Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Than $200 Worth Free!

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving.  I spent mine with a friend and her big family - lots of food, people, kids and confusion - just the way Thanksgiving is supposed to be.

Rockie lives in a nice neighborhood in town with big oak trees, pine trees and well manicured lawns - just the opposite of where I live.  When I left her house, I passed a couple of houses where the owners had raked tons and tons of leaves and pine needles (referred to as pine straw in the south) to the curb for the city to suck up in their ginormous vacuum cleaners.  Well, always keeping an eye out for something that I can use I drove back the next day and knocked on the stranger's door and asked permission to haul his pine straw away.  He looked at me like I was nuts but said "sure".  His little girls asked me if I was from the city and I told them no.  Then they asked me what I was going to do with all the pine straw and I told them I was going to put it in my yard.  Now don't you know they thought I was crazy too?  After all, I'm betting they had to help their daddy rake all that stuff to the street and why in the world would somebody want to put it in their yard?!?

It took me multiple trips Friday to stuff as much of the pine straw into my car and handy, dandy utility trailer as I could each trip. Because the trailer doesn't have a cover, I had to weave rope all across the top to keep the stuff from blowing away while driving back up the highway about 15 miles where I then had to unweave the rope, unload the pinestraw from both  things, and head back down to get more.

It took me most of the day Saturday to spread it all around this very large area I have in my front yard.  I've used old carpeting as landscape cloth (to spare the landfill) and allowed leaves to cover it, but it's never been properly mulched with anything because, frankly, I don't have enough money to buy as much as I need at one time.  Well, I am so happy to now have a properly mulched natural area.  Granted the pinestraw isn't "clean", meaning there are a lot of oak leaves mixed in with it, but for the $200+ I saved, I don't even care about that.

I could easily use twice this much but I was so tired after hauling and spreading this, that I left the rest.  If there is any left this weekend, I'll get some more.  I had a big mess in my car to clean up but took care of that Sunday.  It won't look impressive to you because you don't know what it looked like before, but here are a few pictures of just part of the area.

My poor "new" car...
It was really cold Saturday night and the fountains and waterers were icy Sunday morning.

For those of you who commented about my Princess, I want to let you know she is on the mend.  I think her head tilt is permanent and she's still a little off balance, but she is feeling much better.   She is flirting and trying to get Pete to play with her, and she's excited when I come home from work again.  I have to walk beside her going down the stairs so she can lean on me to keep her balance - thank goodness there are only five steps.  Yesterday I got an appetite stimulant from the vet to try to get her to eat more food.  I was cooking chicken for her every day and have already spent what I usually spend in a month for her on food.  Sunday it occurred to me that she might be milking the situation and I had a little chat with her.  I'm slowly weaning her off chicken and onto canned cat food (vet approved).  She's never been a good eater and is on the thin side since her thyroid surgery, so I can't let her lose any more weight or we might get into serious trouble that can't be reversed.

So my little Princess appears to be pulling through yet another malady, and we are both very happy about that.  That's just one more thing that I am so thankful for this week!  I hope you counted your blessings on Thanksgiving day too!