Tuesday, June 10, 2014

book review

Have you heard of this book?

I really like this book!

I find myself getting tired of companies telling me what I should like, what I should buy, what I need to be successful and how I should live. Do you ever feel that way?

In down sizing our home, we kind of went against the "American Dream" norm. But we are loving having less mortgage, less stuff to maintain, less stuff to clean, more time for things we would rather do (Yes - some of those things are remodeling this small house - But we like doing that!), more opportunities for serving, and more time for people. 

I love learning about the world we live in.

Before we bought the small house, we were already on our way to minimizing. We just had way too much stuff! All that stuff really weighed us down, with no joy attached to it. That is no fun at all.

Even now, we try hard not to keep buying more stuff, and we regularly reevaluate what we decide to keep. Of course, we are still purchasing things. Of course, we keep things we really have no need for (and we don't love it either). And of course, this sometimes makes me crazy.

But being aware of purchases helps a ton! And that's where this book comes in. I learned so much about how we are encouraged, enticed and tricked into buying stuff. Knowing how that works makes it so much easier to buy the things you want or need and ignore the rest. You get to shop on purpose and not get suckered into buying stuff you never intended, just because someone else wants your money.

It's a fun book to read - easy and funny and really good eye-opening information. You should totally read it!

Oh, I would loan you mine, but I borrowed it from the library.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

back yard

I like having a back yard. Really I do. 

But I really do not like yard work. Not in the yard either for that matter.

I know some people love it. My next door neighbor is one of those people. She is working on her yard all. the. time. And her yard is beautiful, with lush green grass, colorful flowers and fun yard art in the design on critters, flags and light up things (which our grandson Jett just loves).

The following is not anything like our neighbor's yard. Just sayin.

There is so much to do in this yard, it is crazy. Let me show you -

This is along the back fence. These bushes were most likely planted around 1960 by Hero's parents. They have lived a long a fruitful life. But their age has been starting to show for a while now.

And the grass weeds. Just lovely. 

There is actually grass in most of the yard, just not here. Even if it is green, do not be fooled.

Looking at the south/west corner. First, more bushes, with a few bare spots. (Hero actually transplanted one of the smaller bushes removed along the back to this spot. Here's hoping it lives.) This line of bushes is actually in pretty good shape, so they will stay. They just need a little trimming.

And then there is the shed. This has to be the ugliest shed on the planet. Ugh. It is one of old those sheet metal situations with the awful squeaky doors when they are slid open. And to top it off, this thing sits on a plywood floor - No foundation. Last year Hero had to tilt the thing on it's side because he saw a possum run behind it. Yikes! He got the whole thing cleaned out and secured it the best he could without pouring cement. Seriously, every time I had to get something out of the shed, I would kick the side to make sure nothing jumped out at me.

Hero tied a come-along to this evergreen and pulled all the bushes out one by one. Fortunately, even those things were like a million years old, they didn't have very deep root balls. They popped right out. 

(For the record, I say they came right out, because Hero did all this while I was at work. I came home and they were all laying on the ground. Easy!)

See the roots? No big deal. (And there is some of our grass!)

Looking toward the northwest corner. A long line of no bushes. Yay!

Oh, wait. There is one bush left. Hero left it there because it is different than all the rest. It has little pink flowers on it. Hero wanted to save it in case we could use it somewhere else. We couldn't, so it also got pulled.

When I got home, I helped out in a very important way. I got Hero a Slurpee. Boy, was I needing a break after that.

We weren't entirely sure what size arborvitaes we were going to plant along the back as we didn't want to spend a ton on them, but we didn't want little tiny twigs. But, I found these 2 footers for $3! We needed 17 of them, so we saved a bunch over the next price range we were looking at that were around $10-12 each.

So we are good with small. They will grow.

Another lovely shot of our shed. Ugh. Even looking at the photos, I get a little shaky.

And here is the new shed. Oh, it so glorious and not metal and not on icky old plywood and not squeaky and loud and not ugly. And not hiding any critters.

Looks like we might be on our way to having a yard like the neighbors.

Or not so much. But it is a big improvement already.

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