Sunday, March 28, 2010

Finished Rain Garden

So except for flowers that aren't in season yet (black eyed susans, etc) the rain garden (all the hard work!) is finished.
Some before and after for ya:

What the left side of the yard looked like a year ago...

Now, the fence is up, and the entire left side of the yard is a rain garden to help with the run off you see from the house in the "old picture.

In this old picture I wasn't sure where the property line was and there was a lot of crap/debris on the property line. That all got cleared out, the swing got put in, and the raised beds all got moved over to the side
In the corner is a cherry tree and an indian hawthorne, along with my new favorite thing- the doggie composter

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What to do, what to do?

There has been a dearth of me posting lately (not that anyone appears to have noticed :-) mainly because I'm not a negative person by nature, and it seems that everything I have to comment on lately has been negative, or things that would get me in trouble, or both.
I've been thinking a lot about what you do when you seem to be in an untenable situation. Where there just doesn't seem to be a way out of the rut you're in. I've been just trying to get through my week: grad class, teaching, grading, planning to get to the weekend. I've tried to channel my energy towards playing in the dirt and with Nehi. I've managed to get the front bed put in, the border mulch finished, the rain garden finished, trees planted. It looks great, and as soon as I replace my camera, I'll take pictures and post them. Now, we move onto the list of smaller things, but still things to keep me busy.
But that just seems to cover two days out of five. I still don't have an answer for how I get through everything else.
I partly blame my hippie mother. I think it would be easier if I could look at things, see that they aren't right and just shrug and let it go. But I wasn't raised that way. I was raised to raise my voice, point out what was wrong and scream at the top of my lungs if necessary that there are better ways to do it. Not something endearing me to anyone these days. All of this is probably why I don't do well with politics, that seems to be arena where you are expected to do the former and shove the people who do the latter into deep, dark holes where they are never heard from again.
So, what to do, what to do?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tax money and the to do list

Federal tax money came in this week. And it immediately led my eye to the to do list for the house. What could I afford to do now? What did I need to sock money aside for? So here's the potential list...

$400-renew home warranties (because if I don't, the water heater will break. Thanks Murphy!)
$150-finish mulching yard border
$300-buy plants for rain garden and mulch (although I was told this week that I can apply for a grant for this, so maybe this should go a little further down the list)
$3000?-put money aside for tiling this summer (this also requires me to start getting quotes on how much it will cost)
$75-buy a maple tree to plant in the front yard celebrating one year in the house
$600-get built in shelves built around the bar
$50-blinds in the bedroom. The curtains are pretty, but block all sunlight- yuck
$200-rain barrels (the North Carolina Coastal Federation has them for sale, but I need to see if I can't just find 50 gallon plastic barrels. The design isn't much different from the dry ice machine and I did 4 of those!)
$75-build Nehi a sandbox and train her to dig there and not all over the yard

Later this spring: Once county supplement comes in?
-replace vent seals
-repair screens
-side fencing for climbing plants
-seed the yard (it's turning out to be a little difficult to find White Dutch Clover seeds...)

Most are smallish projects and I'm hoping to try and get one done a weekend. The bigger ones I have to prioritize. Tiling while we're gone this summer is at the top of the list and if all the price quotes are too high and I can't do it this summer, then that frees up some of that to get smaller projects done. I really hope I can afford it though, because it will be infinitely easier to do while we're gone versus having to go stay somewhere while it's done.

Well, the sun's out and I have to go teach Saturday school, so the to do list will have to wait a bit....