Monday, September 8, 2008

The Fruits of My Labor (or is it the Labor of My Fruits?)

I like most fruit, apples are especially good. But recently fruit has become my nemesis. Let me explain... When I purchased my house I didn't just get a house, no, what I got was a mini-farm. A fruit growing farm. I have cherry trees, apple trees, plum trees and pear trees. There are five apple trees and they are all different varieties. In total I have 12 trees in my yard that bear fruit. Some of these trees are 40 feet high (the pear tree is as high as my two story house). That's a lot of fruit. I also have two 20 foot long rows of raspberries and a row of blueberries. There was a reason the pioneers settled in this area long ago, the soil is rich with nutrients and anything you plant in it will grow like it's been juiced up on steroids.

I am overwhelmed with fruit. Funny thing about fruit - it doesn't stay on the tree. So ya see, what I have now is fruit fly heaven. I can't possibly pick all the fruit and I've given away about as much as my friends can stand. On several occasions I have walked around my yard and picked apples and pears and plums, taking a single bite out of each one and then chucking the remainder in the bushes. I probably managed to reduce my harvest by about .000001% - and quite frankly I am getting sick of eating them...I don't care how good it is for ya. For god sakes just give me a big bag of nacho cheese Doritos!
See the tallest tree in this picture? That's a pear tree...we are talking literally hundreds of pears...I don't even like pears. The tree that the ladder is under is a Plum tree. If I wanted to use my hot tub I'd have to strap on a helmet.

I've had several people give me ideas of what I can do with all this fruit. Make apple cider they say, or jam. But ya know what - that's a hell of a lot of work. I think my best option right now may to put a "U-Pick Free!" sign out in front of my house. Really though, even though it is a bit of a burden to have all these fruit trees it is pretty cool and all in all the "mess" they make is only for a short period. But let me tell ya, sometime around the middle of February my quiet little neighborhood is going to hear the sounds of chainsaws as I whack these trees down to little fruit bearing bonsai trees!

If you think dog poop is bad, try having several hundred rotting apples, pears and prunes in your yard!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm in!

Hurray! I am finally all moved in to the new house - and I am exhausted! With the help of my gang of friends the bulk of the moving got done this past Saturday though my sister Cheryl and I got an early start on Friday by putting together my couches that I bought from IKEA. I feel like I have not had much time to sit and relax and enjoy the new house. It was great to get everything moved in, but that also meant that I needed to then get everything organized. I got the bulk of the stuff put away but I still have 4-5 boxes of stuff that I need to go through. Seems like as soon as I sit down I start thinking things like "Ya know, I think I'll change out that light fixture with the one I got at Home Depot" or "I need to figure out where I'm gonna put the exercise equipment" or "I need to replace that showerhead…".

And talk about spending money! Whooo boy! I should have bought Fred Meyer stock because I'm sure it's gone up from me buying stuff there. There's just tons of stuff you don't think about that you have to buy when you are basically "starting over" - towels, door mats, rugs, dishes, vacuum cleaner…and weird stuff that you just forget you need - toothbrush holder, scissors, pens, paper, garbage cans, an arsonel of cleaning supplies.... Literally hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars of miscellaneous crap!

I'm still getting use to the house. At our old house we lived way back off the main road so if a car came down the driveway in the middle of the night I'd likely wake up and listen to see if it was one of our neighbors, now I have a road in front of my house and cars go by all the time (maybe 4-5 in a night, but that's a lot compared to what I am use to). I'm sure I will eventually just tune them out. I'm also getting use to the layout of the house. My bedroom is upstairs and the bathroom with the shower is downstairs - right now it feels odd to me to have to wake up and stumble downstairs to take a shower in the morning but I'm sure I'll get used to it (The bathroom upstairs only has a bathtub but I'm going to remodel that and put in a shower). Right now though the thing I seem to be struggling with the most is having to walk outside to get to my truck. I have a detached garage and sometime this week I am going to dispose of the giant pile of cardboard and plastic I have in it from the move and then I can park my truck in it. But that still means I have to walk the 30 feet or so outside from the house to the garage. Yeah, I know - "boo hoo". But it just feels weird. I'm use to just going into the garage and jumping in my (warm) truck and off I go. Now I gotta go out the back door, lock the door with my key (hard to do in the dark I have found), walk to the garage and open the garage door, THEN I can get in my truck and go.

It's just weird how we become creatures of routine and the littlest things throw us off. I was at the old house for 10 years - the new house is gonna take a little getting used to, especially when my sons are not there to keep me occupied, it's awfully quiet when they are not there….but I'm sure there will be times when I relish the peace and quiet. It feels pretty good though and I am enjoying having my own place again…but even as I type this I can feel the yard yearning to be mowed .