boundary issues

I sometimes joke that I must have the knitter's version of A.D.D., because I'm so prone to startitis. Bright, shiny new projects can get me up off the sofa faster than Elvis gettin' after a fritter.

Apparently it's contagious, because now we have new projects springing up all over the yard – this despite the fact that the house is still living up to the name "tarpaper shack."

Anyway, we have had a lot of cardboard boxes on site since we remodeled the kitchen back in January. (I'm sorry - did you say something? Yeah, siding... whatever.) And lo and behold, I discover to my chagrin that the cardboard has collected in the 'money corner' of our house, according to our Feng Shui map. (That would explain the three attempts we've made to fill out IRA forms … but I digress. Again.)

What's a girl to do with an excess of cardboard? Sheet mulch, that's what.
My favorite way to make an ex-lawn, or get instant visual peace out of a garden bed.
You will need:
• many many many large cardboard boxes. This will make you appreciate an Ikea run more than you thought possible... even *after* you've built the furniture!
• lots of straw, or bark mulch, or even both. The more, the better. Again, you'll be amazed at what you need to get seriously jiggy with this.

The process could not be simpler, and it's hands-down the OPPOSITE of knitting. No swatching, no gauge, no increasing or decreasing or any demand for precision of ANY KIND:

• Lay down cardboard. Wherever. Overlap it crosswise, slantwise, at jaunty, devil-may-care angles. Just slap the suckers on the ground. Take care not to suffocate tulips or other small shrubberies (look behind you!).
• If the cardboard is new and dry, soak it with a garden hose until it's good and damp. (Small people are great for this, but not when the temperatures are in the low 'forties, as ours were that day.)
• Cover with a thick layer of mulch or straw. Thick.  THICK. This works best when you've got an even layer to about 3" at least. (This is the only way it relates to swatching; it's always longer, or in this case, deeper, than you think.)

Walk away! but not before admiring the effect:

Instant tidy.

So: Renée in the comments wanted to know where the *@& I'd disappeared to, since I hadn't posted all week …
And the answer is: Mulching! and then on Sunday, Boyhood and I built a fence!

What held our "Back 40" fence up for the ten years since I bought the house? Memory.
Either that, or sheer stubbornness.
(That wobble is from lean, not from a change in height):


10 a.m., day after mulching: Himself commences demolition.
10:08 a.m.: Himself completes demolition.
(To say those fenceboards were willing is to understate things a bit.)

My job was to remove the fenceboards from the stringers, hammer out the nails (again, very willing), and sort out the truly rotten boards from those we could salvage.

At 1:30, we broke for lunch:


(Ooh, look: the neighbors got a new car!) 

Last time we'll get to see this particular line of sight unobstructed:


4:59 p.m.: (pouring stinking rain, but we were hell-bent to finish up and clean up and get the sucka DONE):

(Photo taken a few hours later, when the rain decided to let up for one glorious, photogenic, sun-drenched moment.)

Not bad for a couple of Sunday carpenters, huh?
Of course, we were under close and careful supervision the whole time: