Jun 28, 2008

My kind of Saturday

I always feel good at the end of a Saturday when my muscles ache from exertion and I can see the fruits of my labors. Today it was satisfying to throw some effort in the yard instead of the house.

We purchased a play structure online this week (hooray!) and it will be delivered between July 10 and July15. That means we only have a couple of weeks to clear a spot for it, so we dove into the project today. This project is actually a bunch of interdependent projects.

This is the future home of the play structure. The bricks around the gardens (on the left and right) are going to the front of the house to create a raised bed by the porch. The playhouse needs to disappear, hopefully via Craigslist customers. The pavers around the play house are going on the opposite side of the yard to make a little patio under the tree.

I spent a lot of time weeding this garden plot. The boys helped a little, too.

Zach was mostly interested in digging. But he and Tyler also enjoyed filling the wheelbarrow with the big rocks that surrounded the play house.

We pulled out all the weeds but left a couple of lavender plants and a patch of strawberry plants in the ground. I'm not sure if the strawberries will transplant well. Any thoughts??

This is what the front yard looked like this morning...

...and when we were done. Shoveling and hauling that rock was a lot of work, but I am so excited about the prospect of colorful flowers!

This lovely specimen is a dog run. We posted an ad on Craigslist that offered the dog run for free to the first person who would take it apart and haul it away. The poor guy who showed up this morning got a bigger job than he bargained for! The posts were cemented into the ground, the chain link fence sunk 18 inches below the surface, and the roots of our large tree were intertwined with the chain link. He put in a full day getting that thing out. Garry and Brother Mills, a member of our bishopric, helped him the last hour or so.

Another one of our projects was pulling out the hideous shrubbery that lined the dog run. This photo documents our rather creative system for uprooting the stubborn shrubs. We anchored a strap to the roots and I leveraged my weight in one direction while Garry shoveled from the other side. Because the strap cut into my hips, I used couch pillows to cushion myself. We (I) looked ridiculous, but the system was pretty effective, especially once we started using tree trimming shears to cut the shrub roots.

Now we have a big, open spot in the corner of the yard. I'm looking forward to the possibilities here.

Our labors were interspersed with many a wheelbarrow ride.

Gavin was an absolute gem today. He played and swung and crawled around on a blanket and napped and played and swung and crawled...all very contentedly unless he was hungry. A quick nursing session and he was good to go for a few more hours. What a peach.

Today I also took a break and signed up the big boys for fall soccer. We coordinated with a few new friends so we might be able to be on the same teams. Garry assembled our new wheelbarrow and made a trip to Home Depot this afternoon, too.

A couple came over this morning to purchase and haul away the dog house that was inside the dog run. That proved to be a bear of a project all by itself. The dog house was massive and heavy and awkward. It took four adults and a wheelbarrow to maneuver that thing out of our backyard and into their trailer. The good news is that the same couple really wants the playhouse, too, and they might have the means to haul it away. We're crossing our fingers!

Oh, and that bishopric member I mentioned? He came over at 3:00 to extend me a church calling. Any guesses? For the fourth time, I've been called as the pianist for the Primary (the children's organization). I guess I'll be participating in the Children's Sacrament Meeting Program as the pianist in Colorado Springs rather than the chorister in Beaverton. Anyway, when he came over and saw how much yard work we were doing, he offered to come back and help out a little later. We took him up on his offer! What a nice guy.

And so ends another eventful Saturday at the Bartle house. I'm going to iron our church clothes and then sack out on the couch!
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