STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

I’ll Just Pull ONE More Weed…

Joined: 11/9/2011
Posts: 23
I’ve mentioned the scary state of my landscaping before and the resulting inertia from even sticking my head outside to look at it. It’s totally overwhelming. When we bought this house, we put in every garden bed, tree and ornamental grass in the yard, err, acreage. That included planting three, six-foot white pines without the assistance of machines. I used to love it and keep up with it each season. So I decided last week that instead of just packing and moving to a yard-free condo, I will tackle this mess after two years of neglect. I mean it.

Mulch and Garden Tool Rules

Being a relatively experienced gardener, I’ve learned that you can’t skimp on the right tools, organic soil additives or mulch. Get the good stuff. It’s also really important to do your garden prep. Sticking plants in hard, clay soil like we have is almost a guarantee they won’t thrive. Here’re some other gardening rules I’ve learned the hard way.

--Garden tools – Sure you can buy an inexpensive shovel, but don’t be surprised when the handle breaks or falls off in the middle of your task. It helps, too, if you can remember where you put your favorite spade at the end of last season.

--Clean and store your stuff –By July, I’m usually losing interest and energy fast and tend to just toss the tools in the shed. If you don’t clean tools, they can rust. And if you leave a roll of landscape fabric in the corner, unwrapped, don’t be surprised if mice decide to move in and party.

--Multiply your mulch – Here’s a quick calculation to help you determine how much mulch (or topsoil, etc.) you’ll need: Decide the amount and triple or quadruple it. Buying it in bulk is much cheaper, but unless you can afford the delivery charge, factor in that it will take you a chunk of time getting it out of your truck bed. Even then, you will never have enough. Trust me.

Forget pretty or fancy attire – I recently caught myself checking out some cute, pink herringbone (I know!) clog-style muck boots. They were $79.00. I momentarily forgot how much mud would cling to them and obscure their cuteness. I have five-year-old serious high-top work boots that do the trick. Not pretty, but functional.

Wear a hat – Not the floppy garden hats you see in perfume ads. Ball caps with brims are good. Anything that keeps the sun off your face and catches sweat is best.

Gloves – Other women might be shopping online for Jimmy Choo shoes, but I’m on the hunt for the best garden gloves I can find/afford. Forget having a manicure doing gardening season - waste of money.

Pace Yourself

I have gardening-onset attention deficit disorder. When I start pulling weeds, it becomes a battle to the death – hopefully theirs. But instead of confining myself to one manageable area, I stray into another space and take on those weeds. After a couple hours of this, my finished product is patchy and looks like a herd of goats went through.

I’ve decided for now to confine my work to only areas I can see from my front porch or deck while sitting. If I stand up, I’m going after that giant weed…
Rate this:
Comment by warren

Joined: 6/22/2011
Posts: 293
Great lessons. Thank you. I'll pass them to my wife since I don't want to do any of this. (Oh, being in the suburbs, our mulch is sold and delivered by school groups or scouts or other civic groups.)
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2012 5:48:50 PM
Rate this:
Comment by Writerchick

Joined: 1/4/2012
Posts: 2
Thanks, Warren. Stick w/ the non-involvement stance you've perfected. It's best that way. But at least buy your wife a great pair of gloves...;-)
Posted: Friday, June 15, 2012 4:56:47 PM
Rate this:
Comment by Suzanne

Joined: 1/2/2012
Posts: 118
I smiled at your description of pulling weeds. I can't walk to the mailbox this time of year without stopping to remove a few and a few more and.... So, most days I just ask my husband to get the mail.

When you find the perfect pair of gloves let me know. It is a never ending quest.
Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 2:20:07 PM
Rate this:

Homeowners blog on StageofLife.comAbout Us is a blogging community for homeowners.  It allows people who own their home to share stories about the adventure of home ownership in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Read the blogs and stories about home ownership, or check out the writing contest for homeowners, quotes about owning a home, home etiquette, videos about owning a home, discounts for homeowners, and other resources for having a baby on  Register to start your free profile, share an essay about your home, and pass along your wisdom to help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a college professor, teacher or educator - review our literacy, blogging and writing resources

Stage of Life Writing Contests

writing contests

Enter National Writing ContestWriting Contests

From 2010 to 2016, ran a monthly, multi-generational writing contest.  With over 3,000,000 visitors and tens of thousands of participating students, teachers, parents, and bloggers involved over half a decade, grew into the world's largest multi-generational writing community. writing contestsWhere is the Writing Contest Now?  As grew into a global writing destination, the coordination of managing an international writing contest became too time intensive for the website's owners.  So starting on Sept. 4, 2016, unfortunately had to end the writing contest portion of its services. 

However, we are now actively looking for new owners of who may want to carry on the mission of helping to change the world, one story at a time.  If you know someone who may be interested in taking to the next level, we can share details around the opportunity.  Please send an email to our owners if there's interest to acquire the website.

But in the meantime, there's still plenty to see and do here - just check out the various links and menus on the page.

Past Annual Writing Contest Results:  While the energy and time to carry on the writing contest has come to a close, you can see summary reports and the winners from the monthly contests on our Writing Contest Winners page.  Tens of thousands of people have submitted essays over the last six years.  Our editorial team has been extremely grateful for all of the wonderful essays shared over the years - words and stories that have helped us change the world, one story at a time.

Sincerely, owners Eric & Rebecca Thiegs and Joe & Lisa Thiegs

Bragging rights, international recognition, and gift card prizes were part of the fun for participants of the free writing contests on

Mentions for the Stage of Life teen writing contests, teen trend reports, etiquette Q&A, and teacher resources by...

Our writing contests mentioned by
Our Teen Trend Report mentioned by MarketWatch Our etiquette resources mentioned by FOX Business Educator tips mentioned by Mashable


Each month over half a decade, Stage of Life hosted and judged writing contests for both students and adults.  We thank the below brands - our educational sponsors - who supplied gift cards as prizes for the winning essays as we helped the change the world through blogging, storytelling, and our literacy-based initiatives...

 Writing contest sponsor  Writing contest sponsor on  Blogging contest prize sponsor Spa & Wellness gift cards by SpaWeek writing contestsWhat made our writing contests different?

  • Stage of Life writing contests were always free to enter
  • Essays from our blogging and writing contests have been picked up by the media, e.g., and used by teachers as mentor texts across the globe
  • We wanted to hear your personal, authentic thoughts on real world topics each month.  We picked writing prompts for which your answers and wisdom may help our readers
  • We awarded the winners with real prizes (cash and/or gift cards) from our site sponsors
  • By entering the Stage of Life writing contests each month, writers were supporting our free educational literacy initiatives and their words reached hundreds of thousands of viewers who visited

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy