It Never Hurts To Ask

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Many of you are aware I am a participant in the online community Women in Red, hosted by MSN Money. One particular thread that I post on monthly is the Controlled Spending group which attempts to limit spending on unnecessary items.

I’ve found a few ways to be successful at this group having participated 10 months in 2008. First and foremost is planning. By seeking to limit my cash outflow I necessarily consider every purchase twice. Many times I’ll delay a purchase until I have a “spend day” and get all my errands done at once saving time and fuel. Often when I get to that spend day I have no desire for the item previously considered.

This technique has helped me hone in on my wants and needs. This blog post is the story of something I needed.

On November 17th I purchased a home, my first. While my primary concern has been the interior and resolving the problems that accompanied the flood, the backyard is also in need of some TLC. It’s small but without water for the past year it’s nearly dead. I’ve stopped raking the leaves that fall from my neighbor’s giant tree because the leaves provide some layer over the mud pit.

Pit o' Mud
Pit o' Mud

After doing a little research on this site, I discovered it’s not wise to start seeding a new lawn until the start of the spring season. After a little more research I found out Spring officially starts in April. Noted. But I’m not happy about the mud pit for three more months nor would my dogs enjoy daily baths. Thus it became a need to cover the ground with something that would protect the ground and not create other problems. i.e. I would not cover it with a plastic tarp because then the water would just run out and I’d get a sink hole.

The answer was straw.

Now I live in a semi-rural community and it’s not difficult to find a feed store in the country. However. I don’t particularly enjoy driving around in the country as every road has a number and those numbers get jumbled up in my head pretty quickly. Unless I can convince my 80 yo grandfather who doesn’t talk but who can maneuver those back roads blindfolded to come with me, I’m not going. And grandpa isn’t in the mood for a drive in this weather.

In the fall when all the stores had their pumpkin displays and plants on hay bales I could not walk into a Walgreens without being assaulted by straw. But I didn’t need any then. Thus, I did not buy it.

I swear, the day I bought this house and the backyard started to gel into a pit worthy of a mud wrestling tournament all those bales vanished. Poof!

Today while driving home I went by a retirement community a mere mile from my house. They were in the midst of packing away Christmas decorations and looky there! Bales of straw (or hay, I really can’t tell the difference). Anywho, I parked, walked inside and inquired about “your intentions with the hay.” Almost as if these were my hay children and I wanted to ensure they would be well cared for in any circumstance. Met a nice lady and an even nicer man who gave me two bales of hay!

Bales o' Hay (or Straw)
Bales o' Hay (or Straw)

So now I know it never hurts to ask and for twenty minutes of my time and a little vacuuming of my Toyota I have two (free) bales to cover my mud pit until April when it all gets swept away and I can start a new lawn.


3 thoughts on “It Never Hurts To Ask

  1. Hey Startsmart (Kelly!)

    Just wanted to say that I hope things are looking up for you! My Mr and I are looking to get a dog in our apartment, which I imagine will be an adventure. Someday, perhaps, we’ll have a house.

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