July, as most of you probably realize, was some calendar anomaly with 5 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It was great for many reasons. It meant that those of us who get paid biweekly saw an extra pay check. Plus I actually had more days off than I worked and that was with only taking two extra days off so it felt like an easy month. For those that take Fridays off in the summer it meant 5 long weekends in the same month! Well technically he only had four because he ended up having to work on the one Friday but he actually had a four day weekend (as did I) over July long weekend. So with all that time off what did we do?
That is the stand back and enjoy it view of the garage and the retaining wall.
We progressed along the rock wall and then we progressed a little more and then a little more and then a little more. Obviously it isn’t a start and finish quickly project but it is one that will last more than our lifetimes. There is a lot of hard work put into it but there is also an artistry and certainly craftsmanship. It also takes persistence to find just the “right” rock for that spot and dedication to get up day after day and mix, pour, haul and place rocks. As of today we have completed to the half way point and that includes digging out for the weeping tile, inserting it and then back filling. We finished just before the “storm” was approaching but all we got was about 40 spots of rain so I guess we didn’t need to work so hard but it’s great to have that part completed.
This is a close up of the wall to the corner of the garage – this became our goal when we realized how darn long it was going to take. It allows us to do the drainage work that was the big reason for undertaking the wall.
This photo shows the weeping tile dug in and the two layers (first gravel) and then soil that we then back filled with. On top of this a portion (on the west side) will have boulder paving and the other side will have greenery that likes shade (such as ferns, hostas, etc).
In amongst the rock wall work we (well mostly me really) kept at the garden so that it could actually produce something other than weeds. The weeds got ahead of me while I was dedicated to painting so it took some time to bring the plants to the forefront but I have almost caught up. It is amazing how tall a weed can grow in the same amount of time it takes a desirable plant to grow just a few inches. I had way too many hours to think in the garden and decided that we need to cultivate the weeds of the world and find uses for them to decrease hunger but really stink weed just doesn’t sound or smell appetizing! On the other hand tonight we ate the fruits of my labour – we had boiled potatoes with fresh chives, lettuce/bean salad (tasty take on a Caesar salad with beans and onions both from the garden) and a red cabbage dish (which I made with a green cabbage from our garden). As appetizers we had kohlrabi and fresh peas in the shell so all in all it was worth going for those weeds. I also obtained a lovely tan on my back and my arms and always enjoy spending time in the garden. We are suffering from an unusual malady here though in that we need rain so this morning I hauled a load of water and we watered the garden with a huge hose and some directional control. We have noticed since moving out here that the weather systems don’t always have the same impact up here on the hill and so even though there have been numerous storms in the city we haven’t had any rain (before tonight’s 80 drops) in over two weeks.
Well it doesn’t look like much but the garden has actually yielded amazing results considering the weed “cover” and the dryness of life on the hill. Fresh produce from the garden to the first person who can identify what all three rows are growing!
Now we are going to change gears again since we rejuvenated during our week off — yes I said a week off. Imagine that, after traipsing around Europe for a month in the spring we took another week off to go to Calgary (for Ron’s mom’s 90th) and then on to Castlegar to see my aunt and my cousins. The company and the weather were great, the views outstanding, the food outstanding and the dogs were well behaved guests. It was a fabulous summer vacation.
Here are the dogs (almost looking the same way!) on my cousins deck overlooking the Columbia River.
And to prove that I can indeed relax – here I am sitting beside my mom enjoying the sun, a beer and the incredible view.
So today we started on a bit of landscaping (which of course will take far longer than we want it to) and then hit at least one wall for the insulation story that I have mentioned before. I was hoping we would get the two coldest walls done this year but unless the weather holds until October I’m not sure we will. Unfortunately I’m not allowed to dismantle the vinyl siding as we really don’t’ want any nasty surprises should the weather turn ugly with the wall exposed so more patience!
Here is Ron in the area between the garage and the sidewalk. We are going to put in underground sprinklers, top soil, do some rock rearrangement and then sod!
See you next entry.
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