Tag Archives: yard

“When Life Gives You Lemons, Make a Woodpile”

“When life gives you lemons, make a woodpile,” were the wise, tired, work-riddled words out of my husband’s mouth after a long, long day of yardwork.

Due to a few freak weather incidents this fall, we have gotten slammed with yardwork the last several months.

Call me naive (or just oblivious), but when we bought this house I was so focused on the work INSIDE the house I totally forgot about all the work on the OUTSIDE. Maybe that’s why I’ve had so few exciting house updates to share with you.

We don’t have a light in our kitchen because we’ve been too busy buying axes and chainsaws and leafblowers and snowblowers.

Yep. Man tools. They really eat into that superfluous decorating budget for lampshades and curtains.

I must admit, I love using our leafblower. It’s soothingly therapeutic. I believe I listened to Miranda Lambert on repeat for 7 hours on Sunday afternoon while cleaning up our lawn. And the best part about using the leafblower is that I can sing to Miranda Lambert at the top of my lungs and no one can hear me. Not even myself. I just look like a crazy gal to everyone driving by.

Back to those lemons.

I shared with you back in July that we had a large tree get struck my lightening.

Then came Hurricane Irene in late August which stirred up a lot of brush and took down limbs.

Since then we’ve also had 4 large (dead) trees taken down (for safety reasons) by professional tree removers. But, because we’re cheap (can I say financially selective?) we had them leave the trunks for us to deal with ourselves.

And then came the freakozoid Halloween Thundersnow (yes, we got a foot of snow the day before Halloween).

Because the snow was so heavy and the leaves were all still on the trees, a lot of the trees cracked. We lost two more trees and boatloads of large limbs.

Basically, our yard looked like a lumberyard with a Slurpee brain freeze.

Oh, and did I mention we’re getting our driveway replaced? So we’ve got a VW Beetle sized pile of dirt in our backyard and a dirt pit for a driveway.

Lemons, lemons. Our yard was a big bowl of lemonade.

Back to my Miranda Lambert induced yardwork coma.

This weekend we rented a log splitter. Not only do we enjoy the occasional fire, but we also plan on heating our house on a wood-burning fireplace in the future. And boy oh boy, did we, errr Moose, split logs. I think that machine ran for 14 hours straight.

And we turned our lemons into wood piles! That is for sure!

Why yes, the entire underside of our deck is a big pile of logs. Why not?

As you can see in Pile #3, we still have a bit more to chop up and then we’ll need to stack it all.

Hopefully by next weekend our yard will be lumberyard-free!

Where the Sidewalk Ends

This is our pitiful walkway to our home.

Some people like to have a grand entrance. A paved sidewalk flanked with ambient lighting and marble lions.

Not our house.

We have pebbly pink brick balance beam that barely fit both my size 7 flip flops down the lane.

But not anymore!

We ripped up the old bricks (of which some I was able to sell on Craig’s list!) and shoveled out the grass for the new width of our sidewalk.

Then we (HAH, and when I am saying “we” all of these times, I really mine my strong hubby) spread out leveling sand. We used Kolorscape Leveling Sand and used 4 bags for an area about 15 feet long and three feet wide.

Then we tamped down the leveling sand. My shoulders hurt just watching him tamp everything. Yikes.

Then we started to lay down the stones. Instead of getting pavers, Moose found these squares that look like multiple stones pieced together.

Less work and less expensive!

To keep everything tight and in place, we nailed a few of these sidewalk tracks into the ground.

Then we covered them up with dirt.

And voila! New sidewalk!

We got this awesome huge hernia-inducing rock piece in our backyard and Moose and another hulky friend moved it to the front yard.

(By the way, now is the time to buy your spring planters! I just got the one you see above and a second one for 70% off at HomeGoods.)

Hopefully the trick-o-treaters won’t be scared off now.

Happy Weekend!

Creepy Crawlies

I was a weird kid.

After it rained I would “save” all the worms that crawled on to the driveway by putting them back on the lawn. I am not afraid of earthworms.

(By the way, did anyone else play the computer game Earthworm Jim? I still have the CD.)

I am, however, afraid of snakes. Okay, not just afraid. A-man-with-a-rusty-chainsaw-is-chasing-me afraid.

Today, I discovered, I am also afraid of earthworms the size of snakes.

You see, our backyard is an earthworm haven. A previous resident was quite the gardener, so they have been welcomed, nurtured and undisturbed for quite a long time.

Today I was raking and, because I was disturbing their homes, they were wiggling all over the place. And they wiggle fast.

I didn’t take a picture because I was too busy crying in the corner. And I’m not going to post a picture because just looking at the Google image search results for “huge earthworms” gives me the heebie jeebies.

This leads us to another worm-related topic of the day.

Today we bought a compost tumbler! (Specifically the Lifetime Compost Tumbler at Costco.)

I have been wanting to compost for a while but our previous living situation wasn’t conducive to composting.

There were a few reasons we decided to purchase a tumbler (as opposed to make one on the cheap). Tumblers help turn over the contents to compost more quickly. They also save you time, as you only need to turn the tumbler over for a minute or so every day instead of getting out a shovel and manually stirring up your compost pile.

Lastly, moisture and odor are kept inside the bin, instead of the pleasant scent wafting around our yard. This will also keep animals away.

Composting will be a great help for our vegetable garden we hope to plant next spring (our yard is still in a state of disrepair) and will also help big time with our trash situation. Instead of having a garbage pick-up, we need to take our garbage to the town dump. Not having to transport all that decomposing material will help a lot!

I should mention, we will not be using this to compost leaves and sticks. We have a corner of our woods where we compost those. This compost tumbler will be for food-related waste.

I have been doing some research and stumbled upon many things I didn’t realize you could compost:

  1. Toothpicks
  2. Wine Corks
  3. Old loofahs
  4. Egg cartons
  5. Dryer Lint
  6. Vacuum Contents
  7. Old Matches
  8. Fireplace Ashes
  9. Hair
  10. Party Streamers

We shall see how this adventure goes!

Does anyone have any composting advice?