Claiming back the DIY mojo through gardening

Maui tropical arbour at Kihei Akahi /
Apparently when we were in Maui, we had drought conditions at home.

VERY hot. And very dry. 

Sunburst through a Maui tropical arbour at Kihei Akahi /
So imagine being in surroundings that were always groomed to perfection for you. Most vacation spots are like that of course. That’s what you pay for.

Red ginger flowerbed in a tropical garden at Kihei Akahi /
But when you visit the tropics, it’s a little more than a trimmed lawn and a few flower beds. 

Every flower, plant or tree appeared to be on Miracle Grow steroids.

I wrote a post on my Maui ‘backyard’ HERE.

Tropical growth at the beach at Kamaole Beach Park 2 in Kihei, Mauii /
Tropical growth at the beach at Kameole Beach Park 1 in Kihei, Mauii /
I mean, it even grew lush and wonderful by the ocean, totally unattended.

Maui beach flowers in a vine

Visit my Instagram pics HERE

So while I was enjoying all this in my little lah lah land over yonder, other things were transpiring at home.

So it may not come as much of a surprise to you when I say…

pallet walkway before
I’ve been a little depressed… ๐Ÿ™‚

There’s more to it than just gardening of course, which I’ll cover another time. But let’s focus on the garden this round…

Lots of stuff grew. And lots of stuff died. While I left our yard in pretty good shape, it all went downhill while basically ignoring it during a major hot spell.

Then one day after we got home, it rained. And rained and rained. It was if the dark clouds taunted me to fall even lower. Pushing myself out the door for something needed at the store, (probably cream for the coffee… that ALWAYS does it), then upon returning home, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go home. So I passed our street and head up the mountain.

I actually silently cried with the rain. It was just so suitable, like a script from a movie. “Sad Girl Fresh From Maui” starring Sad Girl, would cut it just fine.

I didn’t know where I was going, or what I was doing, I just knew I couldn’t go home.

pallet garden walkway /
Original Palletwood Walkway Tutorial HERE

Know the feeling of being closed in when it’s raining hard? Bear in mind, I hadn’t seen gloom in a very long time. It was early afternoon and the sky was black.

I even flicked on the heat in the truck, as I drove from quiet street to dead end roads, just… searching. For what I don’t know.

weeding the road cracks
Then I started visualizing living in all these different places while driving by. Even ones that weren’t for sale.

“What would I do with that place if it were mine? Oh, that would never do, the main road is too noisy… Now that one has a pool my son would love!”

And on it went.

weeding the road cracks
And then my heart wandered back to Maui. What would it be like to live there?

I had driven around the residential areas while there quite abit, and the only word that comes to mind with what I saw was… lush.

I love lush.

Drought? Not so much.

So I drove until I couldn’t drive any more. Tired from… no coffee? I kid… just feeling low, I head home.

weeding the road cracks
Once home, it felt… better. It was like, I needed a different set of eyes on different scenarios for a spell. I needed to place myself in all these ‘places of more effort’ in order to make home feel easier.

Lots of those places I drove past needed lots of work. 

Then again… so did mine. Imagine.

And so would a tropical yard in some far off country. I mean, those gardners worked nearly 24/7, always cutting and clipping. I watched them climb to the top of palm trees while I splashed around in my aqua pool. I watched them gather up dead palm fronds after gusty winds, while I sipped my kona on my lanai. And watched them shred shrub clippings by the truck load as I packed the car for the next beach trip. 

They were VERY busy. While I was busy having fun.

And that’s when I reminded myself, I was a guest there. That is why those things got done, and looked so beautiful.

I wouldn’t have that set up if I actually lived there… by a long shot.

Pallet wood garden walkway /
I can’t say our grounds are lush at home yet… but when I decided to focus on a few small areas and just work it, my broken heart started to mend. And you can see by the results above, it’s looking a whole lot better after a couple of short hours.

I even spontaneously produced a Periscope broadcast on this little fix up!

I was nervous to film it. It was such a mess. But know what? I’m glad I jumped in with both feet. It helped fuel the ‘ol DIY mojo so much, I decided to flip it into a series of sorts… 

Funky Junk Interiors on Periscope! /
(Periscope broadcasts are only avail for 24 hours… watch my Twitter account HERE for new links so you can watch them on your desktop too!)

‘Go big or go home’ or what… I even did ART WORK! ๐Ÿ™‚

A trip like I took was worth it. And I’d do it all over again in a heart beat. But perhaps next time, I’ll be a little more prepared for the fallout, and plan something epic once home, so the drop isn’t quite so deep.

I think I’m back guys… I think I’m nearly back!

– – – – – –

How do you feel upon returning home from a trip? Ready to come home, or blue you had to leave?

Read more Maui 2015 posts to date HERE.

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Categories: Outdoors, Travel
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23 thoughts on “Claiming back the DIY mojo through gardening

  1. I know we had tons of rain so not only did the plants grow so did the weeds, We kept on top of a lot in the big flower beds because we planted Thyme Lemon wooly & elfin I am so glad we did as it also keep’s in moisture Lemon thyme would look great on either side of the Bridge.
    Have a good one Ann.

  2. Because I live on a farm leaving is always difficult so being away for a long period of time hasn’t been a reality for at least the last 6 years. However with short getaways I always come home overwhelmed because it seems my outdoor workload needs my immediate attention.

    How does one get around those coming home blues – I think you create a home that feels like a vacation and home. You can’t help but become inspired in an environment you always want to be apart of, even when it rains. I think this is why I love the south – the sunshine’s the majority of the time. That’s a good thing.

    Welcome Home!

  3. I was totally jealous of your wonderful vacation :). And sorry you’re sad right now. It’s understandable. I love your writing, and how you worked it out. The walkway is awesome. And thanks for explaining periscope…I’ve heard about it. Now I KNOW :)) welcome home and keep sharing. Mimi

  4. We go to the beach a lot, but I always look at it this way. If I lived at the beach it would become everyday just like at home. So, I think it is better to have a comfy home that is all yours to do with what you want, and a vacation spot that revives your energy and lets you live as another person for whatever time you are there. Home is home. I have lived all around the states, Japan and Puerto Rico. You can make a home just about anywhere you are. All parts of the world have certain things that are wonderous. HOME is in the heart.

  5. I don’t know how to see your Periscope feed, and I couldn’t figure it out by looking at your Twitter account. I don’t have a smart phone (or any at all), but a desk top. I have seen a Periscope video saved on YouTube, but that’s about it.

  6. I love your wood planked walkway! How do you get the wood to stay in place? Do they shift around or pretty much stay put?

    Thanks!! Hope you’re happy to be home…even though I’m sure it’s bittersweet! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Awwww, Donna, why do you think they call it Paradise!

    Absence from a home for any length of timeโ€ฆeven if leaving errant sonsโ€ฆwatching your plants shrivel and then drowning them the day before you come home–happens to the best of us.

    Best recommendation—mercilessly chop anything dead or dying back. Tender care, water will bring most things back. The plants spend too much energy trying to repair themselves instead of producing new growth, otherwise.

    And the walkway—looks great, visually interesting and different. Great to have you back in the REAL world, lol.

  8. I caught your Periscope feed. I liked seeing your favorite tools, I need to share my number one favorite gardening tool. It is awesome and hand made by an older gentleman in Idaho.
    You may already know this but in case you don’t you can link up your Periscope feed with and it will record your “Scopes” then you can embed them in your posts so those that don’t have a smartphone or device can view them too.
    I have only done one scope too and I think I am in love. Very addicting.

  9. I never felt you were gone at all, just in transition and conflicted, Donna.
    Ask anyone who has spent lengthy time away from home, even if they really want to get home….there is adjustment. It would be Very disappointing to return and find the yard ( or house) a mess to be dealt with. I once left for just 10 days and 2 young women offered to housesit and take care of my 2 cats. It wasn’t a total mess, but very disappointing when I came home.
    Now I handle it differently, but that was very hard. Another time I was on in mission trip in the jungle and then city of another country. I didn’t have culture shock going to the other country, but I did in returning to the USA….it took weeks to readjust to our very fast paced life compared to the simple calm of life in the other country. You have been missing the beauty and feeling what a lot of us go through…..we want the best of both worlds. It is great that you can get real with yourself and realize that all the vegetation in that tropical climate comes at a price, too. Thanks for being your real and heartfelt self…..that’s what makes me look forward to your posts. Blessings.

    • What a lovely, thoughtful reply, Joan!

      The great thing this round was, the house sitters did such a fab job on the inside. I was so pleasantly surprised, there was nothing to even sweep! I was so very grateful.

      And how interesting… what is it about the tropics combined to that slower pace? When I first arrived to Maui, I was a breathless mess… stressed out from the trip, the travel… and the gal at the front desk took one look me and said, “I think you need a nice lazy dip in the pool…”

      By the time I left, I was so lazy I barely left that pool! haha

  10. Oh Donna, soooooooo glad to see and hear you are getting your mojo back! I’d imagine that after holidaying for so long, coming back home would be a shock to the system…especially when your garden has been living under drought conditions…seeing all of that work ahead of you has to be depressing…I’d cry, too! I think it was good for you to just let go and let the tears flow a little…you needed that release. It’s a bit like mourning, in a way…you are missing a way of life that you lived for six weeks and enjoyed soooooo much…coming from paradise and stepping back into reality is bound to hit hard. Brava to you for rising to the challenge, wiping away the tears, and getting to work…I hope this will help you to fall in love with your place all over again! From my side of the fence, all things are green at the Funky Junk Estates! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I soooooooo LOVED your scopes, too…I think they helped me to visualize your walkway DIY a little better and it was just cool getting to hear your voice, too! You are such a great teacher…have you ever thought about maybe doing online classes via video at all? Hope you intend to keep the scopes coming! And I dearly hope that you will heal completely from this funk and find much joy in your Funky Junk again! Until then, please try to take it easy on yourself and give yourself allowance to feel what you need to feel…you’re going to be okay, Donna! (((((((((((((HUGS!!!!!!)))))))))))

    • You are my hero, Susan. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, I have thought of doing online classes… I just don’t love being in front of a camera all that much, but I’ll definitely be making some free videos on how to work with my stencils at the very least. Maybe that will break me in? ๐Ÿ˜€

      • I’m surprised you aren’t fond of being in front of a camera, you seem to be a natural! I don’t have a clue how you balanced your phone so well while you were doing your tutorial with the other hand and giving clear instruction to boot…that was amazing to me! As I was watching your tutorial, I got to thinking how much fun you seem to have teaching people to make tool boxes and stencil signs…it wasn’t a stretch for me to imagine you doing this for a living…that is, if it was a passion for you! I’ll certainly be following your scopes…this old dog could use to learn a few tricks! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Too bad you did not have a caretaker for the gardens giving them the water they needed. I am constantly watering here at my place in Oregon because we have not had the rain we are used to which keeps the gardens so nice.
    Just 2 days of sunshine will wilt it all!

    • Yeah, I really could have, Rose. Thing is, I didn’t plant anything on purpose because I knew we’d be leaving. They’d have been watering soil. ๐Ÿ™‚ The perennials didn’t die though which is good.

  12. Hi Donna ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sooo sorry if my ‘jealous’ comment yesterday made you at all feel bad. It wasn’t meant to and I should have used better words. I MEANT to say I’m sooo happy for you. I was so excited to see all of your posts from Hawaii. I would never say your success came over night or that your ‘lucky’. I’ve been watching and admiring your hard work for years. Sorry for my quickly written reply yesterday. I prob should not text/or write stuff :). If you saw my big smile while reading your stuff, you’d know how much I admire you. Hugs. Mimi

    • Nooooo!! Don’t feel bad Mimi, then I have to bear the fact I made you sad again! haha

      The post was really written for all the ones that struggle with envy in a negative way. Envy is a human trait I feel every day. But this is my way of showing others how I fight through it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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