Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Birthday – Here’s A House!

We took possession of our new (old) home on November, Friday the 13th – a very lucky day, indeed! Two days later it was Joanne’s birthday – a day neither one of us will ever forget!!!

Actually, we may both soon forget what happened that day (and the whole entire weekend), cuz those days are now a bit of a blur. When I close my eyes to try to remember all I can see are boxes – lots and lots of boxes! We were both quite exhausted from the move.

We finished moving everything by about 6pm on the Sunday – Jo’s birthday – and then it was time for pizza and beer! Less than an hour later we were crawling into bed, completely exhausted. It seemed like I had been asleep for about two minutes before the alarm was waking me up for work the next morning.

It wasn’t until that afternoon – when I was home between runs with my school bus – that I got a chance to really take a look around our home and yard.

This is our Maple tree! As you can see – cuz I couldn’t get the entire tree in the photo – it is quite large. And beautiful!!!

The rest of the backyard, beyond this maple is also quite large. There are a few small flower gardens running alongside the edges of our property, but other than that our backyard is a ‘blank slate’ for me and my shovel. My mind has been on overdrive, designing all the flower and vegetable gardens that I want to build!

Looking the other way, towards the house, you can see that we have another nice spacious area for enjoying the outdoors. I’ll be leaving a little bit of the existing lawn in this area, as I imagine we’ll be using this area for bbq-ing and playing badminton. There is a nice roof extension coming off of the garage that will allow us to stay dry while we watch all the thunderstorms that frequent this area.

One of my favourite things about our house is found in our neighbour’s yard. A huge white pine tree.

Most of you know how the Temagami forestland first inspired me to become an artist. Well, a large portion of the trees that live in the Temagami region are white pine. While I was in this part of Northern Ontario – so many years ago – I had many experiences that positively changed my life. Since then, I’ve always felt deeply connected with the Earth when I can let my mind escape into the presence of a white pine’s spirit.

I saw my neighbour’s tree and I felt blessed.

And this is Koly enjoying the front of our house. As you can see, there is wheelbarrow and shovel in this picture, as well.

It didn’t take me very long to get started. The amazingly warm weather we’ve been experiencing this year also helped to motivate my first gardening initiative in our new home!

I figured that this garden would be a good one to start with – simply edging the walkway that leads to our house. After the top layer of grass had been removed, the soil turned over and the roots from nearby bushes trimmed back, my first 2’x 3’ garden patch was finished – LOL!!!

I always like to kinda ‘feel out’ a project before I get too involved. After I had learned a bit from the first small square I had dug up, I was ready to really get dirty.

After the outside edge of the new garden was determined I used my edging shovel to cut the lawn into small squares.

I took each square of lawn and banged it against the side of my shovel to remove as much of the soil as possible – leaving a small mass of just grass roots.

Then, I took the squares of grass roots and created a ring around the maple tree at the front of the house. Since the lawn closest to the tree is higher that the lawn just a foot away, I laid down the grass squares only in these lower areas. Later I will add some more soil and voila! A new raised flowerbed circling my maple tree.

I always like to find a use for everything when I’m doing any sort of gardening work. Someone else, doing this job, may have regarded these squares of grass roots as useless and simply put them into garbage bags for the dump. I’m figuring that the roots will decompose over the next while to add nutrients to my new gardens. They are also helping me raise flowerbeds so I don’t have to buy any soil to accomplish that task.

Gardening is a great way to get a full body yoga workout. First I’m standing up, balancing on one foot as I cut the grass – then I’m bent over, stretching my back as I cut the grass squares loose – then I’m squatting, balancing with my knees bent, stretching my leg muscles as I bang the soil off the grass squares – before I do it all again and again and again!!!

Still, like any workout… after about two and a half hours I do tend to get a bit tired.

I was rather pleased that I was able to get this much done in one day. I really had to push myself – at the end – to get the beginnings of my ‘S’ curve dug out.

I may not be planting anything in these beds – especially at this time of year – but I’ll be so happy (next spring) when many of my flowerbeds are ready to go!!!

Hmmmmmm! I was hoping that writing this story would take a little longer, but I see that I’ve reached the end. Now, with three more hours of sunlight left in my afternoon, I guess I’ll have to go outside and continue with this garden. I was kinda hopin’ for a bit of a break… I think I hurt something, yesterday!!!!

Laughing Out Loud


No comments: