Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New Endeavors

Let me just get it off my chest - I LOVE the Barnes & Noble that is a few blocks from my house. I love getting my favorite iced tea, sitting down with my book, and relaxing. I love watching people go about their lives when I look up from my book. I love finding new books to add to my list when I browse the shelves. And it was just so convenient. I never had to move my car from the street parking I fought so hard to get. I could just walk over after work and read for a hour or two before Rommel came home from work.

Sadly, my B&N has moved to a new outdoor shopping center. I could drive there, but the traffic is crazy since the place opened. Honestly, I could even walk, but it's not really worth it. The new store is so sterile and unfriendly, plus it is in the middle of a hundred seriously expensive stores. It's just not the same.

When I heard they were moving a month ago, I knew that I needed to find another way to spend my time after work. I could search around for another little coffee shop, etc., but I figured this was the chance to find something new. So I decided to start gardening more.

I have always enjoyed fixing up our front yard, which my mother-in-law pretty much ignored before I came along. At first I just cleaned it up, but over time I have put more and more energy into it. There is no crazy landscaping or anything like that, but I added containers full of lavender and placed mulch over the patches of dirt. I am learning things as I go and always finding ways to improve the front yard, but right now it is mostly just maintenance, so I am moving on to our backyard.

The backyard is a rather sad place that only our two dogs seem to enjoy. It receives full sun all day and nothing but weeds will grow in the desert-like soil. In the middle of summer, even the weeds die and just leave a wasteland. It took three years before I even wanted to try and work on it. My husband wanted a nice area to enjoy the evenings, so we amended all the soil, planted grass, and placed a few large planters with flowering bushes along the fence. Needless to say, the grass never sprouted, the bushes died, and we never enjoyed an evening out there.

I wanted to be prepared to start gardening when we came back from vacation, so I started a couple of weeks before we left for Oceanside with my family. I built three wooden boxes for raised garden beds. I wanted one for flowers that I could cut whenever I wanted, one for vegetables since I am interested in sustainable living, and one for my tortoise, who needs to start spending more time outside. I painted them with Linseed Oil, which will keep them from rotting too soon and won't leach chemicals into my veggies or Daisy, the tortoise. I also attached a weed barrier to the bottoms of all three and chicken wire to Daisy's. Rommel helped me move them into the back and fill them will good soil and compost.

Now I am back from vacation and ready to throw myself into this project. I have already finished a few little things, which I will write about in a later post, but I have a huge list of things I want to do, such as a composting center.

I am probably getting ahead of myself, which I usually do when I get really excited about something, but I am trying to take smaller steps so I don't run into any major obstacles and give up. That's part of the reason I am back on my blog after not posting for months. I wanted to keep a record of what I have done.

No comments: