How it Started

When I was 12, I found a blank ledger book. It was a treasure beyond treasure to me. I debated and debated about what to do with it - it had to be something special. Finally I decided to make a list of things I wanted to do and places I wanted to see in my life and then cross them off when I had accomplished them. At first they were simple things, but soon I was adding dramatic things, impossible things, but things still worth dreaming about. Oddly enough, putting them on the list somehow made them attainable. I have kept the book and updated the list my entire life. Here is the story behind some of the entries - successes and failures, embarrassing and proud moments, laughter and tears - the ridiculous to the sublime!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Have a Compost Bin - DID IT

A compost bin is a weird thing to have on your personal wish list, but there you go.  I don't know what I was thinking when I put it there, but I'm happy to report that today I have a very productive compost/worm bin. I really have fun playing in it.  It's amazing to me that you can put all the yucky stuff from your sink strainer and lawn mower bag into a black bin and the next season you are mixing this fabulous rich soil into your garden.

From this...
My first experience with compost was when I was a kid.  Every fall my Uncle Louis would dump a mountain of hay/straw/manure from his barns at the corner of the 1-acre garden plot my dad kept on our farm.  We didn't have any animals on our farm by then, just a hay field.  My dad would let it "cook" for the winter, then spread it over the garden - it worked magic, our garden was a jungle! this.

One year my brother, sister and I decided to play "King of the Mountain" on the 7-foot high, steaming pile of barn scrapings.  I was the oldest so I could generally hold the top spot by pushing my younger siblings until they tumbled down the mountain, although sometimes they ganged up on me and I went rolling down the hill.  We didn't mind, though, because it was soft and really warm (as decomposing manure and hay can be).

I survived!
We were having a great time until my mom spotted us and had one of those typical "mom when they find their kids playing in horse manure" moments.  Let's just say she wasn't happy.  We were ordered to strip out of our slightly soiled clothing on the porch, where we and our clothes got a hose-down before we were all dunked in the bathtub - not the clothes, just the kids went into the tub. 

I don't know why there isn't a steaming pile of manure and straw on every playground in the country, they are so much fun, and you can't get hurt! I was bummed that we weren't allowed to play on the manure pile after that incident - seemed like such a waste.  To this day, I still love the smell of cow and horse manure mixed with decomposing hay - yup, you read that right!

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