Friday, August 29, 2014

transformation and gratitude

gratitude-for the ability to do     hard physical labor

We are building a riverbed in our front yard, and will fill it with cobble.  This is stage 1 of our landscape plan.  The dry riverbed will provide a little bit of drainage away from the house and should pool some water in the meanders next to the "hills" you see in the photos.  The red hill next to the golden barrel cacti is gravel we scraped off in order to do this landscaping.  This gravel has since been moved-our elderly neighbors needed some in their back patio so we moved 5 wagonloads over there.  This morning we transferred most of the rest to a common area behind our back wall (shhh, don't tell the HOA).

Stage 2 will be planting cactus, flowering bushes, yucca and some ground cover.  Thankfully, the nursery provides this service as working with spiny plants is really difficult.

Stage 3 will be laying down a fresh layer of gravel.  The rock we chose is called Sonoran Gold (sounds a little like what we used to buy in the 70s) and is a light colored gravel.  We'll hire a few burly kids to do that part.

This is the long, slow part of transforming a neglected house and yard.  We like this work, and I wouldn't want to have a company come in and do it for me.  I like to plan, and to work a bit, and then change the plan to suit new ideas.  Our yard in Oregon was pretty spectacular at times, and that was done almost entirely by us.

I'm feeling better, though I still have times when I deflate quickly.  I appreciate all your care and cannot express how nurtured I feel by your friendship.  I hope that I can return the favor to each and every one of you sometime.

Thank you!


  1. Friends and physical labor are both good prescriptions for depression. ;-)

  2. Keep going its going to look wonderful Im sure. Looking forward to the next pictures.

  3. I often am unable to physically work hard now, but nothing is better than that completely exhausted from manual labor, but satisfied feeling of accomplishment. Can't wait to see pictures of the transformation.

  4. I'm glad you are feeling a bit better. I admire your yard work. I have to admit this past year I gave up on mine and it shows. You are inspiring me to get back at it:)

    1. Angela, you're not alone, I did the same thing. When it cools down I am going tear out the old and put in some new.

  5. If I'm not sewing or reading in my spare time, I am out in my yard. I need the contemplative creativity that yard work provides. Not to mention the stunning flowers. And the guerrilla hummingbirds. And the dog tossing his tennis ball for the umpteenth time into the hole I am digging.
    You showed photos of your Oregon yard before and I hope you also derive healing from your efforts.

  6. Glad to see you out and about. It's easier to let go of things when you're busy and out in the sunshine with the promise of lovelies to come. Remember to stay hydrated!

  7. This quote by Ursula K. Le Guin (often mis-attributed to Hemingway) keeps showing up for me lately, and your post brought it to mind again: "It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end."

    I think that you are traveling a brave and inspirational journey. And I look forward to the continued transformation, both within and without :)

  8. What a great way to keep the mood buoyant - the regenerative process of nature can also happen in our soul, getting out with nature seems to help with this process. Looking forward to seeing both you and your garden grow :)

  9. It will be lovely! Be sure to update with photos as everything progresses along. Glad you are feeling better.

  10. It cheers me to know you're starting to heal. I'm hoping to visit SAS today before heading home. Thank you for telling me about it.


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