May has turned out to be one of my busy months yet again. We had a week and a half lost to selling and putting back livestock, I was sick and then diagnostics on Dad show that his back surgery from a year ago has already collapsed and his nerves are once again being pinched and compressed.
Upcoming surgeries abound for his back and my own oral surgery. I’ve been putting mine off for six months and now that my doctor has added Xanax to my Lexapro I feel I may be able to combat what dad calls White Coat Syndrome and get this done.
Bonnie needs to go to the vet and the newest stray I acquired needs to be checked out as well before she can join us indoors. All of those things took away from my intent to reclaim my yard but although I failed to complete it, I will share what I have managed to do.
First of all, I bought my grill. It is a dual fuel half gas/half charcoal/wood with a separate burner. I have seen these grills priced at 350 dollars and I consider myself lucky to get mine on sale and coming in just under 300. Sure I could have gotten a cheaper one at 25 bucks but living in the country and having survived long periods of time with no electricity and no way to cook, this is a necessary expenditure.
That brings my working budget on the outdoor reclamation down to 450 left. 100 of that went to a premade compost barrel. I have larger areas where we compost other things for the farm and garden but I wanted something I could use to maintain my house plants and my private picking garden.
Speaking of which, that is another thing that I have partially accomplished. Half of the use-to-be strawberry beds have been converted into what I call a pico de gallo bed with tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and green onions. The other half of the bed will be a stir-fry bed. I’m not sure if I will plant Japanese eggplant or just good old fashioned yellow squash and zucchini in it. There is just something cool about picking things fresh from the garden after watching it grow and planning the menu around it. These plants cost me nothing, they were grown by us as seeds and were ‘pinched’ from the larger 4 acres of gardens we have.
The only flowers I have bought are two blue hydrangeas that I think will be planted in front of my kitchen window since I don’t have anything else prepped. They ran me 10 bucks a piece so my total budget is now down to 330 dollars remaining.
My next big expense and the one that will decimate the budget no matter at what point it comes will be the patio area. I personally want to use paving stones since I hope at some point I’ll get the balcony and outside stairs completed but Dad is pushing for concrete, even if I do it myself.
That means that this is the point in the project that I sit down with the numbers and the plans and do a pro/con on each. If I make my own concrete (country living affords me access to sand and small rock) I might be able to swing the more substantial and equity boosting alternative. Like I said I just need to think on it more…and I will.
Till Next Time…