Playing in the Dirt!
We knew, going into the weekend, that we wanted to take one of our flowerbeds and use retaining walls stones (for lack of a better word) to create a low wall and raise and even out the ground behind it a bit. I've always loved gardens where there are multiple tiers versus everything on a single flat surface, and Bobby was right with me.
We bought our stones at Lowe's and (literally) about a half-ton of dirt and got to work. We were really pleased with the final product. Then I suggested, off the cuff, partitioning a bit of it off even further and raising it another level so we basically have a flowerbed with three different levels. We had a couple of extra stones, so I laid out what I meant, and Bobby's eyes lit up, and we were back off to Lowe's to get enough stones to finish it.
Our next-door neighbor Bob, seeing us working outside, was over in our yard a couple of times to, as he put it, observe productive people. Now Bob is an awesome gardener. My cousin Jamie compares his backyard to Narnia. After we finished our little stone structure, he came wandering back over, took one look, and exclaimed, "Wow!" I think we really surprised him!
It looks awesome.
Of course, a couple stone walls and a bunch of dirt isn't much fun. So what's going in there? We've planted a butterfly and hummingbird garden there. I think it'll look really cool once everything has grown, which will probably take awhile.
(No pictures until there are some plants in it as, now, it is just a fancy receptacle for dirt!)
Something else cool: Bobby and I started ballroom dancing lessons last night, beginning with the waltz.
It started because someone suggested to Bobby and our friend Patrick that heavy fighters really benefit from learning salsa dancing. So Bobby looked into salsa dancing lessons and found a whole lot of schools in our area that teach all sorts of dance. Turns out that learning to really dance is something that he's always wanted to learn to do (heavy fighting aside). We're registered for salsa classes, but then there was a chance that they'd be canceled, so Bobby also registered us for waltz.
We were easily the youngest couple there. (There was another woman there possibly younger than me or around the same age, but she was there with an older guy, I think her dad.) The instructor started having us listen for the waltz beat. Easy ... I've been playing music since I was a kid, and Bobby's a percussionist. Then we marched in place to the beat. Then we marched to the beat and turned in place at the same time. Then we learned the box step individually, ladies and gents separately. Finally, we partnered up and put it all together.
After a forty-five minute class, Bobby and I were competently waltzing around in a circle! And we had a great time!
Then we came home and waltzed some more on our back patio.
At one point, the instructor had us count out loud while we danced. Well, we got pretty tired of one-two-three one-two-three, so we started making up other three-beat counts: one-two three, Elves-are-cool, one-two-three, leaf-shaped-ears, cracking up all the while. And we were no sooner in the car after class and I was suggesting practicing to Nox Arcana's "Crystal Forest," which is a waltz (but too fast for us as utter newbies). I guess once a nerd, always a nerd.
And Bobby just got word that salsa class is on, so it looks like we'll be taking salsa and waltz simultaneously. That's not a bad thing. We had so much fun (Elves aside!) and it's really good exercise.