Craigslist Junkie

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Another Water Garden June 5, 2010

My original water garden was supposed to be created out of a stock tank. I came across a stock tank at Nixa Hardware that was surrounded with landscaping rocks and wanted to recreate it in my yard. I came across a stock tank on Craigslist for a mere $20.00. It had a couple of holes that we plugged with Great Stuff and it was as good as new!!

Using a free pool pump, I worked out a filtration system and a fountain, again, all free off Craigslist.

We never could get the rocks to work right, so instead, I just set it up and did some other things to make it attractive. I found a neat idea while geeking one day to use some bamboo around the edge.

I have an out of commission bamboo shade that I bought from Lowes. I measured it out and put it around the outside edge. We filled it full of water lilies and other plants we got off Craigslist. I put some Japanese Irises around the front and a wooden plank that was part of the landscaping when I bought the house.

We spent a whopping $50.00 total on this project between the stock tank, Great Stuff, and plants!


Fire Pit June 4, 2010

Since the water garden with the landscaping rocks didn’t work out, we made a firepit out of the remaining landscaping rocks instead. We did use the stock tank as a guide, because originally, it was going to go in there, so it is circular and 6′ wide. We bought bags of morter and sand to concrete all the stones together. Pretty simple project once we decided it wasn’t going to be a water garden!!


The Fire Pit May 29, 2010

Another project from all those wonderful landscaping stones…

This project started out as a watergarden. I found a beautiful watergarden at Nixa Hardware and wanted the same for my home. It was a stock tank, flanked inside and outside with these landscaping stones, bottom of it was gravel.

I aquired a stock tank from craigslist for $20.00, 6′ diameter, 2.5′ deep–according to the previous owners, it may have a couple of pinholes in it. Well, not all craigslist deals are good deals–this one was a bad one. The stock tank was riddled with all sizes of holes in it! So, the watergarden became a fire pit.

Basically, we just used the stock tank as a guide, set the stones around it in a circular fashion to keep it nice and round. My husband bought concrete and sand and we mixed it up and set all the stones, inside and out, and let dry.

Wal-lah! Free fire pit! 🙂

Once we gave up the idea of this project holding water, it became a very simple one and about a $50.00 investment in concrete and sand.



Chicken Fence! May 21, 2010

I really enjoyed having free-range chickens. I really did not enjoy the poop on my back deck and patio table. So, a fence became a necessity if I was going to keep chickens 🙂

This project ended up costing a bit more than I wanted, but not because I didn’t have the materials. It’s because the husband wanted to build it a different way. I did have free t-post (thank you Deanna) and free fencing (thank you CL guy).

I found the most amazing deal on fencing. There was a guy who advertised 2×4 field fencing for free on CL. Basically, it was wrapped 2 high around a tennis court and he wanted the court gone. All we had to do was remove the fencing. We ended up with over 700 feet of 5′ tall field fencing for free. We only used a fraction of it for this project and we didn’t use the t-posts, so I’m thinking goats for another project 🙂

This project started with a trip to Lowes for pressure treated 2×4’s and 4×4’s, bags of concrete, screws, gate hardware, and plastic square netting. We also picked up my husband’s brother while we were out because of all the holes that needed dug (thank you Josh!).

Brush was cleared, rocks were raked (love Missouri rocks), holes were dug, 4×4’s were set, 2x4s were added to frame in the area.

Here’s what it looked like after day 1:

And after Day 2 (sorry about the blurry pic, I didn’t realize it was terrible until it was too late to take another): 

After everything was framed in, the fencing was added using fencing staples. Oh, and the hubby built a lovely gate and a tin roof (tin roof was free courtesy of an old barn from CL) over part of the run for cover. I used a staple gun and zip ties to put the plastic fencing over the top of the whole run, making it flight proof! And I almost forgot, the plants in front of the coop were free from CL too! It’s called liarope, it spreads well, so it should fill in the front of the coop well. It’s a hardy perinnial with purple flowers. A lady decided she wanted to change landscaping, so they became mine!

I’m happy and the chickens are happy. Now, regarding money–we saved over $300 in fencing costs, but still spent a little more than $200 in the wood, concrete, and hardware. If we had used the t-posts, all we would have bought that I know of are clips to attach the fence to the t-posts. Overall, a darn good find on the fencing, especially since we can continue to use it for more animals and things.


My chicken coop and run May 15, 2010

I loved the chickens, but wanted my garden shed back. It was time to build or find the birds a new home. First, I looked into the route of building a coop but decided I wasn’t skilled enough. Then one day, I see a free shed on Craiglist and called them immediately. I was a good size, had a window and a door. It needed a few modifications and it had wallpaper in it because it was a kid’s clubhouse at some point, but it would work.

Getting this beast in and out of the truck was fun, by the way. It weighed A TON. We actually bent up the tailgate to the Tundra getting it back out. It still doesn’t open and shut right!

My husband built nesting boxes out of scrap wood that we had and we fashioned a ladder going to the window out of nice straight limbs we had saved from a tree we had cut up. We also put some roosts (straight limbs) inside and painted the outside (free CL paint).

Overall, we invested no $$ except for fuel and a tailgate (if we even replace it, which probably won’t happen).

Next stop–fencing!


Intro on the Chickens… May 7, 2010

Earlier this spring, my husband and I completed another project, which I would like to share with you.

Last spring, we decided to take on the role of chicken farmer. This was inspired by a friend of my husband’s, Richard, whose family had a bunch of chickens. We were sitting out on the deck with him and he was thinking of adding to his flock. I was doing my normal geeking thing and came across an ad under farm and garden for chicks, $1.00 each!  He thought that was a good deal and had me contact them for him.

Apparently, Richard changed his mind, because when I told him about the reply, he said his parents didn’t want any. So, my husband convinced me that they would cost next to nothing and were about the easiest “starter farm” animal and that we should get some!

We drove about an hour east for these $1.00 chickens and bought 12 of them. It turns out, we could have just gone to a swap or something and paid about the same, and saved a lot of time and gas, but I had no idea there was such a thing at the time. They were so cute and tiny! They chirped all the way home.

So, we put them in a rabbit hutch under the porch with water and food and called it good for now. We decided they could free-range when they got bigger.

The next morning, we had 2 that were dead. The day after, we had 2 more that were dead. So, I called an emergency family meeting and we voted for learning something about chickens before we killed anymore. I promptly went to the library and checked out about 10 books on the subject. When I got home, I found one to be very readable and informative, while the others were duds. I read the whole thing in a couple of hours and then called another family meeting.

Apparently, baby chicks need HEAT! 95 degrees the first week of life, -5 degrees for each week of life until they get all their feathers around 5-8 weeks and they should be indoors for the first couple of months with short “play time” outside. Well, it’s a wonder they didn’t all die the first night because it had gotten down to 40 degrees.

We went to Orschlens and got some heat lamps and moved the cage we had put them in under the porch out to the

garden shed. They were much happier.

We had a very good survival rate after we researched them! 🙂

ANYWAY! Free-range is great for the chickens and the ticks, but not good for my porch. I hate chicken poop on the porch! We decided we needed to find a better home for the chickens (not my garden shed) and fence them in.

I saved a ton o

n my coop and run with the help of craigslist. I look forward to sharing it with you in a later post!


Phase 3 of the Watergarden: details May 1, 2010

The third and final phase of my water garden was just the extra details… adding a few more plants, a windchime, and goldfish…

Braden and I went to Wal-Mart and bought 10 goldfish for 28 cents each. He picked all but one of them out. I really liked one with a lot of white on it.

We took the appropriate steps to release them into the water just like you do with a fishtank at home and then set them free! Apparently, the pet store goldfish can grow up to 16″ long  if their tank is big enough. I’ve never tried this before, so this is an experiment for me! 🙂

I added more dirt around the bench after it was leveled and the planks were stablized a bit with some flat stones we had leftover. I also transplanted some hostas to spice the place up a bit since most of the plants I added are so immature and would take a bit to grow.

I also added a windchime. I picked this cute moon and stars thing up from Wal-Mart too, it was ten dollars. I put it on a planter hook, another thing I had collected in my stash.

I’ll update with pictures once a month to show the progress of the Michigan Bulb plants. I’m still wondering about them because they were very inexpensive.  Time will tell.

Next, I will finish the backdrop, but not sure how soon I’ll get to it. The weather has been typical spring, which means I haven’t been able to work outside as much as I’d like! 🙂