Tag Archives: DIY

DIY Tire Balance Beam

So, when I mentioned that “backyard makeover” on my last post, I basically meant turning the backyard into a glorified junkyard. The best part of home ownership is never having to ask permission from a landlord to do things like dig big holes and stick old tires in the ground. (You may, however, be subject to disapproving looks from your husband. Fair warning.)

I have a nearly five year old who loves running, jumping and climbing much more than he loves pretty much anything, and I want to encourage him to expend that energy as much as possible, and why not add some fun stuff to our backyard for it?

We actually don’t use the grassy/weedy areas of our yard for anything other than Larry’s bathroom and digging area, and we certainly don’t need a ton of room for that. Our lot is “only” 6000sqft, which is small for suburbia, but twice as large as our old yard. We have plenty of room to work with, so I started looking on Pinterest for DIY jungle gyms and stuff like that, and there were a lot of repurposed old tire climbing structures.

We already had the dome climber thing, so I didn’t feel like we needed a tall climbing structure, but then I saw a few pictures of buried tires used for jumping and standing, and I decided a tire balance beam would be fun. I didn’t find a specific tutorial, but obviously it looks pretty straight forward.

I got some free tires from a neighbor, bought $30 worth of spray paint and got started. I dried and cleaned the tires as much as possible, put a few coats of spray paint on each one (the orange and yellow basically took a million coats each, green and blue took like 1-2), and let them dry for a day. (Longer might be better but I have no patience.)

Then, the annoying part – digging. Don’t worry, I called 811 and had the proper people come mark any buried lines before digging. But then I dug a 10.5ft by 1ft by 9″ ditch and lined all the tires up. I wanted the bottom third of the tires buried. It actually took a lot less time than I thought. Only about an hour of digging. And then filled the tires and surrounding area back up with the dirt I dug up and stamped it down with a rubber mallet. Because I’m super safety conscious (ish), I then ran across it with my own weight to make sure it was cool for Cormac and Teddy.

It is a HUGE hit! Cormac’s favorite thing at gymnastics class is the balance beam so he is thrilled with his very own tire beam. And Teddy is too small for the dome climber so I think he’s just happy this is more his size.

Thanksgiving 2011

I’ll admit it. I initially gave up on Thanksgiving this year. I was depressed we weren’t going back home, nor were we hosting any guests, so it all seemed pointless.

BUT… My husband, knowing me as well as he does, encouraged me to get into the spirit and do some cooking anyway. He thought it might cheer me up. And it did, which is why I made 15lbs of food for just the two of us. The first issue was the “entree.” When asked what he wanted for Thanksgiving, Brent answered fried chicken. Obviously. I was agreeable, but then there was the issue of the cranberry sauce. What would I put all that delicious sauce on without roast turkey? But a turkey would be ridiculously big for just the two of us. So roast chicken it was. See where I’m going with this people? Two chicken entrees. Obviously.

Oh, and of course I had to have the stuffing with sourdough bread, the mashed potatoes with gravy, oh and how about some caramelized brussels sprouts too? And pie. Obviously. So around 4:30 Thursday afternoon, Brent and I sat down to feast.

Uh huh. And feast we did. So. Much. Food.

My favorites were the brussels sprouts (which will likely become a staple), and the cranberry sauce, which is always my favorite. The fried chicken was from Thomas Keller and Brent has been dying to try it. It was crispy and well-seasoned, but I don’t think I’m a fried chicken fanatic like him.

And then we agreed to wait a while before dessert. 10 minutes later I served myself a piece of pie. With vanilla bean ice cream and homemade caramel sauce.

Because I love pie. Obviously.

Not a bad way to spend the day. We did take a moment to reflect on what we were thankful for. The answer? Everything. Every. Single. Thing. We’re very fortunate and we know we are. We might need a little reminding every now and then, but we know we have nothing to complain about, and we are very thankful for that.

So that was Thanksgiving, and it was nice and all, but I’ve already moved onto Christmas.

The stockings are hung. And I spent a few hours making this gorgeous ruffled wreath I found on Pinterest.

And, of course, the tree. I’m ribbon-obsessed this year.

Hope you all had as wonderful a holiday as I did.