Friday, May 20, 2016

Before and After pics. An update on the jalapeno plants and the backyard grass situation...

This post is going to be about the jalapeno seedlings and how they're growing. With pics of them at various stages. And also this post will be about the progress of the grass in our backyard. Specifically talking about, the great big area with zero grass immediately, after our playground was disassembled and given to friends with little kids. And progress on that and what it looks like now and again...in the various stages... during the progress to get to where we are at right now. So first things first, let's talk jalapenos first. : ) This was 3 plastic containers from Seria (the 100 yen shop) with many jalapeno seedlings in there.  

Then we had little teeny tiny baby jalapeno plants starting to sprout from the soil. We ended up with 26 teeny tiny jalapeno seedlings. There was absolutely.... no way we were going to grow 26 jalapeno plants, plus the 10 Big John's chilies that are still coming. I mean, we're weekend/recreational veggies growers. We're not professional farmers or anything. @_@ Hahaha. So we kept 8 jalapeno plants. That's still double of what we grew last year. 

When they were finally big enough, we transplanted them to... where they will call home for the whole of summer. Noboru has been reading a few blogs in Japan by Japanese people who grow chili here in Japan. He reads an older Japanese woman's blog and she grows jalapeno plants year round in a 2 liter bottle. Yes that's right, with out any soil or dirt at all. Noboru was inspired by what she said. And by how easy she said it was. So, we cleaned and rinsed 8 mugicha (tea) bottles and put in some nutrients in the water. And planted them. Also, the bottles must be covered because if suns hits the roots... the plants will die? @_@ That's apparently what the old woman said and so she said to cover the bottles and so we have.  Will this work? Will this fail? We'll see. : )
This was a picture of them from last week! They have grown so much huh? So anyways, that's the jalapeno chili update for now. : ) I'll keep you updated. 
And now here is the update on our backyard area where the jungle gym used to be. This picture was taken the same day that they drove off and took the jungle gym away. After they drove off, I'd say about 2 minutes after they left, I went outside right away and snapped this picture for you guys. At this point, it just looked... really sad. Like... something used to be there... but now it's not anymore. Like this... big gaping spot with nothing-ness. 

I did want and need to say though...that they were very nice and did give our family a *really* nice box of cookies. For us giving them the jungle gym. Granted we didn't want anything. Or need anything, but yeah...it was sorta cool they did that! : )

Wrapped so nicely!

I loved this tin of cookies! Judging by the color of my green counter, it's clear I do like green. : ) I just really loved this box of cookies. And the tin was fabulous! Great color, great design. I'm keeping this tin. I have kept this tin. : )

The cookies were delicious. 

Stage one. Remove the black circular edging that kept that area for the playground. Take away all the bark. This is so.....easier said than done! This was hella hard! The 4 of us spent days and days on it. It took us 2 days to remove all the bark. And physical work like this....left all of our bodies sore sore sore and downright physically exhausted. Talk about a work out for all of us! Plus I still had to come inside and make dinner too. Those were definitely...no blogging days. No computer days at all or very limited. A few of those days. It was...wake up... go outside and pull bark and throw it into the bucket. And as you can see, we each had our own bark bucket. Dirt under your finger nails. Blistery hands. We'd wear gloves. Yet, on the other jobs we'd have to take them off. It was not easy peasy! It was work! Plain and simple. Grueling...back breaking work. But we did it! : ) 

We'd work until it got dark. And for me...I'd go inside an hour at lunch time and prep whatever it was...we were having for dinner that night plus make everyone lunch. Go back outside and help for a few hours. Then pop back inside the house and get supper done. Call them all in. We'd all call it a night... as soon as supper was done and dusted. Everyone would take turns showering. I'd go last... not because I'm an angel...but because I had to get the kitchen back to normal...dishes put in the dishwasher, scrub the stove. Wipe the dinner table. Like on those types of nights. I would get online.... at 6:30pm and tell my dad by email or skype..."good night shutting down the computer, love ya"..."I'm exhausted and want to take a load off and watch TV and unwind some" He totally understood. And I still wanted to be polite and say good night to my dad too because we're super close... but again...I was tired. Flat out tired. : )  And that went on...for a almost a week, a good 5 days. Again...it was really hard work. 

Finally by the 3rd day we started to see some progress. It was bark free. The dirt was all over turned. 

To get to this point. Wow! This may not look like much...but if you saw what it looked like before. And see what it looks like right in this pic. You can see...a whole heck of a lot of work went into it. 

And now we needed to make it a flat level surface. We tried with this heavy bag first. This is about 20 pounds, this bag of stuff right here. However it wasn't heavy enough. We needed something heavier. 

About this heavy! And thanks Noah for helping us out. Noah was a real champ. But he had to hold on real tight and not fall off. Meanwhile Noboru was flattening out the dirt while Noah helped adding his weight to the make shift flattening device. Sod was going to go down the next day. So we did all this flattening out. And then I went in the house... made dinner and the next day, while Noboru was at work. The kids and I went out there and laid the sod down. 
And another day of yard work. Oh the joy! LOL! : ) But again...if you work hard at something. You'll reap the rewards. I'm a firm believer in that. So back to the yard. From 10am, to 4pm, I was out in the backyard that day. I did go inside for an hour at lunch, to make lunch for the kids and myself, the kids went inside for lunch and to rest an hour too. And I did go inside at 4pm to make dinner. Otherwise we'd all starve to death hahaha. : ) But, yeah it was a full... full day for me. And full day for the kids because they were out there with their dad after he came home. The boys were outside until 5:50pm. Almost 6pm. And Noboru, he was at work all morning and afternoon and when he got home... he had about 3 hours of yard work. So we all kicked butt. There are are no slackers at our house. We all live here...we all help out! Those are the rules. That's just the way we roll. 

Laying the sod down. The pieces have to fit. They have to lay right. 

When Noboru came home we had it already laid out like this. That's when I called it a day for being outside and went inside to get dinner done. The kids kept going and going and going.

And then Noboru and the kids covered the new sod with nutrients. Looks weird I know, but he does this once a year and it works. It make the grass healthier. And really take off. 

Go Noah go! He is such a good helpful kid. This is hard work. If you do yard work at all. You know! Your body aches after wards. If you work at it... for a full day. Noboru gave each of the boys 400 yen each day, that they helped in the backyard. Though they would have done it anyways for free. But by the time we finished. The kids each had about 2,000 yen each. About $20 US. Just a little spending money. : ) Which is always nice to have. : ) 

Nutrients all over the sod and all over the grass we already have. And as soon as it pushes through all that. It will be stronger! Look below. : ) 
I took this picture yesterday morning. So, this is what it currently looks like. The grass (what we already had) and the sod (new grass) pushed through all those nutrients just fine! And now it's way greener. And while I still see a faint circular outline of where the jungle gym area used to be...I can see that... as soon as we mow the grass in a month, it will blend in 100%. And by mid summer you will barely be able to see where the jungle gym used to be. : ) 

And these are what the jalapenos looked like, as of yesterday morning. They are now living outside. However they went into shock by being put outside. And so...Noboru has transplanted them to soil. Will the jalapeno plants survive? Honestly I don't know. Their first half day outside they were dying. Like legit dying their leaves changed color their leaves flopped down. I'll keep ya posted on the jalapenos and how they're doing with... being transplanted from a watery home to soil. So anyways, little update on the jalapenos and the backyard grass situation. : )  Happy Friday everyone! I have a lunch date with 2 of my favorite girl friends today at 11am. We'll be going to our favorite Indian restaurant and spend our afternoon catching up and basically have an awesome afternoon! : )  So that's what I'll be doing today. : ) Have a great weekend. : ) You all already know me and the fam-bam are going to the movie theater tomorrow. Anyway, talk to you all later. : )