Monday, August 22, 2011

D's Side Yard Makeover : Trenching Part 1

This weekend felt quite abbreviated.  Saturday I had to work with the boss and a room full of other Japanese folks to vet a presentation they had to give in Brazil this morning.  See, being a grammar nazi can be beneficial in one's professional life. 

Anyway, I came home and D was excited to show me what he had accomplished for the last two days in the yard.  The first thing is the side bed.  This is a before photo.  It has since been cleared of much debris and many bricks have been dug up.  It no longer looks quite so ill-kept.  But notice the ancient laundry line pole in the bed (left side of bed). 

Before: With laundry-line pole
 This is what it looks like now.  Like all the random bricks in the back there?  We dug those up.  Neat, huh?

Where'd it go?

Down the rabbit hole?

There it is

This thing has plagued D's mind for weeks.  He dug and dug while I pulled dead vines and roots out of the side bed, and still it didn't come out.  He broke through a layer of concrete triumphantly, only to discover that there was another layer of concrete beneath it.  See the different levels of discoloration?  Not a trendy ombre finish.  It's the level of weathering from the exposed end to the middle (buried in dirt) to the shiny end that was embedded in concrete, to the second concrete layer (still present).  

D was very proud.

He had also pulled out the rickety gate to the back yard, and the gate-poles.

This was our gate.

The earth that had settled over time had moved the poles too much for the gate to shut anymore, so it was kind of pointless anyway.  When Jack the puppy was with us, we'd had to block up the gap with sandstone bricks (of which we have a few, trust me).   We'll need to get the new gate in before we bust Bob the Dog out of Prison. 

So this is the view I came home to Saturday.  This is the side of the house.  D has managed to rip up all of the stumps from the side of the house too, which is amazing.  They look sci fi.  We should keep them as lawn sculptures.  Anyway, you can see by the drainage pipe and the dirt everywhere that this has been a pretty physical job.  Props to my husband.  He broke two shovels Saturday.  True story.  One of them was abused.  One of them snapped when D gave it a stern look.  But Lowe's was good about taking it back.  We are going to have a fantastic relationship with their Returns Department before this is all through. 

Trenching Project : Halfway-ish

 (Like D's jammies?)     
This is after work was done for the day, Saturday.   

The drainage pipe for the downspout, he discovered, actually went nowhere.  The pipe likely collapsed underground somewhere, so all of the water from the gutters was just getting dumped onto the side of the house.  He has two drainage pipes now in the trench (yes, only one is pictured here).  One with holes for water to seep into from the yard, because water wants to drain toward the house because of the natural slope of our entire neighborhood.  The other pipe is solid for draining the gutters.  They meet in a Y-attachment and then go under the concrete in front of the door (which D carved out with a shovel, and then a trowel). 

We spent Sunday morning putting stones on top of the pipe with holes, which we will cover with dirt.  We bought the wrong kind of gravel, so I had to sift out smaller pebbles and dust and put only larger stones on top of the pipe, so that the pipe doesn't clog.  Fingers crossed.  We just need to finish the trench now.  Yes, that's all.  It's about halfway done.  And then lay the drainage pipe in there, cover it up.  And cross our fingers.   D's planning to work on the trench tonight.  Of course, even when we get the trench dug at the side of the house and lay the pipe and bury it, we still have to continue the trench all the way to where we want it to drain, out by the street.  ... There's shrubs and a giant tree.   Not sure about that part of the project, but I think it'll involve roots, and a lot of swearing. 

   We also got rid of half of the concrete rubble, although actually the pile looks exactly the same size to both of us.  But I was there.  I hefted rocks. 

And we had an adventure at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.  This place is awesome.  We picked up a giant carpet remnant and a brand new rug, for a total of around 35 bucks.  Both to cover the basement floor.  And we bought an external light fixture for the side door because the one we have is gross and doesn't function. Fifteen bucks.  The Re-Store is a great place to bargain hunt.  Definitely going back. 

Still haven't gotten around to posting the Asbestos-Abated basement yet, have I?  No, I'm not a tease, I just haven't had time to put it together yet.  We'll be painting the floor this week, either in a floor sealant or an epoxy.  We just don't know what to do about that.  But we just want to get it done at this point.  The clutter is driving us nuts.

And to reward ourselves, this Saturday is the Dayton Ale Fest.  My hubby has definitely earned a few drinks for all his manly endeavors lately. 

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