Saturday, July 27, 2013

All I ever need to know can be found on the internet!!

I am a single mom with three kids, a full-time job, a big house, a big yard, and at least one cat. I have many things to juggle, and I do get overwhelmed and frustrated. I LOVE looking at poeple's craft blogs, or cooking blogs, or home decorating blogs. My life will never look like that, I promise you! But that does not mean I can't try.
Most of the source of my frustrations, other than lack of time, is lack of knowledge. I own two cars, but I know nothing about cars. I have a pool, and I am not too knowledgable about it's upkeep. I don't know much about gardening, or how to do handyman things around the house. I get overwhelmed by the things I have to do that I am not good at. So recently, I have decided to calm down, and just slowly, little by little, educate myself. The internet is loaded with how-to information. You tube is also a great source, especially for handyman tips.
I had the day off today, and decided to put this idea of mine to the test. My van had a low tire. I took it to the local carwash and used the air machine to fill it up. I still need to educate myself on how to read a tire pressure gauge and all that. But I did the job, and I noticed the little cap on the valve was missing from that tire, most likey causing the air leak. I went to Walmart and looked in the automotive aisle, and found these:

Little valve caps, for all of 94 cents. I did not know you could buy these. It would probably do me well to travel around the auto aisles once in awhile, to see what else they have. I replaced my cap and kept the rest in my glove compartment. Problem solved!!

Then, I needed to educate myself about my swimming pool. I am not really clear on how to use the chemicals, so I did a little reading on the net and watched a You Tube video. I have been kind of winging it for years with the chemicals, but I learned some valuable things today. First, I learned that using a clarifier might help me with the cloudiness in the pool. Clarifiers coagulate the smaller particles into larger particles which can be filtered out more easily. Secondly, I learned that if the ph in the pool is not high enough, the chemicals you add to it will be less effective, wasting both time and money. Hmmm,, who knew. So added clarifier today, added ph increaser, and after the pool was at the correct ph, I added the chlorine, which has been low. Wouldn't you know it, the pool is now clear, and my little pool strip is happy because everything is in the right color zone. Yeah!!! I do have some debris on the bottom that needs to be vacuumed. I hope to do that tomorrow.  I feel a little less overwhelmed already!!

Today was a major yardwork day for me. I have been mowing my lawn forever, but even still, I vow to read up on mowing tips from time to time to make my yard the best it could be. I read about mowing in straight lines for a neat look. For some reason, I used to mow in crazy curvy lines all over the yard, on a fast speed. I also liked the look of a shortly cut lawn, so I used the low setting. BAD!! Mowing on a higher setting is much healthier for the grass, so that is what I do now. I also try to go in straight lines. And I learned I should switch things up...not mow the same way all the time. There are some areas where I need to mow one certain way, but on the others, I do alternate. I have read that it is better to go at a lower speed, but I am not sure why. Maybe for safety reasons. I mowed on the 4 speed. I was doing 3, but it was too slow, drove me nuts! It took a little longer to mow like this, but not by a lot.

My yard is chock full of weeds. Ick. I decided I need to get the grass fertilized tomorrow morning. I got the spreader all ready to go. I also took the time to read the bags. I have both weed and seed, and lawn food. The lawn food does not have weed killer, and it claims it will not burn the grass. I think I will use the weeder once a month until fall, and I can use the grass food in October.. So tomorrow morning, when the dew is al over the litte grass blades, I will be out there, killing weeds!!

Speaking of weeds, here it what my pool  area looks like...
 I spent about 45 minutes cutting and pulling all those tall, stalky weeds from the front of my pool. I found a little bush underneath all that mess! I used a weed wacker and a Fiskars branch knife, but most of the work was done by hand. The older stalks pulled out pretty easily. I took about five wheelbarrow trips to my neighbors vacant yard to dump all this stuff. Tomorrow,when i fertilize, I will have to get some weed killer down.
My next project is to tame this bushy mess. It is actually hanging over the pool like a belly hangs over a belt.There is also a large sumac tree which sprouted up last year. I do not have a power saw, my friends will not let me get one! They know me, and don't trust me with one. But that thing needs to come down soon.

see the tree?

I have weedy stalks encroaching my backyard all over. When I was done with the pool area, I worked on the backyard for a time, mostly using the wacker, until the battery ran out. A gas wacker would probably do more work, but I have a hard time starting them, so I opted for battery. That is something I have realized as a single woman...things are heavy. I look for things that are easy for me to  carry or use. The fertilizer bags were way too heavy for me to lift and pour, so I used an old tupperware bowl to scoop the stuff in. Took longer, but I do what I have to do. 

All in all, it was a pretty successful yard day. I have two kid-free weeks coming up soon, and plan on working each day, should the weather allow it!!

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