The Yard

As badly as I would like to move, things are not going well enough that we can do that. So, instead, we’ve been working hard to try and make this place more livable. That includes leveling out our crazy, crazy yard. Anyone who has visited us knows that the ups and downs and drop-offs are anything but baby friendly!

We recently began our search for dirt again. Over the years we’ve managed to get a truckload here, a truckload there. I asked a friend about a guy she knew, but he wanted $10 a yard . . . WAY too much for us, considering how much we had to fill in. Irving went out one day to the shop and ended up passing a house where they were digging. He stopped and asked if they had a place to take the dirt and they said they’d give it to him for $2.50 a pickup load. Sold.

Within a few hours, the in-laws’ driveway was piled high with dirt. They were less than impressed. We got the whole family out to help . . . Dominic sat in his high chair, I shoveled and Irving hauled wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow full of dirt to our yard. The big boys “helped” shovel and ran around a lot.

After three days and a lot of blisters, we finally ran out of dirt. Just in the nick of time, since the yard was full. Then came the tedious task of leveling it all out. We realized, a little too late, that Irving had overdone it with the dirt hauling and we were now over the level we needed. Not a problem, the extra went to filling in the alley that runs down the side of the main property. We ended up hiring a couple of his female cousins to help us with the leveling and concrete. Most of the yard will now be concrete, except a piece in front of the living room which will be grass. The idea is that it will be easier to clean concrete and keep kids from getting so sick. Unfortunately, the dog has already arrived to christen the new dirt and so we also need to build a gate very soon.

At this point, we have the yard all leveled out. There will be four different levels in the end, to allow for drainage. This afternoon, we go buy concrete and sand and gravel to start pouring concrete tomorrow morning. I can’t wait! It will be so much easier to keep the house clean if there isn’t dirt everywhere.

Here’s our side yard, before and after:

This is the first time we can really use the door since that room was built nearly 8 years ago! That area will all be filled with concrete and turned into a little container vegetable garden.

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