More of This, Please

Wednesday is usually a lighter schedule at work, and today was extra-easy since I only had one class. It also happened to be the most beautiful day we’ve had this spring. I rode my bike into work this morning, planning to leave Chieko there with the car and head out for long bike ride after I finished up.

I wanted to explore the Tedori Canyon Road, and long cycling path that runs out into the countryside and seems to peter out around Hakusan mountain. I have posted about my rides on this path before, the last time a few weeks ago. This was my third stab at it and I made it a lot further than I had before. That said, I’m getting a bit tired of it at this point. I rode for about 3 hours total, giving up about 2 hours in when the bike path proper ended and the roads started climbing more steeply than I was willing to negotiate at that point — maybe next time.

Here are some pics. There was not a cloud in the sky and the mountains are beaming green right now. I really need to pick up a polarizing filter for my lenses — not a lot of money for a huge improvement in color. Things looked much better through my sunglasses.

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He’s Doing It Wrong

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Perfect weekend, but as always two days are not nearly enough, especially now that the weather is absolutely perfect. Can’t recall the last time I was in bed before 10 and up before 7 all weekend long, but that’s what happened this time around.

Finally got my garden in the ground, and am happy with the results. Now, hopefully nothing dies. I might have to add some wind-blocking apparatus, but for now I’m waiting to see how things do as is. I’m using the two beds with the black plastic, and the two rows behind them.

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Very much time for bed — lots of sun today and work today, followed by drinks and not much food with the neighbors. Love my neighbors, hate their dumbass dogs. Good night!

On An Island

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Chieko took the opportunity to wean Ray over Golden Week, and he’s having a tough time of it. It’s been more than a week since he had his last supper, so to speak, and though he isn’t trying to get at Chieko’s breasts anymore, his frustration is manifesting itself in other ways.

He wakes up a lot during the night crying, yet pushes us away when we try to comfort him. When he goes to bed he crawls around in the dark as if trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in, or perhaps he’s rooting around for that boob that used to lull him to sleep, sometime for upwards of half an hour. His daycare schedule has been askew because of vacation, but he’s back to crying hard every morning. And he’s more apt to fly into hysterics at small things, then just as quickly snap out of it. It must be hard for him to be experiencing this frustration; it certainly is for us. He did make it through the night last night without waking up, which was nice for all of us. Hopefully in another week or so he’ll be back to his normally happy little self.

I took this picture yesterday on our way downtown to a friend’s wedding after-party. In retrospect it seems most appropriate.

Groundwork

Usually at this time on a Friday night I would be staring at the bottom of an empty wine bottle, but because of a flukey schedule we have to work tomorrow.

Yesterday was the last day of our Golden Week holiday, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. This is the time of year when people, myself included, get their gardens up and running. Until now I’ve contended myself with cultivating a small veggie garden in our equally small yard. But as I mentioned before, this year I was offered the use of a larger piece of land across the street. It nothing compared to serious farmers/gardeners, but it will likely double my previous capacity. I will plant more of the crops I usually plant — tomatoes, cukes, eggplant, various peppers, okra (for my wife), corn — and still have room to spare.

We are using the two freshly tilled rows.

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I got up yesterday morning and hand tilled our space, formed two long rows, and covered them in black plastic to keep the weeds down. We had bought a bunch of seedlings the previous day, which I intended to plant later in the day with Chieko and Ray. I returned to the house to eat some breakfast and check in on the fam, then we all went out into our yard. It was at that point that one of the local farmers came up and asked if I had fertilized the soil, and when I was planning on planting everything. I replied no, I planned on adding fertilizer when I planted the seedlings later in the day. Well, that was not acceptable, by any means. And so it was that I found myself trudging to this guys house, loading his truck with several bags of fertilizer, driving back to the garden, ripping up all the plastic I had painstakingly applied that morning, spreading various fertilizers, then standing idly by as the man brought in his motorized tiller and chopped my soil into two perfectly parallel planting rows. I thanked him profusely. I’ll put the plastic back on later, as I have to wait several days for the fertilizer to take effect. I just hope our seedlings will last that long.

But that’s the kind of hospitality you find in Japan, wherever you go but especially in the more rural areas. I don’t doubt that it would happen in America, too, but it’s nice to experience it here s well.

So the proper garden is on hold for a few more days, but I’ve turned my sites to something far more exciting. With our yard now no longer being used as a garden, I came up with the ingenious idea of creating a BBQ paradise for us and our neighbors to enjoy this summer. I had a vision, and it is coming to life.

$30 in sod created a nice lawn, and $5 in giant sunflower seeds will create a BBQ sanctuary once they grow up around the edges of the grass. I am beyond pumped for this.

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My only concern is that our yard has practically no drainage, and I’m worried once the rainy season swings into action that the grass my not make it. We’ll think positive for now, though. So much potential there.

That’s it from here, I think. It’s getting late for a school night. There will surely be ample future posts updating all I have discussed above! Good night.