Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I've had a few people ask me where I have been. I seem to have fallen off the face of the earth. Well... my seeming disappearance does have something to do with earth. Couple that with the fact that I've been very sick for a week and a half with some bug I just can't get over, it's all I can do just to keep up with the task I'm working on outside.

Here's the "after" picture. This is where the side yard stands today. My 4-year-old daughter and I spent most of yesterday screening rocks out of the dirt and filling the holes where the tree and rhododendron once stood. She had fun, and was a big help. Her concern for every worm's safety was absolutely adorable!

While part of this task is because I am on a time crunch to get the children's garden beds in, but the most important reason I'm working so hard on this even while I'm as sick as I am is because of this nasty foundation crack (below). My husband thinks he should bring a professional in to look at and possibly repair the foundation cracks (there's a 2nd crack in the back of the house by our back bedroom).

This crack has expedited my work on this. It is why I will not stop until the trees are out and the drainage systems are in. Since those are tasks I know how to do, I'm OK with doing them. My husband doesn't hire anyone to help for anything whatsoever. I am not going to mess this up and end up with him changing his mind about bringing in a pro to deal with the cracks. I will get all the trees out, dig the roots out, get the ground excavated and the water flowing away from the house if that is what he wants to have done before he brings a pro in.

Back in time a couple of days... the tree shown below is gone. Whew! Thank goodness. This is how far I had the tree dug out when my husband got home from work on Sunday afternoon. All of the soil had been unearthed up to the huge taproots at the bottom. I just couldn't get below the taproots. I was so happy when my husband volunteered to take the tree down the rest of the way.

Here he is swinging an axe at the taproots. He got the tree out, chopped it in half and got rid of it. Let me tell you - that trunk was heavy!

While he was busy with digging the tree out, I got busy digging one of the trenches for drainage. I thought this might be long enough, but I guess not. He wants the trench to be very long and go through the front yard. We don't have sewer, so we don't have to pipe the water back into a sewer system. We just need to make sure the downspout drainage system is long enough and angled correctly to allow for adequate drainage. So, my next task is to cut out the sod (preserving it if possible) and continue digging a long trench. Then we'll partially fill it with gravel, attach a long corrugated drain pipe with a drain sleeve on it, top it with gravel and then put all the dirt and sod back. I have a lot of digging to do!

What comes next?

- Completion of the gutter drainage system
- Cutting down and digging out 1 more tree (barely visible on the left side of the picture above)
- Correcting the slope of the side yard
- Digging and building a 2nd French drain along the side yard in hopes to correct the side yard drainage problem (which is one reason we need to take out another tree)
- Install a gutter on the tool shed and connect it to the new side yard French drain. We're considering having it connected to a rain barrel as well.
- Installation of the children's garden beds (four 4'x4' square beds)

So, if my good friends are wondering where on earth I am... you would be right to assume that I'm bonding with God's good earth.

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