My Happy Place

When you have a friend with power tools, this can happen.

For my entire adult life, I’ve wanted a garden. The apparent sad fact seemed to be that a garden didn’t want me. If I got past the planning, plotting and tilling up the yard to actually get to the planting, I didn’t seem to grow a darn thing. Well except for frustration in my wife with the square of dried dirt in the yard. I grew that pretty well. So, let’s say she was less than excited when I said I wanted to try it again. But this time I would do something different.

While strolling through Pinterest I saw a garden that caught my eye. It was an area for a container garden. This I had never tried before. I shared it with a friend in our day-dream conversations. Never did I imagine she would say, “Oh, I can build this.” From there the planning began. Much of this was on her part as I did have to verify at one point in time that she was still speaking English as I had absolutely no clue what she was talking about. One Friday morning, she came with a trunk full of power tools. She had me using power table saws and others that I can’t remember the name of. I joke with my wife that she fell in love with me all over again when she came home to see me using them.

By Sunday morning, we had this 12×12 foot enclosure. The fencing is 4-foot high. The posts are set with Quik-crete. The small pergola and trellis rail are 6-ft high.

Getting read

The next weekend I hit Lowe’s and a local farming supply store. It was great timing as Lowe’s had their fertilizer and mulch on sale for 5 for $20. I used 15 bags of black mulch to fill the space. I purchased two 2x4x2 galvanized stock tanks, two whiskey barrel planters, painter’s tape and copper spray paint. I drilled drain holes in the bottom of the stock tanks to have well-drained soil for my plantings. (After a summer of heavy rain I did have to go back and put a few in the sides.) There was a plug that could be removed for draining. Keep this little sucker handy because I do many times plug it in as well as remove it dependent on the rain.

I like to upcycle as much as I can to reduce my footprint on this world so my other containers were ones I was already using around the home. I transplanted the salvageable herbs and painted them with the same copper paint.

These brick pavers were leftovers from a patio project we had done a couple of years before. WeedEx material was laid down prior to the black mulch for a nice ground covering.

I waited a full month to let the wood dry before staining. (Note the total photo bomb of Socks and the Who Dat flare!)

My little happy place has given me hours of peace and tranquility not to mention little nuggets of veggies and herbs. I tend to it nearly daily with bits of time to walk out and look over the day’s growth. Sometimes my wife and I even have a glass of wine while sitting on the bench I placed out by it. It’s a wonderful way to end the work day.

It wasn’t too bad of a harvest it’s first year. Although, it was not without lessons learned, ie: avoid overcrowding by only planting one plant per whiskey barrel. But in the end, this little weekend project has been a welcome edition to our home both aesthetically and in our tummies.

Isn’t It Romantic

“Isn’t it romantic?” would probably not be the phrase those looking outside in the Cain household would’ve said about this Valentine’s Day but it actually was probably one of the most romantic we have had as a couple. I know this would be true as a married couple as it’s our first together since our wedding in August. After twenty-five Valentine’s Days together, we had slowly fallen out of truly celebrating the day of love. This year we had both secretly decided to surprise the other with a little gift. I always carry my laptop with me in case I find some time to write. Most of the time this is at a local little coffee shop for an Americana and quiet time to write. Yet you may find me pecking away in between clinic patients or during lunch. My wife (boy, do I still get all giggly inside when I call her that) had noticed my latch had broken on my messenger bag so for the Day of Love she ordered me a new Kenneth Cole one. As if that didn’t blow me away, she had a fleu-de-lis painted with Who Dat and Geaux Tigers on it to hang in my office. Yes, as with any true Who Dat fan, my heart was a wee bit deflated with the end of our football season. Speaking of…”How ’bout ‘dem Saints!” As for me, I surprised her with a pair of Brooks tennis shoes. Oh wait, I think I just lost you. No seriously! You just have to know me and us to know that was extremely romantic on my part. I never…shall I repeat…NEVER buy her Brooks. I wear tennis shoes if there is a purpose for them, ie: I’m playing a sport. Geanie wears them as her preference in footwear and she loves the not-so-inexpensive Brooks. They are her favorite. Generally on Valentine’s Day I would buy her the traditional “romantic” gift. When she opened this year’s, she kept saying over and over “I can’t believe you got me Brooks!” As if I hadn’t knocked it out of the park with the shoes, her card had a picture of a slice of bacon and an egg on it with the inscription of “We go together like bacon and eggs”. Ok so maybe I definitely just lost you with that one. Guess what though? It played our wedding recessional song, Happy Together by The Turtles, when you opened it. Come on now–that is romantic! Speaking of our wedding day and Valentine’s, here’s a few pics that show why that song fit us. It truly is romantic.

“Happy Together” by The Turtles

“Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night, it’s only right
To think about the girl you love and hold her tight
So happy together”

“If I should call you up, invest a dime
And you say you belong to me and ease my mind
Imagine how the world could be, so very fine
So happy together

“I  can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you
For all my life
When you’re with me, baby the skies’ll be blue
Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me”