An April daze-- 04/27/10

Maybe I'm just befuddled... in a daze... an April daze? I just seem to have too many things to do and not enough time to do them...

Last week was Spring Break week for our school district so Nancy had the week off. I took vacation days for Wednesday and Friday. On Wednesday we did various chores and then set out to figure out what we are going to do (from a landscaping point of view) with an area in our front yard. Many years ago (back in 2002 ) we put down a new lawn (three thousand square feet of sod). In preparation for that I had a large truckload of dirt delivered, making a small hill of topsoil on the left side of our yard in the middle of a clump of oak trees. A lot of that dirt (called "loam" in this area) was used in preparing for laying down the sod (ripping up the old lawn and roto-tilling the new dirt and peat moss in with the old dirt) and more of it has been used over the years in my vegetable garden and in planting flowers and shrubs and trees, etc., but there always remained a mound of dirt between those trees. Finally, last fall I cleared away that dirt, moving most of it into the area in the backyard where I had some trees cut down last year, where I am hoping to have a new vegetable garden this summer.

Our question has been: now that that area is clear, what are we doing to do with it? We did do some planting around the sides last fall, but the center area is just level bare dirt now. However, we have to keep in mind that it is in shade for much of the day. So Wednesday afternoon we went to a plant nursery to look at some possible plants to put there. We like to intersperse little bits of vacation fun in with practical chores, so after a considerable amount of time spent looking at plants, we decided to go for a late lunch at a seafood restaurant that overlooks the entrance to Point Judith Harbor. (It is, in fact, just about directly opposite the Block Island Ferry dock and Champlin's, the seafood restaurant where we most often go.) When we got there, however, we found that we were too early in the season: they were not open this early in the season. And the same was true of the restaurant nearby. Then Nancy remembered hearing good things about a restaurant called Matunuck Oyster Bar, so we retraced our route back along Succotash Road, past East Matunuck State Beach and followed Succotash Road inland. They had enough cars in their parking lot to indicate they were, indeed, open for business. They have a nice outdoor dining deck overlooking an inlet the connects Potter Pond with Succotash Pond (which, in turn, connects to Point Judith Pond).

This is the view from their dining deck looking towards the entrance to Potter Pond.
The sky was overcast, but mostly it was a bright overcast with many hints of sunshine. It was cool and there was a light breeze, but it was so pleasant to be outside now that winter is gone... and we were dressed warmly enough. (I was wearing a sweatshirt and just threw on a nylon shell windbreaker over it.)

A bridge carries Succotash Road over the inlet near the restaurant and half a dozen people were fishing from it.

View Larger Map
That frame above this should have a Google view of the area I'm talking about (although they still label it as a seafood market rather than as the restaurant it has become) -- but you should be able to zoom in and out and get an idea of what the area is like -- water and marinas and cottages and a lot of beach.

We split a very fancy bruschetta as an appetizer, a seafood bruschetta so piled up with tuna and shrimp and spinach and onions and tomato, etc., that you can scarcely see the garlic bread underneath -- and then each had a huge order of fish and chips.

Back home a little before five and did physical yard work until almost dark. Worked on Thursday -- and then got in another hour and a half of yard work. Friday was another vacation day and I spent most of the afternoon on backyard chores. Doing what? Well, moving firewood around, moving what is left of the two cords I had purchased in the fall (we used just a bit more than half of that supply) from where it had been and stacking it in the back near my new garden; splitting some more of the pieces of those trees that had been cut down last fall; cleaning and weeding and cutting roots and pulling up thorny vines and turning the soil and preparing the area where my new garden will be. Oh, there is no shortage of things to be done. Had a meeting (about the Narragansett Towers) on Saturday morning and then more yard work and then off to Providence to see The Odd Couple at TrinityRep on Saturday night.

And Sunday was the James Joyce Ramble 10k race. No, my heel hurt enough that I decided that it would be really stupid to run it -- or even to walk it. But Jill and I went there and she ran it, but I am out of time now. (Have to go grocery shopping and do some advance food prep for tomorrow -- company coming for dinner. Maybe the James Joyce Ramble with pictures tomorrow?

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