Is it really Thursday already?  It’s been a busy week!  Time to post again.

So last weekend, MY plan was to finish stripping the dining table.  Unfortunately, the weather’s plan was to drizzle all day Saturday and part of Sunday.  That made a no-go for my outdoors only project.   Luckily, the weekend was not wasted, and neither was the rain.  The Chief borrowed a Bobcat from a builder he knows (you know, one of those adorably mini bulldozers) and graded the backyard.

So, the backyard.

I haven’t show a single picture of the backyard.  You can guess why.  Ok. I’ll be specific, I hate when people make me guess.

1. The house is a fixer-upper on a slow timeline.   All the project debris and leftovers and, yes, trash, has somehow migrated to the backyard.

2. There is no grass.  The dirt and dried weeds merely exist to hold the stones in the soil together.  As far as trees, there is one lone palm tree that we don’t actually want. 

3. I am married to a car guy.  One of the non-negotiables that came with him is having various project cars parked along the back of the property.  I am ok with that, but only because I’m crazy about the guy.  The thought that soon we will have part of the backyard fenced off for a patio and vegetable beds and some lawn and flowers and I won’t have to SEE the cars makes it a LOT easier :) 

Here is what our backyard looked like at the beginning of the weekend. 

Then the Chief  sorted the various scattered junk into piles.  Trash pile, keep pile, burn pile, good wood to reuse pile.  We had friends on Saturday who helped and kept us company. 

Then there was much juddering and jolting of the Chief’s fine self (and resultant headaches) as he spent hours in the Bobcat on both days scooping and dragging and tamping and redistributing good soil, rocks, and fill dirt.

The drizzle was a blessing after all because it kept down the dust from the Bobcat moving earth around and helped make leveling and grading easier.  We still had to bring over the hose and spray the dirt a bit as things dried out so the Bobcat could keep grading efficiently, but we definitely saved a lot of water because of the rain.

We ended up with a big pile of good dirt that was full of rocks (visible on the left edge of the previous photo) which the Chief and I spent several hours sorting through by hand on Sunday to get the biggest rocks out.  Picture me ruffling through the dirt like a dog, making a pile of cleaned dirt behind me and tossing all rocks fist-sized or bigger into the frontloader of the Bobcat to be dumped elsewhere.

At the end of the second afternoon, the yard looked more like this:

Here’s a view from before the grading was done, but it gives you a sense of just how HUGE and FLAT our suburban Southern California yard is (and I can tell you that’s rare.)


So that’s the latest on the ole homestead.  Now it just needs that fence to enclose half the yard, and a veggie bed and chickens and grass and civilized green growing things!

What do you think?  We still have a long way to go but I am inspired by the changes.