Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My new yard.

About 6 months ago we moved to a new home.  We were miserable in the old place and consequently decided not to further enhance our landscaping.  (This was after some improvements we made were destroyed by the local trash.)

Our new house has us excited to make it a home.  There are many ideas I have, but things will need to be carefully thought out.  Our yard is already nicely landscaped and not very big.  But there are things we need from it and other things we want from it.

Here is an overview of my ideal backyard.
    1) Patio area for sitting/entertaining.  (Check)
    2) Grill area. (Check.  There are actually two.  One lovely, raised, blocked area, that happens to be 15 feet from the barbecue stub.  Which is located two feet from a beautiful, established plant.)
    3) Grassy, Squiggle-play zone.  Ideally big enough for a swing or sandbox or something. (Half-check. There is grass, just not a lot.  Choices must be made.)
    4) Turtle pen.  For our desert tortoises.  (Check.  Being built as I type.  Carved out of a large chunk of our small backyard.)
    5) Garden.  (______.  Not yet.  There is a small area I could make into a small garden.  I'm not sure how much I could plant, or if it would be worth the time and expense of building the frame, filling it with dirt, rigging up the irrigation...  I'm sure you get the point.  But I love the idea of fresh, healthy, cheap food.)
    6) Fruit trees, berry bushes, herbs, rhubarb, asparagus, strawberries, etc.  Edible perennials. (______.  Nope.  There are some dead plants in front I could replace with such items.  But then they would be in the front yard.  Where anyone could help themselves.  I used to be a child, I know that bright red berries are nearly irresistible.  Not to sound selfish, but if I'm putting in the time and money, I want my family to reap the benefits.  The back yard may fit three shrubs and a couple of small plants.  Decision time again.)
    7) Rose bushes.  (______.  This is actually doable, I think.  There is one spot in each of the turtle pens with a water drip.  I could fit the one rose bush in each.  Turtles like roses, but I doubt they would be able to destroy the bushes themselves.  This is one I have hope for.)
    8) Feeders for wild, non-pigeon birds and hummingbirds.  And maybe a bird house.  (______.  Again, doable.  I'd have to get poles they could hang from, but the established trees and shrubs would make a good environment for them.)

The problem will be in choosing which ideas to pursue and which to abandon.  The time and expense involved makes careful planning essential.  I'm not sure how many years this will take me.  In my present condition I can barely decide my next meal, much less master plan my property.  But I am determined to get it done.  Someday.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

As They Grow...SALE! (Las Vegas)

Way back in high school I took a family planning class.  One of the things we had to do was plan for having a baby.  Back then, I couldn't believe how much baby stuff was needed, and how much it all cost.  It always irked me that items used for such a small period of time would be that expensive.

Fast forward ?? years and I have a beautiful new baby.  Naturally I found myself staring those expenses right in the eye.  Garage sales and such are a very hit-or-miss way to go, and many second-hand shops are, well, sub-optimal.  Enter As They Grow...

This sale is wonderful.  It is unique.  All the items are sold on consignment.  Basically anyone with children's items can register and sell them for extra cash.  No dealing with store credit or trades or anything else like many consignment shops do.  The sellers choose how much to sell their items for.  (There is a pricing guide available for those who have no idea what fair market value is.)  Then, thousands of shoppers (like me) come and buy what we need.

This sale is a great place to find almost anything you might find yourself needing.  And it is a win-win.  Sellers get back some of their initial investment and buyers get what they need at a fraction of the cost.  If you can hold yourself off ling enough, and don't mind searching through the leavings, Sunday has many things at half price.  Again it is up to the seller to decide to participate, but most seem to.  While all the eye-catching stuff may be gone, there are still many great deals left, especially in clothing.
Now the bad news, this sale is so huge it only takes place twice a year.  So here is the pertinent info:

March 18-20, 2011
2251 N. Rainbow Blvd.
(NW corner of Lake Mead & Rainbow, just off the 95)
I hope to see you there.