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.


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!

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2 Responses to Rented Mules

  1. Casie says:

    I’m really sorry to hear he lost his job. 🙁

    • Christine says:

      It all works out. He starts in just two days with a new job paying more money. Hooray!

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