New Beginnings

Here’s an attempt to dust off this blog and make a habit of writing it again…

We’ve already been living in our new house for over a month and are settling in well. Now that the inside is more or less set up, I’ve set my sights on getting the outside set up. Spring is making some inroads here, although it’s still a bit early to plant veggies. And besides that, we’re sitting on a mountain of clay that won’t harbor much life. I’m planning on getting some better soil trucked in before too long, but until then there are plenty of other projects to take care of.

My father was here for the past ten days, and I took great advantage of his knowledge about building and planting things in addition to his physical labor.

The first order of business was to build a fence that will hopefully prevent either of my two children from plunging onto the sidewalk below. Total materials only cost about $150, plus a post hole digger and a drill. We slapped some left-over primer I had from painting the house trim.


Of course the first thing the littlest boy did was to go over and attempt to climb the fence, so we’ll see how it works out. We did plant some blackberry and blueberry plants along the inside, so hopefully they’ll get big fast and add another layer between curious children and precipitous falls.


My inlaws also came down for the weekend, bringing with them a maple sapling. There was much fretting about where to plant it, and I’m not entirely sure we picked the right place.


In the side yard we planted an apple tree and Japanese pear tree, which are to the left of the walkway. We also put in a mikan bush and two fig trees to the right of the walkway. Hopefully they’ll get big enough to screen the shed and the ugly concrete retaining wall.


And speaking of walkways, building that one was the first thing I did after we moved in. I used ‘kawara chips,’ which are made from crushing the ceramic roof tiles that are common on older Japanese houses.

Now I just need to get some good dirt!