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Friday, July 5, 2013

Destroyed! Failed!

well-rotted 4x4 planter

One side has actually fallen down. The other three sides are soft and sinking. This is where the three free squash plants were going to be planted. Scratch that! I paid about $20 for this 16' x10" board several years ago. I just cannot afford to replace it. No, it was not treated.
I asked exbf to help me with this, and I knew more about the construction than he did. I was not strong enough to do it by myself, and now have even a poorer chance of helping than I did then.
I cannot get junk boards from the side of the road--back, hands, knees. I refuse to get treated lumber. So, I am stuck, sitting here, trying to figure out what to do. No, no friends, it appears!
Probably one of my failings is I like and expect permanency. I know permanency is not always possible or desirable. I do have a swing I have had over 25 years, custom made to my specs and it will last me until the end of my need for a swing. My picnic table is strong and sturdy, surviving a tree falling on it.
This expecting permanency is a good thing in some ways. I did not feel the need to replace a stove until the oven thermostat had failed and three burner did not work at all, plus one burner only half worked. The washer only washed on gentle for the last five years of its life before I replaced it. The refrigerator would finally only hold an ice cube tray in its frozen recesses before I replaced it. I figured 30 years from each appliance was enough to expect. My desire for permanency was tempered by a little reality. I could not afford a repair that might cost as much as a new appliance and THEN need a new appliance shortly. That is my reality.
I do use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. I don't feel like I am suffering until I have to do without!
My zigzag sewing machine was made in 1954, and I like it just fine. The one I bought when I went to college in 1964 makes the best straight stitch I have ever seen, so I keep it, too. I can actually sew all the time on it if need be.  The commercial machines were bought because they are old and predictable.
Yes, I know it is wood and wood rots. I priced a cedar board to use to replace this, but it was $50. Whew! I got more vegetables from my little pink bed than the $20 for the wood. But, it is no more!
Cinder blocks are like wood, cannot lift one. No, I obviously don't have friends willing to help me out. They were only here when I could help them. But, some of my most loyal friends died.
It seems my options are gone for a bit of a garden for things. It makes me sad. I feel a little hopelessness and despair. Yes, over rotten wood. And, the dirt is washing away.
It has rained here for four days. Ten more days of rain are is so dreary and depressing. Finding rotting wood, high prices for wood, and no sun has made me a little sad.

UPDATE: I fight the St. Augustine grass to keep it out of this pink bed. I cannot get down to get rid of it. So, with no walls, the St. Augustine grass will take over the whole mound--Big Problem since I don't want to kill off the grass!
Your turn
Do downturns in your life make you sad? What failures in things have upset you. This is a major one for me, one I cannot overcome!


  1. PP - here are a couple of suggestions. can you sit near some gravel or small stones and collect them in a bucket or tub? then sit down by the falling side of the planter with the bucket and prop the falling side up by placing small stones all around it? is there a young boy in your church, neighbourhood who is looking for odd-jobs? can you ask around? and maybe have a young boy come and prop up the falling-down side with some big rocks? or replace the falling down side with some big rocks.

    i understand your physical limitations, but i also understand your determination and willpower! i think that between the two of us, we can find a way!

    your friend,
    (i would send jambaloney over in a heartbeat if i could!)

    1. Good suggestions Kymber! That would be my suggestion with the rocks. I think paying a neighborhood or church kid a few bucks is a great idea! Even if you can't pull the rotted boards out, cover it with straw and still plant. It is still a usable bed. There is a German planting method that uses rotted wood in the center of the bed called Hugelkultur.

      The wood acts as a sponge and slowly releases water, microbes and decomposing organic matter into the soil. You never have to till the bed or water. It is a fascinating subject.

      I hope someone can help. If I lived close I sure would come by and help

    2. kymber,
      Fibromyalgia would have me in bed for every bucket of stones. Besides, the only stones I know of that might be free for the taking are on river banks. Boys in my neighborhood are too well-heeled to work for a little money. Besides, almost everyone is older here. I have plenty of ideas but all are labor intensive or require money. Church people are willing--for money. My determination is wearing me out.

    3. Tonya,
      Neighborhood kids are nonexistent. Church people want money. I have hens to exclude from the area. I had that worked out, but it depends on walls.

  2. I'd just use it as-is. After all, the squash will grow and cover it up anyway. Even if the boards are rotten and falling apart, they'll still help a bit to keep the soil in place.

    Worse case, you end up with no boards and mounded beds instead of raised beds. I've done that before. The plants don't seem to mind.

    1. Ron,
      That is my only choice, but the boards contained the system that kept out the hens.

      The mean guy who gave me the persimmon trees would, but he is so insulting and dismissive that I really feel hurt when I get through talking to him. I know--I should be tougher. I am tough, just wearing a bit thin.

    2. I am tough, too, but not all the time. I'm sorry to hear he's an ass.

      Hens are destructive. If your squash get a bit of growth, I've not seen a hen especially interested in them. Cruel as it may seem to be, you could keep them penned for a bit, or if you want them to be free, put up some basic chicken wire around the bed.

      Anyway... I can relate to wearing thin.

  3. One other thing--update in post.

  4. I'm with you on wanting things to last forever. I am currently working with a local upholstery guy trying to decide what density/weight foam I need to perk up our sofa. The cushion I am currently testing is too firm. I feel sort of like Goldilocks looking for the one that is "just right". Is it crazy to put $300 into a 20+ year old sofa? Maybe But I really like this sofa and think I can get a few more years out of it.

    My kitchen appliances are 22 years old (except that darn dishwasher) In fact I recently found (and bought) the same stove top on Craig s list. I probably won't install it when we get around to replacing the old cracked counter-top but until then I now have a spare part for anything that needs fixing!

    Have you thought of FREECYCLE? I wonder if you can find someone who might be willing to swap a few boards for eggs. It might be worth looking into.

    Hang in there ... Kymber is correct there is a solution out there.

    1. It is not a bad idea to spend $300 on a 20+-yr-old sofa. Make sure the frame is sturdy. You can add "L" brackets yourself if it is getting shaky. You will have a better sofa by using an old sofa and new upholstery. I answered this further down. Don't ask me why.

      I once bought a sewing machine identical to my first sewing machine. I bought it to cannibalize. Now, I may give it to my g-daughter.

  5. Freecycle here is not a good idea. Only people wanting things. I have offered on several online places a trade or different sorts. It never seems to work out. As a matter of fact the freecycle here is defunct, I think. So, driving many miles would be the only option. I only posted this after weeks of frustration. I suppose I will put up with abuse to get what I need from the mean guy. It is a shame. The solution--My self esteem will be sacrificed. Isn't that the way it is for women?

    LOL...right now, I have one egg on the counter.

    1. Teach him a lesson and kill him with kindness. I find that when I am extra nice it is hard for even the biggest jerks to be ass holes. Yes, it is a form of manipulation but YOU are the one doing the manipulation! It puts you in the driver's seat ....or at least riding shotgun. LOL

    2. Janet,
      That was the, he is a really hard case. It will be a week before he returns.

  6. I have tried Freecycle and Trader and another community online site, plus a radio station. I have asked churches and people I know. This post was not my first lament. LOL I don't get depressed this easily.

  7. I have lots of friends when they want something - but when I need help - it seems like I've imagined them all - they've disappeared ! Gonna start doing the disappearing trick myself now.

    1. Wean,
      I have done that. Then, people say, "I have not seen you around in years." It is as though they bear no responsibility for keeping in touch. I sometime say, "You are right. The last time you came to my house is when you wanted (fill in the blank). I have not seen you in years, either."

  8. ha ha - like that response - I'll be using that one !


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