Where to begin?

Back of the house“No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!”  ― C. JoyBell C.

…and this is how it feels to me!   I’ve finally closed on the house and now I’m unpacking and trying to get settled.  The critters are finally more relaxed.  Oh, and so am I!  My poor pets!  The dogs and cat don’t understand what’s been happening since April of this year.  I drove them across country, we moved into this cabin on the creek and three months later, I pack them up and move them again 12 miles east.  This time it is for…a while…a long while!  My first few months back east have been hectic and so many changes happening; seeing family, old friends, waiting to start the new job, meeting new people and going through the home buying process.  Again!rain gutter

At first I was under contract to buy the cabin on the creek, basically sight unseen while living in Colorado.  And something that most of us don’t get to do, I was able to “try before I bought.”  In a sense.  It wasn’t the house for me.  This house was just a bit far out and over a small mountain.  It felt like I spent so much time on the road.  I’m still spending more time on the road compared to living in Centennial, Colorado, but now I have cut that back some.  So the cabin didn’t work out because the appraisal came in very low.  It was a good place to be for the past three months.  It allowed me to see, that at my current age and singleness, that 2.25 acres was more work than I truly wanted.  The cabin needs a lot of work and it’s just not in me to take on a project like this anymore.  The new job was 20 “country” miles to the east and seemed like I was always on the road, as I mentioned earlier.  Several acres, a cabin, a creek:  something I have wanted so many years ago.

So I began searching for another house; another place for me to begin anew.  And I found the house outside Inwood, West Virginia.  Inwood is about 10 miles south of Martinsburg, WV; 15 miles north of Winchester, VA and not that far from the Maryland state line.   And after three months here, I have found the farmer’s markets, places to shop, pick-your-own farms and some decent restaurants.  The house I now occupy sits on .56 of an acre, flat and pretty much void of trees, shrubs and flowers.  The back property line has a nice border of trees and shrubs and I will keep it this way.  There are two neglected apple trees at the back of the property along with a tall locust that has grown nearly on top of them.  The house has southern exposure across the front (yes!  passive solar in the winter!); the west side bordered by very tall Leland Cypress (another plus!  a windbreak!) as is most of the north to northwest side of the lot.  The neighbors are friendly and nice.   The neighborhood is dark at night and you can see the constellations and shooting stars!Composting Inwood

This has been the first year in a long time that I haven’t had some type of garden growing, some new method of gardening that I was experimenting with or getting my hands dirty working the soil.  And now we are in the midst of August, summer fading and autumn around the corner.  I did begin a compost pile and I’m testing out a new “backyard” composter that I found online.  The “SoilSaver Backyard Composter.”  And uh, no, I didn’t pay that for the bin, so do your research.  It’s pretty durable and has a locking lid.  This is an ideal compost bin for the small backyard composter.  Since the BioStack is no longer made (though it seems someone knows how to get them!), this is probably the next best thing to a recycled plastic compost bin.  It’s sturdy and durable.  When things are more settled and the garage cleaned, I will build a three-bin system with 2×4’s and hardware cloth or one of pallets.  The rain barrel will have to wait until spring, but I do have one downspout that actually drains into the ground and out to the middle of the back yard.  Interesting.

neglected appleOn Saturday I met James Remuzzi of SustainableSolutions.  He and his team were at the Morgan’s Grove Market in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.  Check out his company!  From him I purchased two American Hazelnut, a Redosier Dogwood, two Common Elderberry “shrublings” and a Cranberry Vibirnum.   These plants join a butterfly bush, three butterfly weeds, one lavender plant and three blue sage, along with a Northstar Cherry that was a gift from my sister.  All need to be planted soon and hard rocky clay soil awaits!  But I see a nice hedgerow in the making!new shrubs

I am now in the planning phases, surveying the lot and dreaming of what I will plant and where.  The first order of business is working on the soil and building several raised beds for  fall and early winter planting in cold frames.  I’m definitely going to need a greenhouse out back, along with a wildflower garden, and a place to sit and reflect.  Maybe a hammock?

back of lot

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