Sorry I’ve been a bit remiss lately in posting to this blog. As usual, we’ve been busy. Well, actually Tasha and I were both sick with a nasty respiratory infection for a few weeks and are both finally recovered. My parents and sister came to visit a couple weeks ago and we really enjoyed seeing them. We’re looking forward to seeing Tasha’s mom and sister for the Fourth of July weekend. We’ve been working on quite a few things, although our latest big project was a stone terrace/pergola that we’ve finally finished…sort of. I spent a couple days one weekend leveling a patch of ground near the house which turned out to be just barely big enough for all our patio stuff. And even then, I had to build a separate “hearth” for the barbecue.

Barbecue

After that, I dug footings to seat the 4x4 holding the pergola, although I guess I didn’t wait long enough for the concrete to cure, because I cracked one of them and had a lot of trouble with the anchor bolts on a few others. Tasha found some nice flagstones and had them delivered. She did a good job positioning them and setting them in mortar. I got the pergola onto the 4x4’s which I cut at an angle to match the pitch of the roof of our house. It turned out okay; we used the pergola from the old house and mounted it on 4x4s, then added a casing of 2x6s with rafters extending a few inches on either end and cut to match the roof pitch.

Terrace 1

Anyway, we’ve had a few good rains and ended up with quite a bit of mud and standing water on the terrace. In addition to adding pea gravel, I cut swales on the uphill side of the terrace where soil was eroding and drilled a few drains into the 2x4 framing of the terrace, which seems to be helping. Last weekend we took it easy and spent an hour or two Sunday collecting wlid blueberries and blackberries, which are both coming into season here. The wild blueberries are kind of small, but their flavor is really intense, and they grow everywhere on our property.

Terrace 2

The garden’s have been growing like crazy, in spite of the cabbage worms and Japanese beetles. I have to head up to Maryland tomorrow, although I’ll be back here Saturday. In the meantime, Tasha’s going to be picking up our goats–that’s right, two Nigerian does. We’re looking forward to some great goat cheese, and of course Tasha is already in love with the goats. So that’ll be our next blog post or two. I just got a new charger for my D70, so I promise to have more photos!