Tag Archives: outdoors

2015 Great Summer Purge and Clean: Yard Work

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At the same time that I am working on a new zone each week….I am working on a section of my yard every week…in 15min a day because it’s too flippin HOT to do any more (plus I seriously hate yard work, but I can talk myself into just doing 15min.)

Yes, I really am being THAT industrious. We are NOT yard people. We hate yard work, we don’t do anything until things look bad….and things look pretty bad around here so I am putting some work in to make a difference around here this summer while I actually have the time.

So the first week I was working on this flower bed in the front of our Big Room:IMG_5607.JPGYes that really is the front of our house, unfinished. Don’t ask how long that’s looked like that…it’s a sore subject. But money is the problem there, since we don’t have the experience to complete it ourselves.

ANYWAY, the flower bed…..it was much worse….I forgot to take a pic before I started…it was much more overgrown on the right and left sides, but I had already started clearing those sides when I remembered to take a pic.

This used to be a beautiful memorial garden to our stillborn son, Baelin….long story as to how it got to this state…it didn’t start out as neglect, we had to let it go at one point, but I digress…  I want to make it beautiful again. First step: clear out the out of control mint and weeds.

Here’s how the week went:

And it’s cleared out!! YAY! My next plan is to put down cardboard and mulch to keep the weeds from coming back…until I’m ready to replant in the fall.

Next up, the flower bed over by the front door….

Again (DOH!) I forgot a before pic…so the part closest to me was a big patch of tall Bermuda grass initially, around the spigot, so it was a lot more work than it looks. Holy cow, this bed was a lot more work and in sun a lot more.

The next thing I need to do with this bed is to rebuild the brick wall…it used to be twice as wide and we cut it in half because it was just ridiculously big. A massive weed patch right by our front door. We poured a concrete frame to put the bricks on and never actually put the bricks back. So I am going to be researching how to lay bricks and do a little a day once I get past the rest of the weeds in the front of my house…but first….

I have all these weeds and Bermuda still to deal with…..

So I’m working my way through….15min a day, most days (sometimes things come up that make it not work out)….and I’m out there with my hula hoe in the searing heat, early in the morning (it’s triple digits out here all summer so I have to get out there before 10am if it’s going to be below 90 degrees.)

Here’s my latest accomplishments:

IMG_5763.JPG
That fence is cleared!

IMG_5796.JPGThis space is mostly weed-free now (that darn Bermuda is HARD to pull out!!)

Next I have to figure out what I’m going to put here, since we cannot afford to have concrete poured (which is what we’d really like.)  Looking into some sort of pavers or something inexpensive and easy to do ourselves like that. Just want it to not look ugly and must keep the weeds out.

So that’s what I’ve been able to accomplish in 15min a day in the past 4 weeks….I’m pretty proud of myself!

Wonder what I can accomplish in the next few weeks. At some point I may poop out…it’s getting hotter and hotter….so I’m trying to get out there as early as I can stand (NOT a morning person), and trying to tackle the stuff that bug me the most out there first…so when I inevitably do run out of the enthusiasm for this work I can have accomplished the most important stuff and our house can look greatly improved from the front. Especially since we have a birthday party coming up in July, so we’ll have a lot of people over then.

But until I lose steam, I’m going full boar and getting as much of this done as I can! I’ve learned to ride my wild donkeys while I got them!!

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BOOK REVIEW: The Outside Play and Learning Book

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This one really came in handy for that outside play time when you just want to add a little structure to it! Some great activities for preschoolers! It’s sectioned into themes, like “The Wonderful World of Make-Believe,” “Wheels, Wheels, Wheels,” “Dig It-Things to do with Sand & Mud,” & much more! And each activity tells what age its appropriate for as well as what materials are needed, what to do, what to do for more, and what they can learn from the activity.

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BOOK REVIEW: Sharing Nature With Children

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This is a fantastic book to get ideas for activities to do with children, to teach an appreciation of nature. I’ve used some of these activities while teaching…but they are designed also for parents.

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BOOK REVIEW: Sharing the Joy of Nature: Nature Activities for All Ages

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This book appears to be out-of-print. But it’s still possible to sometimes find used copies…The activities in Cornell’s books are just NEAT! I have used quite a lot of Mr. Cornell’s activities & they are great even with attitude-driven 6th graders! If you love nature, as I do, check this out for some new ideas.

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outdoor hour challenge & music ideas

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well i’m still stumbling along…but haven’t found time to blog…sorry…i’ll get back to it, i really want to be better at keeping track of things here.

but right now i wanted to post about this thing i discovered on another blog, the “outdoor hour challenge.” i am going to be starting this with my kids…since i’ve not found time to organize anything science related. i’ve not found time for a lot of things. but maeven continues to learn…and read read read…she’s whizzing through chapter books now! so time is not wasted. and life is a learning experience…and she finds her own projects to do all the time. i’m very proud of her!

anyway, i really like the idea of this outdoor hour challenge…and on another site there is a “sketch tuesday” that i’m going to start with maeve as well. here’s the latest sketch tuesday challenge. maeven will really get into this sort of thing, i think. and more art for her! (which is totally her thing)…and i am finding all sorts of ideas like this on other people’s blogs…i just have to get organized and plan them for maeve.

this got me to thinking that i would like to do something here on this blog. there’s one thing i’ve yet to find anywhere (didn’t really look though, but don’t need to)…something to help us learn new songs regularly. i know a TON of songs…with my background in preschool, my head is crammed full of them! and i continue to collect kids’ music cds, and review them on my website. i’m way behind, though…there’s a ton that i need to add.

anyway, i’m thinking of starting a song-of-the-week. for my own kids to learn, and i’ll post here so others can benefit as well. i think learning one singable song a week is a good way to start adding a bunch of music to our day. i will start compiling a list of what i want to teach them…i have so many to choose from! and i want them to be songs that can be sung without the cd. “singable songs” (will draw some from raffi, hehe)…but right now i need to go shower and get some stuff done around here. and i have a thing to writeup to take to my first discovery center board meeting tonite. (they asked me to join! i’m so excited!) i’m proposing a children’s concert to benefit TDC. got a lot of info about it already and i’ll just have to organize all that. goodness but i have so many things i’m working on!!

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