue, I will be mixing some epoxy and setting them in place behind a clear epoxy wall.

After that I will find some good outdoor chain, and attach it to the tops and bottoms of the windows and mount them in the open spaces above the porch handrail.

Stay tuned to see the finished product!

Posted in Garden Planning, Mulch, Ponds/Waterways | Comments Off on I’ve Lost My Lease on My Rented Mule (and other stories)

Rented Mules

The woodpile BEFORE we began

When Dave arrived home earlier than expected nine days ago, I took one look at his face and panicked. “I was downsized,” he said.

This was less than optimal, but at least the timing was good. My income has risen to almost the same as his net per month, so while we are on lockdown for expenditures, it isn’t a screaming “OMG, we are going to lose everything” panic situation. He has some great opportunities, awesome recommendations from his boss and co-workers, and several possible jobs already on the line.

Now that’s a LOT of wood! (p.s. We have AWESOME neighbors – thank you Kevin and Michelle for loaning us the truck!)

We were able to purchase two plane tickets for him and Em to fly to SF for a week, while I hold down the fort here with my dad. Dave hasn’t seen his parents in several years, so this was a wonderful opportunity to get it done now, since he had the time off.

I scheduled the flight and said, “Now, understand this, I intend to work you like a rented mule until you leave.”

I hope to clear this pond out further this spring and edge it with rocks and mulch to prevent more weeds from growing in and around it.

He has said since that rented mules are treated better.

Hmmm…

G’Bye Wood and Brush Piles

We are really lucky to live in a city that has a recycling center for free brush drop off as well as free mulch. We haven’t managed to round it ALL up yet, but we moved SIX truckloads of brush and logs off of our property on Saturday.

Through the weekdays, there is a charge for brush drop off. However, on Saturdays, as long as you can show a valid i.d. with an address here in Kansas City, you can drop off as much wood, brush, and leaves as you can haul to any one of three sites.

The upper part of the future pond. It really needs a lot of work!

You can also pick up free mulch (we found out the truck can hold approximately 1 1/2 cubic yards or three scoops) that is rather rough. They also have better quality mulch for just $16.95 a cubic yard.

I told Dave that morning, “Tell me when you have had enough, and that last load, we will empty it and then have them fill us up with mulch.”

Our turnaround time was around 45 minutes to load, drive to the place, and then unload. On the sixth (and last) trip Dave suggested stacking the wood upright in the bed of the truck. What a fantastic idea! One of us stood in the bed of the truck and the other handed up the wood. Most of the woodpile has been there for approximately 2-3 years, so the water weight was gone and the wood was (for the most part) light and easy to lift.

The hill/incline where I would like to put in another pond/waterfall. I think I could incorporate the tree stump somehow.

In one load we managed to eradicate over 3/4 of the woodpile!

Mulch, Mulch, and More Mulch

We were worn out, but not terribly sore on Sunday. Thank goodness, because we had a truck full of mulch to unload and spread!

It didn’t take us long to finish the planted area around Thing One’s stump and then encircle two of the remaining trees in the orchard area.

Perhaps something along these lines (clipped from Pinterest) for the incline fountain/waterfall.

We only had about 1/4 of the load left, so we hit the area in the front of the yard, where it becomes difficult to get a mower in and out of. Dave had mentioned this a couple of times and I think it will take two full loads to fully cover that portion of the yard so that we don’t have to squinch our way into tight spots.

I can also add more blooming plants to that area by simply pushing the mulch aside, adding a little soil and the plant.

The remaining wood in the woodpile was moved out and became the boundary line for my wildflower and hosta garden.

Think Wildflowers and Hostas

So, back to that woodpile. I figure I had one more load to go for it to be all cleared out. I figured that this spot would be great for a mix of partial shade-loving plants.

I sprinkled a bag of wildflower seeds throughout the cleared areas and then realized the remaining wood could be put along the edges, creating a boundary inside of which I could go ahead and start planting.

I dug up one hosta and added it to the garden. Spread little hosta! Make lots of baby hostas!

My front yard is an incubator of blooming plants. It is jam-packed full of goodies to dig up and move to other parts of the yard!

Ponds and Waterways

I don’t know how much I will get done on these projects, but I have multiple water/pond projects I want to see happen.

  1. The Big Kahuna – I don’t really call it that, but it is a huge project, so it seemed appropriate! This was partially dug the first year we were here and I just cleared the area of most of the treelings that were busy trying to grow in it. It will have a waterfall in the upper pond, a stream that winds around the base of the lilac and honeysuckle bushes, and then two lower pools with a tiny island and natural tree-root bridge.
  2. Multiple mini-fountains with solar powered pumps scattered through the property. At least two or three.
  3. Using the natural incline of the hill coming down from The Cottage back yard into our newly acquired lot (the one that connects The Cottage with our other five lots), I visualize a waterfall and pool at the bottom, surrounded by water iris.

Some of these projects are years out – but a girl can dream, right?!

Meanwhile, things are really shaping up in our little piece of urban paradise!

Posted in DIY, Garden Diary, Garden Planning, Mulch | 2 Comments