yard work has been my nemesis

Jun 21, 2013

I am on a mission to spruce up my yard with VERY little dollars and just a wee bit of energy. Does that sound like an impossible mission? Well, it kind of is, which is why my yard is in the state it is in. Hmmm, not exactly true either…here are the real reasons:

  • I don’t know how to grow anything. Plants, grass, vegetables, trees, etc. are all on my I-have-no-clue-how-to-make-them-grow list.
  • I have never been interested in yard work. A book to read, a child to snuggle with, or a project to tackle have ALWAYS been much, much more interesting.
  • Our budget has been so incredibly tight since 2007 (my, oh my, has it been six years? How on earth have we made it? Oh yes, I remember we haven’t made it on earth, heaven has sent help after help after help!) that yard stuff never makes it on to the priority list. I haven’t been able to justify spending $100 on plants or fertilizer or weed killer (none of which I have ever used befor – I don’t want to use chemicals on my yard and we were never in a house long enough before that our non-chemical ways had much impact) or grass seed or cement or pavers or anything really.
  • Richard works from long before sun-up to long after sun-down ten months out of the year. He is simply not here to do yard work. I get him for a few Saturdays a year and in those three or four days every project that has needed to be done for the past ten months has to get done. There is simply not enough time for him to do the big work that needs done.
  • I have a few perfectionistic tendencies…if I can’t do it how I want then I don’t do anything at all. It is incredibly unsatisfying to work hard on a project that has no hope of turning out the way I see it in my mind because of a lack of skills or funds or knowledge.
  • It isn’t really important to me.

Soooo, it has been neglected. And it looks awful. The grass is almost non-existant. The weeds seem to grow up to my knees every other day. The fence is broken. There is nowhere for all our bikes to go. Every June the cotton fills every square inch of our property for weeks at a time. Our road is bumpy as all get-out. The sprinklers are broken. The main line leaks into the basement, so we had to shut the whole system off. The only similarity our dirt has to soil is the brownish color of it when it is wet – otherwise it is better known as cement. We can dig down about 1/16 of an inch before breaking a shovel and yes, we have broken several. Our front flower bed is atrocious and needs cemented in because anything that is put there is blanketed with sticky cotton seeds that WILL NOT leave even in a gale force wind.

I still don’t have any funds to contribute to this yard sprucing up project. Nor do I have much time. But I have been thinking of small things I could do that will make a difference.

So, the first thing I need to do is make the hour long drive out to the dump and empty the garbage pile from our utility trailer. Then I need to figure out a bike solution. The children ride them constantly and we have no where to put them because our garage is one more disaster land (maybe the garage should be my first project…but again, I can’t do it without Richard…hmmm). Then sweep the front cement and make it look a tad bit more presentable out there. Then in the yard itself I have great desires to make it more usable. I would like to eat outside (but not on our flaming-hot deck) and spend time around a campfire. Tonight I am buying an old, worn out picnic table for $15 from a garage sale a friend is holding to raise money for her son’s eye surgery. Then I will learn how to sand it and stain it and it will be good as new, right? My hope is to put it out under the trees in the shade and then eat out there every night for the rest of the summer. Then I will spend some time weeding, see if I can figure out any other solution for the front flower bed, put the screens back on all the windows, and save up my pennies to buy some grass seed at the end of the season.

It isn’t much, but it is all I can do at the moment. This is not my forte. It is not even my close to my forte. It is one of my greatest weaknesses and the unfortunate thing is it is so glaringly obvious to every person who comes to our home. I always hope our guests will overlook the whole yard thing and just enjoy our delicious conversations.

Allrighty then. I have put it out there for public consumption. Now I am accountable, right? I will try to remember to take before and after pictures of the picnic table project – it will be my first time painting/staining anything and I wish I had my mama here to hold my hand, but I am determined to put my big girl panties on and tackle this project head on.

I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.

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  1. Kate

    You can do it!

    • tracy

      Well, after helping your mama this morning, walking around handing out flyers for the Tribute, and coming home and weeding my fence line and sweeping the cement, I started shaking, my feet turned blue, my hands turned red, and now I am lying down.

      I hate this. I was doing so fabulous this morning…and now, I am not. Now my nerves are firing like crazy, my heart is racing, and my body is multi-colored. I just want to be able to do a little bit of work without falling apart!

  2. Joy

    Tracy, your yard is not that bad. My yard is. We were about in the same situation (almost no grass exist) so we had to call a company (Tree Green). Anyway, it was expensive and they did a really good job…and you know what happened? We just never have time to mow so we get to mow the lawn once a month…haha you can imagine my yard. It looks very nice for a week right after the mowing…and that’s it..the rest of the month is pretty tall grasses. So we were reading a book – Little House on the Prairie and the kids were asking what is “prairie” so I answered that it’s looks like our yard and just little taller grasses and bigger land. Haha.

  3. This is a great plan Tracy! You can totally do it! Totally! One thousand steps starts with one.


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