Happy Earth Day!

Susie

Happy Earth Day 2011! In what ways were you kind to our planet today? Are there things you do on a regular basis to help sustain our resources? Are there extra things you did today to honor our earth and promote being green to others?

We do our best to be green and engage in activities around the home that are better for us and better for our planet. We recycle like crazy, we ride our bikes all the time and walk a lot too. We take our own bags to the grocery store and I save run off water to use when watering the outside plants. As of the last month or so, our yard is feeding us a bit too as our orange trees have finally taken off this year and I’ve got more oranges than any one Mom knows what to do with!

As Earth Day draws to a close, I’m fairly stoked about how the day ended up. I live in an old house, a quirky place that is woefully not environmentally friendly. It bakes me in the summer and freezes me in the winter. I am a renter though, so I am also limited in the changes I can make. There has been one task, that regardless of whether it falls in my hands or those of my lackluster landlord that had to be taken care of – our fence in the backyard. I can’t even begin to accurately estimate how old it truly is, built sometime shortly after the ice age I believe. It isn’t safe in general, certainly not when my young daughter is out in the yard playing near it and most definitely not effective in keeping our little Chihuahua safely in the backyard.

It is so old that literally, over the winter months, when strong winds blew, various sections took turns falling. Over time my landlord did get them all standing again (oh the great joy of having to walk your own dog on a leash in your own back yard). However, standing is about all that was achieved. Many of the boards were so loose it was more like a gate than a fence and no repairs were done on other sections of the fence – only those areas that completely abandoned their upright positions.

One day on my way to work I noticed a neighbor was replacing most of their fence so I stopped by and asked if they had a plan for their old lumber. I said I’d be happy to take it off their hands if they didn’t need it. They happily gave me the pile of wooden fence slats. While they are old, many cracked & worn, they are far newer than the ones from the ice age which currently cross my backyard.

Recently I started working on the fence and got a little way into securing some boards when my drill ran out of juice. I went in search of the battery charger only to discover it was nowhere to be found. Suddenly a memory came back to me of the day I was sorting through old things in the garage and had stared at the Black & Decker charger with absolutely no recognition coming to light in my busy brain. Perplexed, I wondered to myself why on earth I had this charger because I didn’t recall having any Black & Decker products. I do believe I accidentally sent my drill charger to the Goodwill bin!

I wasn’t quite ready to part with my $30 to buy the replacement charger I found at Lowe’s and Home Depot. The entire new drill with battery charger only cost me $38 to begin with! I tried various other chargers around the house but none did the trick. Then I remembered I still had my old drill that no longer worked somewhere in the garage because I hadn’t found the best way to recycle it yet. I dug around and found it. Guess what? The charger for the old drill fits my new drill perfectly! Hallelujah!

Today was a day off from work for the Easter weekend. I decided it was fence day! I spent about three hours out in the backyard working on the fence today. I started with the best boards of the freebies I had received and fixed the worst areas. I dug mini trenches along the fence line and lightly pounded the boards into the ground a bit for extra support, then drilled screws into the boards to adhere them to the support beams. I didn’t have to take down the old fencing because my side is kind of the backside of the fence so now we have a dual layer of fencing.

After I had a fair amount of it done, I let our naughty little Chihuahua, Susie out back with me to test it out. Buddy our foster Chihuahua helped me much of the time because he isn’t set on escaping through the fence like my little she devil Susie coaxing you with her sad brown puppy eyes. Really, she is the sweetest little dog most of the time except when she tries to escape! She ran along the fence heading for those familiar openings and found they were no longer there! Ha ha ha, Mama wins again!

It was a fun project to work on and best of all it came together on Earth Day – the only thing I purchased was one small box of screws. I reused a neighbors old boards and I also reused many screws that had been in the old fencing on our property. I spent about $5 to repair my fence and make it safe for the dogs to run in the backyard!

Oh yeah, my dog is recycled too! She escaped euthanasia at the animal shelter because we couldn’t resist her sweet face. Recycled dogs are the best! Remember, adopt don’t shop when you are ready for a new furry family member. Your local shelter is overflowing with animals hoping to be your new best friend.

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