Yes, no sooner than the New Year ticked by did I begin thinking about the projects to come around the house. Believe it or not, I did this all without Sarah's prompting! It must be catching -- nah! After talking with a couple friends I got the idea to do some privacy work to help make our deck more useful. My goal for the north border and small patch of yard on that side of the house would be to put up a privacy screen made of bamboo. Finally today I got online to do some research on the topic and found a great bamboo nursery outside Portland called the Bamboo Garden Nursery. They have plenty of photos to browse, great planting tips, and a chart that helps you decide which bamboo you might want based on price, maximum height, whether it'll take over your yard or not, and how much sun they like. I mocked up the picture below to get an idea how it might look. The rock wall was just me having fun with Photoshop.
Also on the list is a compost bin. My dad has had one for as long as I can remember and, since we have ample room for one, it's my turn to carry on the tradition. A couple websites talked about using/recycling old wooden palettes for shipping since they're plentiful, usually free, and can be used as a compost bin by fastening four together. Although the wood itself will eventually compost there's nothing that doesn't say I couldn't build another out of the same material again. Should be a fun project so keep your eyes out here for more photos to come.
Oh yeah, and I have to finish off that rain barrel I started. Just needs an overflow spout and a screen on top to keep the big chunks out. Then Sarah gets to have fun painting it -- isn't that right, hon?