Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Backyard

I guess it's not really the back yard ... it's more like the side yard, altho part of the stuff is in the "back". Guess I should just say the Yard, but we never call it that either, we just say Outside, but that's a rather broad term.

To say we are enjoying our country living and abundance of space would be an understatement. When we moved to the city we gave up the trampoline we had because it would take up half of our backyard. Now we have a trampoline sitting outside along with lots of other stuff and room in abundance. Of course I'm not the one who has to mow all the lawn, but really, I know Rob likes doing it seeing as he can use a nice fast zero turn lawn mower.

As I was looking around the yard some time ago I was quite impressed with how it looked homey, but how we had done it for minimal cost. Have I ever said how much I love Freecycle???? Well Freecycle helped us greatly to put together a fun place for the kids to play. Next to Freecyle I love Kijiji ... always a handy place to do some "shopping".

We manage to scoop this swing set off Freecycle this spring. Rebecca is our swinger, she has always loved to hang out on the swing. Matthew mostly loves to hang out on his belly on one of the swings.


The kids have been begging for a tire swing since we moved in. Well Rob managed to come up with a real good tire for them ... an "old" (actually relatively new, but damaged) truck tire.

Rob setting up the tire swing.

To be honest I don't know how this came about, but somewhere in the process of putting the tire on the rope I found them outside swinging on this "stick".

We did have a little mishap with the original design not being able to hold the weight of four larger persons and Rob had to go back to the drawing board to reinforce his hanging design. But it's back up and the girls can often be found hanging out on it. Matthew wants nothing to do with it.

Then there is the trampoline that we scooped off Kijiji last fall. Fall is a good time to get those summer things that people don't know where to pack away. It isn't the bounciest trampoline around, but it keeps the kids happy anyways.

The best thing out in the yard is the pool. Yup, you guessed it, another Freecycle find. We got the pool off freecycle last fall. It did not come with a pump so we posted a Wanted ad on Freecycle and received a response. We gained two pumps (and thanks to Muddy that was much needed), hosing, a box of pool supplies and water testing stuff. The only thing we had to buy was a ladder ... this we got off Kijiji ... but if I had been more patient in waiting for a response on my Wanted ad on Freecycle I could have gotten that free too.
The kids began begging to put up the pool on the Easter Weekend already when we had our first warm spell. We told them we would put it up when school was done. There was no point putting it up when they were gone most of the day, or too busy to swim, plus the weather wasn't really consistently warm. Actually it wasn't until the end of June that we even got consistently warmer weather, so after school let out was a perfect time.
The Saturday morning after school let out Rob got right to setting it up. We only filled it a foot or so that day. We emptied our cistern most of the way and then had to wait to have it cleaned out before we got water trucked in to fill the pool and the cistern.

But even with only a bit of water the kids had a hay-day playing it it. A certain black dog also thought it was lots of fun and had to be watched closely to be kept out.

Matthew warming up his feet.

All set up and having fun. The pool is only about 3 feet deep, which we find is a perfect depth for now. The girls can still have fun and swim around in it, and Matthew can stand and walk in it. The whole family can go in it and there's room if we have extras over to play. Not too big, not to small.

For the $10 we spent on the pool ... I'd say we've gotten more then our moneys worth out of it already!
(Take note of the lgreen garden shed behind the shop/garage. This also was a freecycle find from some years ago - comes in very handy!!)

I guess to give a fair perspective of the yard I have to add in Muddy's home. The dog house is a Kijiji find. Rob put up a fenced pen for Muddy a few weeks ago. He was on a chain before when we weren't around. Mostly he was loose if we were home, but had to be chained up if he got too excited when people were over or when we went away. We received the fencing from my parents after their dog died and it worked out to be a nice size pen where Muddy has enough room to still run around if he wants ... and he needs the room since his privileges of being loose most of the day have been lost. He is now only allowed loose when someone is outside to watch him. We have lost a few too many items to his chewing habits ... pool hoses and water, and then he still didn't learn and did it again along with the pool pump, jumping in the pool and chewing up the toys, my deep fryer (he nicely drank up all the liquid in it ... still hot ... and then proceeded to puk it back out all over the yard for the rest of the day), kids toys, corn stalks from my garden, really anything small enough that is left outside. And then he's always leaving "presents" for us on the front porch - old clothes, wood, chewed up newspapers, items off the compost pile, etc - we have no idea where he comes up with a lot of this stuff (our guess is the barn). The kids are learning to put things away right away and not leave anything laying around, but it's taken a few upset situations for them to really remember. For the time being he's going to have to spend a bit more time in the pen ... and we've learned ... next time we'll get an old dog, not a puppy!!

Yup, I love Freecycle and Kijiji.

All in all the open space is well loved and appreciated. The only downside is the worsened allergies that have come with being back out in the country ... can't win them all!

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