Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hello, new fire pit.

Here in Tennessee, we like our fires. And dislike shoes. (Ok, somewhat kidding about the shoe thing. I don't know how most Tennesseans feel about the absence of footwear but I could be barefoot almost all the time.)

We built a "fire pit" a couple of years ago. I use the word "built" and  "fire pit" loosely because really it just consisted of plopping down 9 or 10 cinder blocks in a circle. It was supposed to be a temporary one to mark where we were going to put a better one  and it ended up sitting there for two years. This year it had pretty much morphed into a overgrown-grass-in-the-cinderblock-holes, broken cinderblock, pile of old wet logs and weeds catastrophe. Shameful, people, shameful. I didn't think to take a before picture but I coincidentally came across this collage from on of the first "work outside spring days" we had:

 You can see my favorite tree that blooms right during that most glorious spring awakening and in the upper corner the fire pit of shame.

A couple weekends ago, we had a 1.5 day all-out exterior revival of the house and I'm sure our neighbors are thankful that creating a new fire pit fell into the mix. (We also weeded, replaced dead plants, re-mulched, power washed, & cleaned up in general. I never realized how much I had let the outside of the house go. Oops.) Yesterday, I smeared mud from the sandbox all over a chunk of the side of the house. *insert sigh here*

Back to the point - The new fire pit looks SOOOO much better. It only took us about 2 hours to complete and only cost us $6.98 to build.

We started by removing the old blocks & shoveling out all the old debris and rotted logs from past evening fires. Since hardly any part of our yard is flat, Noah had to dig out the area on one side to create a more level area. (I think that was probably the most time intensive & laborious part.)  We got 39 stones -  12 blocks on each row with alternated  positioning and then used the three extra to create an area to prop the wood up so we could create better air flow to keep the fires going well. The stones were given to use so the only thing I had to purchase was 2 bags of sand for the bottom. Yippee!!!

There it is. I'm regretting not having that before picture now because it would make this all the more spectacular. I do feel like it could use some sprucing up around the edges but I'm not sure. Any ideas? I was thinking a pretty mulched ring but it's impractical. It's in the middle of an area in our yard so grass clipping would end up all over it and it would probably become a fire hazard. I might just have to let the grass grow back and fill in the bare spots.

Since the summer has been a lot cooler, especially in the evenings, we've already given it two runs and it works great! I like the glow that emits from the spacings in the stones. I am looking forward to some cool evenings & nice fires this fall.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I know I said in my last post (a whole two months ago) that I'd be posting again...spring had gotten the best of me and I was a bit overworked & overtasked and overwhelmed so I took a little break from crafting and blogging and just did what I needed while trying to just relax and enjoy the nice weather. .... I had also recently found out that I was pregnant and I was experiencing that first trimester "How can I be this tired and unmotivated?!" phase which I'm sure was contributing to the over worked and over tired feeling.

I wish I could continue this post with some pretty belly bump picture and lots of exclamation marks. It would be a lot easier than having to say that our sweet blessing went to heaven before we ever were to meet. It wasn't meant to be in this lifetime on this Earth.

 Fortunately, I was not past my first trimester yet though I did end up in the ER and had an emergency D&C. Frankly, it's been hard. Really hard. It's been about a month since it happened and a lot of the emotional pain surrounding it has dimmed but it's still there and I finally decided to share it here.I mean...this is a life blog and that's a big life deal. Part of me goes with the whole "Don't air your dirty laundry" deal cause people don't want to hear bad stuff. Part of me says that if I can't be "real" to an extent then what's the purpose of sharing any life on this blog? So I choose to share (not everything mind you) but some personal things like dealing with anxiety issues and my body image/weight loss. And this.

Of course, we could still definitely use prayers if you wanted to throw some our way.

I really do anticipate that I will be back to this little space soon. I've had a few projects pop into my head & I'm looking forward to getting back into some semblance of a routine again and for my little lefty brain to get some exercise in.

Might I leave you with a pretty waterfall picture from a hike we took recently (when I saw we - Zeke went, too! First hiking trip and he was awesome!):