Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Great Outdoors, Part 2

Another weekend again finds Lauren and myself outside in the back yard after a busy weekend, with a citronella candle sitting between our lounge chairs; Lauren's working on a quiz/lesson for her summer class, while I'm surfing and chatting, with fireflies flickering around both of us.

This is the weekend that we would have been in Des Moines, for a solstice gathering and small second wedding reception that two of my friends were throwing, but there wasn't enough response from everyone, so both it and the solstice gathering got cancelled. It peeves me a little that two of my friends wanted to do something really nice for us, and hardly anyone up there responded to the RSVPs, making their efforts for naught. I mean, it is summer, and everyone does have busy schedules, but c'mon people ... what gives??? To quote Stan Lee: "Nuff' said".

Anyhoo, we had a great and productive time this weekend anyway. After another 8.5 mile walk out to Gray's and back on Saturday, we spent the afternoon doing some planning and yard work ... mainly planning for the 4th of July, some shopping for groceries for that campout, some hoping that the weather on the 4th stays pleasant enough that we don't get rained out, and also some more yard work, which will lead into several nice additions to the back and side yards.

Friday afternoon, we rented a tiller and did some bedding prep for what will become "the kitty garden", or the 3rd corner garden to go with the rose garden and lily garden at each corner of the property and create a "virtual border" for the lawn.

For a little backstory, last summer Lauren and I had brainstormed what "theme" we wanted for the next corner garden, and I suggested doing a "kitty" garden, with pussywillows, catnip, and some cat-themed decorations. Then, after our cat "Kitty" passed away last February, we decided that we'd also add a small memorial marker for her, too. We'll probably hold off on planting until fall, but the seedbed will be ready by then. Lauren also did some relocation of her day lillies and some of the peonies, which cleaned up some of the clutter by the street.

Last night, we started another leftover project from last summer, burning out an old tree stump near the street, and that is now turning into another "nice to have" item, too; we've decided that we're going to turn the former stump space into a small firepit area, so tomorrow, we'll be getting a trunkload of paving stones and a bag of sand to assemble that. It will cost us about the same as an average-grade portable firepit from Wal-Mart, but we think doing it this way will let it blend in with the rest of the yard decorations. Since the location is out by the street, it's plenty far enough from the house for safety purposes, and when it's done, we'll not only have a decorative place to use as a conversation and cooking pit for later in the fall, but we'll also have a place to do junk branch and leftover garden plant burns as well. It's a pity that the closest of my friends lives an hour and a half away, and some of Lauren's friends live even farther away .... we could put the conversation pit to good use.