We painted the garage wall in imitation of a Chinese painting—painted it first in mud—real mud, from the ground—so we could get the feel we wanted, hosed off the bits we didn’t like, then re-did them.

Then we got a selection of little sample paint pots from Ace Hardware, and started in on a permanent image, incorporating the mud right into the work in some few places, but mostly just operating from the faint trace left after hosing off a section. We finished it with a transparent layer. And it’s a lot nicer than the blank white wall we started with, kind of organic, like the garden.

The snow-viewing lantern (that’s what they’re called: you can judge the depth of the snow by how much piles up on it, I suppose. We do) was a gift from an early Shejicon, one we light at night on special occasions, and to remember people we’ve lost. It casts a beautiful reflection of light on the pond. We greatly treasure it.

The bridge stands in a little need of repair, but I know how to do it. The problem stems from my choice of 12×2’s, not knowing that they’re a composite board, not a single piece of wood. It is slowly coming un-composited. We are going to ‘sister’ some plywood to it and repaint, and it will be strong enough to hold several people. Right now, one of us is a risk.