Happy Birthday and Anniversary and Merry Christmas Too!

When I turned 40, I received a tree for a birthday gift. Now I do love trees, but I also realized that the gift represented a milestone in my life. I was entering the age where one received trees in celebration of their birth. Perhaps, subconsciously everyone is thinking the tree will serve as some sort of legacy or reminder when the poor old birthday boy has departed this world.

After the fire and all we went through, our wedding anniversary snuck up on us and we couldn’t decide on appropriate gifts. Since we were beginning to landscape the new place, I decided upon a large load of dirt to support a vision of creating little berms to give some depth to this flatland we now called home. Very romantic, I know. So if you’re ever wondering what the 46th anniversary is called – it is the dirt anniversary.

Continuing this theme of growing older and receiving gifts, this past Christmas our children gave us a landscaping rock – that was drilled out in the middle for water to flow up through it – along with a pond liner. The idea is that we would create a “pond less’ water feature.

We have a muddy area just off the back patio and so the project began. First digging a hole, putting cinder blocks in it to hold up the rock, installing a pump and pond liner, and filling the hole and surrounding area with river gravel was the basic process. There was other stuff that needed to be done, but I don’t want to think about again as it was a pain in the ass … removing tree stump, edging bricks, leveling the area etc..

This weekend we will move the hot tub, off the patio, to out alongside the new area and this little project will be complete. I am not a fan of exposed aggregate patios but I think it looks much nicer now as the river gravel serves as a transition into the backyard.

I also planted two more apricot trees, two Asian pears, and another nectarine tree. This makes 65 fruit, citrus, walnut, pomegranate trees planted during our three years out here. I am going to blame this obsession on my 40th birthday gift…and a bit of my father’s dna!

From the kitchen window
Benny thinks we built this just for him. Gracie likes sitting on the cool rocks where the hole was dug and filled with water and rocks. Linus, the cat, loves drinking the running water.