Saturday was a little rough for me emotionally. I had to get a refund on Boe's layaway gifts because we just can't afford them. Unfortunately, one is only able to get a refund on one's layaway at the store at which one put the item aside for layaway. So I had to get a refund at "my" store where they know me. It was embarrassing on quite a few levels. And then to boot, because I wasn't able to put much money on the layaway in the first place and because there is a $10 fee to cancel the layaway, I only got $10.25 back. I came home feeling an awful lot like George Bailey about midway through It's a Wonderful Life
. That kicked-dog feeling.
Sunday was a little better. On a suggestion from a gardener on my f-list, I read up on lasagna gardening
. Well, yesterday I dragged Boe out of the house and back to my store, where we got a car-trunk-full of cardboard boxes and expired newspapers. Today I am making a run to Starbucks and asking for their spent coffee grounds to spread on my garden-to-be. We have fall's leaves on top of the cardboard on a 15' x 20' area up against our backyard's levee wall; this will eventually be our garden. Last year the weeds and random-seeded plants grew out of control, and our dickbag neighbors called neighborhood code enforcement as their first line of action instead of coming over and talking to us. We got it mowed down, well, kind of, but we'd rather not deal with those neighbors again. So the garden will help with that. Sure, it might not be the prettiest thing ever, but it's something the city can't ding us for, it will be a food source for us, and frankly, I plan to can our extras in my spare time this summer in order to give some away as Christmas gifts. I have sweet corn, popcorn, tomatoes, hot peppers, watermelon, and cucumbers planned; if I have room I'd like to add some sunflowers and some lavender (sunflowers for the birdies, lavender for me). I might need to make an additional plot for those. I can get compost for free through Allen County Solid Waste Management
(fees only apply to folks dropping off compostable materials).
My aunt has repeatedly told me that I can have as many lilac starts as I want, and Bitz has offered me her volunteer roses of sharon. I figure if we plant alternating lilacs and roses of sharon in the direction of the dickbag neighbors, it will grow to become a living hedge. Between the free composting materials, free plant starts, seeds I already have on hand, and stuff acquired through Freecycle and Craigslist, this year's landscaping should run me less than $20 total.
Dang. If this turns out to be a success, once we're financially stable we might need to purchase a pickup truck, lol.