Monday, January 21, 2013

So Married a Pick Ax Hunk


That’s right. We’re still working on yards around this place. But at least now we’ve moved to the backyard to start some demolition.

Once again, the term “we” is used rather loosely here. It’s open for interpretation, really, as to how much I really help when it comes to swinging large, heavy, inanimate objects.


Hubby started this months ago, when our weather was finally cool enough to commence some digging. Unlike the rest of the country, we have to wait for winter to begin our outdoor projects.

Really, 119 degrees is just silly talk.

“We” only did a day of work back here before I suggested that we knock out the front yard first, since people actually see that part of our world.


And step one cut a hole in the box of all this fun was to dig up the old sprinkler system in the backyard. Just like he did out front, Hubby is going to reinstall the sprinklers so that they actually work.

In the case of the backyard, which had gravel in half of it when we first moved in, he also needed to add some sprinklers so that our soon-to-be-grass backyard would have adequate water everywhere.

Adequate water is a very important thing here in the desert, apparently. Who knew?


Ha! I got this out of the picture archives to show what it looked like back in the day! We’ve come a long way from this…and have a long way to go still!


So dig up old sprinkler systems “we” did. As you can see, just like in the front yard, these guys kinda went crazy with how they laid the pipes for water. They put lines right down the middle of the lawn. Hubby’s new plan is to run all of the lines around the walls and near the patio, and keep the middle of the yard for…wait for it…grass.

I’m on board. He’s a genius, and he gets to make important executive decisions like these around our house.


So we are coming on a whole year of these sprinklers being turned off. We knew that we were going to tear this whole place up, so we didn’t even bother watering it for the past several months.


So it was a little alarming surprising when he found water still inside the old pipes. I guess it’s pretty hard to evaporate when buried in the ground, huh?


Once the old pipes are out of the ground, “we” will use Hubby’s Dad’s rotor tiller to dig up the entire backyard. This will help mix in our awful clay dirt with some compost that has been lovingly in place since our garden died.

That was quite some time ago, if you’re keeping track. I wish that you wouldn’t keep track, by the way. We might actually get something to grow this year after “we” add a reliable water source!


And, because he is the World’s Most Patient Man, he took the time to explain things and answer my questions as he worked.

You know he’s working, because these are his work pants. Remember?


Not that anyone would ever doubt it, but I married a hard worker. I’m so glad that he’s willing to swing a pick ax to make our yard pretty. It is always difficult to dig into this hard dirt.

Even after a long weekend of rain, which is when he rushed outside to do all of this, the ground was still super hard. He wanted to till the ground while it was still yet, but apparently even water doesn’t help soften things a bit.


I wish I could say that his shadow helped today, but I think he just mostly sat around and watched while Hubby worked his heart out.


Shadow wasn’t the only one watching today, though.


My way of helping today is to provide water for a short break. I’m just glad that he’s wearing the t-shirt that I got him while I was in St. Thomas this past May. I love it.

It’s a shark holding a sign that says, “Bite Me.” He’s worried that it will offend people, so he usually only puts it on at home. It cracks me up, but maybe I got the wrong joke?

Back to work, you.


As you can see, it’s messy business digging up a backyard. In case you’re wondering what crazy schemes we have going for this space, I’ll let you in on all that fun. After the sprinklers are pulled out and the yard is tilled, we will lay new sprinklers. Then we will hire some concrete edging peeps to give us some neat planter boxes near the two brick walls (and the planter boxes out front, while they’re at it, since we don’t meet any minimum order with that thirty feet ready to get concrete right now). They will also cage in the dirt and gravel from the other side yard so that things don’t mix into the beautiful grass.

Speaking of grass, we will sod the remaining yard with gorgeous green stuff in May, once we have everything prepped and ready. And then, water-permitting, we will have an awesome yard to enjoy all summer long…from the air-conditioned house.

And now, every winter from now on, we will plant winter grass in that area and enjoy an actual backyard for several months in our cooler times of the year.

I can hardly wait. For all of it.


I didn’t know that capturing some shots of Hubby digging could be so cool. I love how the focus is on the wall instead of him. And so many sunbursts today! Fun fun.


Just like out front, Hubby is finding all sorts of crummy pipes back here.

They tell us that the previous tenant was a landscape architect.

I just don’t believe it. Not with how crazy fixing these yards has been!


These are the two block walls that will get nice, clean concrete edging around them. Hubby has already prepped to put a drip system inside the planter boxes as well as sprinkler heads for the grass. Those river rock boulders will all be gone.

If you need river rock, please let me know! Free to a good home!


With the crazy pipes out of the ground, it was time to get to the real fun. Hubby thinks this is fun, by the way.


And that’s OK, as long as he doesn’t mind that I think that this is OK!


Rotor tilling was hard work. It shakes and shimmies and is exhausting to hold back from taking over the entire neighborhood.


And, unfortunately, tilling wasn’t very successful today. The blades just skipped along the hard (albeit wet) dirt and barely made a dent. Hubby was hoping to make several inches of soft layer to get it ready for sod to grow.

I think this was frustrating for him. His Dad was down just a few days ago and must have had a serious talk with the rotor tiller. Because in just a few short hours days, Hubby’s Dad finished tilling our entire backyard!

We are lucky to have a Rotor Tiller Whisperer in the family. And grateful that he is willing to work, also. Thanks for saving your son’s back, Mick!

And, uh, sorry about yours hurting instead…


We can’t say that Hubby didn’t try. I guess you just have to know your machine personally.


So he finished this evening using an old-fashioned method of manual labor once again…a shovel. I think that this shovel has become his best friend this winter with all the digging it has done in our front and now back yards!

We will be putting concrete edging in place of these pavers here, and a little further up to keep future garden dirt from messing up the lawn. Won’t this look great?!

It will be wonderful to have a place to enjoy for years to come. And I’m glad that I married a strong, hard-working man who wants to make this place our home just as much as I do.

1 comment:

  1. Wow you all have taken on a big project but Ibet it is going to look beautiful when it's all done. I hope you don't mind but I put a link to your blog in my post today.


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