Thursday, October 30, 2008

So many projects... little time! It always seems that there just aren't enough hours in the day for everything that I'd like to do. That's become incredibly apparent lately with these gorgeous, sunny, crisp fall days just calling my name, but only having an hour or two after work to enjoy them before it gets dark. It's torture I tell you! It's just not possible to squeeze chores, yard maintenance, yard/property projects and riding ponies into the small window of time that I have outside while it's light out. Something has to give, and lately it's been my pony time.

Generally speaking, giving up pony time is not a good thing. Riding horses is my therapy! Both mental and physical. It keeps me sane, relieves stress and makes up for the 8+ hours a day I spend sitting in a chair slouched over. My back can always tell when I don't ride. It starts screaming at me sooner or later if I'm slacking. It needs the exercise and balance of sitting up straight and working the horses to make up for my awful posture at work and the hour and a half minimum that I spend in my truck every working day. Luckily being on a drill team with weekly practices gets me on my horse for a good, solid two hours one night a week. No matter how much I whine and complain when it's time to leave for practice, I always feel 100% better when it's done. There is just no therapy quite like riding a horse.

The last couple of weeks I've been having tons of fun working on yard and house projects, so I've hardly had time to miss riding. Atleast not too much. I've been suddenly inspired to tackle a few projects outside before the weather turns for the year and it's been a lot of fun. We have 4.3 acres, most of which was wooded when we bought the house. There are some very odd flower beds around the house, garage and gate. The one by the garage had a lovely (at one time I'm sure) huge rose bush that was very, very dead and had the most evil thorns every where on it. That little flower bed area also had a huge, mostly dead shrubby thing. I believe my friend told me it was Juniper? Not sure, I don't know plant names. It was also prickly and evil. I decided to tackle that project one sunny weekend day while the boyfriend was off hunting for Bambi.

Unfortunately, I didn't take "before" pictures of it with the dead stuff still there, but here is what it looked like after I yanked all the crappy old dead stuff out (ok, more like waged a war against their prickly evil-ness), except the big root for the shrubby thing (don't you just love all the technical terms?) that I could not get out of the ground to save my life! The previous owners also put plastic or fabric EVERYWHERE! It has been a huge PITA (pain in the a$$) and doesn't seem to do much of anything in the way of actually keeping weeds down. The little fence was the border with the mostly dead shrub thing growing thru it and just looking gross.

I had planned to do paver blocks every where around the house. Bordering all the flower bed areas and making for a very nice look. I knew that would be some time in the future, like maybe after we win the lottery or something, since paver blocks and a nice yard just aren't at the top of the list of projects to pay for. I kept dreaming about it though, trying to picture what it will look like someday. Then one sunny Sunday I woke up and thought, rocks! I'll use rocks! Duh! We are VERY successful rock farmers since we cleared the property and I need to pick them out of the turn out area and arena anyways. Best of all they are FREE so why not kill like 5 birds with one stone?!

I like the overall look of the rock border, but I do realize that this was my first attempt and it does need some help. I have also decided that I need to fill it with some more dirt, bring it up level with the concrete, and raise the edge of the border a little bit more. I planted a couple tulip bulbs in there, but that's about it for a while. As I've mentioned, flower beds aren't at the top of the projects to pay for list. Any money we spend on things like flowers and plants, is that much less money that we have to spend on things like arena footing, stalls or our tack room. Those are definately priorities for me.

Eventually, I'd like to have some sort of tree or taller, not evil shrub against the building that will take up some of that empty wall space. Then I would like to find some sort of ground cover that is colorful and fun, but also low maintenance. I like things that bloom and I love having lots of color around the house, but I don't like yard work or things that are high maintenance. It takes away from my pony time. The name of the game for me when it comes to gardening and yard work is low maintenance!

So that was the first project that I have tackled and finished. It is very minor considering all that I have to do still, but it's a start! This is my next project. It's a strange little "flower bed" area, minus the flowers I guess, that seems to be centered around the lamp post and over all sorts of interesting, random things that I assume is wiring and stuff for the gate and lights at the entrance or may have been part of the gate at some point. I've already made a lot of progress on it, but I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to finish it before I run out of nice weather. Fingers crossed!

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