I Love You Mulchly — How Every Hour is a Fresh Start

by Katy on February 8, 2012 · 24 comments

My day yesterday started out with a fizzle, (or whatever the opposite of “bang” is.) I confused the location for a morning appointment, I left my beloved reusable coffee mug behind; and then when I  stopped in at the library to cheer myself up, it turned out to be closed.


However, my day took a turn for the better when I noticed that a family up the street was having some tree work done. A sneaky peek into the back of the truck showed a load of rather lovely looking cedar wood chips. And best of all, a quick conversation with the worker was all it took to arrange for them to dump everything into my driveway.

For free!

Now, you may remember when I scored a similar deal in 2009, but the time had come to re-mulch the yard.

Since yesterday was neither cold nor rainy, I knew I had to act quickly to spread the mulch around the yard. So I strapped on my CD Walkman (complete with an Agatha Christie library audio book) and got down to bidness.

Up the stairs with a wheelbarrow, down the stairs with the wheelbarrow, dump out and spread. Over and over, with only Tommy and Tuppence for company. My back was aching, but the result was worth it.

Here is some photo documentation for your viewing pleasure:


Sideyard, before. There’s still a bit of the mulch from 2009, but mostly it’s just slick, hard packed mud.

Sideyard, during. Don’t you think it looks like a tide of wood chips coming in?

Sideyard, after. Note that my elusive husband is actually in this photo. Because yes, I was still playing landscaper when he came home from work. And since his name is “Dale,” this photo requires a “Chip and Dale” reference. 

Because I had such a huge amount of mulch this time around, I was able to lay it on thick, (which oddly, is one of my natural talents. 😉 ) This means that the mulch will last longer, handle any standing water issues better and provides an enjoyable springy experience when stepped upon.

I ended up with enough leftover mulch to spread out under our tree house/play structure, although I didn’t have time to prep the space. (A.K.A. clear out all the piles of bricks and miscellaneous stuff that lives there.) Hence, the mulch is kind of just piled in place until I have another non-rainy/non-working day.

I do like to remind myself that “Every day is a fresh start,” but yesterday was an primo example of how the quote should actually be “Every hour is a fresh start.” If you keep your eyes and ears open, plus employ a willingness to turn on a dime,  you’ll be amazed what your day can bring.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara Wolk February 8, 2012 at 10:17 am



Katy February 8, 2012 at 10:38 am

Thank you, I’m really happy with how polished the side of the house looks.



Laura's Last Ditch--Adventures in Thrift Land February 8, 2012 at 10:55 am

Very nice! You inspire me to ask next time I see a tree trimming truck on the street. I’m usually too shy.


Katy February 8, 2012 at 10:59 am

Shyness is not an issue for me. Makes me be a rather embarrassing mother.



Katie February 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I need to take a page from your book here (in many situations). The worst they can say is no, right?


Katie February 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm

p.s. The side yard looks great!


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl February 8, 2012 at 11:05 am


Are you super sore today? Spreading mulch makes me ache.


Katy February 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

Surprisingly I’m sore at all. However, I did take a long hot stretchy shower last night.



Jennifer February 8, 2012 at 11:18 am

Thanks for this because had a very similarly crummy morning…got kids to school late due to a wierd school delay…went in said school with house slippers (wasn’t planning on going in!!) and my pants zipper open……and so on. But then my hubby insisted on taking me out to lunch…although I had turned him down to save $$. But we got to use that 2 meals for $10 at Applebee’s coupon before it expires on Monday!


Melissa February 8, 2012 at 11:45 am

Blurg is my new favorite word. Or sound.


elizabeth February 8, 2012 at 11:53 am

I love how my yard looks with a fresh coat of mulch, aahh!


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary February 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm

You had me at “lay it on thick.” 😀


EcoCatLady February 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Good score! There’s a tree- trimming place in my neighborhood that gives away free woodchips all the time, but you have to go pick them up yourself. Getting them “delivered” for free makes it a double score!


Juhli February 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I’m impressed – both with the results and your hard work.


Robin February 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Love love love it!!!


Katie February 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm

My day sure turned around today!

a.m.: Slogging through the typical stuff at work.
p.m.: Surprise promotion and raise!

I guess they like the way I slog! I am already mentally calculating how much more quickly my car replacement fund will build up at my new rate of pay. Maybe I’ll buy a slice of cheesecake to celebrate, too. 🙂


Katy February 8, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Wow, congratulations!



christina February 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm

that looks great! and i chuckled for sure at your chip & dale reference as i also have a dale. 🙂 people on the phone always think i am saying “bill” until i either say “no, like chip & dale” or “no, like dale earnhardt” (i live in the south…everyone knows who he is here haha)


Katy February 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I have a cousin named “Chip,” so there’s always lots of “Chip and Dale” jokes when he’s around.



hippierunner February 8, 2012 at 8:34 pm

hehe, you are funny! Glad your day got better!


Barb February 9, 2012 at 6:53 am

Nice work………I wish I only had to mulch my yard every couple of years…….but in the land ofno rain, its at least a twice a year endeavour.


Katy February 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Why is that?



Barbara February 11, 2012 at 6:50 am

I see that your wood chips are not mulching a garden area or incorporated into your soil. Just a reminder to your readers, that while mulching is good practice and wood chips are a great compost amendment, in a garden setting, there is concern that the wood chips should be allowed to break down first. As the wood chips decay, they could cause a nitrogen deficiency in the surrounding soil, so just watch out for yellow plants. Probably not as big of a deal in your area where you get lots of rain, but more so in areas with less rain and slower decomposition.


Katy February 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

Interesting, thanks! And yup, we get *lots* of rain!



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