Friday, March 9, 2012

Treating Myself to a Little Spring Break

For my birthday this year, I decided to treat myself to Spring Break. Woohoo! I decided to do some ecotourism, bask in warm weather, encounter some wildlife, commune with nature ... well you get the idea. Jealous?

Sounds good, right? Oh wait, I forgot to mention that my Spring Break lasted one hour, was in my backyard, I made a compost bin, the nature was a pile of leaves, and the wildlife was Mr. Meowface.

Stay in school kids. Stay in school forever and ever and ever and ever ...

So yes, I left work an hour early on my birthday (I get to make up the hour by skipping my lunch break for two days) and I went home and did yard work. Chris changed out the snow tires on his car and checked a weird noise he heard coming from the back end when he was driving home. Living large, ladies and gents. Living large.

Do I sound bitter? Ok, so actually, I was really excited to make the compost bin. I always hate throwing out the coffee grounds and egg shells and things when I know I could use them to make my garden more vibrant and healthy. It's a waste! So I finally shelled out the big bucks to purchase this $4 bin at Wegmans.

Ok, yeah, we forgot to rake up the leaves last fall. We were a little busy getting married. haha But keep scrolling down to see how I spent the rest of my fabulous hour of freedom.

So don't take my word as gospel. This is my first compost bin. But I did a little research and this is what I came up with. First, I started with a layer of dirt in the bottom. Then I added a layer of dead leaves. That's it. Done.

Oh, and I also drilled a few holes in the top so it doesn't get moldy I guess. I don't really know why, but I know you're supposed to let the air get to the composting materials.

Update: Turns out holes in the top let in air AND rain. Who woulda thunk it? After finding my bin full of water and my compostables floating around in muddy muck much, I decided to duct tape the holes closed and drill new holes on the sides of the bin just under the lip. So far, it's working out much better.

But now it's all ready for coffee grounds (yes coffee filters can be composted as well), egg shells, fruit and veggie waste and even some dryer lint. Apparently you just have to give it a good stir every once in a while and let it sit and decompose. And then eventually, you can use it to ammend the soil in your garden. How easy is that?

So with the leftover time, Meowface and I decided to get a start on the leftover leaves covering the corners of the yard.

Much better than the first picture, right? If you zoom in on the picture below, you can see the little beginnings of my hyacinths sprouting up. Yay spring (almost)!

Oreo decided to celebrate by rubbing all over everything.

Zoro watched the action from inside the house. First he sat in the kitchen window above us, but then he decided he needed to get a little closer to the action, so he found the corresponding window in the basement so he could tap on the glass to get our attention.

Aww, poor little Zoro. Maybe if we ever fully fence in the yard, I'll be able to let him out with me and Oreo. But for now, he's just too skiddish to come out and play. Luckily he seemed to have fun and get lots of exercise running from window to window as we walked around the house. haha And I promise he got a nice long belly rub when I got inside and he was purring like the kitten he is. :-)