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Our marble count is now up to 59.  We find them almost every time we dig around in the back yard.  Chris is almost done raking and sifting the soil to prepare for sod this spring.  The bulbs we planted in the fall are unfurling little leaves and all of the plants except one peony seem to have made it through the winter.  (For the record I think the Hurricane Sandy delay at the post office killed the peony in the fall).  Spring Hill Nurseries sent a replacement peony at no charge and this one is looking much happier.  We ordered most of our plants for the back yard from Spring Hill Nurseries and they were wonderful to work with.  We just ordered a cherry tree from the Arbor Day Foundation and are anxiously awaiting the delivery of our first family tree.  The cherry’s sweet-smelling light pink flowers will be beautiful next spring.  (And Ada approved of the color).  The Arbor Day Foundation has incredibly inexpensive trees and they are even cheaper if you become a member.  We ordered this Japanese Flowering Cherry and it was under $20 with shipping.  Amazing!  We are also carving out a space for our bees (!) in the back yard.  Our spare room is full of pine boxes and frames and gear for them.  I cannot wait for the ladies to arrive in May!  I took a beekeeping class in January with two wonderful teachers: Grai St. Clair Rice and Chris Harp from HoneybeeLives.  I have been spending every free moment on these winter days reading about beekeeping.  We are so excited about our new back yard.  It finally feels like we are making this house our own and we can’t wait to watch our garden and our children grow here.  I do have to admit though, that I will miss finding the marbles while we clean the soil.