STAYcation Extravaganza Summer 2008

The Sustainable Backyard is hosting our first ever…

STAYcation Extravaganza



Summer is here and I am “itching” to go on vacation. In an earlier post I wrote about staycations as a means to having a way of celebrating summer without spending all of your child’s inheritance.  Not all of us can afford what most of us would normally call a real getaway to places unknown, but ALL of us can plan a STAYcation Extravaganza. What is that, you ask? Anything you want it to be, I answer! A backyard campout, day trips to local attractions in your area, a day camp or carnival run by the kids in the family, a read-a-thon, a day spent pampering yourself, a couple of days with the house to yourself and the kids at grandma’s, a house swap with a neighbor…YOU decide!

The Extravaganza will continue through the summer until August 22, which is actually two weeks after our kids go back to school. Hopefully, that will add little extra time for those who don’t return quite as early. Your STAYcation Extravaganza can last a day or a month…again, you choose.  I am in the process of trying to figure out how  Mr. Linky works  and will have him up and going soon, so that we can all share our successes and even our disasters. Don’t hold back! Maybe someone else can learn from your experiences.

Being my first proprietary attempt at carnival or meme, I am certain there will be continueal editing issues as I am learning. Feel free to offer suggestions or to ask questions.


I like receiving gifts, but I LOVE giving gifts even more.

Every person who posts a comment (even if it’s only to say that you are participating) on this original post of the Extravaganza will have their name entered into the drawing.  If you write a post about the contest in your blog and include the STAYcation Extravaganza icon in your sidebar, your name will be entered a second time (just let me know by a comment or by email so I can add your name twice 🙂 . The third entry chance for the drawing comes when you actually write about your own STAYcation on your blog and then link it with Mr. Linky (again, I am still trying to figure that all out…might have to find someone who has used it before to help me out.)

The drawing will take place after midnight on August 22, 2008.

thumbnail staycation extravaganza

Let the Sunshine IN!

Le-e-e-et the su-unshine…let the sun-shine in….the su-unshine i-in….le-e-et…the sun-shine…. le-et the sunshine….
Are you at least humming the tune now?
Yes, we have finally have some sunshine!

I am so very excited to report that the solar dryer is back in business, at least for today. There is still a slight bit of dampness in the air, but the winds and sunshine will more than overcome that one small obstacle.

Harmony and understanding…. that we must all become better stewards of our earth.

Did you know that electric clothes dryers account for approximately 5-10% of all residential electricity useage in the United States?  According to Project Laundry List, hanging laundry could save the average household more than $100 on a household electric bill, and that clothes dryer fires account for about 15K structure fires a year. That is pretty impressive, but if the money aspect doesn’t move you to action, maybe the facts that your clothes last longer, or that sunlight is one of the best bleaches/disinfectant, your clothes smell like a summer vacation, or  the big kahuna of them all….it CONSERVES ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT will cause you to ponder for a moment the possibilities of our own solar dryer.
My very own makeshift clothesline has gone through two (very ugly) design tests, neither which will be permanent, but I DO have a line…errr….solar dryer. This may sound bizarre to some, but my day got instantly better in the realization that I would be ablet to hang clothes today.

While perusing Project Laundry List, I discovered that there are no longer any wooden clothespin manufacturers in America. The Penley Corp. clothespin plant closed in December of 2002 and now imports clothespins and other goods for resale. I found that to be a bit depressing.

I am going to leave you now with The 5th Dimension and Aquarius and Let the Sunshine In….


Vacationing in Your Own Backyard

For a very long time now, I have been trying to get our backyard hard-scaped with a privacy fence, a concrete patio, and a walkway to the alley. It seems as though so many other things get in the way. Last week I think I wrote about having a date set to finally get my patio poured. Well, guess what? It’s not done. With the threats of a week worth of severe storms and rain, we thought it best to put it off…yet again.

I am not certain, but I think we may have a break from anything severe for today. Today’s weather is my favorite for camping…cool, cloudy and overcast. The dampness makes me crave a campfire. Last night after the last storm passed through, DH and I simultaneously looked up at the sky and said, “Man, this would be a great night for camping.” Knowing that wasn’t the prudent thing to do, we thought about just laying out on the trampoline to watch the stars and the satellites pass over. I mentioned that we could go “camping” in our backyard like we used to when the kids were younger.

My dream for my backyard is for a place in which we would want to spend time…..a place for reflection…for entertaining or a breath of fresh air.  Money is always tight, but we generally get away to somewhere every year…even if it just over to Meade State Park for a weekend of camping and fishing. This year, I am afraid that the only “vacation” away from home will be associated with DD’s travels and it will be frugal, no frills travel to say the least. The gasoline budget will be eating up any of the entertainment dollars we might have had. To me, this makes my dream for my backyard retreat even more important.

On Path to Freedom’s Journal today, there is a post about Staycations and Staying Closer to Home. Staycations are vacations spent at home enjoy what it has to offer. That is what we are planning for this year’s “getaway”. We will getaway to our backyard. Tonight I will set the date with DH. All hard-scape will be finished, so as to not make it a working vacation. I am looking for a relaxing, maybe romantic few days of togetherness. I found the Top 10 Staycation Strategies at and plan to put some in place.

What would your strategies be for planning a Backyard Staycation?