Sunday, May 20, 2012

Make Your Own Paradise

I read an essay once written by a man who is literally kept alive by traveling. A couple of decades ago, his doctors told him he was not going to live much longer and forbade him to travel due to his illness. He rebelled against doctor's orders and twenty years later, he's still alive and he is convinced that the traveling has kept him alive. He said that through living in the midst of dying, he has learned that our only moral obligation to the world and to others is to be the best versions of ourselves. If we are happy, we really don't need much to make the others around us happy.

I don't know about you, but I tend to take life lessons from dying people, for whom death is an immediate and tangible reality that they face everyday.

With warm weather back again, I have transformed our backyard into an oasis. I am responsible for making things happen in my life and I am accountable for being my own paradise. That's not someone else's burden. And so I did! In the project-filled three or four weeks, I cannot tell you that I did not get obsessive at times. But even that can be channeled into good. If there's a passion to be proud of, one of them would definitely be to do exactly the kind of things that make YOU happy, to be living the lift YOU want to live. It sounds selfish but you will find that this same exact thing is what radiates to other people. It creates smiles, laughter, inspiration, and light.

I am content that I won't have any more major projects all summer. I am happy that I won't be consumed too much anymore about decorating ideas and where to get them at the best price.

Instead, guess where I'll be....


Ta-da! My very own paradise...

You can have your own, too!
1. We get full sun in the afternoon and needed some type of shade so we can hang out in the backyard comfortably while we sip cappuccinos or read in the sun. After a used gazebo deal from Craigslist turned south (I got ripped off.. $30 down the hole, not the end of the world, but still a little sad), we figured it's better to invest in a brand new one. We got this IKEA Ammero Gazebo for $149. It was pretty fool-proof to assemble and the wind vents are a great idea. It's pretty windy up here and it has withstood winds, although when we had that day of about 35mph gusts, I had to take out the top. It would have held, but I didn't want to risk it. Me and my mom put the top back up in 20 minutes. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

2. Translucent/sheer curtains are about $8 apiece bought at *gulp* Walmart. The outdoor rug made of natural fibers was bought at Ross for $49.

3. SOLVINDEN Solar-powered pendant lighting for $9.99 from Ikea works great. Like I said, we get full sun in our backyard and instead of working against it, we are working with it.

4. This side gets the most sun so I decided on a more opaque fabric so we can pull the curtains if the sun gets too intense. These are actually shower curtains bought on clearance at Target for $7 each. The beauty about this is that they are the perfect length and clip on the gazebo rods using clear shower rings that only cost about $1 on average. They are also water and mold resistant (as they were made for the bathroom) and washable.

5. We decided to give Craigslist another shot and actually scored this picnic table for $60 with delivery. I grew up in a house with a picnic bench that my dad made and I remember how I loved that bench. I had to get one for pure nostalgia and also for more seating for summer BBQs.

6. Due to a drip line that refuses to be found by an amateur (i.e. Me), this side of the yard has looked pale. Until the other day, my only option for growing anything AND keeping it alive out on this side is a container garden. I had an old, non-functional BBQ that has sat in the backyard for YEARS. I repurposed it and gutted it out so I could still use the shelves. I have bunnies and gophers in the yard and I need to keep them away from helping themselves into a free-for-all salad bar. The elevation from these shelves are perfect! For the herbs and tomatoes, I used Smart Pots which are fabric pots that drain well and provide root aeration. They cost about $4 for a 3 gallon and about $8 for the 7 gallon. Not bad, considering ceramic pots cost upwards of $20 for the bigger ones. I ordered these Root Pouches which are made from recycled materials and which biodegrade themselves after a few years. They are dirt cheap, too!

No comments:

Post a Comment