Operation: take back the yard!

Spring officially arrived yesterday, and balmy temps *should* be just around the corner (if you believe Punxsutawney Phil that is, and not the weatherman), it’s now time to face the music. My days of dashing through sleet and snow from the car to the house (and vice versa) are over. Instead of keeping my eyes fixed on the ground – in order to avoid tromping my cute winter kicks through icy mud puddles, natch – I’m starting to look around and notice buds on our maple trees and daffodils poking bravely through their layers of winter mulch. I even *gasp* left the windows open for THE ENTIRE DAY last week when temps shot into the low 60s. Total bliss.

But seriously you guys. Our yard is a mess! My motivation to clean up a yard strewn with fallen branches from winter ice and wind storms has been at an all-time low. Why clean it up when there’s just going to be another storm? My logic is flawless and I’ve been having ever so much fun inside with chai lattes and the TV remote.

Which brings us to today and an ugly yard full of branches. Oh, and this tree:


I offered to take in all the Keebler elves left homeless by this tragedy, but I think the evil glitter in my chai-tea fueled eyes tipped them off. You know what goes great with chai tea? COOKIES.

It’s a porker! That big baby fell during a wind storm two days before The Hubs left for his training. Let me refresh your memory – that was over a month ago. And it’s still laying right where it fell, halfway – but not all the way – on top of our brush pile. Does this make us bad landowners? The past few weekends I’ve seen our lake neighbor out on his yard tractor lecturing crews of men (okay, I think it was just his son) on the correct way to prune trees and pick up sticks. Who does he think he is, with his ladders and riding mowers and leaf baggers? (I don’t actually think he was trying to intimidate me by beautifying his yard. I just get paranoid when The Hubs is away)

But still, it’s crazy that an entire month went by and no one has busted out the chain saw, a la Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation. Best. Movie. Ever. Okay fine I’ll show you.


Pic from here. YouTube clip here.

I may or may not have just taken a 15 minute break from writing this blog post to watch the YouTube clip 5 times in a row…


So yeah. There’s a lot to do. I’m calling it, “Operation: take back the yard!!!!!!!” (yes, each one of those exclamation points is vital to the success of the mission). This operation involves my favorite thing in the world – LISTS. Lots of Lists! Call me Listy List Listerson, not to be confused with Listy McListerson, my brother from another mother.

Clean yard:

  • Chainsaw ice-storm victim into manageable chunks, pile by bonfire pit
  • Haul fallen branches (back yard, side yard, in chicken run) to brush pile
  • Rake smaller branches up and haul to brush pile
  • Leaf-blow leftover leaves from last fall towards the blackberry row (free mulch!)
  • Prune low-hanging branches on trees around the house, driveway, haul branches to brush pile
  • Have a big-ass bonfire (actually this is unlikely to happen because I’d prefer not DYING IN A FIRE), or a series of smaller-ass bonfires (more likely, but time-consuming), to get rid of branches/brush pile/ice storm victim
  • Take down exterior Christmas lights around fence and front porch (is it terribly tacky that these are still up?)

Clean house:

  • Wash outsides of windows using this idea from Pinterest
  • Pressure wash the mold off of our house siding in the back (yuck yuck yuck!)
  • Pressure wash the mold off of our back deck
  • Pressure wash the front porch
  • Goof off with the pressure washer for a bit cleaning random stuff because pressure washers are cool
  • Treat the exterior/interior with bug spray (we use Ortho Home Defense Max from Lowe’s which, coincidentally, is on sale this week)
  • Clean & tidy up the outdoor furniture
  • Buy a couple of plastic Adirondack chairs for by the bonfire pit

Beautify yard:

  • Transplant the I-just-found-out-it’s-poisonous-to-dogs azalea from front flower bed to anywhere else
  •  Trash front flower bed completely. It’s a relic from our pre-fenced-front-yard days, now the dogs dash in and out of it all day spilling mulch over the edges. Also, the only plants in it besides the azalea are hostas, which are ALSO poisonous to dogs. Who knew!
  • Buy a ton of barrel planters
  • Plant a ton of stuff in my barrel planters. I want herbs and vegetables.
  • Plant a non-toxic vine to grow up the sides of the chicken run, front yard fence, and ugly white wrought-iron porch posts. I’m leaning towards silver lace vine, which has mixed reviews in the internet community. Some people love it because it grows super-fast and covers ugly fences in a season. Lots of people hate it because it grows super fast and creeps over from neighbors’ yards and chokes out their gardens. Plus it is really hard to kill, which is good, because I have a black thumb. I figure if I hack it back every Spring I’ll keep the creeper in its place. Also, I won’t fertilize or water it, so our baking midwestern summers will stunt its’ rabid growth. The idea is to get something like this:

Pic from here.

I know I know…that sounds like a lot. Trust me, these lists are going to take us all Spring & Summer to complete! But if I don’t lay out the goals, how will I know when we’ve achieved them? I speak the truth. My weekend To-Do list, however, is a bit more manageable. I made sure of that.

To accomplish this weekend:

  • Sleep in
  • Take 6 weeks worth of trash to the dump (yeah….The Hubs is doing that one)
  • Make tacos
  • Rake yard
  • Play with puppies
  • Drag fallen branches to the brush pile
  • Chainsaw the fallen tree into manageable pieces, throw on bonfire pit (and burn??? If it doesn’t rain!)
  • Play with puppies some more
  • Make margaritas (I bought a cheap blender last weekend specifically for making these. It even has a drink dispenser spout. Score!)
  • Drink margaritas
  • Possibly make & drink even more margaritas while watching either Big Bang Theory or Dr. Who

If I were you, I’d be jealous of me.





3 thoughts on “Operation: take back the yard!

  1. Pingback: Monday update | Cozy Crooked Cottage

  2. Pingback: Rainy day | Cozy Crooked Cottage

  3. Pingback: peanut butter kisses | Cozy Crooked Cottage

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